Packing toiletries can be one of the most difficult things when you go away. They can add a lot of bulk and you often need as much of them for one night as 3 or more. Here are my hints and tips that I have honed over the years:
- Collect sample sizes. These can be just one use size for a overnight trip when traveling light is important. Collect samples from magazines or that shops give away – a lot of mine have come from free gifts given when you buy a product or two during a promotion. Larger samples (like the ones good hotels provide) are ideal for longer trips.
- Collect small bottles. You can buy these in chemists, but you sometimes get sample bottles that are good to reused for a while. I often decant shampoo and conditioner into smaller bottles to save on space and weight.
- Save on packing time by having a travel toiletries bag packed at all times. The key to this is to restock and refill when you get back from a trip. It means that you will need to invest in some extra items like a spare hair brush or tweezers, but you’ll save time and there’s less risk of forgetting something. If you need to strip back your kit for a trip, keep the discarded items together so you can repack them on your return. Packing for a weekend away takes only a few minutes I find now as I just have to think about the clothes I am going to take.
- Include a mini first aid kit. I carry painkillers, anti-histamines and plasters, plus medication for ailments that I get reasonably regularly. It’s much easier than being uncomfortable or having to find a chemist in a foreign country in a hurry.
- If you have prescription medicines that don’t require refrigeration or special care, put a spare strip or pack into your toiletries bag to be sure you have your meds.
- Don’t forget to add seasonal items like sun cream depending on your destination and time of year.