When you spend a lot of time on the road, you develop efficiencies so you can sleep that extra half hour, get through security quickly, roll up to the gate just as the doors are closing, and arrive at your destination with all your belongings intact. Whether I’m planning an overnight trip or a two-week vacation (I wish!), I’m happy to share my system with you for smooth travels, as far as travel toiletries are concerned.
Be ready to skip town: I always leave a set of travel-ready toiletries packed and ready to go waiting patiently in the closet for my next adventure. I have a TSA-approved bag of liquids and another case with the dry items, which hastens the process considerably – it’s half the job done already.
Why do I have two separate toiletry bags, you ask? I always prefer carry-on to bag check, primarily because I don’t like waiting at the carousel at midnight dreading that my stuff won’t arrive, and I’m not keen on how I’ve seen my bag hurled into the cargo area of the airplane. At the airport, I keep the dry items in my luggage and put the liquids in my purse, just until I clear security. I also keep my jewelry in my purse, because no one puts their hands on this lady’s gold.
Pack light and go mini:
Deluxe sample sizes work great, and if you don’t have your favorites in precious little packaging, make your own. Re-purpose glass vials, buy silicone squishy tubes (my favorite), or use BPA-free plastic containers.
A few notes about what’s in my bag: shampoo and conditioner by Acure
, Tata Harper
everything, toothpaste, lotion, lip balm, SPF, a buffet of beauty oils and here’s the fun part…
Spa in a bag: Rarely do I have a moment to let my nail polish dry, much less do a facial mask. I use my time flying solo to practice a little self-care and so, yeah, I’ll indulge myself with a puffy white hotel robe, a magazine and a mud mask – travel-size, of course.
Go coconuts! You can do so many wonderful things with coconut oil, but on the road, I use it to remove makeup, moisturize if the lotion doesn’t cut it, tame my mane, shave, etc. So many uses in a 3-ounce bottle – it’s a high-value travel item.
It’ll get there in one piece:
A while back, I had a short trip to Boston. I flew United, and I remember the airline because United Breaks Guitars
came out not long before and damnit if they didn’t break my make up (but to be fair, I recently had quite a wonderful experience with them and will fly them again). In any case, that time, it was a mother lovin’ pigment explosion all over my business attire. Which brings me to…
Pack in pots and tubes:
As much as I’m able, I include cylinders in my dry bag and I try to keep them clean and green: cream shadows, powder SPF brushes (this one’s Mineral Fusion
), RMS Living Luminizer
, a new favorite HAN
cheek tint, W3LL People
Universalist foundation, Burt’s Bees
lip balm, solid perfumes… I also have the standards: toothbrush, comb, bobby pins, deodorant – you get it.
Be a good scout:
Lastly, I always come prepared. Pepto Bismol caplets
– it’s gotta be the caplets – will kill Montezuma and his blasted revenge, indigestion, and everything in between. Alcohol pads to kill germs everywhere. I once sat next to a guy on a plan who swiped the whole area – seat belt, tray, arm rests, and I thought, “This guy is nuts.” And then I asked him for an alcohol pad. I pack bandages for the backs of my heels when I sacrifice function for fashion in footwear, nail clippers and IB Profen.
My dad always says, “Preparation prevents piss-poor performance,” which always drove me nuts, but he was right, and usually is. Usually. A little work on the front end will make packing for subsequent trips way easier and quicker, it will expedite your process, and ensure that you don’t arrive at your meeting or party with pearlescent purple pixie dust on your cardigan.
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Disclosure: A few of the hyperlinked products here that I use and recommend (and link to for your convenience) contain affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking on them, I will receive a small commission (for my convenience). Feel free to buy from the suggested vendors or from anywhere else you frequent or find value.