Our friend Luigi from Lessification wrote this rad article that will help you avoid a major travel mishap: shampoo explosions. Check his website out here!
Access your toiletries easily and avoid shampoo explosions
By: Luigi Rausch
Do You Struggle With Your Toiletries?
• Are your personal care items scattered throughout your bag?
• Does your toothbrush touch things it shouldn’t?
• Do you throw all your toiletries together in a Ziploc bag?
• Is separating your 3 oz liquids for TSA airport security a pain?
I Hear You
If this is you, you are not alone. It’s irritating when your toiletries or personal hygiene items are scattered throughout your bag, causing a montage of opening and closing of zippers — “Where is it?!” Or worse, you open your bag to a shampoo bottle leaking all over your clothes. Yuck.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way! Finding your personal care items shouldn’t feel like a treasure hunt every time you are getting yourself ready. Rather, you deserve an organized way to store and access your toiletries easily. While also avoiding the wet mess that comes with traveling with liquids.
I'm here to guide you step-by-step
Hi, my name is Luigi and toiletry bags are my bag. Whether you’re known to pack half your bathroom or not, I’m here to teach you the toiletry bag ways — to help you become the traveler you always wanted to be.
The Easy Access Plan
1. Learn what to look for a in good toiletry travel bag
2. Buy a lessification approved toiletry travel bag
3. Use it on your next trip to access your personal hygiene items with ease
Tomayto Tomahto (Same things, different names)
Personal Hygiene Bag
Toiletry DOPP Bag
Personal Care Bag
All Equal = Toiletry Bag
What a toiletry bag will do for you
A toiletry bag is essentially a soft container. Turning your collection of personal care items (the things you use to look your best each day) into an organized system. Giving each item a designated home specific to its purpose i.e. a compartment designed to house your “wet” toothbrush or a pocket to keep your pills dry. Rather than throwing everything into a “catch-all” pocket. This way, you will know exactly where everything is when you need it — saving you time and headache.
1. Easy clean materials
This is key. Your toiletry bag is basically a travel sized version of your bathroom, and bathrooms are damp environments. With all your liquid toiletries (shampoos, lotions, toothpastes) and routine water activities (showering, teeth brushing, shaving) things are going to get wet in and outside of your bag. Just like you wouldn’t put carpet in your bathroom, don’t use water-absorbing fabrics for your toiletry bag (such as canvas, leather, etc). Instead, choose materials that are waterproof or water-resistant so that your items stay dry without anything leaking inside…or out for the matter.
To keep it simple, choose materials that are made of plastic or rubber. Giveaways to these materials are usually earmarked with fancy acronyms such as PVC, TPU, TPE, PET (polyester). These materials are great because like tile flooring in a bathroom, any toothpaste residue or other gross things will wipe off clean.
2. Toothbrush only zone
Toothbrushes pose multiple issues if you throw it in with your other toiletries. Either the moisture and toothpaste residue wreak havoc or it finds its way to brush up against something it shouldn’t — like your toenail clipper. Eww. This is why a water-resistant compartment for your toothbrush and your toothbrush alone is a must. This will protect it from touching anything it shouldn’t as well as protect your things from secondhand toothpaste residue.
3. Transparent compartmentation
Lots of toiletry compartments are key as they help you organize and access your items with ease, but transparent compartments are a whole world better. When you can’t see what’s inside a pocket, it leads to unnecessary unzipping, trying to remember what’s where. This is why transparency is awesome. It allows you to view everything at a glance, which will save you time getting ready.
4. Built-in hanging hook
This feature might seem like one of those nice-to-haves, but actually is a game-changer. Sometimes, you don’t have luxurious horizontal counter space to lay your stuff on like an open buffet. So, a hook allows you to go vertical! Hook it on anything, a towel rack, a bathroom light fixture, a shower head, a window latch, it doesn’t matter! Having the ability to hang gives you the comfort of easy access to all your personal items even in tight quarters.
5. Clear TSA compliant liquid storage
Designated liquid storage is good for a few reasons; but first and foremost, you won’t open your bag to a surprise shampoo explosion all over your gear (airplane cabin pressure can do some strange things to your liquid containers). If the worst was to happen, it is contained and super easy to clean-up.
Second, by storing them in a clear compartment or pouch (think toiletry bag with a built-in reusable Ziploc bag) it’s TSA compliant. If it’s removable, simply take it out of your toiletry bag and lay it in a bin as you send your stuff through airport security. And if it’s not, just unzip and lay your toiletry bag in the open position as you send it through TSA. Either way, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to put all your liquids in a Ziploc before flying and then having to reorganize them back in your toiletry bag after — Your toiletry bag is the “Ziploc” bag.
Note — as long as all your liquids are clustered together in the same vicinity, visible, and in containers under the 3.4oz liquid limit, you have nothing to worry about. I haven’t been using the quart-sized Ziploc bag rule for years now and have had no problems.
*TSA compliant toiletry bags are valid for most airlines including Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United. To see the complete list of airlines click here.
Pack your toiletry bag the night before traveling and use it to get ready in the morning. This marks the start of your trip because you can quickly realize if something is missing and still have time to add it.
Show me the bags
So what’s next? Well, you are probably wondering where you can buy the best toiletry bags?
I’ve combed through the internet to bring you what I believe are the best toiletry bags that I can find. I am extremely picky when it comes to selecting pieces that are as minimal as possible — Meaning little to no exterior branding, elegant timeless pieces / colors that won’t go out of style, high quality items made to last, and they simply look good. I’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to, because I am here to help you succeed!
Below you will find links to my top recommendations. Please note that some links are affiliate marketing links and some are not. If the brand had an affiliate marketing program I used it to pay for my time, but if they didn’t then I didn’t worry about it. I just want to bring you great content that helps you succeed on your journey in traveling with one bag or less.
You before lessification
• Disorganized toiletries scattered throughout your bag
• Risking a messy shampoo explosion
• Toothpaste residue on your toiletries
• A toothbrush touching your nail clipper
You after lessification
• Accessing all your toiletries with ease
• Protecting your gear from shampoo explosions
• Making TSA liquid scans a breeze
• Brushing with a clean toothbrush
Gravel Travel. (Photographer). (n.d.). Explorer PLUS™ Toiletry Bag. [digital image]. Retrieved March 10, 2020, from https://www.graveltravel.com/products/the-explorer-plus-the-best-toiletry-bag-for-traveling
Wikipedia contributors. (2019, July 27). Toiletry bag. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 2, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toiletry_bag