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What to Pack in Your Toiletry Bag: Travel Toiletry Essentials in 2023

Posted by Jel Navarro on
Travel toiletry essentials in TSA approved clear bag

What’s your favorite shampoo and conditioner brand? Do you know if it comes in mini travel size bottles? If not, it’s time to find a brand that does. For some people, packing deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste is enough to keep them feeling fresh during a trip. But for others (ahem, ladies), packing more than just the basics is a no brainer.

Here’s a guide on what you need to pack in your toiletry bag when traveling.

The Ultimate Travel Toiletries List

Toiletry essentials checklist for travel

Here’s our complete toiletries packing list. We’ve also included some of our favorite travel size products we love to pack in our toiletry bag. Our product recommendations below are TSA Approved and will fit into our Extra Small Packing Cube no problem. You can tweak it according to your preferences of course!

★ Women’s Toiletries Packing List ★

The Basics

Basic toiletry essentials for travel

✓ Shampoo / Conditioner - Pack your favorite brand of shampoo or conditioner if you’re not fond of using hotel freebies. Traveling with a carry on only? Try this solid shampoo bar by Ethique. We love the light scent and how it leaves the hair clean without weighing it down! Pro Tip: Cut the shampoo bar in small cubes before your trip. Saves you money in the long run!

✓ Body Wash / Soap - Pack a travel size body wash. Or better yet, bring a soap bar so you’re not limited by the liquids rule (when traveling carry on only).

Facial Wash / Cleanser

 Facial Moisturizer - You can transfer your own favorite facial moisturizer from home into a refillable jar. Or you can also just purchase a mini version in the travel set below.

Pro Tip: Purchase a convenient travel size set that comes with mini sizes of shampoo, conditioner, face wash and day cream.

Foldable / Travel Size Toothbrush - Something compact like a foldable toothbrush or you can also bring a portable electric toothbrush, both fits perfectly into our TSA Approved clear packing cube.

Toothpaste and toothbrush for travel toiletry essentials

Mini Toothpaste 

Mouthwash Tablets - We love these Listerine chewable mouthwash tablets! That’s one less liquid to pack in your toiletry bag.

✓ Floss - This flosscard is very convenient and comes in packaging as thin as a credit card (so pack as many as you’d like)!

Stick deodorant for toiletries list

✓ Deodorant - Opt for a stick deodorant to reduce the liquids you’re carrying (if you’re flying). If you want an aluminum free alternative, this all natural Jasmine deodorant is both hypoallergenic and effective. Our Creative Director, Tali, swears by it!

✓ Razor - Disposable razors and electric razors are allowed in your carry-on bag. Pack 1 to 2 for your trip if you think you’ll be needing a touch up while you’re away.

✓ Lotion - Use a refillable pump bottle for your favorite lotion. Or you can also purchase a travel size version of it.

✓ Sunscreen - Neutrogena makes this sunscreen stick which is ideal for those who want to lessen the liquids they’re carrying during travel. Portable but still as effective as lotion or spray types of sunscreen!

✓ Detangler Wet Brush - Bring a detangler brush which works for ALL hair types to easily get rid of those knots after a long day.

✓ Pads / Tampons - Throw in a few pads or tampons in your toiletry bag so you’re prepared for any female emergencies (wink wink).


Optional Items to pack for toiletry essentials

✓ Cotton Buds -  Opt for a variety pack of cotton swabs, rounds and balls because you're fun like that.

✓ Hair Serum - Going on a beach vacay? Pack a travel size anti-frizz hair serum to keep your mane under control.

✓ Dry Shampoo - Nice to have for those who are going backpacking or on a long road trip and showering isn’t a luxury!

✓ Hair Spray - When you want your hair look extra nice for special events, hair spray is a must! But make sure it’s under 3 ounce in size.

✓ Nail Clippers - You know never know when you’ll need them. And yes - you’re allowed to bring these on the plane.

✓ Rollerball Perfume - Purchase your fave perfume in its travel size version or transfer your full-size perfume into a travel-size atomizer.

✓ Facial Wipes - Pack travel size facial wipes so you can remove makeup at the end of the day. Also great for cleansing mid-day (when you’re visiting a humid place).

✓ Hand Sanitizer - For those squeaky, clean hands, pack a travel-size hand sanitizer in your toiletry bag (or in your carry on purse). 

Did You Know? Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the TSA is allowing up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizer container for every passenger in carry-on bags, until further notice. These containers will be screened separately so expect a bit longer time at the security checkpoint. Remember, all other liquids, gels, and aerosols are still subject to TSA's 3-1-1 Liquids Rule. Check out more of TSA's updates on COVID-19 here.

Buy on Amazon quart size clear packing cube

✓ Tweezers - Pack a mini that looks so cute in the cube!

✓ Deodorant Wipes - A great mid-day freshen up or an alternative to traditional deodorant sticks (they’re lighter too). Throw in a few of these deodorant wipe packets in your toiletry bag and you’re good to go.

✓ Contact Lens + Solution - Contact lens solution must also abide by the TSA Liquids Rule (if packed in your carry on). You can also pack dailies instead (you won't need to lug solution with you) or extended wear contacts (consult your eye doctor). 

✓ Hair Ties / Scrunchies / Bobby Pins - Always pack extras if your hair ties or pins just keep disappearing (girl problems...but seriously where do they go!?).

How to pack your toiletries for travel

How to pack toiletries for travel

Now it’s time to start packing! Sure you can just dump everything in one pouch…. If you don’t mind the disorganized mess. But if you want to be a pro at packing your toiletry bag and cosmetics, follow these steps below!

1. The TSA Liquids Rule applies to carry on bags only - If you’re flying, remember that the TSA Liquids Rule applies to carry on bags only. All liquids should be packed in containers under 3.4 ounces and must fit in 1 quart size clear bag. If you want to know more about the TSA Liquids Rule, check out this post.

2.  Use 2 toiletry bags - Pack all your liquids (including creams and gels) in a TSA approved clear toiletry bag. This can go in your carry on or personal bag! Pack all non-liquids in another toiletry bag. This makes it easy to grab the liquids bag during TSA security!

3. Keep your mini toiletry kit packed all year - If you travel often (every few months), keep your toiletry bag packed and ready to go with all travel sized items. When it’s actually time to pack, you can just grab the toiletry pouch from the closet and toss in your luggage (with a few tweak additions, like birth control, retainers, etc.) Just remember to keep track of products that have expiration dates and fill up any empty containers!

The best travel toiletry bag

Quart size and airport friendly toiletry bag

Steer clear of ziplock bags (that break with just one use) or low quality toiletry bags. What you need is this TSA approved clear toiletry bag! It fits all TSA standards - under quart size and see-through design. You can pack 8 to 10 (3 oz) bottles of toiletries inside. With the reinforced stitching and double zipper design, you’ll never have to worry about leaks from liquids. Plus, this transparent toiletry bag is sturdy and durable and comes in so many great colors!

But what about my Makeup? Does that count as my toiletries?

Toiletry bags for travel

If you are traveling carry on only, the 3 ounce rule for liquids still applies to your makeup items! We would recommend doing these steps:

1. Place your liquid foundation, mascara and other liquids into your “liquid toiletry bag.”

2. Keep the rest of your solid makeup items in a Clear Makeup Bag, so airport security doesn’t question your other items.

Here are some items you don’t want to forget! The items in blue count as liquids, so pack those in your Extra Small Cube.

✓ Foundation - Pack a travel size version of your go-to liquid foundation. You can also opt for a mineral powder foundation (if you don’t want to be limited by the TSA 3 ounce liquid rule).

✓ Concealer - You don’t need to bring the whole container. Place a few drops of your fave concealer in a contact lens holder and voila! Easy and cheap storage for a few days out

✓ Blush, Bronzer & Highlighter Set - Kill 3 birds with one palette! Go for a kit that includes a blush, bronzer and highlighter already.

 Mascara - Don’t forget that mascara also needs to adhere to the TSA liquids rule!

✓ Eyebrow Pencil / Powder - For eyebrows on fleek, pack your eyebrow pencil, gel or powder.

Eyeliner - Liquid and gel eyeliners must be packed with your other liquids. Or you can opt for an eyeliner pencil (great for smokey eyes)!

Lipstick / Lip Tint - Liquid lipsticks and lip tints should also be packed with your other liquids.

 Travel Size Brushes - Leave most of your brushes at home! Only bring those that you’ll be using daily.

✓ Lip Balm - Must have for the winter season or if your lips are prone to chapping! Keep one in your makeup bag and one in your purse for easy access.

We hope our toiletries packing list helped you out!

Happy Carry On Travels!

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