Surprisingly, I am NOT a light packer. I like to have a ton of clothing options for every trip I take, so I have to save precious suitcase real estate in other ways. One of the main culprits for overpacking is toiletries. Here’s how to reduce the space toiletries take up when you travel…
For non-refillable items like toothpaste and contact solution, pick up a mini version in the Target or grocery store travel aisle. I like the convenience of these items so much that I don’t feel bad paying the crazy per-ounce prices.
I always use up samples of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash when I travel before I transfer my full-size versions into small bottles. Unless my makeup or skincare products are under 3.4 ounces and can be taken in my carry-on, I decant them. Avoid full-size bottles in checked luggage because you risk them getting too hot or bursting due to the pressure. It’s worth investing in travel tubs, GoToobs, or leakproof bottles to transfer your favorite products into. I just ordered these! I use perfume samples and a mini rollerball when traveling! If you’re tied to your regular perfume, invest in a perfume atomizer so you can bring it with you.
Packets are the best thing to happen to travel since the rolling suitcase. They’re mess-free and you can toss them as soon as the product is gone. For my upcoming trip, I’m bringing packets of shampoo and conditioner, face wash, and my favorite laundry detergent by The Laundress. Check online to see if your favorite products come in packet form! I also travel with various wipes that cut down on the amount of liquid I need to bring. There are wipes for hand sanitizer, nail polish remover, eye makeup remover, you name it.
Once you’ve gathered your travel toiletries, pack them based on how and when you use them. I am constantly reaching for the hand sanitizer and hand cream while flying, so I like to keep these handy in my carry-on. I do my best to take most of my liquids in my carry-on but if I do need to bring something in my checked bag, I always use the saran wrap trick. Simply put a piece of saran wrap over the mouth of the bottle and then screw the cap back on. The products that go in my checked bag also go in a ziploc bag, just in case. When possible, only travel with full bottles in your checked luggage, not partially filled ones! It’s the air trapped inside the bottle that expands and causes the liquid to leak!
I just discovered this travel bag on a blog and was so impressed with it that I bought one for my boyfriend too! It’s TSA approved and unlike a sad, unstructured disposable bag, I don't mind keeping my liquids in it the entire trip!