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You’re excited to be traveling for a special event such as The Kentucky Derby, but wondering how to get your perfect hat to your destination without damage.

If you’re flying on commercial airlines, the good news is the advice is simple.

If you have a smaller piece such as a fascinator, carry the piece on with you in the cabin.  Keep the piece in a sturdy box for safe keeping.  We suggest using a good ole’ brown shipping box, as carrying on a round hat box and trying to fit it into a square space may damage your fancy hat box.  

If you’re traveling with a larger hat, treat it like cargo!  Bring it to the airport snugly packed in a cardboard box.  We highly recommend double boxing!  Be sure to let the ticket agent know the box needs to travel via cargo hold.  Cargo goes on a different conveyer belt than luggage.  It may come out the same carousel, but it goes in two different processes.  When treated as cargo, boxes can be stacked with others, as opposed to thrown into the luggage jumble.

Another option is to pack your hat and ship it directly to your hotel or your host’s home.  The Hat Hive ships hats via UPS and recommends double boxing the hat as well as purchasing insurance.  We suggest UPS as their main hub is right in Louisville! 

We suggest labeling the box with your name, cell phone number and the name that the reservation is under at the hotel. While Louisville hotels are accustomed to this process, they do receive hundreds of packages daily, so any help you can give them will ensure your hat arrives on time and is not misplaced.  

As for what goes in the box, here are a few pro tricks will keep it in shape:  Fill the crown lightly with tissue and roll loose cylinders of tissue to place under and around the brim to support it.  Pack the corners of the box with tissue to hold it in place during shipment.  You want to keep the hat from shifting inside the box as much as possible.  The movement is what crushes the hat or damages feathers.  You want to support the shape of the hat or fascinator and prevent movement.