I can remember a time where the longest I was in one place was 3 weeks. Actually, most of last year resembled that time. It’s a normal that I love and to be perfectly honest, I get a bit antsy when I’m home for too long.
And since I was on the go a bit, I’ve streamlined my packing process. Unless I have to get ready and need to use all the items I’m taking, I can typically pack for a trip in about 30 minutes. So, today I want to share what’s in my bag and a few tips for making your next packing adventure easier.
Despite all my adventuring, I’ve done a fair amount of driving rather than flying. But for space saving purposes, most of my items fit within the limits TSA gives you. I plan on flying a bit more this year so I’ll do another flight based post towards the end of the year. For now, let’s talk toiletries.
Currently in my bag you’ll find: a mini forea luna*, travel pack of cotton buds, a few tampons, hair tie, mini toothpaste*, sample size face mask, deep cleansing pore strip, my monq sleepy stick*, floss, mini toner, cotton rounds, mini eye make-up remover, toothbrush, mini decanted spray conditioner, ibuprofen/arnica montana, tide-to-go stick and an individual make-up remover wipe. There are a few bits I add in whenever I’m actually packing. Typically, I decant my cleanser and moisturizer. I’ll also pack my eye cream, retainers, and maybe a few other small facial bits I’m testing out.
I’ll admit, I don’t really ever unpack this big expect for a few things. So the picture you’ll see today is what I pulled out of this morning. Because I travel so frequently, I try to keep travel friendly items on hand. I save my birchbox samples, free gift with purchase and other small items to swap into my bag when I run out.
I also use small bottles to refill from other items. For example, I always use a leave in conditioner/heat protector. Instead of buying the travel bottle of it, I’ve been refilling a smaller bottle from a different brand. This means I don’t have to worry about forgetting my spray and have room for other larger items.
Also, this bag doesn’t include my shower stuff. I keep a separate bag that’s easy to clean if my bright purple shampoo spills in it (it happens more often than I’d like). The one I’m currently using I snagged from the mini section in Sephora. If you purchase so many items, you get one free. It’s easy to clean and it’s TSA friendly. When I fly, I swap the liquids I need into one bag and the others in my toiletry pouch.
My shower set is almost always packed as well. Because I tend to buy the large quantities of shampoo and conditioner, I have travel versions as well. I picked up the basic travel set you can label from target. When I come home from a trip, I refill anything that looks low and store it away. In my shower pack you’ll find: a travel shower gel (I have so many minis I never pack a full here), travel shampoo (typically 2 of them because I swap shampoos every wash), travel conditioner, mini lotion (another sample), a razor and a small shave gel. I always grab the samples hotels leave to use later. Plus, if you use them up before you leave, then that just mean you have more room for shopping.
Now as far as hair styling goes, I tend to slack on travel sizes here. But when I do have them around, I throw them into the toiletry bag. However, normally I just end up with several large cans of product in my bag unless I’m flying. If you use expensive products, it’s probably worth investing in the travel size versions. Trust me, no one wants TSA to get your expensive, large products. It’s heart breaking.
The last things that are always in my bag is a phone charger and a headphones charger. For my travel purposes, I typically have two bags along with my purse. One is filled with clothes, shoes and all the fun hair and body stuff. But I also have a bag I keep my laptop, work stuff and whatever book I’m traveling with in. My kindle, polar watch and bose headphones all use the same cord which is awesome. So I normally keep one with my phone charger just in case. It saves me from having to dig for one or from forgetting it.
Now, despite my detailed run down of what I always have packed, your bag may look different than mine. But if you’re looking to create a go back, here’s a few tips. Make a list of the products you use in a day when you’re home. Start from first thing in the morning until right before you fall asleep.
Then go from there. Decide what you need that you want to be the same brand no matter the size and what you’re willing to compromise on. For me, I don’t mind random dry shampoos, body washes or lotions. I’m can live with different travel randoms. Figure out what you need to buy the mini version of, what you can decant and what you’re going to have to compromise on.
Once you know these things, it’s easy to create your bag. And over time, you’ll adjust it as needed. But creating the basics will save you time and worry in the long run. Pack your bag according to what meets your comfort level. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. In the end, it’s just a way to take a mini version of home along with you for the ride.