Travel Lean & Light - Toiletries

How to pack a toiletry bag?

What constitute toiletries? The oxford dictionary states “articles used in washing and taking care of one's body”. Grooming articles have since expanded from essentials like soaps and shampoos to an endless range of creams, waxes, oils and sprays…not forgetting electronic versions toiletry articles including toothbrushes, shavers and other apparatus.

As personal grooming is a vital part of our everyday life, if one gives it too much thought when packing, everything feels essential. But in the end, it is all about prioritization. So, here are some thoughts and tips, which can help in your prioritization process. These tips and thinking are suitable for both check-in or carry-on mode of travel.

  • If you are going to a hotel that carries nice shampoo, conditioner, and soaps, then do not bring those at all, because they take up so much room.
  • Most hotels have hair dryers, so check before packing one
  • Bring liquids that can double up e.g. 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, shampoo/body wash, use body wash as shaving foam, 
  • Bring concentrates, dried or powdered versions where possible
  • Do your laundry once every 2 days or you will end up with too much washing, which can be discouraging and no room to dry them in
  • Group packing e.g. pack your dry toiletries in the same section/bag, and your liquid and gel toiletries in another same section/bag.
  • Pack toiletry bag or necessities at the top of the bag or near an opening for emergency easy access
  • Google and head for the nearest dollar/euro/pound store when you arrive for non-vital hair products, deodorant, toothpaste…
  • An electric shaver can be a necessary evil (weight-wise) if avoiding liquids (shaving foam/oil) on carry on bags
  • Floss – dependent on journey duration, pre-cut them and roll em up, no need to bring the whole “box”
  • Decant all necessary liquids to mini containers e.g. perfumes, toothpaste, face cream, shampoo, washing detergent. You are allowed 1 litre’s worth of ≤100ml containers a 20cm x 20cm plastc bag can carry
  • Reuse travel size toiletries where possible e.g. refill toothpaste tube – totally doable!
  • Use everyday things as containers e.g. straws, tic-tac boxes, contact lens containers, small pill boxes, glasses cases etc.
  • Bring only enough q-tips as you need in clingfilm