Packing Tip: Put grooming items in the suitcase after you use them

a curling iron with a cordThere are a few things you take on every single trip, and most of them are grooming and toiletry items. I am a big advocate of having two sets of toiletries. One you keep at home, one you keep in your suitcase. This way you never have that “Dangit!” moment while driving to the airport when you realize you forgot your shampoo/deodorant/toothbrush and will have to go searching for a replacement. (Pictured: the Revolon Perfect Heat curling iron that I only have one of but really should buy a second! Available at Amazon.)

However, there are a few things that I don’t have two of. I do not have two sets of makeup, two curling irons, or two pairs of glasses. These are things that I just have to remember to pack every single time. It can be tricky, because I use these items every day, and usually have to use them right before I go to the airport. There have been times when I have forgotten one of these things, and it certainly makes a trip more complicated.

Also, people who don’t travel as often may find it’s not worth it to have two sets of everything. Enter advice from Reader S. She sent me an email with the following recommendation:

I have a suggestion that you may want to try and see if it works for you for packing.  I travel a lot myself and was always forgetting certain toiletries or items as I’m packing.  I have gotten into the habit of packing things as I get ready for the trip. I’ll have my suitcase out, take a shower and when I’m done I put what I have used in the suitcase….brush my hair, put it in the suitcase….put on deodorant, put it in the suitcase….put on eyeshadow, put it in the suitcase…..  I find that it helps me being exactly what I need to get ready and not a lot of extras.  

I think it’s a great idea! It might take a few minutes longer getting ready in the morning, but you know you won’t forget anything!

Readers, do you have two of everything? Or do you have to remember to pack certain grooming items?

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  1. Question: If you have to check out in the morning, what do you do with your hot curling iron before putting it into your suitcase?

  2. My wife is looking for a curling iron that she can bring with her abroad, any thought of good dual-voltage curling iron ?

  3. @Terri A lot of curling irons come with rubber caps that you put over the hot barrel so they are safe to travel with. Mine came with one, even though it’s not in the picture.

    @Ed Good question! I will look into that.

  4. I’m a two of everything traveler. I like having it in my suitcase at all times so if there’s a last minute trip that comes up, I dont have to think twice!

    As for makeup and other things like that. I usually don’t do that before getting on an early morning flight. I’d rather be able to get on, nap and then really freshen up before we land or at the airport bathroom.

  5. I am generally a two of everything person on the grooming front. The things I have managed to forget to pack are more problematic. It never occurred to me until the plane was landing or I had almost reached my two two hours away destination by car that I had forgotten either dress shoes or my suit. No wonder my bag was lighter than usual on those trips.

  6. I have a lot of duplicates. When I return home, I immediately refill my 3-1-1 items so they are ready for next time.

  7. I have an Excel spreadsheet that lists all the toiletry and personal items I need to put in my suitcase. I go through the list and make sure I have all those items before I zip up my suitcase. Helps a lot because I don’t have to remember what I need and I have no excuse to forget anything.

  8. I have a checklist that I keep in my toiletry bag. I have some duplicate items, but some not. Either way, I go through my checklist like a pilot before take-off, and I never am missing anything on the road.

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