One of the hardest packing skills to learn is how to pack toiletries efficiently. Most women have spent years evolving their hair care, skin care, and general beauty routines—and now you have to condense all of that into a 1 quart plastic bag? Unfortunately yes, to an extent. However, there are ways to work within the system to make sure you have everything you need without checking your bag. Hooray!
Take small bags. On my first business trip, I brought an enormous hanging toiletries bag that took up half of my suitcase. And I wondered why my back hurt after trying to lift the darn thing into the overhead bin! These days, I take three small bags: one for liquids (the clear 1 quart plastic bag), one for non-liquids, and one for makeup. They will easily slip into the tiniest spaces in my suitcase.
Only put liquids in the liquids bag. It sounds like a no-brainer, but for a while I was keeping stuff in the liquids bag that didn’t need to be in there. For example, stick deodorant, contact solution, mascara, and lipstick. According to the TSA, those things don’t have to be in there. Hallelujah! More room for important stuff.
Use your own stuff. It can be so tempting to take advantage of travel-sized lotions and potions that are pre-packaged, but it’s not a good idea. If you have sensitive skin, like Ana from The Well Appointed Desk, you can end up with some severe skin irritation. In my case, my hair reacts poorly to most shampoos and conditioners, so I always bring my own hair products. Which leads me to….
Take smaller containers. As tempting as it is to bring your full size shampoo and conditioner, unless you’re traveling for months at a time there is just no need. Get refillable containers (available virtually anywhere, including these GoToobs from TravelSmith) and pour your normal shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, and other items in there.
Readers, what are your best toiletry travel tips? Do you have a current favorite beauty item?