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Toiletries for Travel: What You Need to Know

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Toiletries for Travel: What You Need to Know

Getting ready for your next vacation can be exciting- but packing and deciding what to bring? Not so much. Not only do you have to decide which clothes, shoes, and accessories to bring along, but you also have to consider how you’re going to maintain your self-care and beauty routines while on your trip. 

Certain items may be better suited for travel, and of course, there are always the seemingly ever-changing rules and regulations for what you can bring, especially when traveling by plane.

To help you avoid any additional stress surrounding your travel plans and preparation, check out this up-to-date guide on toiletries and cosmetics for travel.

TSA regulations for air travel

The first, and possibly most important TSA (Transportation Security Administration) guideline to know is the 3-1-1 rule. This rule applies to carry-on bags, and states the following: liquids, gels, creams, aerosols, and pastes are allowed as long as they are 3.4 ounces or under and are contained in a 1-quart clear plastic bag. 1 bag is allowed per passenger. Following this rule will keep you from getting your baggage flagged at the TSA checkpoint and save you, and your fellow travelers, precious time. 

Common toiletry items that fall under the limited categories mentioned above include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, gel or spray deodorants, and perfume. Some cosmetics fall into those categories as well, such as lip gloss, foundation, cream blush, mascara, and concealer. 

Any items that exceed the 3.4 ounce (100 ml) limit must be placed in a checked bag. However, it is important to note that exceptions to this rule do exist. The major exceptions are prescription medications and breast milk, formula, and juice for children. 

And as of June 30, 2018, you must also pay attention to any powders that you bring in a carry-on bag. If you are traveling from outside of the U.S. into the country, then any powder-based substances must be less than 12 ounces (350 ml). If items exceed this limit, they may be subject to additional TSA inspection. So although you should be able to bring such powders with you on the plane following this inspection, there is a chance that they will not pass the screening process and you will have to leave them behind. 

Cosmetics to consider when deciding whether or not to bring powders in your carry-on luggage include loose setting powders, foundations, and blushes. Again, if these items are under 12 ounces you will have no issues! Just be aware of the regulations if you want to bring items over this weight limit, as there is the possibility that they may be confiscated if they do not pass the screening process.

Packing efficiently and effectively

Once you have ensured that you have the appropriate items separated to go in either your carry-on or checked bags, making sure that they are packed well is the next important step. This can save you time, space, and the headache that accompanies products spilling all over the rest of your bag. 

First, make sure that you have all of your carry-on liquids, gels, etc. packed in the appropriate single quart clear plastic bag. While you can often get away with not doing this, packing in this way will let you get through the TSA screening much more quickly, and prevent you from holding up the line while scrambling to find items. 

If you really want to bring larger items such as shampoo or conditioner with you onto the plane, then consider pouring some into refillable containers that are within the 3.4 ounce liquid limit. These are readily available in most department stores and allow you to have your most important toiletry items with you at all times.

Packing for traveling

Preventing a mess

To prevent spilling of these liquids, consider placing them in individual clear plastic bags before putting them in the larger quart-sized plastic bag with the rest of your toiletries and cosmetics.

Another tip to prevent your products from getting everywhere is to unscrew or remove the cap and place a small square of plastic wrap over the opening before putting the cap back on. Containers can compress with the changing cabin pressure while in flight, which can cause liquids that you thought were securely stored to explode out of their containers and get all over the rest of your luggage. One more thing can help prevent this. If you are filling up your own travel-sized containers, be sure to only fill them up about two-thirds of the way - this way when the container is compressed the product won’t shoot out of it. 

Solid cosmetics and toiletries

Solid cosmetics and toiletry items are a great option for travel, whether by plane, train, bus, or car. 

For air travel, having solid toiletries like shampoo and conditioner bars will allow you to completely bypass the restrictions on liquids in carry-on bags. You can take however much of them with you as you would like without having to worry about fitting within the 3.4 ounce liquid limit. Even if you aren’t traveling by plane, solid toiletries are a perfect way to save space. For example, shampoo bars are smaller and less bulky than your typical bottle of liquid shampoo and can save space. They also have the added bonus of usually lasting longer than a bottle of liquid shampoo, giving you more bang for your buck.

SOLIDU provides these options, offering compact shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bars perfect for travel

To sum it all up

Staying up to date on travel regulations involving toiletries and cosmetics, choosing the most travel-friendly products, and ensuring that you pack effectively can all help keep your next vacation hassle-free. 

Some key points to remember: the 3-1-1 rule for air travel, the (relatively) new inclusion of powders on the TSA’s list of items of a limited size, packing to prevent spillage, and picking products well-suited for traveling. Cheers to your next stress-free vacation!

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