Here’s Chris @ Gravel's Ultimate Guide to Travel Toiletries.
Chris here - why listen to me? Well I've been designing & selling toiletry bags for years and have collectively have tested hundreds of toiletries. We reluctantly admit that we’ve spent crazy hours scouring the aisles at WalMart, Target, boutiques...& online retailers for the best travel toiletries. We even had a toothpaste brushing session where we tested 25 toothpastes to see which one we’d like best.
Most of these travel toiletries are linked to Amazon so you can pick these up quickly before your next trip. At the bottom of the page there is also a section dedicated to Women’s Travel Toiletries.
My current travel toiletries load-out
Quip Toothbrush, Harry's deodorant, David's toothpaste, QTips, Toenail clippers, pill bottle with mini pharmacy (Tylenol, allergy medicine, Ibuprofen, etc), Travel Bottles with Dr. Bronners & Harry's Body Wash, Band-Aids, Ear Plugs...and it's not pictured but I typically have some sort of lip balm.
Toothbrush Chris' Pick! Quip ($25)
Why Chris loves it - It’s compact & electric! There are beautiful colors to choose from. They come with a travel case to protect the bristles. It uses AAA batteries that last what seems like forever. They have monthly subscriptions The only drawback is that the bristles don’t spin, it’s more of a vibration.
To be honest though...you can get a cheap toothbrush from WalMart and it'll probably perform just as well. I wish the Quip bristles moved more like a spinning brush head. I just love the design, feel, etc.
At the end of the day just bring what travel size toothpaste you have so you don’t have to go out and buy something that’s probably super similar. After trying SO many...they are all pretty similar to be honest. I do know some people that will take a larger tube and transfer over toothpaste into their travel toiletries...you could try that with toothpaste but that just doesn’t sound fun to me.
Davids 1.75oz ($5/tube). I look forward to brushing every time with Davids. They’re expensive but it makes brushing a joy and I justify the price because toothpaste lasts so long and the "price per brush" (PPB?) is still super low. We were worried the aluminum toothpaste packaging would cause a toothpaste explosion after getting smashed while traveling but alas...that doesn’t happen!
Best Bang For Your Buck
Crest Gum Restore .85oz ($2/tube). We love this one because it’s inexpensive but tastes good & is a little cheaper.
Dr.Tung’s Smart Floss - Cardamom Flavor ($3.98/ea). I splurged on this to see what the buzz was all about. Seriously, check the reviews...who leaves reviews for FLOSS!? I now know why - it’s the perfect floss. It expands a little and its texture gets the job done better than any other floss we’ve used.
Placker’s Dental Floss (10.62/Pack @ $0.02/each). You probably know about these but they’re great to just toss a handful into your toiletry bag and then you’re set. The best part about them is the “toothpick” mode where the little pointy part can get food out of those hard to reach places.
As with all travel toiletries...if you already have some floss at home they all really do the same thing so you can just buy some of these when you are ready.
Electric Razor For Men
Razor For Women
Harry’s ($26.98 for a handle & 13 razor heads) These razors aren’t marketed specifically towards women… but wow are they a steal for the price and quality. Each razor head lasts me 3+ months.
Shampoo For Men
When traveling with shampoo...or any liquid travel toiletries for that matter...reality is instead of buying some travel toiletries...just take what you already have. We made travel bottles that fit together to make the most of the vital space in your toiletry bag - Soft 3oz (89 ml) Liquid Bottles (Two Pack). Fill them, change the label to whatever’s inside, and pack them away so you don’t have to worry about showing up to your hotel with that teeny bottle of shampoo you all have to share.
Dr. Squatch - Fresh Falls 12oz ($18.95) You may have seen the Dr. Squatch commercials...they’re hilarious. The first time I tried Dr. Squatch was when I showered at a friend’s house and used his. I instantly loved it!
Shampoo For Women
OUAI Shampoo & Conditioner Set ($56.00) There are 3 different options to choose from depending on your hair: Fine, Medium and Thick. They each provide different benefits based on what your hair-type needs. Like all of their other products, they are cruelty, paraben, sulfate, and gluten free.
Deodorant For Men
Chris’ Pick - Harry’s Odor Control ($16/3 pack). I hate standing in the travel toiletries aisle at WalMart and smelling 20 different deodorants. Buy this three pack - they all smell good. Harry’s is notoriously good at nailing all their scents. I’ve given up anti-perspirant and it took me a while to finally settle on a deodorant I love.
Deodorant For Women
Caitlin’s Pick - Hey Humans Natural Deodorant ($12.41). This brand is amazing. They’re vegan, cruelty free, and paraben free. Even aluminum free! So no more stains on white or tighter fitting shirts. Thank the heavens. Just when you think it couldn’t get better, their packaging is made from recyclable paper too. It’s great for your pits and for the planet!
Chris’ Pick For Men
Dr. Bronners Castile Soap 2oz ($4.99/ea). The first time I used castile soap I was shocked how it was so liquidy but quickly learned a little bit goes a long way. It’s even cheaper to buy a larger 8oz size of Dr. Bronners or even larger 25oz size of Dr. Bronners and use our Soft 3oz (89 ml) Travel Liquid Bottles (Two Pack) to fill them up. You can even pick these up at WalMart.
Caitlin’s Pick For Women
Method ($6.99) This brand has some of the BEST scents. It will literally leave you smelling fresh all day. They have a few different options (even a line for men) and they never disappoint. If they had candles in the same scents, I’d hoard them all.
Caitlin’s Pick For WomenWet brush mini ($5.10) These are simply adorable. They have the cutest colors and they take up ZERO room in a bag. The flexible bristles are supposed to help lessen damage when brushing out knots too.
We scoured the internet for bottles to carry our liquid travel toiletries...we couldn’t find anything we liked so we made our own. They fit together nicely and you can fit 2 in the Explorer SLIM toiletry bag & up to 7 in the Explorer PLUS toiletry bag.
Travel Toiletries To Always Have (just in case)
Mack’s Ultra Soft Earplugs ($10.79) Inexpensive and you might as well buy these in bulk just to have in case your hotel has an outside karaoke bar that goes until 4am. Yes, Chris here speaking from personal experience. I now include these with my travel toiletries list as small yet essential.
Toenail Clippers/Fingernail Clippers
HAWATOUR Toenail/Fingernail Combo ($9.97) Amongst all your travel toiletries...this is a must have. You don’t want to be snuggling and catch your sharp eagle claw toenail on your significant other.
QTips - SUPER useful to have some stashed in your toiletry bag for any potential cleaning or just getting out of the shower with itchy ears. C'mon...we all LOVE that.
Portland Bee Balm Subtle all natural scent & the bee wax helps it stay on longer so you don’t have to re-apply every 20 minutes. I just got the Yuzu and LOVE it.
You probably have a ton of these in your pen drawer though.
Tiger Balm (11.30) When traveling you’ll be walking and moving muscles you don’t always use...so you might end up with sore muscles. This stuff is expensive but lasts a long time and works wonders for sore muscles.
Pill Containers & Medicine Carry
EZY Portable Pill Case ($3.49/2) An essential part of my travel toiletries is bringing a little case with an assortment of Tylenol, allergy medicine, etc. so I have a portable little pharmacy in my toiletry bag. These are small, compact, & just nice to have.
Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezers ($10.99) These take up little to no room and always find a way to be useful. They even come in handy as an impromptu screwdriver (long story).
Manta Sleep Mask ($35.00) These are perfect for getting some shut-eye on those extra long flights or even road trips.
Aveeno Active Naturals ($6.90) This one is perfect for daily use and is gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Chris’ Pick QP Collections ($34) I was introduced to beard oil from a friend and...IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. If you are growing out a beard if you start using beard oil from the start of growth your beard will be super soft & cuddle-able. I’ve been using this oil for years now and just love it.
Women Specific Travel Toiletries
We wanted to have a section dedicated to women’s travel toiletries so you ladies can stay flawless.
Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser ($10.00-34) A great cleanser that is good for any skin type. It rolls a bunch of great ingredients into one so that you can pack light. It removes makeup and is packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and gentle AHAs.
La Roche-Posay Purifying Foaming Face Wash (14.99) A must-have for oily or sensitive skin.The foam makes your face feel extra clean after a long day. This cleanser is paraben and sulfate free with no synthetic fragrances.
Batiste 1.6oz ($8.99) It absorbs a lot and doesn’t make your hair feel dry or brittle.
IGK First Class - Charcoal Detox ($29) A more expensive option but it gets the job done with less uses. Salon-approved and won’t leave you with a white-cast.
Tampons/Menstrual Cup - Whatever works for you! Good to have something while on the go.
Face Masks and serums -- if you’re feeling extra
Brooke’s Pick - Travel-Sized Glow Recipe Mini Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask ($22.00) Brooke swears by this on long flights. It prevents dry skin, smells great and protects you from that gross feeling after a long plane ride.
Paula’s choice skin perfecting 2% BHA liquid exfoliant ($29.50) This is the number one product for Paula’s choice. It unclogs pores, smoothes wrinkles and evens out skin tone.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($22.00) Another great “travel toiletries” option for long flights or layovers. Slap this mask on and have soft lips for the rest of the day.
Women's Hair/Long HairI'm a man with long hair - want proof? I'm new to long hair and I just throw in a few hair ties and call it good. SO - I'll let Caitlin from Gravel take on this section.
6th Sense 2-in-1 Mini Flat Iron/Curling Iron ($24.95) This product still seems unreal to me. It’s genius. Why pack your straightener and curling iron when you could have 2 for the price of 1? Seriously take my money.
Conair - Cordless Petite ¾” Ceramic Multi-Styler ($29.99) No more cords with this multi-styler. It still heats up to a max of 400 degrees, but takes up half the room. Conair offers this as a flat iron too!
Hair Oil/Hair Mask
Olaplex Bonding Oil ($28.00) Olaplex No. 7 is a life saver for dry ends. It won’t weigh down your hair and a little bit goes a long way. It’s amazing on flights because the bottle is already small enough for TSA (it’s 1oz) and it has a stopper so that it never spills.
Briogeo mini don’t despair, repair! ($14.00) After a long day of traveling, give your hair some extra TLC with this mask. It’ll help to suck some moisture back into your locks and add shine - a must have for your travel toiletries list.
We've been designing toiletry bags for years & know that everyone packs so different. We made different size toiletry bags so you can match your load-out to your trip needs. We took photos with the same toiletries so you can see how each bag packs a little different (and one has 2x storage volume).
(Explorer SLIM, left. Explorer PLUS, right)
Recognize toiletries from the post? You can see we put in the Harry's deodorant, Mack's earplugs, Dr.Tung’s Smart Floss, Gravel's travel bottles, etc.
Explorer SLIM Toiletry Bag - Pack in a ton of travel toiletries while staying super compact. You'll be able to pack a ton but it's made to be super slender & compact in your travel bag. If you like to travel with an electric razor, electric toothbrush, & bulkier items you'll want to check out the Explorer Plus toiletry bag.
Explorer PLUS Toiletry Bag - Great for packing bigger items like electric razors, electric toothbrushes, & liquids. It comes with a clear & removable TSA approved bag for quick scans at security checkpoints & it doubles as nice hanging shower bag.
If you are looking for travel toiletries - we hope this list helped you find new ones to pack inside your toiletry bag! If you are using anything that isn’t on this list that you think should be - leave a comment below and we’ll check it out!
Caitlin McGee, Chris Livingston