Thursday, September 27, 2012

Traveling Light ~ Part 2

In honor of our trip to Boston tonight, I thought I'd share with you Part 2 of my first Traveling Light post: toiletries.

I'm by no means a traveling expert, but this is my 6th month in a row on a plane, so I feel like I have picked up some helpful tips along the way.

Some time ago, I read an article about packing, and they suggested keeping a toiletry bag packed with travel size bottles of all your items. When I finally found a bag I loved (this highly rated one from L.L. Bean), I purchased travel size bottles for every item I use and then I packed the bag full. I leave it packed year-round and refill the bottles when I return home from a trip.

I can't even express how easy this has made packing. I never have to think: Did I forget deodorant? Toothpaste? Contact solution? It's such a lifesaver. No matter if I'm traveling for a short weekend or a 10 day vacation, I know I have all the essentials. I purchased the medium size bag, and I have no problems fitting everything. I love that it has a removable mesh bag with a hook that you can hang in the shower! I also keep my 1-quart ziploc baggie here for when I carry my suitcase onto the plane.

For reference, items I carry when I travel that all fit in this bag: shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razor, wide-tooth comb, leave-in conditioner, hair mousse, hairspray, contact solution, contact case, makeup removing wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses, mini perfume sample, lotion, tampons, and moisturizer.

One thing I left out, which I could probably still fit into this bag as well, is my makeup. In college, I never had a bathroom that had drawers, so I got used to keeping my daily makeup essentials in a cosmetic bag. (I plan on doing a "What's in my Makeup Bag" post soon!) I've been through several Clinique sample bags, but have been using a Coach one I received as a gift for several years now. I like it because it has a wide base and can stand up on it's own without tipping over and all the contents spilling out. When I'm headed on a trip, I just throw the bag in my suitcase and know I've got all the items I need!

Super easy!

Nothing I've shared is really groundbreaking, but I think the pre-packed toiletry bag is essential to quick packing. Plus, who wants to travel with full-size bottles of everything? That makes a suitcase way too heavy!

Now, share your tips with me! I'm sure I've still got plenty of things to learn!

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