Carry-on Toiletries

Packing for airline travels can be daunting, especially if you are limiting yourself to a carry-on. Yet, what I typically pack doesn’t change much between spending 40 days traveling eastern Europe, 2 months living in Italy, a week in Seattle, or a weekend in Yosemite. To keep with TSA’s 3-1-1 rule, you need a 1 qt zippered clear bag. I found one at Walmart that is perfect. You can fit a lot of liquid in it as long as each is in a 100 ml or less bottle. Make sure that anything liquid, including makeup and mascara, is in this bag. Be aware of anything that says TSA-safe or travel-size, as I have seen some that are actually 4 oz, and they MUST be under 3.4 oz!

  • Deodorant does not need to be in here unless it is gel, liquid, or aerosol. My deodorant is always perfume scented so I don’t have to wear perfume that can make other travelers sneeze. Bring your regular bar unless it is liquid.
  • Travel, hotel, or sampler sized shampoo and conditioner. Even if you stay in hotels, they don’t always supply these, and I always prefer my usual shampoos. You can buy refillable 100ml bottles to use your own, or you can buy mini bottles of Tresemme or Head and Shoulders at Walmart, and Ulta has sample sizes in many fine brands.
  • Toothpaste in travel tubes (sold at Walmart and grocery stores)
  • Soap in bar form does not need to be in this bag, but in liquid for must meet the 100 ml rule. Again, you can refill a bottle with your favorite liquid, or you can buy a travel sized version from the store. The plus side to having liquid soap is that it can double as laundry soap!
  • Mouthwash: I recommend buying travel Listerine since the lids are more secure than refillable bottles.
  • Sunscreen (remember to keep it under 100 ml) can double as moisturizer with some products!
  • Nail polish is TOTALLY optional but I think it always makes me feel more put-together (a big plus when running around an airport)
  • Cold creme (such as Ponds) is GREAT for travel since it removes makeup and dirt without water! Keep it less than 100 ml.
  • Facial cleaning cloths (like Olay or any brand) are dry and disposable, so they don’t need to follow 3-1-1 and works great even in a public restroom. Very light, use very little space, and feel so luxurious!  Be sure to use it to clean your face and neck if you are stuck traveling for over 12 hours.
  • Perfume (be careful, since many people fly with asthma, so I prefer deodorant until I arrive) should be in a plastic bottle (less than 100 ml) to weigh less, must have a cap, and I prefer roll-on since it is more durable, especially if the cap is screw-on.
  • Chap stick (travel can be dry! and yes, this must be in the 3-1-1) can be tinted to double as lip color! I love Burt’s Bees since it doesn’t taste like petroleum.

What are your travel essentials? Have you done anything creative to deal with the new rules for flights?


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