Travel Tips: How to pack your Toiletries

One of the hardest parts of travelling is getting all your toiletries and personal care products sorted out and ready pack. You can end up packing a lot of things that you don’t use, or that you only use a little bit.
Sonia Gil shares tips on how to pack your toiletries when travelling. Lotion, toothpaste, shampoo, soap – Sonia will keep you clean with this toiletry packing guide.
If you are travelling by air – Do you know the TSA Liquids Rule? if not have a look at the last part of this post to see the latest information.


Here’s a list of items you absolutely need to take with you, along with a little advice on how to pack them all up nice and neat in your luggage of choice.

The Basics

  • Soap: If space is a problem you could cut a normal sized bar in half instead of paying more for those special travel size bars in the shops.
  • Deodorant: Go for the solid kind in order to cut back on your liquids.
  • Toothbrush: If you want to go minimal, go for a brush that is travel sized, or one that folds in half.
  • Toothpaste: Try travel size tubes or perhaps try something different like toothpaste sachets or toothpaste tablets.
  • Floss: Floss is it vital to your oral health and it can also function as string in a pinch to sew up holes and tie bits and bobs together.
  • Face Wash / Cleanser: Take your favourite facial wash or acne cleanser. With new diets, changes in sleep patterns and more public transportation use, breakouts are sure to happen when you travel. However you can keep them at a minimum by keeping your face clean. Depending on your skin type, a facial wipe might be a good option.
  • Moisturizer: Get a moisturizer with SPF built-in since you will more than likely be spending more time in the sun on your travels. Try to get a moisturizer that you can use both day and night.
  • Hair shampoo and conditioner: Dry shampoo might also be a good addition that can help you cut back on the amount of liquid shampoo you take with you. Remember to take only what you need in order to conserve space and weight.
  • Q-tips and Cotton Pads: Put a handful in a ziplock bag before putting in your toiletries kit.

Go for the smallest toiletries bag possible. Just like choosing your luggage, having a toiletries bag that is a size larger just means you are more likely to fill it with things you don’t really need.

Transport Security Administration (TSA) – Do You Know The TSA Liquids Rule?

When processing through a screening checkpoint, each traveller is allowed one bag in order to limit the total volume of liquids, aerosols and gels. Consolidating products into one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on bag enables security officers to quickly clear all items.

  • 3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveller can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.
  • Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.
    3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, consider putting your liquids in checked luggage.
  • Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.

Inbound international changes

Beginning January 31, 2014, passengers travelling internationally into the United States with a connecting flight will be permitted to carry liquids in excess of 100 ml in their carry-on baggage, provided they were purchased in duty-free shops and placed in secure, tamper-evident bags (STEBs).
Technological advances may allow passengers to keep these liquids in their carry-on baggage, provided they are presented in a STEB and are able to be screened and cleared by Transportation Security Officers at the checkpoint.
Liquids that cannot be screened and cleared will not be allowed to remain in a passenger’s carry-on baggage. Passengers may elect to place these items into checked baggage, if available, or forfeit them prior to entering the secure area of the airport. This may include liquids in opaque, ceramic, or metallic bottles, or other containers that cannot be effectively scanned.