Toiletries may be a final packing detail, but there’s no doubt they are an imperative part of any trip, near or far. Yet when the drawers that contain your face and body essentials look like a cluttered apothecary from days gone by, it’s time for a lesson in how to pack your travel toiletries kit like a pro — you’ve got this.
What Are Toiletries?
Toiletries are those essential grooming items that keep you clean, groomed, and polished.
(Fun fact: Before there were what we call toiletry bags, there was the “Dopp kit,” which was created by a man named Jerome Harris, nephew of leather goods designer Charles Doppelt. The bags grew in popularity during the Second World War when the Army gave them out to the soldiers — sir, yes, sir!)
How to Pack Your Travel Toiletries
Choose the Right Sized Toiletries Bag
If you’re only going on a weekend getaway, there’s no need to bring a large toiletries bag. Something like the Briggs & Riley Compact Toiletry Bag will do. If you are going on a longer journey, however, something like our Deluxe Toiletry Kit allows you to pack more items in a smart, compacted fashion.
Think About Your Agenda
Not only do you want to think about your normal daily routine, but what is your agenda going to look like on your trip? For example, if you’re going skiing you may want to bring a stronger sunscreen and a protective face and lip balm for when you’re on the slopes. Camping? Then there’s no need to bring enough makeup for a photo shoot when you’re going to be chilling in the wilderness. Use common sense here. Also, consider which items you can leave behind because they will be supplied at your destination. We’re talking about shower gel, lotion, soap, Q-tips, and even shampoo and conditioner if you can part with your faves. Ditch those “just in case” items. If something comes up and you really need one of those things, you can always buy it later on.
How to Pack Your Toiletries Kit for Air Travel
Remember the TSA-Rules
If you’re bringing a carry-on remember the numbers 3-1-1. This means you can only pack toiletries with a volume no greater than 3.4 ounces and packed in a one-quart bag, one bag per person. Even if you’re checking a bag, don’t use that as an excuse to bring a huge can of hairspray, your full-sized cleanser, and a heavy glass jar of night cream, which leads us to our next point...
Transfer Products into Travel-Friendly Containers
Not only are refillable travel bottles good for the environment, but they prevent you from taking more product than you really need. Don’t forget to label them with a smear-proof marker or pen. Look for quality bottles that are leak-proof — because cleaning shampoo off your luggage, clothing, accessories is never fun. Alternatively, you can look for solid product options such as a cleansing balm, stick perfume, shampoo bar, etc. For products like deodorant, shaving gel, and toothpaste, purchase travel-friendly sizes.
Hold on to those perfume, cologne, hair, body, and skincare samples you get when you purchase something or are browsing through the store. They can minimize what you need to bring with adding virtually no extra weight.
Helpful Tips for Packing Toiletries
While you may not be a fan of a shampoo and conditioner in one (and if you are, great), do consider taking along products with dual purposes so you don’t have to pack as much. For example, a lipstick and blush combo, an oil that can be used from head to toe (think argan oil), a BB cream that’s also an SPF, an overnight mask that doubles as a moisturizer, a cleansing cream that can also be used as a shaving balm, a hair and body wash in one — you get the gist.
Any of our toiletry bags can help you stay organized. Take advantage of the compartments and pack items in places that make sense. So, perhaps all of your skincare in one area, grooming in another, etc. This way it’s easier to find what you need when you need it.
Toiletries Packing List
Obviously, you’re going to cater this to your gender, where you’re traveling to, and for how long, but here’s a general packing list to help get you started. We’ve eliminated things like shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion and wash because if you really wanted to, you could use them at the hotel or a friend or family’s home. However, you may have dry, color-treated hair that will go haywire without your regular deep conditioner. Or perhaps you have eczema and you can’t live without your body cream. Again, use common sense here.
- Cleanser/makeup remover
- Eye cream or gel
- Shaving cream or gel
- Bobby pins, hair ties, etc.
- Brush or comb
- Mini hair spray or gel
- Contacts — only enough for the trip
- 1 multipurpose lipstick and blush
- 1 eyeshadow (or a small duo) — opt for a neutral hue that could double as a brow powder
- 1 foundation or BB/CC cream
- Loose powder in a small travel container
- 1 eyeliner
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