With the increased security measures implemented a few years ago and the introduction of checked bag fees, many travelers find themselves scrambling the night before a trip to pack the proper sized health and beauty items. Rather than a late night trip to the local 24-hour pharmacy to pick up travel sizes of shampoos, shaving creams and lotions with a limited selection, why not create a Perma-Pack bag of your essentials that will be ready to pack at a moments notice? First, if you frequently travel by airplane, be sure to acquaint yourself with the TSA's 3-1-1 rule for liquids if you plan to carry-on your health and beauty products (3 ounces in a 1 quart bag, 1 bag per person). Once you have your space allotments set aside, determine how many 3 oz or less reusable plastic containers you will need (shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, shaving lotion, etc.). TSA-approved sized containers are available in the travel size section at most grocery stores, Target, Walmart, etc. (These Go Toobs available at The Container Store and other retailers are super cool because they have suction cups so they'll adhere to the mirror or shower of your hotel.) Remember, you need only follow the 3-1-1 rule in your carry-on luggage for liquids. Powders, bar soap, and gels need not be screened and are permitted in a separate bag. Once you have gathered and filled the travel sized versions of your favorite health and beauty items, place them in a toiletry bag (or 1 quart plastic bag for air travelers) as their permanent home. Store in your linen closet or in your suitcase. There may be additional items you frequently use while traveling that you will want to keep packed in your suitcase such as an extra phone charger, umbrella, set of headphones, or extra empty water bottle. Now when you need to pack for travel, whether it's business or pleasure, all your favorite toiletries and necessities will be packed, properly sized and ready to roll! (Just make sure they find their way back into storage when you return home.)
Since summer is nearly upon us, we'll take the month of May to discuss ideas for staying organized when it comes to planning, packing for and getting the most from your vacation.