How to Organize Your Travel Toiletry Bag to Ensure You Never Forget Something
One of my best time-saving travel tricks is to keep your toiletry bag fully stocked 24/7. This way you don’t have to spend any time packing it and you also won’t forget anything. Instead you can just toss it in your luggage bag and move on with the rest of your packing!
Forgetting something while traveling, especially toiletries, can be a huge detriment. If you are going to a different country they might not have what you need or you might be in a place without easy access to stores with the right stuff. Keeping this fully stocked is a fool proof way to be sure nothing is left behind.
I personally use an inexpensive hanging toiletry bag from Amazon. I have tried a handful of different options, some much more expensive, yet this is my favorite of the bunch. Since it is designed by travelers for travelers it is the perfect size with the perfect amount of spots for everything I need (and sometimes more). Click here to see the latest prices.
Overtime I have really crafted mine to have everything I need. If I ever found myself missing something (like small hair ties for example or eye drops) I would purchase it, add it to the bag, and make sure to keep it in stock moving forward. Because of this I find now that there’s really nothing I am in need of while traveling that I cannot find in my toiletry bag.
One thing that makes a big difference is the travel bottles that you use inside of the toiletry bag. I prefer not to buy travel sized products because when you price them out per ounce they’re often dramatically overpriced. Instead I often buy travel bottles and jars to fill with products I already have at home.
Back in the day I would just buy whatever travel bottle kit my local drug store had. My expensive products would often spill, which not only meant I lost out on the product but also meant my toiletry bag was damaged.
Then I discovered these leakproof silicone travel containers and could not believe how amazing they are! They really are leakproof. They’re also much easier to fill and they’re even food safe so you can use them for salad dressings and other things, too. Click here to see the latest prices.
For skin care or things I need in smaller sizes, I love these silicone travel jars. Both I consider to be absolutely essential when traveling. Click here to see the latest prices.
And with that, let’s move onto how I fill my toiletry bag! Since I know many readers have purchased the exact toiletry bag I recommend I am going to walk through it row by row, explaining what I put in each individual compartment. If you happen to have a different toiletry bag with a different compartment layout you can modify the list as needed, of course.
How to Organize Your Travel Toiletry Bag to Ensure You Never Forget Something:
EYE DROPS. While I almost never use eye drops at home, I somehow often end up needing them while on the road. High altitude in Colorado? Need them. Super dry weather in Banff? Eyes watering nonstop. I’m always thankful to have these in my bag. Click here for the ones I bring (they are extra hydrating). Click here to see the latest prices.
LATISSE (AND LATISSE BRUSHES). I use Latisse to make (and keep) my lashes extra long!
HAIR BANDS. I bring these in all sizes so that I am prepared for anything. I use the big ones for ponytails and the super small ones for french braids. They weight basically nothing so they are good to have on hand. Click here to see the latest prices for the large ones and here for the small ones.
HAIR CLIP. These hair clips are my life. They’re kind of like the 6 pack of international adapters that I find floating around everywhere because the same happens with these — they’re everywhere. I use them to pull my hair back when I wash my face, to pull my hair back into a bun, and anything else that I want to do to my hair without making a dent in it. I literally never go anywhere without these! Click here to see the latest prices.
BOBBY PINS. Another just in case type of item. I don’t really use bobby pins but you never know when you’ll really need one so I keep a small handful in my bag. Click here to see the latest prices.
TWEEZERS. To pluck hairs, take care of splinters, etc. Click here to see the latest prices.
BROW SCISSORS. These are for trimming and shaping brows but can also double as regular old scissors for cutting tags or whatever else you need. Click here to see the latest prices.
SPOOLIES. I always carry a handful of spoolies with me to brush out my lashes or brows because I find the ones that come with many products are rubbish and break off. On Amazon you can get 100 for $5 which is well worth the purchase in my opinion! Click here to see the latest prices.
Q-TIPS. For obvious reasons! Click here to see the latest prices.
FLOSS PICKS. The lazy jet lagged way to floss your teeth, of course! I keep these in my carry-on as well. Click here to see the latest prices.
SKINCARE. My fav, of course! What type of skincare I bring depends largely on where I am going. To be honest I often bring another separate pouch full of skincare too because y’all know I have an addiction. But since I have a Sephora and Soko Glam shopping problem, I conveniently have a lot of sample-sized skincare products that I usually fill in here.
Drunk Elephant just sent me their “The Littles” collection which is an eight-piece set of mini products. I haven’t tried any of it yet but according to the product info it’s actually a 30-45 day supply of product, so it seems like the perfect items to drop in here! Bonus points: their products are 100% clean. Click here to see the latest prices.
If I’m low on mini or travel sized skincare products I instead fill these travel jars with my regular products. Piece of cake! Click here to see the latest prices.
EYE CREAM. The above mentioned Drunk Elephant collection does include an eye cream but I am ride or die for SkinCeuticals A.G.E. so I always pack this. Since it’s a bit pricey I only have one of these and just make sure to drop it in before I go! Click here to see the latest prices.
ADVIL. In my purse I carry a travel pill bottle of both regular Advil and Advil PM, but you never know when you’ll need more so I keep a second travel bottle of Advil in here. Click here to see the latest prices.
TANNING DROPS. Depending on where I am going I’ll pack my favorite tanning drops. Click here to see the latest prices.
HAIR OIL. Traveling is dehydrating and that includes your hair! I never ever travel without a hair oil. While at home I use Moroccanoil’s oil treatment but I find the bottle almost always leaks so while traveling I use Verb’s. Click here to see the latest prices.
FACE EXFOLIANT. Exfoliating is important always but especially when traveling because your skin will be drier than normal after a flight. I bring my favorite SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub in a silicone travel jar. Click here to see the latest prices for the scrub and here for the travel jars.
LIP EXFOLIANT. Same logic as above, but for your lips! Click here to see the latest prices.
LIP SLEEPING MASK. I caved and bought this lip sleeping mask after seeing it mentioned what seemed like a million times on Instagram and now I’m addicted as well. And not to beat a dead horse but traveling is extra drying so putting this on before bed will have you waking up good as new! Click here to see the latest prices.
There are a few things not included here that probably seem missing — that’s because I keep them in my carry-on instead. Click here for my carry-on packing guide! Two important things that you shouldn’t forget: hand cream (I die for this one, it even has SPF in it) and my favorite Jet Lag mask which I keep in my carry-on so that I can apply it on the plane.
TOOTHBRUSH. I can’t stand the feeling of teeth not brushed with an electric toothbrush so I always pack my Sonicare. I bought it in this size specifically because it’s not very clunky and easily fits in my toiletry bag. Click here to see the latest prices.
TOOTHPASTE. No explanation needed here, hopefully! Click here to see the latest prices.
RAZOR. Same as above :) Click here to see the latest prices.
NAIL FILE. This is another item that you never realize how much you need until you don’t have it!
TEASING BRUSH. To fix your hair when you sleep on it weird! Or for actual teasing if that’s your thing. Click here to see the latest prices.
EXFOLIANT MITT. These are a MUST! They are Korean exfoliating bath mittens and are so much better for travel than a liquid exfoliant. I never ever go anywhere without one. Click here to see the latest prices.
PERFUME. I always keep a travel perfume or two in this section.
This is where the real fun comes in! The bottom left compartment is where I keep an assortment of, well, everything. It’s a collection of random treatments (like a tea tree stick in case a breakout occurs on the road), medicine (never know when you will need DayQuil and NyQuil), and is also where I put items that I acquire from hotels (like shower caps, body wash, etc.).
Almost all of these items come in individual use packaging so I only keep one or two of them in here. Just don’t forget to replenish whichever you use when you get home!
While the full list of what does and doesn’t live here can change from time to time, here are the things that live there always:
TANTOWEL. Full body self-tanning towelettes — much better for travel than a liquid or foam self-tanner! I keep just one of these in here at all times. Click here to see the latest prices.
WRINKLE RELEASER. Because who has time for ironing while on the road!? Not me. It’s also an odor eliminator which can be nice, too. Click here to see the latest prices.
HAND SANITIZER. I use this one because it’s plant based, made with natural ingredients and pure essential oils. Click here to see the latest prices.
FIRST AID ESSENTIALS. Sometimes I’ll bring an actual first air kit, but if that doesn’t seem necessary I’ll stick to having a few essential first aid items kept in here. At a minimum: bandaids, alcohol pads, ointment. Click here to see the latest prices.
EMERGEN-C. I keep at least one Emergen-C in here at all times because, again, you never know when you will need it! Click here to see the latest prices.
DAYQUIL + NYQUIL. For illness emergencies! Click here to see the latest prices.
WHITESTRIPS. For teeth whitening emergencies. Click here to see the latest prices.
PEEL PADS. I like Dr. Dennis Gross’ peel pads because they come individually wrapped. They are anti-aging and renewing, something that is definitely necessary post-plane. Click here to see the latest prices.
SEWING KIT. Because you never know when you’ll need it (yes, I have had to use this numerous times). Click here to see the latest prices.
TEA TREE STICK. For acne emergencies. Click here to see the latest prices.
PIMPLE PATCH. Also for acne emergencies. These are game changing. Click here to see the latest prices.
SHEET MASKS. Sheet masks are my favorite for travel because you don’t have to lug around a big leaky container! I sometimes pack more but at a minimum I always have: my favorite snail ones because they are hydrating and repairing (click here to see the latest prices), green tea because it's cooling, de-puffing, and soothing (click here to see the latest prices), and these calming ones because they're, well, calming! Especially good for sun burns. Click here to see the latest prices.
ESSENTIAL OIL TOWELETTES. These essential oil towelettes are multi-purpose and great to have on hand. Click here to see the latest prices.
SHOWER CAP. I always put these in my bag if the hotel offers them because you never know when you’ll find yourself with a waterfall shower head on a day you don’t want to get your hair wet.
On the right side I keep my haircare. Since I don’t use hotel-provided haircare (it’s full of rubbish like sulfates), I always bring my own. Always.
TRAVEL BOTTLES. I store all of my haircare in these leakproof bottles. Absolutely essential! Click here to see the latest prices.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER. Which shampoo and conditioner you should use depends on a variety of things. If you’re looking for haircare recommendations, click here for my post about how to get shiny, healthy hair. I always fill the above mentioned travel bottles with my usual shampoo and conditioner.
HAIRSPRAY. As I discussed in my haircare post, the type of hairspray you use is incredibly important. Don’t use a cheap drugstore one! I bring Moroccanoil’s with me. If my trip is longer than a few days I’ll actually throw the full size one in instead. Click here to see the latest prices.
HEAT PROTECTANT. Since I don’t usually pack my own hair dryer and instead rely on hotel’s crappy ones, it is incredibly important to pack a heat protectant! I keep my Amika detangling primer in a travel sized spray bottle. Click here to see the latest prices.
SPF. Hopefully you already know how important this is and that you must wear it every single day! Click here for the one I use.
BODY WASH & LOTION. I usually just acquire these from hotel stays.