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15 Halloween Costume Ideas... Think Travel!

Posted by Amy Clyde on 10/20/2015
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Africa, Argentina, Europe, Great Britain, Japan, National Parks, Paris, River Cruise, Small Ship Cruising, South America, Travel

creative_halloweenIf you’re like me, most years you scramble to come up with a clever Halloween costume at the last minute – an impossible task involving a lot of panic. But last year was different; the Creative team at Tauck planned ahead and dressed up as the first Tauck tour (1925) – complete with Studebaker; not bragging, but we won the office party costume contest against some pretty strong competition. Turns out, travel is great for costume inspiration – all you have to do is daydream about places you’ve been and places you’d like to go. Here’s my list of costume ideas for this year. Feel free to borrow them – or do a bit of travel daydreaming of your own.


FOR HER
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1. Queen Elizabeth II
She just became the longest reigning British monarch ever, having logged in more than 63 years, seven months, and two days – even more time than her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. When you go to England, the current Queen lets you visit her weekend home – Windsor Castle – even when she’s there (if she’s home, the flag is flying), and you can visit her gorgeous horses in their stables at Buckingham Palace. Also have you noticed that she doesn’t do that silly stiff royal wave anymore? Now she waves like a normal lady with extremely good manners who’s very happy to see you. All this puts her at the top of my list for women we should be dressing up as. If Helen Mirren can do it, why not us? Hat required.

2. The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth
For this group Halloween costume inspired by my recent visit to the Tower of London, you need five women friends, ropes of jewels... and, alas, a hooded man carrying an ax. You could also add Henry VIII, i.e., a male friend with a beard and a turkey drumstick.

3. Marie Antoinette
When I was at Versailles in the spring, I was flipping through a Marie Antoinette coloring book in the gift shop and thinking about how bewildering it must have been for her at the age of 16 to arrive at the court of Louis XIV far from her home at Schönbrunn Palace, in Vienna, to marry the French king’s introverted grandson – and find that her husband was more interested in locksmithing than in her. What was a young woman to do? Party up a storm, of course. People say she was a bit of a narcissist, but when you visit the palace and see yourself reflected over and over again in the Hall of Mirrors, you begin to understand why. This costume requires a white wig, a hat with loads of feathers, and quite an attitude because, as Thomas Jefferson said, "if there had been no Queen, there would have been no revolution." Be sure to carry a plate of small cakes and let people eat them.

4. Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum in Paris
This costume is simple. Wear black. Put on your most mysterious smile. Follow everyone with your eyes, no matter where they go in the room. Be smaller than people thought you were. Surround yourself with camera-toting tourists. Voilà.
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5. African Safari Gal
If Africa has you under its spell, think Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner in Mogambo. All you need is a pith helmet, neck scarf, safari shirt or jacket, and khaki cargo shorts or pants tucked into hiking boots or knee high boots for the classic jodhpurs look. Keep the color palette white or khaki. Binoculars are a must. A utility belt hung with a canteen, flashlight, and rope would be terrific.

6. Yellowstone National Park
Dress yourself from head to toe in yellow and accessorize with lots of jewelry made of stones. Attach stuffed animals to your costume – wolf epaulets would be cool. Buy antlers at a craft store and turn them into a hat. Moccasins or cowboy boots make the perfect finishing touch.

7. Dutch Girl
My favourite Halloween costume ever was when I dressed up as a Dutch Girl at age four – apparently I was very into windmills, tulips, and Hans Brinker stories. The noisy clogs were awesome, and I could flip my apron up over my face as needed. Later, Vermeer became my favourite painter. Coincidence? I think not.


FOR HIM
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1. Austrian Guy
Does your significant other love The Sound of Music – and beautiful Salzburg, where it was set? If so, wear a traditional Austrian jacket that makes you look like Captain von Trapp – because it is a truth universally acknowledged that every man becomes more handsome as soon as he puts on one of those jackets. Remember, the Captain wore a whistle around his neck.

2. Gladiator
When you stand in the middle of the Roman Colosseum, you can practically hear the ancient public cheering and booing. If you can imagine yourself as a gladiator fighting for glory, honour, and even wealth, this might be the costume for you. To be sure, most gladiators were slaves, prisoners of war, or others who had no choice about fighting for spectators’ entertainment, but some combatants were so skillful that they became pop culture heroes. That’s the kind of gladiator you’ll be.

3. Scotsman
Whether your inspiration is the Scottish highlands or the craggy coast of Nova Scotia, if you show up in a kilt you’ll be a hit at any Halloween party. You can dress your kilt up or down: kilts look amazing with black tie, Prince Charlie jacket, and ghillie brogues if you’re going for a formal look, but today at Highland Games you often see kilts paired casually with T-shirts or golf shirts and lace-up boots or moccasins. Either way make sure to wear a sporran pouch – it’s my favourite man purse, great for holding wallet, keys, phone, etc. Of course, if you have a bagpipe, bring it. But please don’t play unless you know how.

4. Viking
This is your chance to debunk some myths about medieval Scandinavia’s seafaring men. Yes, “ransack” is an Old Norse word – there’s no getting around the fact that the Vikings wreaked a lot of havoc in their time. But they were actually more charming than their reputation might have led you to believe. A 13-century English monk named John of Wallingford wrote, “thanks to their habit of combing their hair every day, of bathing every Saturday and regularly changing their clothes, [they] were able to undermine the virtue of married women and even seduce the daughters of nobles to be their mistresses." If you do dress up as a Viking, just be sure not to wear a helmet with horns or wings. The real Vikings never did (horns and wings were Romantic inventions of the 19th century). True Vikings wore conical shaped helmets, much more practical for battling and ransacking.

5. Sherlock Holmes
If you love London, may I suggest a deerstalker, pipe, and cape?


FOR COUPLES
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1. Gandhi and Gandhi
Go as India’s two most famous (and unrelated) Gandhis: Mahatma Gandhi wears a simple dhoti and shawl, plus wire-rimmed glasses; Indira Gandhi sports a sari and a white streak in her dark hair.

2. Argentine Tango Dancers
Don’t be shy. In fact, take a few tango lessons together to add authenticity. Or visit Buenos Aires. Or just google “tango costumes.” You’ll be fabulous.

3. Japanese Gentlewoman and Samurai
What a pleasure to wrap yourself in a lovely silk kimono and go to the party with a man dressed as a samurai. He should be a good escort because the samurai were influenced by the teachings of Confucius, especially respect for others and loyalty. But to be on the safe side, your host and hostess might prefer it if your samurai left his sword at home.


I haven’t decided yet which Halloween costume I’m going to wear this year, and even if I had I’d have to keep it a secret because surprise is a key element in winning the Tauck Halloween Party Costume Competition – and you know I like to win. What about you? Any travel dreams sparking your creativity? Click here for a world of inspiration.

Several Tauck journeys in the British Isles visit London and Scotland, and all of our land trips and river cruises in France go through Paris. We travel with guests on escorted tours of Europe, including the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Austria, and Italy. Tauck has safaris in Africa, journeys in India and South America, and both a land trip and a small ship cruise in Japan. In 2016, we’re celebrating the centennial of America’s National Park Service – and we’re proud to say that we’ve shared the wonders of the national parks, monuments, and historic sites with more than two million guests in the last 90 years.
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