As airport chaos continues to plague travelers, it’s safer to limit your luggage to carry-ons.
Many of the delays are due to long baggage queues. So if you pack light and don’t check anything in the hold, you can save yourself even longer waits before traveling abroad.
That means you need to choose your toiletries wisely: in almost all airports, you’re limited to liquids in containers of 100ml or less that fit comfortably in a clear plastic bag measuring 20cm x 20cm if they are completely closed.
It might sound scary when you’re gearing up for anything longer than a weekend getaway, but with some smart packing, you can take all your essentials with you without having to load up expensive minis at the pharmacy next to your departure gate.
First, check what toiletries are provided by your accommodation so you don’t double down on shampoo, body lotion, or toothpaste. Next, grab your toiletry bag.
“Have all the products you use every day ready, plus the extras for the evenings,” says Travel Blog’s Edwina O’Connor TheLifeofStuff.com. “Now decide your must-haves, what to replace with multipurpose (products) and what to leave at home.”
If the must-haves are over 100ml, she recommends packing them in a travel-size bottle or jar. Travel writer Hazel Joy of ArrivalsHall.com recommends the Boots set (€3.99) which includes two 25ml bottles with screw caps, two 10g jars and a spatula for decanting.
“The big cosmetic brands offer travel-size versions of their products, but they may not offer the best value for money, so it’s worth buying reusable plastic travel sets,” she says. “They are also better for the environment. This travel set from Boots is good value for this purpose.”
Here we’ve rounded up 15 of the experts’ best travel-friendly products for your toiletry bag.
“The key to packing toiletries for a carry-on only trip is multi-use items. It means less packing but no compromises on your beauty routine,” says travel instagrammer Tara Povey (@whereistarablog).
She cites the benefits of PlayTint and LoveTint Lip and Cheek Stains (€20 each for 6ml, Millies.ie) as their favorites.
“I don’t travel anywhere without these sunglasses. I’m in Alaska right now. I only traveled with hand luggage and have both with me,” she says. “You can use them as blushes and as lip color—they’re absolutely tiny and last forever.”
Edwina likes YSL Nu Bare Look Skin Tint (€32 for 30ml, Boots), which can be used as a tinted moisturizer or as a light coverage foundation.
“It’s available in 20 shades, it’s light, nourishing, fresh, keeps and is buildable so it can take you from day to night if needed,” she says.
She also recommends the ECooking Multi Oil (€12.50 reduced from €25 for 100ml, SkinfullAffairs.ie).
“This is a really nice product, it can act as a makeup remover and moisturizer for the hair, beard and body,” she says.
Another favorite is Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (€17 for 30ml, Boots). “Not only is it a great moisturizer, but it can also work as a makeup remover or face mask,” she says.
And for applying or removing products, Edwina recommends Garnier Skin Active Micellar’s reusable Eco-Pads (€12.99, boots), which you hand wash with soap and water after each use when traveling and pop them in the washing machine for a deeper clean you come home
“They replace the need for all those makeup remover cotton pads and you can also use them as washcloths if they get stuck,” she says.
Must have skincare
Travel-friendly products need to be packaged in sturdy, compact containers that you don’t have to worry about breaking or leaking along the way. Unusually shaped bottles are best left at home.
“You have to think of your fluid bag as a game tetris and the containers need to fit together neatly so you can get the most out of your pocket money,” says Tara. “I tend to stick with tall, skinny products as I find this allows me to fit more in my liquid pocket.”
One of her favorites is Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil (€14 for 85ml, Kiehl’s) “because it’s the perfect shape for a liquid pouch.” “When it’s done, I can just unscrew the top and refill it with liquid I need for my next trip,” she says.
Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost City Shield Hydrating Lotion SPF25 (€6.50 for 50ml, pharmacy) is Edwina’s top choice because it “does what it says it does, plus it comes in a convenient, sleek package that’s great for suitable on the go”.
Travel writer Jillian Bolger cites Hyaluronic Acid by The Ordinary ($7.30, Boots) as her go-to. “I always travel with this in my carry-on — I get a deep hydration boost mid-flight,” she says. “It plumps up my complexion and helps keep it from drying out.”
If you’re going on a longer trip, relying on fluids can prove even more difficult. To save yourself rationing products over the holiday so you don’t run out, consider switching to solid or other non-liquid alternatives that you can carry in your carry-on.
Consider a sheet mask rather than a pot or jar of cream face mask. Jillian highlights the Clarins Super Restorative Instant Life Superlift Mask ($80 for five, dispensaries) as her favorite.
“After long-haul flights, I use this as soon as I check into my hotel room, or after short-haul flights, I wait until I go to bed that night,” she says. “I find sheet masks instantly perk up my skin and eliminate that tight, dry post-flight feeling.”
If you’re on a tighter budget, she recommends the cheaper Garnier Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask ($4.19, pharmacy) as a “great option.”
A solid deodorant like Wild Coconut & Vanilla Natural Deodorant (€15.50, faerly.ie) can be a great space saver while also helping you reduce waste by not having to stock up on aerosol deodorant after going through security.
“Wild Deodorant is refillable, actually works in hot, sweaty environments, and comes in a variety of scents — I love Coconut & Vanilla,” says Tara.
Shampoo bottles take up a lot of space in your liquid bag and hotel shampoos can be unreliable depending on your hair type. Tara likes Lush’s shampoo and conditioner bars, especially the Honey I Washed My Hair bar (€12 for 55g).
“I’ve been a huge lover of Lush Shampoo Bars since my first big solo backpacking trip to South America. The Honey I Washed My Hair is my favorite because it smells so good you can eat it,” she says.
“The bars are solid so don’t need to go in your plastic bag, plus they smell divine, lather well, are better for the environment and last for months.”
Edwina is a fan of the Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo Bar (€9.99, Boots), available in coconut and aloe vera or honey. “It can work on your hair and body if needed,” he says.
As an alternative to shower gel, Hazel Joy suggests the Dove Original Beauty Bar (€1.47 double pack, Tesco).
“It’s my favorite travel soap for a number of reasons: it can lather in all types of water, it’s a good moisturizer, and it’s the most durable of all brands as it holds its shape on the go,” she says.
“The cardboard packaging it comes in acts as an excellent carrier, eliminating the need to purchase a separate soap dish.”
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/avoid-airport-queues-with-these-top-toiletries-tips-for-your-carry-on-bag-41856196.html Avoid airport queues with these top tips for toiletries in your carry-on