As someone who used to travel at least once a month domestically or internationally before the pandemic, I’ve perfected the art of packing. Rolling my clothes, using packing cubes, wearing my heaviest shoes—yeah, I’ve done it all. But my favorite trick that has gotten me through TSA in record time? Solid travel toiletries.
While mini bottles of shampoo and body wash are cute, you’ll look at them differently when they leak all over your luggage. Now you have to clean your favorite silk dress and you don’t have nice shampoo. It’s an annoying situation to be in no matter if you’re in California or Costa Rica, and one that I avoid with solid toiletries like shampoo powder and cleansing balms.
Here are the seven solid toiletries I travel with so I never worry about liquids spilling in my bag or, worse still, not getting them through TSA.
I love a cleansing oil when I’m at home, but when I travel, I always bring the balm version. This is one of the OGs and powers through makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and oil.
This little bottle of powder shampoo has been with me from Paris to Hawaii. Just sprinkle the powder onto wet hands or hair, lather, and rinse. It cleans my hair just as well as the Kérastase I use at home, and the lack of scent means I won’t attract any bugs during a hike. The only thing I have to worry about is accidentally dropping the bottle in the shower and wasting it.
3. Lush Pressed Conditioner - Big, $13.95
I get tons of volume with this little bar of conditioner, which I keep in a little Stasher bag to keep it clean and dry. It feels weird to rub the bar all over my head, but it’s actually kind of a nice massage.
This itty-bitty stick has made me want to reapply sunscreen—which never happens. It’s easy to use and helps me avoid touching my face with dirty fingers. It has SPF 50 for tons of protection and a blend of oils to hydrate skin and give it a nice, non-sweaty-looking glow, too.
If bar soap makes you think of tight, parched skin, then you’ve never tried L’Occitane’s. The shea butter is super moisturizing and the scent is bright and refreshing. I love that this comes in a large size that’s perfect for a long trip or a smaller bar that’s great for a weekend. Anything that’s left over, I’ll put into the same Stasher bag as the solid conditioner.
L’Occitane’s shea butter soap is moisturizing enough for most trips, but if I’m traveling somewhere that’s super cold (like Iceland in the winter), then I’ll pack this tin of pure shea butter for extra moisture. Once I’m finished, I reuse the tin to corral headphones or hair ties that always get lost.
If I’m going to a city like London or Paris where my itinerary is more sightseeing, I’ll pack this solid perfume from Jo Malone. I love it so much that I keep it in my travel toiletry bag so I won’t be tempted to use it when I’m home. The English Pear & Freesia is so light and fruity (I have a diffuser and candle in the same scent), but I especially love how it works with the Wood Sage & Sea Salt for a more beach-y vibe.