The Frugal Traveler: Keeping Coiffed On The Road

Members of a bridal party in Pittsburgh split into separate groups in preparation for the ceremony. One group received head-to-toe beauty treatments at a high-end spa. But the rest were pampered and painted at a local beauty school for a fraction of the price.

Whether you are traveling for weddings, business or fun, it can be a challenge to stay fit and fabulous on the road. Spilled condiments, torn nails and broken hair accessories can take you from dapper to dumpy in a hurry. But there are affordable fixes. Stay spiffy with our four-step plan.

Grooming Kit: Zippered pouches, purchased at dollar stores or international market stalls, provide affordable storage for personal grooming items and cosmetics. Purchase compact sizes of nail clippers, emery boards, buffers and cuticle sticks for DIY unisex manicures. Bobby pins that match your hair color allow for numerous style changes, including an elegant French twist for a last-minute dinner invitation.

Free Makeovers: Department stores and national beauty superstores such as Sephora provide free makeovers and beauty lessons that travel well when you're headed for photo shoots, parties and other gatherings. Origins, a national cosmetic and skin-care company, offers free mini-facials and select spa treatments for men and women at stores throughout the country.

Performance Gear: Durable fabrics have broken free from the sports and adventure aisles of department stores. Clothing chains and online retailers carry high-performance business or dress attire that is resistant to wrinkles and stains. For quick cleanups, pack individual stain wipes and compact reusable lint brushes into messenger bags or totes. Baby wipes are effective clean-up tools used by stylists on modeling and movie shoots. And of course, club soda is available in most places for more serious wardrobe blunders. Pour some onto a napkin and blot firmly.

Creative Locations: Beauty schools provide full-service salon services at cut-rate prices. For instance, the Vidal Sasso on Academy in South Beach offers haircuts and grooming sessions handled by students under the supervision of experienced instructors. What's more, the "student cuts" are far cheaper than comparable services in the salon. Discount hair chains, nail salons and some hotels offer a variety of spa and beauty discounts for travelers and locals. In Quito's Plaza Grande and various souks throughout the Middle East, shoeshine services are available on nearby street corners, often for less than $3.