Travel Tips – The Essential Toiletry List

I recently went on a 10 day vacation and, as usual, agonized over packing. I always struggle with packing enough but not too much, not to mention packing it efficiently. While on this trip, I developed a little list of the essential toiletries one needs to pack for a few nights away. Naturally, what you need to take with you all depends on where you're going. My list has the things least likely to be in your hotel room and that you most likely have personal preferences about. It's a jumping off point that works well for me. If you're venturing into the woods or sailing around the world, your list might be quite different. :)

How to Pack for a Trip – Toiletries

The Essential Travel Toiletry List

1. Face Wash If you're running out of room for liquids, pre-moistened towelettes are great option. Plus they also remove makeup quite well. If you're pinching pennies, cut the towelettes in half before using or even before traveling.
2. Daytime Face Moisturizer with SPF
3. Nighttime Face Moisturizer I love the Vitamin E lotions from The Body Shop. They are light and very moisturizing.
4. Body Lotion
5. Shampoo/Conditioner
6. Hair Gel/Product I used to use this pure aloe vera gel which conveniently doubles as shave gel and skin soother.
7. Toothpaste
8. Lip Balm My favorite is this Rosebud Salve. It's also great for cuticles or any dry spots.
9. Contact Supplies (Solution/Case) I like to buy the travel size contact solution set from the drugstore because you get the small bottle of solution and a free lens case. The whole kit is often the same price or cheaper than a new lens case.
10. Deodorant


1. Soap (most places already have soap so I rarely bother to bring my own)
2. Makeup
3. Makeup Remover
4. Exfoliating Scrub or Sponge (I love the buf puf. It's light and non-liquid which is great for travel provided you have a place to let it dry.)
5. Sunblock
6. Hand Lotion (my all time favorite is Neutrogena. It lasts a long time and works on lips too.)
7. Eye Cream


1. Toothbrush (plus dental floss and tongue scraper)
2. Comb or Brush
3. Razor
4. Contact Case and/or Glasses
5. Bandaids/Medicine
If you are traveling by plane, most of the above items will need to be sorted separately for going through security. I keep my plastic bag of liquids easy to pull out when going through security. After security, I pull out a few items that I want in my purse for the plane ride (mostly lotions) and then stow the rest in my leak proof toiletry case inside my rolling suitcase.

So now that you've got this toiletries, you'll also need a case. I was given a toiletry case by Eagle Creek years ago and it's never failed me. It's in great condition more than 10 years later and never leaks even when something breaks open inside. Above are a few cases similar to mine and a kit for decanting your favorite products into travel size containers. I have a few products that I don't like to go without even while traveling so I put a bit of those products in travel size bottles. For the rest, I use sample size products that I've mostly received from my Birchbox subscription (which I love by the way).

Shown above, top row from left:  Makeup Case  //  Rosebud Salve  //  Hand Cream  //  Skin Stick (This stick looks so cool. It works on multiple body parts and it's a solid!)
Middle row: Vitamin E Travel Set
Bottom row from left: Custom Travel Set  //  Toiletry Case

I will admit that my list might skew a little heavy on moisturizers for some people. My skin tends to get dry, especially on planes, so all those lotions are musts for me. I'd love to hear what your think. Do you have any tips of your own for traveling and packing toiletries? What can you absolutely not leave behind?

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  1. Great list! It's actually very similar to mine. I would simply add a nail file and tweezers. I never knew you could use aloe vera as a hair gel, I'm going to try this!


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