Your toiletry kit can be one of the biggest and heaviest items in your suitcase—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Follow these easy tips to streamline your toiletry bag, and make it lightweight and compact without sacrificing your beauty routine.
All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.
Miniaturize Everything You Can
If it’s in your toiletry kit, odds are—you can make it smaller. There are miniature versions out there for almost every beauty product. Downsize your perfume by ordering tiny bottles of real designer fragrances from MicroPerfumes, shrink your razor with Gilette’s Mini Venus, and compact your contact lenses kit with this case.
Choose the Right Containers
Maybe you panic-bought a set of travel-sized containers at the store right before a trip and have been using them ever since. Or, maybe you’ve been using ones you got as a gift that never quite worked well. To streamline your toiletry kit, start by upgrading containers. There are lots of sleek and lightweight options on the market now that will really lighten your load if you’ve been using bulky, maximum size containers.
Look for containers that will hold only the amount that you need. Cadence, for example, makes small travel-sized jars that hold enough product for 2-3 days. Or, try these flat pack toiletry containers from Matador that take up minimal space (and don’t waste space when not fully filled).
Make sure the travel containers you choose are lightweight, as you don’t want to add heaviness before you even add product. The Traveling Light TPU Clear Zip Pouch With Bottles kit from Sea To Summit is leakproof and lightweight, and contains three large and three small bottles so you’ll always have the perfect size vessel. Write-on labels allow you to easily identify what’s inside each bottle.
Skip The Pill Bottles
Instead of packing the entire bottle of aspirin, decant only the amount you’ll need into a small container to save space. However, note that you should only do this for over-the-counter medications, as prescription drugs need to be “in their original containers with the doctor’s prescription printed on the container,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
This is also an area where you don’t want to downsize too much—always pack extra medication in case you get stranded at your destination.
Pick Solids Over Liquids
Save space and avoid dealing with the TSA liquids rules by converting your toiletries to solids. You can find liquidless options for everything from soap to shampoo. Bonus: Many of these solid toiletries can do double or triple duty on the road, like this body/face/hair bar.
You’ll not only lighten your toiletry kit, but you’ll also eliminate the potential for leaks or spills that come with packing liquids.
Check What Your Accommodation Will Have
There’s nothing worse than hopping in the shower at your vacation rental and realizing that you forgot your shampoo and realizing that the property doesn’t provide toiletries. However, if you want to avoid packing redundant toiletries, it’s easy to check what amenities your accommodation will have. Most hotels will list what toiletries they provide (including the brand, so you can make sure it meets your standards). If they’ll stock the body wash, you don’t have to bring yours.
Vacation rentals will also typically state on their listing what is and isn’t included—however, the quality of toiletries provided tends to be less standardized than hotels, so you may still want to pack your own if you’re sketched out by old communal containers.
It’s also worth calling the front desk of a hotel to see what they provide—many chains offer complimentary toothbrush kits or other amenities for guests who forgot their own.
You Might Also Like:• 10 Things Active Travelers Always Pack
• What to Pack for Hiking: 38 Essentials
• 12 Places To Buy Luggage For Every Kind of Traveler
• The Best Affordable Luggage for 2022
• The 10 Best Weekend Travel Bags for Men
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.