Packing Smart: Bath and Beauty Products

When vacationing, I found that people tend to fall into two camps when it comes to packing bath and beauty products:

One group only packs the essentials that a hotel won’t offer, and uses whatever else the hotel provides. They thrive on mini bottles of shampoo, and often bring them home. 🙂

The other group doesn’t use hotel products at all, so they end up packing everything they’ll need.

As I’m sure you can tell from the title of the post, I fit into that second group. With my terrible skin, I pretty much take everything I use at home on a daily basis. My skin doesn’t react well to new products, so it’s important for me to make sure I keep things as consistent as I can when I’m away.

However, this does NOT mean I’ll be packing the full-size versions of anything! That’s just crazy talk…


I have an overnight bag I usually take with me when we go to visit family up north, so I just opened it up and refilled all the bottles to make sure I had enough to survive the week.


I also add to my little “away” bag some toothpaste, toothbrush (the holder is sitting behind the toothpaste), and a mini can of dry shampoo. I also wanted to add a mini hairspray, but I can’t find it. Oh well, nothing a trip to the store won’t fix!


For makeup, I have this folding organizer I bought at Ulta last year. It holds a lot of stuff, and hangs nicely on most bathroom doors. I also decided to stick with the basics, makeup-wise, since I usually get lazy about it on vacation. So I stuck with the things I use every day, and left the rest at home.




The last thing I wanted to make sure I packed was hair tools. The hotel provides a blow dryer, so I won’t need to bring mine (thank goodness, because it’s huge). I just stuck with a brush (don’t judge me…that thing is old and peeling), comb, and flat iron. Again, leave the fancy stuff at home. Unless you NEED curlers…then by all means, pack ’em up!


I know that might look like a lot, but it really is only the basics that I use every day. Keeping things down to travel size really helps, and making sure to only take the very basic things you’ll need. It all fits nicely in my luggage, and leaves me a lot more room for the really important stuff – like all the wine bottles I’ll be bringing home (there are two wineries we’re planning to visit…yay!).

Some tips to keep in mind when packing bath and beauty products:

1. Take only what you REALLY need. If you are the kind of person who likes using hotel samples, then don’t pack shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, or body lotion. If you’re not a big makeup fan, leave your glitter…well, your glitter ANYTHING…at home. You won’t wear it at home, so don’t think you’ll wear it out there.

2. Travel size bottles are the best! I can easily fit a week’s worth of products in each tiny little bottle! I will say, however, if you plan to fly – make sure everything is in an airtight bag. Sometimes the pressure causes bottles to open or break, and you don’t want shampoo all over your clothes! We’re not flying, so I didn’t worry about it this time, but usually when I travel, all liquids go in a large ziplock baggie in my luggage.

Oh, and I hear it’s a major pet peeve of travelers for you to take all of this stuff ON the plane (trust me). Security has to check everything, make sure it’s the correct size, and this takes a lot of time! By all means take your prescription meds on the plane (hard to replace when you’re out of town), but leave the body lotion for some other time. Just check it in your luggage and live with it. If for some reason your luggage gets stolen, I’m fairly certain you can find shampoo elsewhere.

3. Check with the hotel you’re staying at to see if they provide a hair dryer! Most hair dryers we have at home are bulky and take up precious space in our luggage! If the hotel provides one, use it – I know it’s not the $200, state of the art one you have at home, but it’ll do – trust me!

That’s it for now – check in tomorrow to see what I’m taking with me to the beach!


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