When it comes to packing for a trip, the toiletry kit is one of the most essential items (and one of the most complicated to put together, especially if you’re flying carry-on only). A well-curated kit ensures that you have all the necessary items without weighing you down or causing potential spills. From travel-sized toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste to essential tools like a razor, nail clippers, and a travel towel, a comprehensive toiletry kit ensures you’re fully equipped for any situation that might arise on the road.
To keep everything neatly contained, I like Eagle Creek’s toiletry bag, which can be hung up or laid out flat to quickly find whatever you need. Made from a water-repellent material, this kit will contain any toiletry spills—and can be washed for easy clean-up.
I also recommend keeping your toiletry kit in your personal item when you fly—in case of delays or canceled flights, it’s nice to be able to clean up (even if it’s in an airport bathroom). Plus, if your checked bag goes missing, you’ll still have the essentials.
Here’s what you should pack in your toiletry kit.
Toothbrush: The Philips One Travel Toothbrush is the best travel-size electric toothbrush, and the charge lasts for 30 days.
Toothpaste: Stop buying wasteful mini toothpaste and instead use a refillable toothpaste tube.
Floss: These floss picks come in a convenient carrying case for travel.
Mouthwash: Freshen up without adding a ton of weight to your toiletry kit with this concentrated mouthwash that lets you add however much water you want for customized freshness. One tiny bottle can be used up to 64 times!
Makeup Brushes: Artis brushes have a unique double oval design that makes doing your makeup a snap. This travel-friendly set comes with a carrying case.
Artis Makeup Wipes: Keep your brushes clean on the road with Artis’ easy-to-use makeup wipes.
Vacay All Day Beauty Value Set: Sephora’s all-in-one Vacay All Day Beauty Set offers miniature versions of mascara, lip stain, blush, and all the other makeup essentials you’ll need.
Shampoo and Conditioner: Vegamour’s travel-sized shampoo and conditioner set works on all hair types and uses a vegan B-silk protein to help promote thicker and fuller hair (that’s way better than any complimentary hotel shampoo.)
Body Wash: Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap boasts that it can be used for 18 different things, including as a body wash or laundry detergent.
Face Wash: Drunk Elephant’s Pekee Cleansing Bar is a gentle facial cleanser in solid form, helping you stay under that 3-1-1 liquid requirement.
Razor: Downsize all your toiletries, even your razor, to save space. The Gillette Venus uses a regular size blade but has a small handle to keep it portable (and it includes a travel case).
Face Lotion: For an ultra-affordable travel-sized face lotion, pack The Ordinary’s hydrating cream, which is great for all skin types.
Sunscreen: Don’t let a sunburn ruin your trip—pack plenty of sunscreen. Supergoop’s sunscreen is a delight to wear (compared to traditional sunscreen) and comes in fun formulations that are perfect for travel, like an SPF 50 oil, water-resistant lotion, and a flatteringly glowy tinted version for the face.
Body Lotion: Solid body lotion does exist—find this unique formulation in Kate McLeod’s stone body moisturizer, which melts on contact with your skin. The subtle lavender and chamomile scent is designed to help you sleep (no matter where you are).
Eye Cream: Look photo-ready (even after a red-eye) with Luzern’s Nuit Eye Balm, which helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. The cream comes with a travel-friendly applicator that provides a cooling and soothing feel.
Leave-in Conditioner: Vegamour’s leave-in conditioner not only fights frizz but provides heat protection of up to 450 degrees (essential if you’re using the hotel-provided hair dryer.)
Comb/Brush: Pack a brush that does double-duty as a comb and can be used on wet or dry hair, like the Tangle Teezer Compact Styler.
Dry Shampoo: Skip the aerosol dry shampoo and opt for a hair powder instead, like this one by Handmade Heroes.
Hair Ties: Be kind to your hair and use a silk hair tie, which is less damaging to hair than traditional elastics.
Antiperspirant or Deodorant: Degree makes a perfectly travel-sized version.
Contact Solution and Case: For contact lens wearers, Opti-Free’s travel set includes cleaning solution and a lens case.
Cotton Swabs: Good for everything from fixing makeup to cleaning ears, cotton swabs are essential to pack.
Nail Clipper: Revlon’s Compact Nail Clipper is ultra-portable.
Tweezers: Contrary to popular belief, tweezers are allowed in carry-on bags on a plane. Revlon’s travel set comes with a protective pouch to keep them safe in your toiletry kit.
Lip Balm: Opt for a lip balm with SPF protection to keep your lips from getting sunburned.
Download Our Editable Toiletry Kit Packing List Here
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.
You Might Also Like:• 10 Warm, Lightweight Jackets and Coats for Travelers
• The 10 Best Travel Umbrellas for Every Type of Traveler
• Shoes That Are Good for Your Feet, According to Doctors
• The Ultimate Checklist for Traveling Abroad
• The 14 Best Fall Dresses for Travelers
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.