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I always like to keep my travel kit packed in between trips, but a few days before a trip, I pull everything out and take inventory. I use a clear plastic TSA approved 1 quart organizer. You can check or put it in your carry-on.

The Basics

  • Shampoo and Conditioner: I decant my favorites into 1.25 silicone travel bottles. Also, if your hair will cooperate a dry shampoo can be great.
  • Hair Spray, Mousse & hair paste: Again I use travel size.
  • Facial Moisturizer:  Go with a moisturizer that you can use both day and night. I go through sample packets, organize by product type and clip or rubber band together.
  • Face Cleanser and Makeup Wipes: Many countries don’t offer wash clothes.
  • Toothbrush: Get a travel sized, or one that folds in half.
  • Toothpaste and floss: I love the samples my dentist hands out.
  • Razor
  • Deodorant: Go for the solid kind in order to cut back on your liquids.
  • Q-tips and Cotton Pads: For cleaning your ears and removing makeup or dirt. Just put a handful in a ziplock bag before putting in your toiletries kit.
  • OTC meds: toss anything that’s expired, or mostly used up and replace.
  • Eye Drops: A godsend after long days of travel
  • Body Lotion: I like Cetaphil that comes in 2 oz. containers
  • Sunscreen: Broad spectrum because you are outside more when you travel
  • Aquaphor: Great for chapped lips and very dry skin.
  • Tide to go: Works great on spots and stains.
  • A Round Styling Brush and Comb: I buy shorter lengths so that the brush will fit into the bag.
  • Bandaids and some antiseptic ointment
  • Cosmetics: I like to pack a fresh tube of mascara, and new or nearly-new lipsticks for travel. It’s fun to shop for new cosmetics and skin creams, but I don’t want to pinch the bottom of my essentials.
  • Liquids And TSA:  While security checkpoints have become more efficient over the last few years (and with Global Entry, the process is further streamlined), I still prep and pack as though everything will be scrutinized. Liquids include: toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, creams, oils, lotions, sunscreen and liquid fragrances, liquid fragrances, eye drops (unless prescription
  • What I don’t count as liquids: mascara, lipstick and lip balms, stick cosmetics, solid fragrances, stick deodorant.
  • I pack those items in my cosmetics bag along with my tools: tweezers, eyelash curler, makeup brushes, nail clippers, etc. I have never had a problem at security checkpoints, but use your own experience, judgement and comfort level.
  • I don’t bring any hair styling tools, but do bring my velcro hair rollers. I can leave them in long enough to get some lift in my hair.


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