One of the more common mistakes people do when traveling is bringing their entire bathroom with them. Packing all your cosmetic and skincare products will make your luggage extra heavy, and you’ll probably use only a handful of them while you’re busy exploring new places. A smart traveler will consider limiting the toiletries they bring to the ones they can actually use, and only in amounts that will suffice for the entire duration of the trip. It’s a great concept, but putting your bare necessities in a small bag is easier said than done.
What should be in your essential toiletries kit?
You have to keep in mind that what goes in and what goes out of a toiletries bag varies from person to person. Some people are completely fine with just a toothbrush, deodorant, and body wash, but others have to put on makeup before they deal with their day. To find out which items are really needed for the trip, you have to take a closer look at your daily routine. List down the items you actually use on a daily or regular basis, transfer them to travel-size containers, and pack only that. If you use your nail cutter and tweezers once a week, maybe you can leave them out of your toiletries bag if you’re only going on a 5-day trip.
Many people don’t feel comfortable without bringing ‘just in case’ toiletries with them during their trip. Your regular makeup, for example, may not make the cut in case you need to go on a night out. It’s perfectly fine to think about these kinds of situations. If you want to pack light, however, you might want to consider bringing items that have dual or triple uses, like body wash that can double as shampoo. Check for redundancies when it comes to cosmetics and considers investing in higher quality makeup that won’t require you to put on other ‘assistive’ makeup. Save the space your primer will occupy for something that you’ll use more often.
Forgetting a product that’s essential to your skincare routine is such a hassle when you’re away from home, especially if you’re staying in another country. How do you know if you’ve gotten everything you need in your toiletries bag and that what you have in the kit will last long enough? You can try using a trial toiletries pack for a few days. This can mean living with the bare necessities for a short while, but doing so allows you to see which items still need to be added to the kit, and which you can do without or less of. As you become a seasoned traveler, you’ll get better at estimating the number of products you have to bring with you.
Other things to consider when packing toiletries
After deciding on what goes in and out of your toiletries kit, the next thing you have to think about is how to pack them properly. This is especially important if you’re traveling by air. Altitude and air pressure changes can cause the containers to leak or pop open, which can mess up your bag. Prior to packing, squeeze out the excess air from each container, tape the caps in place, and put them in a sealed bag.
Also, you don’t want to reach the TSA checkpoint only to find out that your favorite moisturizer is over the allowable limit; based on the number of discarded containers in the checkpoint, this is an easy mistake to make. Check that your liquids never go over 3.4 ounces (100mL) and that they all fit in a one-quart plastic bag. You can also pack your toiletries in your check-in luggage if the airline you’re flying with has a good track record when it comes to keeping track of your luggage and delivering them on time.
It’s easy to stress over packing, especially when it comes to choosing which toiletries to bring. Instead of delaying the inevitable, tackle the task head on and spend as much time as possible finding out which products you actually need. By taking care of your toiletries ahead of time, you have a better chance of starting your trip on a more relaxed note.
Author: Monica Mendoza