Traveling can be a blast. Figuring out how to pack your bathroom bag for travel is not. It’s one of the more mundane aspects of traveling. Yet a little preparation on the front end can save you a lot of time and frustration later.
Poor packing can lead to lost items, messy spills, and forgotten essentials. Like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, some people never learned how to pack. But we don’t want family members to call you “les incompetents.” So, we’ve compiled an easy-to-follow guide to show you how to pack toiletries for travel. Let’s get that bathroom bag squared away before your next trip.
1. Make a List of Your Essential Items
Before you do anything else, you’ll want to make a hygiene packing list of all your essential items. Focus on the word essential. When traveling, you want to do it as lightly as possible while not leaving out anything you’ll regret later. What are some items you should include in your hygiene pack?
Your list may include the following:
- Toothbrush sterilizer
- Shaving cream
- Body wash
These are all standard for the average traveler. Go ahead and customize this list to fit your needs. You may be growing your beard out and don’t need a razor. It could be that you’re someone who doesn’t mind the hotel shampoo and conditioner. Perhaps you can only get your hair right with your specific hairdryer. Make your list and then think through what a typical day would look like to be sure you remembered everything.
2. Check for Baggage Restrictions
We have another step before getting into the physical packing. You need to check for baggage restrictions. Some of us remember a time not all that long ago when this wasn’t such a hassle. But restrictions are part of the deal if you want to travel these days.
First, check tsa.gov for updates on what you can and cannot bring when traveling. This website is the most up-to-date source to find out what you can take, the rules regarding traveling with liquids, and how to pack toiletries for a flight.
Next, check with your airline for anything you need clarification on. The TSA has its rules, but your airline may have specific rules you need to adhere to as well.
3. Use Travel-Sized Products
Remember what we said about traveling as lightly as you can? Try to use travel-sized products whenever possible for a considerable difference in weight, bulkiness, and overall organization. There are many options at your local pharmacy that take minimal space in your bag.
You can even find empty travel-sized containers, a great option if you have some hygiene products you like that don’t come in travel size. All you have to do is label your travel container and transfer enough contents from the larger containers.
One of the largest items in your bag is likely to be your toothbrush, which means that the travel case for it is often even larger. One brilliant solution, if we may say so, is to use a Bril as your toothbrush travel case. Not only will it protect your brush from whatever may be floating around in your bag, it’ll actively sanitize it with UV-C light. Plus, it’ll keep your toothbrush clean throughout the trip as it sits in your vacation bathroom amongst all of the exotic bacteria it contains.
People often pack their large containers because they don’t plan ahead. One of the consequences of taking a large bottle that’s already open is the cap can break or come off quite easily. Think about the pounding your luggage takes during the travel process. We’ll focus more on preventing disastrous spills later.
4. Choose the Best Bag for Your Items
Now that you’ve identified the items you need, checked for restrictions, and scaled down the container sizes, it’s time to choose the right travel bag. Your bathroom bag is a smaller bag devoted solely to hygiene products that fits nicely into your carry-on or checked baggage. Here are some qualities to look for in the ideal bathroom bag:
- Small enough so it doesn’t take up your whole luggage bag
- Large enough that it can fit all the items on your list
- Durable enough to avoid tears and zipper breaks
- Compartments that hold things in place are a bonus
There are plenty of options out there for bathroom bags. If you’re happy with something basic, you could spend under $10 on a simple, water-resistant toiletry bag. You may even find something around the house that works well for you.
On the higher end, there are hanging travel toiletry bags. These cost at least twice as much as the ones mentioned above, but the features may be worth it. Most include:
- Four separate compartments that fold into a single, convenient bag
- Clear plastic in certain areas for quick identification of what you need
- Zipper compartments and sleeves or elastic straps to hold items in place
- Stow-away hook for hanging the bag in your destination bathroom
Whichever you choose, ensure you’re happy with the convenience, style, and durability.
5. Pack Your Bathroom Bag
Everyone will have a slightly different way of packing a bathroom bag. But when it comes to the best way to pack hygiene products, keep the following things in mind:
- Keep it organized. After all our prep work, don’t just throw things in haphazardly now.
- Take spill precautions. Plastic Ziploc bags are your friends. Use sandwich bags or freezer bags, depending on the size of the products going inside. If a damaged bottle of liquid spills, the mess should stay in the bag.
- Check everything over. This is your last action item, typically before placing your bathroom bag into your suitcase and sealing it up for the trip. Now’s your final chance to avoid headaches when you reach your destination.
There you have it. We’ve shown you how to make a list of essentials, check for restrictions, minimize size and weight, choose the correct bag, and pack it all up effectively. If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a smooth trip, at least regarding your bathroom items. Sorry, we can’t help with the family members!