How to get all the toiletries you need into your hand luggage

We’ve all seen it, haven’t we? People having to empty their hand luggage to remove items from bags as they attempt to pass through airport security. How many expensive bottles of aftershave or luxury cosmetics do you think end up in the bins behind those desks? 

And the fear that it will be your bag next, you holding up the queue (we’re brits, we don’t like to hold up queues, it’s bad form you know!) is equally unpleasant. Well, follow my top tips and you will breeze through airport security with all your toiletries securely packed and not a care in the world. 

If you’re traveling with a checked bag, then the simple answer to the potential problems is ‘don’t pack it in your hand luggage’. However, as air travel becomes almost as commonplace as catching a train, many of us prefer the convenience of travelling with just a carry-on bag. 

The general rule of thumb for taking toiletries on a plane are: It’s fine, as long as it’s under 100ml in volume. Having said that DON’T try to take a half empty bottle or tube if it was originally bigger than 100ml, you’re likely to have that taken from you, whether or not it’s in a clear plastic bag. 

Know what constitutes a liquid 

This isn’t as obvious as it sounds. Some things you would think of as solid are actually classed as liquid, and it’s easy to get caught out if you’ve got one of these. 
If you’re not sure if it’s a liquid, assume that it is. When you purchase your travel toiletries from our friends at Travel Toiletries 2 Go, they clearly mark on the website EVERYTHING that constitutes a liquid according to the government regulations (click here to read these for yourself), which makes this part really easy. 

Now you know what is and what isn’t a liquid, how do you pack all the things you need? 

Get a clear, plastic resealable bag that is no bigger internally than 20cm x20cm, these are the ONLY types of bags that are guaranteed to be allowed to pass through airport security, oh and you have to be able to close the bag. Travel Toiletries 2 Go will send your order ready packed in a suitable bag, all you have to do is pop it in your suitcase. 

I don’t know about you, but I have rather sensitive skin, so really don’t like having to source new products whilst abroad. The ‘allowed’ bags are pretty small, but you’d be amazed what you can fit into one with a bit of careful planning. 

So, my top tips for space saving when you’re packing your toiletries are: 

  1. Know what constitutes a liquid according to airport security 
  2. Get an atomiser for your fragrances – don’t take bulky aftershave or perfume bottles – there are some fantastic easy to use, refillable atomisers on the market – this is my personal favourite little find, ever! 
  3. Use small bottles for your own stuff such as moisturiser, eye creams and contact lens solution – 50ml bottles are plenty big enough for a few days away and the small 5ml pots are ideal for creams 
  4. Use sachets – it depends what you’re preferences are, but sachets are a great way to save space (you can get shaving gel in sachets, as well as shampoo and conditioner) 
  5. Use mini products – instead of taking your standard toothpaste and deodorant that you have already, get the mini versions – deodorants come in 35ml generally and a 50ml toothpaste is plenty even to share between two people 
  6. Take the lids off – if all else fails and you can’t get the bag done up, remove the lids (and the spray nozzle - preventing accidental squirts, though don't forget that bit!) from sprays such as antiperspirant, dry shampoo or hairspray. toiletries whilst abroad if I can help it. 
Here is my toiletries list for a 4 night trip, and it all fit comfortably in my little cabin bag. 
  • 5ml refillable pot with my moisturiser in 
  • 50ml bottle for my contact lens solution 
  • 5ml Perfume Pod (these things are genius, I never go anywhere without my perfume now) 
  • Mascara
  • Liquid eye liner 
  • Quickies Eye makeup remover pads
  • 75ml Hairspray 
  • 50ml Dry Shampoo 
  • 5 Shampoo and Conditioner sachets 
  • 50ml Shave and shower body wash 
  • 35ml mini Deodorant 
  • 50ml Pocket size sun cream
For more ways to travel more efficiently, check out our Ultimate Travel Hacks page.
 GUEST POST: Hayley, Travel Toiletries 2 Go