We pack light for a number of good reasons, so if we can find ways to cut down on toiletries when traveling they are most welcome. Toiletries are among the bulkiest and heaviest items in our luggage so if we can reduce weight and space we’re better off all round. Here are some of the best ways to cut down on toiletries when traveling you might like to try for your next trip.
1. Downsize to the Basics
There are several ways to cut down on toiletries when traveling, but the simplest is to cut down on the number of products you take with you. Think carefully about what you’ll need: Are you really going to spend that much of your travel time applying facial scrubs and masks? You only need something to clean and moisturize your skin, something to wash your hair with and your oral hygiene products. In other words, you can pack soap, moisturizer, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, a toothbrush and dental floss and leave the rest of your bathroom closet at home. Besides, not having all those extras in your travel bag gives you the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a beauty treatment at your destination, where it’s often much cheaper than at home!
2. Plan Ahead and Organize
Don’t leave packing your toiletries for the last minute, when you just scramble into the bathroom, grab everything in sight and throw it all into a plastic bag. With a little planning, you’ll be able to eliminate the need for many of the products you might otherwise have needed. For instance, get your legs, underarms and bikini line waxed before you go and you won’t have to pack a razor and shaving cream. Next up, invest in a good toiletry bag with separate little compartments. Simply looking organized is a good step towards being organized, since you’ll think more carefully about what to put into those compartments, eventually taking fewer toiletries.
3. Pack Multipurpose Products
It’s possible to cut your travel toiletries by half or even more simply by opting for multipurpose products. Instead of taking a shampoo and a conditioner, take a 2-in-1. A solid shampoo-and-conditioner combo can double up as soap and shaving cream. Some companies make products that not only work as shampoo and shower gel but can be used to wash your clothes and the dishes too. With a little creative thinking, you can turn almost anything into a multipurpose product. Once you’ve used dental floss to sew a loose button back on, you’ll never go back to cotton thread!
4. Use Travel-sized Containers
There is no reason why you need to pack the entire family-size bottle of shampoo if you’re only going to wash your hair a couple of times during your trip. Invest in travel-sized containers and then decant your favorite products into these. In this way you’ll have much more space in your luggage for the souvenirs you’ll want to bring back. Some toiletry bags come with containers included but you can also recycle containers that you already have. Another option is to buy beauty and hygiene products, from shampoo to toothpaste, in travel sizes.
5. Stock up on Samples
Another of the ways to cut down on travel toiletries and even better than taking travel-sized containers, is to stock up on product samples. Pick them up every time you find yourself at the beauty counter and save the ones included in some magazines. Most samples come in tiny little containers enough for two or three uses or in flat, single-use packets. You’ll be able to fit in many more of these than bigger containers of product and as you use them, you simply need to throw away the empty containers, leaving even more space in your luggage.
6. Use Solids or Paper Instead of Liquids
If you’ve ever arrived at your destination only to find that your liquid products have leaked and all your clothes are smelling like apple-scented shampoo, you’ll probably want to try to pack solid hygiene and beauty products instead. These days you can get almost everything, from shampoo and conditioner to sun block, in solid form. Simply slice off a piece as big as you’ll need for your trip and then pack each piece in a small plastic bag so you don’t end up with a stuck-together mess. Alternatively, try some of the products that are now available in paper-thin sheet form. The traditional wipes always come in handy but so will wipes that dispense make-up remover or sun block, among others. Packing solids and sheets not only save space and won’t leak, but they’re easier to get past the TSA too, so you can pop them into your hand luggage.
7. Use Products from the Hotel and Buy Local
Most hotels provide at least soap or shower gel and shampoo. Use these; they’re included in your room rate so you’ve paid for them already. You may also want to buy local products. Use these on your trip and take back whatever you haven’t used so that for the next few months, you’ll always be reminded of your holiday when you take a shower.
I know some people are adamant that they have to have their specific lotions and potions but there are ways to cut down on toiletries when traveling that will allow you take your favorites. How do you pack your travel toiletries? Is there something you simply must take?