Travel Toiletries Checklist: Essential Toiletries for Travel
September 16, 2019
Travel Toiletries Checklist (PRINTABLE)
I’ve always been a 3AM before I have to leave at 6AM for my 9AM flight kind of packer. And while I like to think that I’ve honed my craft pretty well over the years, there is always one thing forgotten. More often than not, that forgotten item is something from my toiletries bag. The good news is that you can always pick up toothpaste at a local store in your destination. But, items like contacts and prescription glasses have the potential to be slightly more problematic. Creating a travel toiletries checklist has helped me immensely. Even if I am packing at the very last-minute, having a pre-made comprehensive checklist that I can print out and check off as I go is incredibly efficient. Since this list has helped me out countless times now, I thought I would share my list with you too in the hopes of it being a help for you as well.
Before we get into all the essential toiletries items, I wanted to discuss the accessories needed to pack all these toiletries. A hanging toiletry bag is a great solution to bathroom areas with little to no counter space. You’ll find this a lot in small apartments, airbnbs, and in hostel bathrooms. I would also recommend purchasing some TSA clear bags for your carry on toiletries. Instead of using plastic ziplock bags and throwing away after each use, you can reuse these bags time and time again. I actually just use the bag that came with my leakproof travel size bottles for my liquids. When purchasing your travel size bottles, make sure that whichever brand you choose to buy, there is some way to distinguish between each bottle. You don’t want to mistakenly put hair oil on your skin, or use conditioner as a face wash. Having bottles that are all different colors really helps to differentiate products.
Finally, if you are staying in any other accommodation besides a hotel, I highly recommend purchasing a microfiber quick dry towel. I’ve broken down a whole scenario on Best Travel Accessories post, but to sum it up…who wants to put a damp towel back into their luggage? Not I! These towels are compact, absorbent and can function as both a beach, hand, and bath towel.
And now for the ultimate toiletries packing list…
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Oral Hygiene Toiletries Items
I always buy this 2-pack and make sure that I have one toothbrush in my toiletries bag which I always keep in my carry-on luggage. It took me way too long to discover the GUM travel toothbrush with folding handle and built-in case! Not only is the toothbrush compact, but you don’t have to put the bristles on the counter which may or may not have been thoroughly cleaned before you checked in. Also, the handle is vented with holes so you don’t have to worry about moisture if you don’t have time to leave the toothbrush out to dry.
I grapple with whether or not I should bring a mini or full-sized toothpaste with my on my trips. A mini toothpaste lasts for about a week, so if it’s a short trip, I tend to go with a compact size. If I am traveling for a month or longer though, I tend to bring a full-size toothpaste so I don’t have to keep track of multiple minis.
Just because I’m too lazy to floss most of the time, doesn’t mean you should be!
Not a necessity for everyone, but if it’s part of your daily routine at home, then you aren’t going to want to forget to pack for your trip. These SmartMouth packets ensure that your liquid bottle won’t leak, although I would still recommend storing these in their own bag just in case.
There is no better solution for chapped lips than Aquaphor healing ointment.
Face and Body Toiletries List
I don’t go anywhere without my Philosophy Purity face wash. It is so mild on the skin, but somehow manages to remove my makeup and cleanse incredibly well all at once. I have had problems with leakage for all sizes of the Philosophy bottles, so I always put this cleanser into a leakproof travel bottle for my trip.
I’m not on board with travel-size deodorants. Personally, I find that there is so little product that it makes more sense to bring my full-size deodorant from home instead.
You will probably only need to include body soap if you are staying in a hostel, camping, or in an apartment. Bringing small packets of laundry detergent can be incredibly useful for major stains like red wine on white pants.
Also, if you have any prescription acne medication that costs a lot in the USA, I recommend purchasing that same medication in Europe. The same medication that costs around $500 in the States, was 20 euros at a pharmacy in Europe.
Venus makes a travel razor if you are looking to conserve space in your toiletries kit.
I’ve talked about this Australian Gold tinted sunscreen in many posts, but I love that it is not only tinted, but provides SPF 50 protection. This sunscreen does not feel sticky on your face and while everyone’s skin is different, it does not break me out.
While Philosophy Purity does an incredible job of removing my daily makeup from my skin, if I am going out on the town or am traveling for a fancy event, I need an additional round of remover for my foundation and coverup. These Neutrogena cleansing towelettes are my go-to travel makeup remover wipes. And it’s not just me. Anytime I travel with girlfriends, they always seem to have packed these exact wipes too.
Tweezer, Nail Clipper, Nail File, and Small Scissors
This travel nail care set contains all the necessities you may need on your trip. A small scissors is great for cutting off tags on new clothing items or opening packaging to products that you may have purchased.
Always forget q-tips, and always need!
I rarely use perfume, but I have heard that bringing a fragrance sample from Sephora is the perfect solution for travel.
Hair Care Essential Toiletries
For a more in-depth analysis, check out my post on the best travel-size hair products for your upcoming trip.
Shampoo & Conditioner
If you have a go-to shampoo and conditioner at home that you can’t live without, then I highly recommend putting that product into the leakproof travel-size bottles. I don’t have a strong preference, so I generally pick up a couple of the standard travel size bottles…usually a TRESemme or Pantene shampoo and conditioner. If you’re looking for a more high end product, Luxe Organix has travel-sized shampoo and conditioners available as well. Also to note, if you are traveling for an extended period of time and want to bring multiple travel-sized bottles, I have found that a 2:1 ratio — 2 shampoos, 1 conditioner — works best since I think people tend to use much less conditioner per use.
Heading to a humid destination? If you have hair that tends to curl or frizz like mine does, I recommend bringing travel size toiletries to keep those strays in place. I bought the LA Looks gel in Maui and it was life changing. I could actually style my hair and not just have it in a bun on top of my head with the baby hairs looking like I had been recently electrocuted. There are also multiple options available for travel hairspray and travel mousse under 3 ounces.
Hair Dryer/Straightener/Curling Iron
I typically try to only bring one hair device with me on a trip unless I am going for a short period of time for a specific event where I need to be dressed up. Usually, hair dryers are the hair tool I pass on first because most hotel rooms, airbnbs, and apartments have them available. I’ll then decide what look I’m into at the moment and choose between going straight or curly for the duration of the trip. If I only bring one device, then I don’t think it is necessary to bring travel-sized; however, both my hair dryer and straightener that I use on a daily basis are foldable. My Hot Tools curling iron is full-sized but narrow enough to be easily packed in any suitcase.
Batiste dry shampoo is a miracle worker. My favorite scent is blush and is closely followed by crisp…not a huge fan of original.
Hair Ties/Bobby Pins/Hair Clips
I didn’t have hair ties on my toiletries list for the longest time and would always just show up to my destination with the one hair tie on my wrist that I would have to make last for the entire trip duration. Now hair ties are on the list for good along with bobby pins and hair clips for some accessories.
I always bring both a round brush and comb after the disastrous hair experience I had in Wales. The round brush is used to keep the baby hairs at bay and the Wet Brush or Tangle Teezer are fantastic options for hair detangling.
Eye Care Toiletries List:
Double and triple check that you have packed your glasses and/or contacts as these items are probably the most difficult to procure if you forget at home.
I myself am not a customer as I have a small sunglass addiction and too many pairs at home already, but SUNGAIT sunglasses have excellent reviews on Amazon if you are looking for an affordable pair.
Makeup Essentials for Toiletries
Everyone has their own favorite products, so I decided to include a full list of makeup items you may want to bring with you on your trip. I went ahead and linked to the products that are always in my makeup bag on my travels. Typically, I wear minimal makeup when I’m traveling — tinted sunscreen, bronzer, blush, highlight, mascara, and a lip product.
Primer – Smashbox Photo Finish (I don’t really wear foundation and consequently don’t use primer, but I know this is a cult favorite.)
Foundation – I try not to use too much foundation when I’m traveling, especially in the heat of the summer. I typically opt for the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue.
Concealer – Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer (love this but it’s messy)
Beauty Blender – I use the Real Techniques beauty blender but there are multiple beauty blenders to choose from including the original.
Bronzer – Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzing Powder (this bronzer also doubles as eyeshadow and it is just fabulous)
Blush – I love the Tarte blushes, but they aren’t great for travel because the lids break off. I have been using TheBalm DownBoy blush for about a year now and really love it.
Highlighter – I typically use Becca Champagne Pop highlighter but the product will inevitably crumble into a million little pieces on a trip. Becca does sell this in a tube version, which I would recommend instead.
Eyeshadow – Laura Mercier Caviar Stick (These eyeshadows have great pigmentation and pack extremely well. I adore everything about this eyeshadow.)
Eyeliner – Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner in Black (It’s a drugstore and I couldn’t love it more)
Mascara – CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara (We’ve got a drugstore brand once again and a favorite for years.)
Brow Brush/Brow – I use the Anastasia Brow Wiz but the brush side always breaks off, so I bring another brow brush with me at all times. I’m sure there is another brow pencil that would be better for travel, but everyone uses Anastasia so I don’t know what that would be…)
Setting Spray – I use Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray sparingly at home but don’t generally bring it on my trips.
Makeup Brushes – Don’t forget to bring a makeup brush for each of your items!
There are plenty of first aid kits filled with all sorts of gauze pads, antiseptic, etc. While I think these kits are a bit overkill for your standard vacay, they are actually quite inexpensive. However, if you want to stick to the basic necessities, I recommend simply packing some bandaids and Neosporin.
I’ve included feminine products for all stages of your period. While you can pick up products when traveling, I prefer to bring my products from home so I can be prepared and comfortable throughout the duration.
Is anyone else massively allergic to mosquitoes? I have tried so many products and still end up with massive welts all over my skin. Taking Zyrtec works best, but I am so prone to bites that I stock up on everything imaginable in the hopes of avoiding these massive red circles that take over my body. Here are a variety of products that may work for you…fingers crossed!
I also wanted to include a more concise list of travel toiletries for those of you who simply don’t care about my opinions or want something more readable. Below is the travel toiletries item list without explanation.
Travel Toiletries List
FACE AND BODY
Hair Dryer/Straightener/Curling Iron
Hair Ties/Bobby Pins/Hair Clips
Looking for a Printable Travel Toiletries Checklist?
If you want a printable version of this list, you can download it here!