Carrying toiletries while traveling can be a challenge, especially if you don’t like checking in a bag. With all the security restrictions around liquids and rules on the amounts, it can make for a confusing situation. In this video/post, we’re going to review how to pack toiletries in order to satisfy airport rules and share some tips to reduce confusion and stress.
Let’s start with the rules. In the US, TSA has a guideline known as 3-1-1. The rules basically say that you are limited to liquid containers that no more than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters, and that they must all fit in a one-quart bag. Also, each passenger is limited to only one bag.
This includes liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes. Any liquid food items must also follow this process. The only exceptions are medications and infant or child nourishment, like formula or milk.
One-quart isn’t much room to work with, so below are some tips to help make the process easier.
Tips and Tricks for Packing Toiletries
1. Use reusable silicone and plastic containers:
Finding travel size toiletries is tough, especially if you like a specific product or brand, and it’s not offered in a small container. Luckily, there’s a great way to get around this issue. I use GoToobs (3 oz. | 2 oz.) and GoTubb (2 oz. | 14 cc/0.47 oz.) containers that allow me to pack whatever I want. GoToobs are great for liquids, and GoTubbs are good for thicker creams and lotions. They allow me to pack whatever I need without having to go find the equivalent travel size version.
There are a ton of versions of these products online, some with better reviews than others. Though I think they all pretty much do the same thing.
2. Carry your toiletries in a plastic bag:
While you can get a durable and reusable plastic bag for your toiletries, all you really need is a ziplock bag. In fact, I recommend one-quart Ziploc slider bags that have an expandable bottom. It allows you efficiently place small bottles into the bag with any problems. Since these bags are fairly cheap, I carry a couple of them with me in case my toiletry bag breaks or leaks. The bags are just handy to have for all sorts of situations.
3. Separate your toiletries into liquids and non-liquids:
It’s easy to run out of room trying to stick all your toiletries in your quart-size bag. I recommend separating items that are liquid and solid. The solid items are not subject to the TSA rules, so you can keep them in a separate bag. This way, you only need to focus on getting liquids inside the quart-size bag.
4. Reuse old travel-size bottles:
If you have travel size toiletries that you’ve purchased at the store or picked up at a hotel, consider reusing them again. It’s easy to toss them out, but you can often reuse or refill them for future trips.
5. Use plastic wrap if you’re short on space:
If you find yourself struggling to pack all your liquids into one bag, a useful trick is to use Press & Seal plastic wrap to create a compact and disposable version of your toiletries. The bags allow you to create a leak-proof and airtight seal, which is ideal for your liquid toiletries. This can save a lot of room in your liquids bag, and is an efficient way to use the space.
6. Keep your toiletries in an easily accessible area:
Since you’ll likely need to access your liquids during the security screen, it makes sense to have them handy and accessible. Also, if you need to use them during a flight, it makes it easier if they are not at the bottom of your bag.
Do you have any tips or tricks when packing liquids for your carry-on bag?