Updated in 2022! Struggling with liquids in your 3-1-1 kit? Try those travel toiletries!
By now you know I'm crazy about carry-on only luggage and that my idea of a good Friday night is reorganizing my 3-1-1 kit! A 3-1-1 kit, for those visiting for the first time, refers to the toiletry bag regulations for your carry on liquids. Each traveler is allowed to have 1 transparent bag , it must be no bigger than 1 quart in size, and the liquids must be in containers of 3 ounces or less.
I've written in the past about how easy it is to get by without a huge toiletry bag and go 3-1-1 all the way. I really believe any toiletry hoarder and product hoarder can do it. Here are three key tips for taking your 3-1-1 kit to the max, along with 10 dry products that can go in any kind of luggage.
Three Key 3-1-1 Tips
1.) Sub out some liquids: We're creatures of routine and, without paying attention to what you're really doing, you could be filling your precious 3-1-1 kit with liquids you don't need. Or- horror of all horrors - have such a large toiletry kit that you have to check your luggage! Wouldn't you rather tuck that $35 into the nearest Sephora register AND make sure your stuff stays with you? So trade your liquid roll-on deodorant in for a solid stick, swap your liquid eye liner for pencil, and leave the liquid lip gloss at home in favor of lipstick. Another big mistake - liquid foundation. Switch to a solid compact foundation and never worry about the world's messiest spills.
2.) Make friends with multitaskers: You wouldn't travel with a piece of clothing that you couldn't mix and match. So why pack cosmetics or toiletries that only serve one purpose. Choose a great product that multitasks. NARS Multiple sticks serve as lipstick, blush, and eye color - I use Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey the same way. Cocoa-butter is great for your skin AND for smoothing down fly away hair. Vaseline will moisturize dry patches and cuticles, remove stubborn makeup, and act as a lip gloss. Smith's Rosebud salve is a lip balm, a cuticle cream, and even a blush - try mixing it with a bit of lipstick for a creamy blush tint.
3.) Pack along some dry luxuries: Sometime you have no choice but to fill your 3-1-1 kit with sensible, practical items. When I went to Africa, I had to stock up on two huge essentials: high quality, high potency sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Last year in Hawaii, it was a container of snorkel mask de-fogger! You might be in a similar position. There are a ton of great non-liquid products that are ideal for travelers and TSA friendly. And there's no reason to think you can't enjoy travelling products because they aren't high quality.
My 10 favourite TSA friendly non-liquid treats
1.) Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant - This high end, spa quality, dry powder exfoliant can be mixed with water, lotion, or cleanser for an effective, yet gentle, exfoliant - I've even mixed it into a body scrub. Great for having mini-facials on the road! A little goes a long way and I always take a pinch along.
2.) Olay Dry 2 in 1 Face Cloths - These are amazing! They clean so well, yet are so gentle. I actually cut each sheet into 8 little pieces - you only need a little bit to clean your face. But I do still take some full sheets along. They make for a great wash cloth for ultra quick showers. These babies come with me on every single trip.
3.) Dove soap - Yes, soap, how crazy! Another classic that I take along all the time. Effective and moisturizing Other brands I like a lot: The Body Shop's Shea Butter soap, and Lush's RockStar soap (smells delicious!). When I was in Africa, I brought a long a homemade bug-be-gone soap that contained citronella and peppermint.
4.) Lush bath bombs and bubble bombs - I absolutely love the wide variety of fun and funky scents and designs. Big enough that I usually try to break them in half. Perfect if you want to spend some time relaxing in your hotel room. I usually bring some when I go to see family and know I'll be in the tub with a glass of wine at the end of the night!
5.) Along the same line as #4, I also love bath salts, milk powders, and soaks. If you don't have a tub in your hotel room, you can mix some bath salts with a lotion or cleanser to make a deep exfoliating scrub.
6.) Solid perfumes - Lush makes fantastic solid perfumes, as does Crabtree & Evelyn and Simpatico (I love #8). A nice bonus of solid perfumes - no spilling, and it's harder to drown yourself in endless spritzes.
7.) Moisturizing sticks. Deep Steep make some gorgeous ones that are perfectly sized for travel. I like the lavender-chamomile for my face and hands on the airplane, and the rosemary-mint for aching feet at the end of a long day. The Body Shop used to have a classic cocoa-butter in solid stick form. I would do anything for it to come back!
8.) Nail buffer. Why, why, why do people bring nail polish - and, of course, nail polish remover, with them when they travel? So much fuss and muss - not to mention that your nails will chip like crazy during travel. A nail buffer is amazing. Your nails will look so clean, healthy, smooth, and glossy - feminine, professional, polished. Plus easy, mess free, and smell free. Try to find one that smooths, buffs, AND has an emery board for edges.
9.) Powder - I know, I know. It sounds like I'm stuck in the 80s! But I don't take a powder puff with me! If you don't have a solid perfume you like, try a powder. They're especially nice in sticky locations and you can even get unscented version so you stay fresh and dry without smelling like flowers. But since I do love flowers, I love Crabtree & Evelyn's talc, as well as classic baby powder scent.
10) Tiger Balm. Okay, so not really a toiletry, but it does a great job of soothing aches and pains, and opening up a congested chest. It's so thick that it really is a solid and doesn't need to go in a 3-1-1 kit.
3-1-1 kits shouldn't be confusing! A little research can go a long way.
A little research goes a long way in making sense of 3-1-1 kits and other airline regulations. You can find information on your airline's website, as well as website for your country's transportation agencies. And don't forget to ask the staff at your favourite drug stores and cosmetic shops for their recommendations - there's tons of great products out there that can make travel so easy!
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. Do you have a favourite toiletry or make up item that does double duty?
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