Welcome to Day 16 of 30 Days to Packing a Better Bag.
That includes everything: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, facial moisturizer, facial cleanser, foundation, sunscreen, hair oil, hair spray, toothpaste, mouthwash, laundry wash, serums, and anything else that might come in a liquid, gel or paste form.
That’s a long list of items to worry about, right? If you’re packing it all into your suitcase, the more liquids you have, the more chance of things going very, very wrong. If you pack it into a carry-on, the more items you have to consider when filling your 1-quart clear liquids bag.
With a list that long, that carry-on option isn’t going to fly… literally.
In previous posts, we already discussed investing in some travel sized products, for your hair care especially, but today we’re going to take this into full detail.
Cut Items Out
That list at the beginning of this section is extremely long, so to become the packing master you are, you’re going to need to pare it down.
What can you do without on this trip?
- Mouthwash is an easy one to cut out.
- If you learn to embrace your natural hair on this trip, hair spray could be the next cut you make.
- For those that are willing to deal with the free hotel shampoo, conditioner and body soap, that’s another 3 off your long list!
Also consider whether or not you can pick an item up once you arrive at your destination. Even if you have to spend a buck or two more for it, or have to leave half of it behind when you leave, that cost far outweighs the danger of it spilling or leaking in your bag, not to mention having to check a bag instead of going carry-on only. People who have had their checked luggage lost before will understand this maybe a little more than others.
Look for Two-in-One items
Another one of our favorite things when packing is to find items that serve multiple purposes.
- Can you handle a shampoo and conditioner in one?
- Instead of a facial moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen, can you pack a BB cream instead?
- Some liquid washing products claim to serve as body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry wash and dish washing liquid all in one.
These could also cut back on a number of liquid items you have to pack.
Repackaging your liquids, gels and creams has two main benefits: it puts them into leak-proof containers and it cuts back on space and weight usage.
Most items these days are also sold in travel sized bottles, but those bottles aren’t always designed to avoid leakage to the best of their ability. For that reason, it is wise to invest in small leak-proof bottles, like those of Nalgene, and transfer the amount of product you need to them.
When flying, the pressure has a tendency to pop bottles and caps open, or cause just enough pressure so they leak. Quality travel bottles will help avoid this issue.
Besides preventing leakage in luggage, the space and weight that can be saved when repackaging is invaluable. A couple giant bottles of shampoo and conditioner can weigh up to a pound, and that’s not including any other full-sized bottles of product you might bring. When airlines put so much restriction on the weight and size of your luggage, the smallest subtractions can make a huge difference in the amount of money you might pay at check-in. Forty extra dollars for a last-minute checked bag is not fun to have to pay.
Think about it. A small jar of facial cream will often contain something in the lines of 25% or more of just container. It’s amazing what packaging makes us believe is actually in the products we buy these days. When traveling, recognizing this extra space packaging takes up and figuring out a way around it is one of our top ways to become a packing master.
Remember: If going in your carry-on, these travel sized bottles must be no larger than 100ml or 3.4 ounces.
Look for Solid Forms
Many toiletries these days can be found in a solid, non-liquid form. This means you won’t have to worry about spills and leaks in your luggage, or about having other liquids to stuff into your tiny 1-quart bag.
While solid shampoos aren’t for everyone, they are an option that should be embraced by those who can. Imagine only needing to carry a conditioner with you instead of both! Go with a bar body soap, as well.
Look for Different Carrying Options
These options give you less chance of messy leaks in your luggage.
How to Pack Liquid Toiletries
When placing your liquid products in your luggage, even if they are in travel sized and leak-proof bottles, we recommend having them in a special place of their own. A good toiletries bag is great because it helps you compartmentalize your belongings while also providing an extra barrier between any potential leaks and the rest of your gear. If you have only invested in buying travel size products, we’d recommend also putting them in a ziplock bag for extra security.
When packing your liquids for carry-on, it is wise to take the smallest size bottles and containers as possible. Again, Nalgene has a great selection of 1 and 2 ounce bottles (and even .5oz or .25oz) that are great for face creams, hair gels, laundry wash and so on. Mix and match in order to maximize the space in your small 1-quart plastic bag.
Take Action: Minimize and Pack Your Toiletries
Re-read this post going through all the points with your packing list in mind. What can you take off your list, what can you substitute for something else, and is there a solid version that might serve you better? After that, invest in some travel sized bottles and repackage your liquids into a smaller and much more manageable size. Then, enjoy the sight of how much less space your toiletries will take up.
Let us know how you go in the comments below.