#BeautyTraveler Halle Butler: Travel Tips from a Standby Flier

Our latest #BeautyTraveler is Halle Butler. As the daughter of a flight attendant, Halle has traveled the world her entire life.  She’s mastered the art of flying standby and squeezing all her makeup and clothes for weeks into a carry-on. She’s a marketing student and a licensed nail artist with a passion for art, history, and culture around the globe (even though she’ll tell you she only travels for the snapchat geotags).

ATWB: Tell us about your favorite place in the world.

Halle: My favorite place in the world is Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. I truly cannot imagine a place more breathtaking. Lake Maggiore is as gorgeous as Lake Como, with views of the Swiss Alps and charming northern Italian lakeside towns in view, and it has three islands. Isola Bella is the best island, with a stunning palazzo and gardens that is straight out of a fairytale. It looks like the little mermaid’s castle. My dream is to get married there. (And live there, die there, and then haunt it forever as a ghost because it is that pretty.)

ATWB: What’s your beauty routine like when you travel?

Halle: Well, my travel beauty routine is exactly my home beauty routine, but with travel-sized products. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to beauty, I always wear a full face (sometimes even on beach days!) so my “essentials” are my fully stocked makeup bag. I’m not a no-makeup girl and that’s fine by me.

AWTB: What are 3 beauty products you can’t live without?

Halle: Chapstick is my #1. I’m addicted to it! Right now I’m loving Carmex (and this funky Placenta lip balm I found in Slovakia that I bought it because I thought it was funny.)  Nail files are also super important. It’s the WORST when you break a nail or snag something and it just keeps bugging you all day. Even before I became a nail artist I always had a file with me, because you never know! I also can’t live without concealer, acne has been stalking me for years.

AWTB: What’s your favorite passed-down beauty ritual?

Halle: My mother and her mother have always been diligent about posture. When you stand up straight, not only do you look better (and slimmer), but you feel physically better, and are more confident. My grandmother also said to always protect your teeth. They’re very difficult to fix, and make a huge impact on your appearance. If you’re falling down, cover your mouth with your hand to guard your teeth. Luckily I’ve never needed to use that tip but I always keep it in mind. (But the posture thing I’m still working on.)

AWTB: Tell us about your coolest beauty experience while traveling abroad.

Halle: I got one of those fish pedicures in Santorini and it was WILD! I literally sat in a chair with my feet in an aquarium while these fish ate the dead skin off my feet for 15 minutes. It tickled like crazy and I could not relax for a single moment, but it was quite an experience and I don’t regret it. (I also didn’t research any health or safety warnings about this procedure, because something told me that I’m better off not knowing)

ATWB: We know you’re quite the traveler, how do you make it work with your busy schedule?

Halle: It’s all about prioritizing for me. I’ve definitely caught the travel bug, and I’m just dying to see the world. And honestly, travel is one of the most important things to me right now. So yes, I’ll skip some classes and miss out on some money-making but there is nothing I’d rather be doing than traveling. Luckily, lots of my friends work and study abroad, so I get to see an amazing place while getting to spend time with some of the most important people in my life. (Also, a free flight and a free couch to crash on is an opportunity I simply cannot pass up.) However, my flight benefits do expire so I’ll be taking every trip possible for the next 5 years until my carriage turns back into a pumpkin and I have to pay for tickets.

ATWB: Flying standby isn’t exactly low-stress or easy, how did you manage to take over 6 trips this year?
 Halle: I wing it! Pun intended. Sure I get to fly for free, but I only get on that plane if there’s an open seat. So I have to check in ahead of time and make sure there’s enough space.  But someone can always book a flight last minute, so you never really know. If a flight looks relatively open, or even only overbooked by a few, I’ll give it a shot. I’ve gotten on overbooked flights because people missed their connections. You just never know, so I just go for it.
ATWB: Are there any rules to flying standby? 
 Halle: There is a dress code and a code of conduct because if you do anything to make yourself look bad, you’re also making the company look bad. Standing plays a huge role in everything, too. Fortunately my mother worked at United for 20 years, so I’m ahead of anyone in line who’s family worked for a shorter period of time, or anyone using flight benefits from someone who isn’t direct family. (This is called a Buddy pass)
There are some unspoken rules, however. ALWAYS pack carry-on. Unless your flight is a sure thing, you do not want your luggage leaving without you in the case that you do not make it on the flight. You don’t want your suitcase checked to Seoul when you might have to reroute to Narita for a few days. Also: Holidays are the worst. I’ve made the mistake of attempting a spring break trip when there’s 60 other people like me trying to snag an open seat when there isn’t even one. It’s science + luck, but the more flexible you are, the better.
ATWB: How do you document your travels?
 Halle: Besides snapchatting everything, I’ve recently begun to make travel videos. A few of my friends have been making them for a while, so I hopped on the bandwagon because there is no better way to capture the energy of a trip. Taking little snippets of footage everywhere we go, just on my iPhone, helps us remember everything we did. It’s the easiest way to look back and relive every fun, beautiful moment.

Halle in Budapest strollin around the city and enjoying the thermal baths


Left – Halle at the Cherry Blossom festival in Seoul Right – Halle at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin

Halle with a group of her closest friends in Santorini, Greece

Left – Halle’s friend in Vienna wearing her nail design Right – Halle backstage at NYFW

Some of Halle’s travel videos are included below:


Written by Stephanie Flor

Media by Halle Butler

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  • Kari Na
    Posted at 18:20h, 28 March

    So many great tips, especially the chapstick… VERY NECESSARY! I lost my chapstick in Budapest and had a hard time finding a new one until the next morning… bring backups!

  • Kimberly
    Posted at 02:36h, 26 March

    Good tips for traveling aboard!

  • educational sites
    Posted at 01:05h, 29 June

    educational sites

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