For the last couple of months, I’ve been trying out tons of solid travel toiletries! Carry-on travelers have been highly restricted with their liquids since 2006, and in recent months, powders have also come under scrutiny. In my own efforts to pack light and always go carry-on only, I’ve tried tons of brands and products to figure out what’s the best, what’s most efficient, and what’s most effective to take with me when I travel. This guide is here to make things a little easier for you, so I hope it’s helpful!
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Why do airlines and airports have rules about liquids? Well, in case you never heard about it or have forgotten, there was a plot (perhaps more than one) to create explosives onboard aircrafts using liquid explosives in 2006. So now the good travelers of the world have to be careful about what and how much liquid we bring onboard. The important things to note are:
- You may only bring liquids in containers of 3.4 ounces or fewer.
- All liquids must fit into one quart-size bag.
- The exceptions to these rules are medical necessities: contact solution, baby formula, prescriptions, etc.
Want more details? Check out the TSA website!
Want a more durable liquids bag than simply a ziplock? This one is TSA approved!
This one is pretty common already, but the kind of soap you use matters. I get no payment or otherwise for writing this, but the best soap I’ve found is from Truly-Life, an eco-friendly, woman-owned small business in Alexandria, VA! Her soaps are all-natural, some unscented, some scented with herbs and essential oils. They make my skin feel smooth and soft. And my husband approves! Some of my favorite soaps are:
- Fresh Coffee: For active trips when my skin needs extra scrubbing because it’s caked with sunscreen, bug repellent, sweat, dirt, etc., and the exfoliating coffee grounds are reused from a local coffee roaster!
- Coconut: This one is an excellent scent to transport you to the tropics, and it doubles as shampoo! Truth be told, I have used several of these scented soaps as shampoo, but the coconut bar is specially made for it!
- Eucalyptus Cool: It smells fresh and makes me think of koalas and Australia. What’s not to love about that!
- Soap-infused Luffas: Not only are the luffas grown right in her backyard, they are excellent for scrubbing! They come in an assortment of scents, so choose the ones you like best!
The soap above is my personal preference, but dry shampoo is certainly another option! It may be called “dry” shampoo, but it’s still a liquid inside, so travel size is what you’ll need. It doesn’t work well for me always because my hair is curly, and you have to brush it out. I have, however, used it after straightening my hair to make the straight locks last a couple of extra days, and it worked well! If you have straight hair, toss one in your liquids bag and give it a try. Just don’t forget your hairbrush!
I tried a variety of solid conditioner bars, but unfortunately none of them worked well for me at all! My hair felt dry and a bit like straw, so I will continue taking my creamy liquid conditioner with me. After trying so hard to keep my hair long, I don’t prefer the straw look. But if you’d like to give it a try (there are millions of different types of hair it seems, so it just might work for you!), by all means try it out!
Word to the wise: solid conditioners have to be used differently than liquid or cream conditioners. Use the solid bar by putting it directly on your hair, rubbing it in one long stroke from root to tip. It takes longer (especially if you have thick, long hair), but you will get better results!
If you haven’t heard already, coconut oil has about a bajillion uses! It is solid at room temperature, but liquifies at around 75 degrees (or when rubbed between your hands). I’ve looked and looked for a good travel size container that won’t leak in my bag in hot climates, and I just recently found the 2-ounce, refillable jar below! My favorite ways to use coconut oil are:
- Facial moisturizer
- Deep conditioner
- Makeup remover
- Shaving cream
Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer
If you’re not a fan of coconut oil but still want a solid makeup remover and moisturizer, wipes are definitely the way to go. They’re convenient for freshening up in-flight as well as keeping neat and tidy wherever you are in the world!
It’s easy enough to find travel-size toothpaste, but the space in that single, quart-size bag is precious! Make room in your liquids bag by taking these toothpaste tabs instead. Just chew, brush, and spit. Easy! The tablets below are good in a pinch:
If given a choice, however, I would bring Colgate Wisps. They make my whole mouth feel cleaner, and the little toothpick at the end means it can be your dental floss, toothbrush, and toothpaste in one!
I’ve tried quite a lot of deodorants in my time, and as someone who works out almost daily and whose packing mantra is, “I can rewear that,” a reliable deodorant is perhaps the most important thing I pack for every trip! Natural deodorant is also an important consideration for me because the aluminum and other ingredients in regular deodorants have been shown to cause breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, both of which run in my family. There are some decent natural options out there, but I recently found the one that absolutely, 100%, works far better than all the others. It’s called Native, and it comes in several incredible scents for both men and women! You can get travel size, sample size, or full size to take with you wherever you travel!
It’s very important to use sunscreen that works. I have been using Neutrogena for years because it’s one of the few that doesn’t break out my skin in a horrible rash, and just this summer I found their solid sunscreen, and I will never travel with a liquid suncreen again! It works like a dream, goes on smoothly and evenly, and it smells nice, too.
Liquids for Which There is No Solid Option
Unfortunately, there are some things for which there is no solid option. The liquids I must take with me when I travel include:
- Contact solution
- Hair mousse
- My creamy, liquid conditioner
- Bug repellent (solids have not been shown to be as effective as their liquid or cream counterparts)
What liquids do you wish came in a solid form? Would you be willing to go solid with your toiletries? Comment below!
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