How to avoid overpacking
As shampoo, conditioner and shower gel can be heavier, toiletries can easily increase the weight of your backpack or suitcase. Therefore, it is important – as with packing in general – to reduce the toiletries to only what is necessary but also to not forget something (although in most cases you can just buy the things at your destination). So I created a list with things that you should definitely pack and things that you might consider packing.
In my opinion, these are the most basic essentials you should definitely have in your toiletries bag if you want to keep it very minimal. Depending on the length of your stay, you can use refillable smaller bottles for products like shampoo and shower gel.
- Tooth brush & tooth paste: depending on the length of your flight, you should pack these two into your hand luggage
- Shower gel
- Sun screen: always use sun screen! Your skin will be grateful in the future.
What you might pack
This category contains items that might come in handy but you could probably also live without them.
- Make-up remover – if you don’t bring any make-up on holiday, you obviously don’t need make-up remover
- Cotton pads – they might come in handy for using make-up remover or cleaning your face. I’m using reusable cotton pads, so I don’t produce any extra waste on holiday and it also reduces the amount of cotton pads I need to pack.
- Deodorant: might come in handy if you want to keep fresh on the go. I use a spray bottle because I don’t like the aerosol deodorants (I can’t breathe after using them) but I also don’t want to use a roller in sweaty armpits.
- Conditioner: It’s more of a luxury product, but saltwater in combination with sun can be really drying my hair out.
What is likely to be forgotten?
- Nail file: I have so often forgotten a nail file and then one of my nails split.
In general I would advise you to go through your morning and evening routine and think of all the products you use. Then think of the things that you really need or regularly use. You won’t need ten different kinds of moisturiser, peelings and oils. Stick to the basics. For example, I won’t bring a body lotion because the thought alone of a sticky body in a hot climate is daunting to me.
Here is everything that I’m packing in my toiletries bag:
For the body
- Shower gel
- Sun cream with a high SPF
- Hand sanitizer
For the face:
- Cotton buds without plastic
- Cotton pads, washable and reusable
- Eye make-up remover for waterproof make-up
- Facial oil
- Tooth brush
- Tooth paste
- Nail file
- Manicure scissors
- Hair brush
- Hair ties
Always remember: You can buy almost everything everywhere (except your travelling to a deserted island). So, don’t overpack and rather leave things at home. You can buy things locally afterwards if it becomes apparent that you can’t live without them.