Travel Size Bottles: 7 Things To Look For When Choosing the Best One

travel size bottles flat lay

When it comes to travel, the less you have to worry about, the better. That’s why choosing the best travel size bottles for your adventure is so important. Not only do you want something sustainable, leakproof, and cost-effective, but also something easy to clean and designed to save space in your bag.

Here are seven things to look for when shopping for the best travel bottles for your carry-on liquids:

1) Sustainable

Travel size bottles don't have to be disposable, and yet they’re so small that some travelers are tempted to chuck them in the trash. Likewise, partially-used hotel products that come in 3 oz bottles typically end up in landfills. These include shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion that have been used just once, with 80% of the product still left in the bottle.

If you're looking for a more eco-friendly way to travel, silicone travel bottles are your best bet. "Silicone is more environmentally friendly than plastic," according to MindsetEco, a company that focuses on easy solutions for living sustainably. Made of silica, which is a natural element found in sand, silicone is 100% recyclable and doesn't break down into microplastics that harm marine life. Those adorable sea turtles will thank you!

2) Squeezable

If you’re the kind of traveler who wants to get every last bit of product out of the bottle, you're in for a treat. That’s because the best travel bottles for your carry-on liquids are super squeezable, meaning you can get every last drop of shampoo, conditioner, or lotion out without having to resort to banging the bottle on a hard surface, cutting it up, or watering it down.

Silicone travel bottles are once again the best option in this category. Not only do they have a soft, malleable exterior that makes them easy to squeeze, but their design also helps to prevent leaks.

3) Leakproof

If you've ever stood by those ginormous, floor-to-ceiling windows at the airport terminal, looking down out at the tarmac, you may have noticed baggage handlers tossing and turning luggage around like it was nothing. Now imagine your shampoo or lotion bottle inside of that suitcase, rolling around and hitting every surface along the way. Not good.

Fortunately, the best travel bottles that come in a squeezable design are also leakproof. This way, they can roll around in your carry-on without bursting or leaking product onto your clothes.

4) Refillable and easy-to-clean

If you're like most globetrotters, you probably don't want to spend valuable time cleaning travel size bottles. This is why refillable travel bottles that are easy to clean come in super handy.

All you have to do is pop the cap off, give it a quick rinse, and you're good to go. Better yet: invest in travel size bottles for your carry-on liquids that are dishwasher-safe, so you can toss them in with your dishes and call it a day.

5) Labeled

Pretty self-explanatory, this one. The best travel bottles are labeled with product type, so you don't have to wash your face with shampoo or conditioner by accident. Plus, it makes packing that much easier.

If you want to up your travel game, look for travel size bottles with built-in, rotating labels (hint: Gravel's two-pack silicone travel bottles come with this handy feature). This way, you can easily switch between product types as you travel without having to worry about bringing along extra stickers or labels.

6) Cost-effective

If you're the kind of traveler who's drawn to exotic, far-away places, you're probably sticking to a budget. That's why travel size bottles that are cost-effective and made to last are a godsend.

The best travel bottles for liquids and gels can save you money in the long run, since you won't have to buy travel toiletries (which can often be more expensive) every time you travel. Plus, they can help reduce your carbon footprint and travel sustainably. Win-win-win!

7) They're designed to save you space

Last but not least, the best travel bottles are designed to save you space. And in this day and age, who doesn't want more space in their luggage, carry-on, or backpack, amirite?

At Gravel, our travel bottle set features two leakproof containers that are like puzzle pieces and fit together like a glove. Legit: these silicone bad boys form a neat 3.75 by 2-inch square, fitting seamlessly into any TSA-compliant bag, unlike bulky travel bottles that make you play a game of Tetris just to get them all in.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it's important to find travel size bottles that are sustainable, leakproof, convenient, easy to clean, and designed to save you space. If you can find a travel size bottle that ticks all of these boxes, you're well on your way to travel success. And at Gravel, we've got you covered.

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