Jetting off somewhere this summer but going hand luggage only? Although it saves the hassle of checking in and chasing your suitcase around the luggage carousel, traveling with hand luggage does pose one major problem – you can’t carry any liquids that are over 100ml. Plus, it all has to be sealed in a plastic bag smaller than my wallet.
This is a nightmare for anyone who feels like they need four kinds of moisturiser, deep conditioner and concealer to survive. But, it is doable, and with a few little hacks you’ll be packing up that little sandwich bag like a pro.
- Sun cream
- Liquid make-up – foundation, concealer, mascara
- Contact lense solution (and spare lenses if you need them)
These are the very basics of the things that you’ll need to survive and have a good holiday. Of course, we’ve all got our quirks, so there will be things you want to add to that list. Just keep it simple and, most importantly, keep it small. Travel sized toiletries are your best friend and cost next to nothing. Don’t be afraid to stock up while they’re on 3 for 2 deals and keep them for your next holiday.
Hack #1 – Double Up
Look for multi-purpose products to give yourself some more free space in your little plastic bag of doom. Shampoo and conditioner combinations are great, or even the 3 in 1 shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. This also works for your skin care – find a moisturiser with an SPF so you don’t need to cart sunscreen along with you as well.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match brands either – nobody cares if your shampoo doesn’t match your conditioner while you’re on holiday. Look for slim and flat bottles, rather than round and bulky.
Hack #2 – Decant It
If you’re attached to a particular product that doesn’t come in miniature, don’t fear, because that’s what travel bottle were made for. If in doubt about trying to sneak your favourite face wash or moisturiser through security, pick yourself up a selection of travel bottles and containers like these and decant. You can guess how much you’ll need for a week or so away – 100ml fits a lot more than you think it does.
Hack #3 – Switch It Up
Sometimes, the key to getting by with liquids under 100ml is not to use them at all. Firstly, if you don’t desperately need something, don’t take it. It’s as simple as that. But you can also do a few product switches to make life easier, just while you’re away.
If you normally use liquid foundation, swap over to powder or even a whipped mousse foundation just while you’re away. You won’t notice the difference for a few days and it’ll also mean you can save space in your make-up bag by not having to pack all your brushes and kit. You could always opt for a tinted moisturiser too, meaning you don’t have to pack a separate cream and foundation.
Another easy swap is taking a lip stick or coloured chap stick and then a travel sized tub of Vaseline. Use this combo to create the illusion of lip gloss, with colour and shine, but without using your liquid allowance.
If you’re someone who likes to use liquid make-up remover or toner, opt for make-up wipes, just while you’re away. They’re not liquid and can be packed away easily. If taking a whole pack, share with a friend for the week to save her space in her bag. She can carry something of yours to compensate.
Finally, you should be able to sponge off the travel sized toiletries wherever you end up staying abroad, but if in doubt about what you’ll find, you can always take the basics. Soap is way underrated these days, but won’t take up liquid space like a shower gel and also goes much farther. Go for something gentle and simple like Clarins so your skin won’t get irritated while you’re away and you can use it all over.
Hack #4 – Buy It There
There’s nothing in the rule book that says you have to take your entire bathroom with you on holiday, as tempting as it is. Things like toothpaste, sun cream and shampoo aren’t expensive to buy abroad and are widely available everywhere. Whichever country you’re in, you’ll recognise the basic brands that you know. Instead of filling your bag with smaller versions of what you need, just wait until you get to your destination and stock up there. You can share bigger sizes of shampoo and sun cream between you and your friends during your holiday and leave behind what you don’t use. Simple.
Hack #5 – Look In Unusual Places
The key to traveling well on holiday is looking in places you might not normally look for your under 100ml items. High street chemists like Boots are great for stocking up on travel bottles and the basics, but if you don’t want to sacrifice looking and smelling great just for a plastic bag, be more adventurous.
Stores like The Body Shop have a huge and affordable range of travel-sized items, including body butters, creams, lip balms and bath products that will keep you going and feel luxurious enough to be on holiday. You might find that you can work your coconut butter on your face, arms and legs, which is a total win. Check out their Holiday Essentials section for inspiration.
Suss out your own hacks to suit your own skin/hair and don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous. You know your own body better than anyone and what you need. If you’re lucky enough to not need to wash your hair daily, take some travel-sized dry shampoo to tide you over and borrow some shampoo for a few days. If your brown eyeliner can double up as an eyebrow pencil, or your cream blush as a lip balm, then go for it.
Stay savvy, research and save space!