What’s in My Toiletry Bag

What’s in My Toiletry Bag

July 2019

Whether it is a weekend getaway or a two week adventure, the contents of my toiletry bag remains the same. My minimalist style may not afford the comforts some people are used to, but I am very simple when it comes to my “beauty regimen”.  I have also tried to find as many solid products as possible to sustain the carry on bag life. I use the smallest packing cube to store all these items which both keeps a tight limit of the amount of things packed and serves as a great mobile drawer while traveling. I hope you find some of these essentials useful for your next trip!

Backpack: EBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible

Packing Cubes: Size small, medium, and large

Shampoo / Conditioner: One of my favorite finds was the Lush solid shampoo. It is easy to use and lasts a long time- one bar gets both of us through several trips. There are so many scents to chose from- we use the Honey I Washed My Hair. Lush also has a few solid conditioners. One thing I learned the hard way is that any of the Lush products with a shea / cocoa butter base melt easily so these do not do well for traveling for long distances or hot climates. We have had several products completely melt and make a mess of our bag. Long story short, I am still investigating the solid conditioner options to see if they will work!

Body Wash: Opt for a bar of soap over liquid options

Deodorant: already a solid!

Razor: I pick a small one and throw a new blade on it before packing it. To protect my other items from a sharp blade, I throw an office clip on the blade.

Toothbrush: But more importantly, a sanitizing pod to keep the brush clean.

Hair Products: Just the basics- a hair brush, a few hair ties and clips. I will pack a compact hair straightener with dual voltage for non-active trips (Europe).

Medications: see post on the medications I take on every trip!

Makeup: I use powder based makeup so this frees up liquid real estate. I may also bring one eye shadow with two colors and eyeliner. I do not bring any makeup on active trips (Galapagos, New Zealand). I also love this Lush lip balm, another solid product win!

A small box: I pack this for jewelry, even if I am not bringing any thing additional than what I am wearing, I like a routine place to put them, especially when we move from place to place. It is usually a watch, a pair or two of earrings, a necklace, and my travel ring.

Sunscreen: Discovering solid sunscreen has been life changing for travel. Not only it is high SPF, but it applies like a deodorant stick and does not leave your skin oily. This has saved us lots of money (not having to buy sunscreen at our final destination) and liquid space since we did not need to shove 3 ounce sunscreen bottles into our bag. I recommend this product to everyone and we always bring it with us.

With all the above items in the small packing cube, it now leaves me with minimal items to fill the quart bag or liquids. Some items just do not come as a solid and that is what the liquid allowance is for. If it is not a solid, TSA considers it a liquid. Most TSA agents are very strict with the 3 ounce limit per container and will throw out your favorite lotion. If you are not willing to lose it, do not bring it in your carry on bag if it is bigger than 3 ounces.

Travel sized containers of conditioner, toothpaste, body lotion, and face wash (since the Lush ones we bought melted), more creams for my extremely dry skin, and finally a re-purposed container (Lush sample containers are great for travel!) of face moisturizer. For a more active trip, I may also throw in hand sanitizer and an antibiotic ointment.

See two below excerpts from my small packing cube!

Alba, Italy (Fall)

  • Straightener
  • Medications
  • Deodorant
  • Bar of solid soap
  • Contacts
  • Lush solid shampoo
  • Razor /Spare razor head
  • Toothbrush with sanitizer pod
  • Hair Brush
  • Band-Aids and Q-tips
  • Jewelry
  • Makeup bag (foundation, brushes)
  • Eye makeup bag (shadow, liner, highlighter)
  • Hair accessory bag (headband, sock bun, bands, bobby pins, hair ties, hair clip)

Quart Bag for 3 Ounce Liquids

  • Tooth paste
  • Travel size body lotion
  • Travel size conditioner
  • Travel size face wash
  • Face moisturizer in repurposed container
  • Steroids/Aquaphor (for my terribly dry skin)

See the full pacing video!


New Zealand (Summer)

Quart Bag for 3 Ounce Liquids

  • Tooth paste
  • Travel size body lotion
  • Travel size conditioner
  • Travel size face wash
  • Face moisturizer in repurposed container
  • Steroids/Aquaphor (for my terribly dry skin)
  • Triple antibiotic cream
  • Hand santizier

See the full packing video!


I hope you have found this useful for your next trip.

See more DESKRIB packing tips and tricks!

Happy travels!

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