Minimize your toiletries so they’re easier to pack, carry, and use traveling

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Travel size mini toiletries

Do You Struggle Packing Your Toiletries?

I Hear You

If this is you, you’re not alone. I know how ridiculous it feels to pack a full-sized bottle of face-wash (a bottle which usually lasts you 6 months) for a 2-day trip — this used to be me…

I'm here to guide you step-by-step

Hi, my name is Luigi and I’ve been One Backpack Traveling with toiletries for years now. Through my travel experiences and extensive research, I’ve discovered the best tips/tricks/products that I wish I knew about traveling 5 years ago.

Whether you’re known to pack half your bathroom or not, I’m here to teach you how to minimize your toiletries to fun-sized. Making them easier for you to pack, carry, and use while traveling. Getting you one step closer to becoming the traveler you always wanted to be.

The Fun-Sized Toiletry Plan


Get the free checklist

Download your free toiletries checklist now to know exactly what you should and shouldn’t be packing


Minimize your toiletries

Complete these 8 tips to minimize your full-sized toiletries and drastically streamline the way you pack


Travel easier

Enjoy how easy it is to pack, travel, and get-ready after minimizing. Literally, everything becomes easier

What are toiletries?

Toiletries — “Articles used in washing and taking care of one’s body, such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.” ~ Lexico

8 ways to minimize your toiletries, to travel light

Overdoing it or worse using the throw-it-all-in-and-hope-it-fits approach always turns packing into a stress ball. When you minimize your toiletries, not only will traveling be easier but getting ready for a trip is a cakewalk, you’ll just grab your toiletry bag and go.


Forget forgetting stuff

Download your free printable toiletries checklist now
Download free toiletry packing list PDF

It’s hard to think of toiletries you use and need to pack on the spot. Almost without a doubt, you forget something. This free toiletries checklist is the friend you call to ask “What am I missing?”. With it, you’ll know everything you’ll need as well as what you don’t. Finally, the checklist you’ve been waiting for.

Download it now and follow along. I’ll wait.


Leave the full-sized bottles at home

Make them travel-sized
Travel size mini toiletries

Don’t default to the store-bought 3 oz travel-sized versions. They’re more expensive because of their convenient size and are often overkill. 3 oz may not sound like a lot, but it doesn’t take many of these bottles to fill up your quart-size TSA approved liquids bag. And often you don’t even need this much for your trip! Downsizing your existing full-sized versions will drastically save you space and money.

The process is simple. Just decant (or transfer) your full-size toiletry versions of soaps, lotions, perfumes, etc. into smaller containers. Taking “just enough”. As it’s a bit of overkill to bring the 16 oz container of face-wash you use every day (that usually lasts you a year) on a weekend trip. That’s a lot of deadweight and you know somehow that bottle is going to leak in your bag.

Remember, a little liquid goes a long way — think how much of “insert product here” you use every day and pack just enough for a 2-week supply.

What to use

Purchase a set of small travel containers. Remember 3 oz is overkill. So, I recommend 1 oz size containers for most things other than things like contact solution. This will give you plenty to work with for weeks at a time.


Pump or pour liquids into these 1 oz (30ml) or 1.7 oz (50ml) containers. Great for things like shampoos, lotions, face wash, contact solution

Thick creams

Pump or syringe creams into these 1 oz jars. Great for things like lotions, moisturizers, powders

Colognes / Perfumes

Pump colognes and perfumes into the Travalo

It’s by far the easiest way to transfer colognes and perfumes. Plus, it doesn’t expose your perfume to the air as the traditional cumbersome funnel pouring method. Saving you tons of tedious time and unavoidable spills. And because there is no air exposure, your perfume’s shelf life isn’t jeopardized. It’s a win-win-win.


Place pills into these pill containers. Great for things like medications or supplements


Buy a dedicated toiletry bag

Makes organizing a breeze
DOPP Toiletry Bag

This is key. The more you like your toiletry bag, the more organized it is, and the more careful you’ll be about what goes in there.

Good thing we already have a lesson on this. Walking you through step-by-step on choosing the best toiletry bag — click here to read now.


Remove unnecessary and luxury items

Borrowing is your friend
Borrow toiletries from your friend or hotel

Most hotels (and friends) have a hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner, and soap you can borrow — so if you’re not a diva, you don’t need to pack them.

Get rid of the “just in case” items that never (or rarely) get used. They’re dead weight. And the one time they could be useful, more likely than not you’ll survive the situation without them.

When in doubt. Do what Jacob Laukaitis does. Ask yourself, “What is the worst situation I could find myself in if I didn’t have this item?” If it’s not that bad, don’t bring it.


Pare down your routine

Stick to the basics
Pare down your routine, bring only basic toiletries

Do you need to pack your 5-step facial routine or will a simple face wash suffice? Do you need two types of lotion or will one do the trick? — If you do, you do, but do you? Ask the questions.


Multifunctional products

One thing does many
Swiss army knife 2-in-1 toiletry products

Swiss army knife products can be a great thing. Especially when they save you space and make getting ready that much easier. We’re all about that.

Instead of bringing shampoo and conditioner, look for a 2-in-1 product that does both.

2-in-1 products


Prepack travel versions

Makes packing faster
Travel-sized mini toiletries

Prepack your toiletry bag with travel versions that will remain there even after your trip. Things like an additional toothbrush or extra floss don’t need to be viewed as an extra expense. You’ll need to replace them eventually anyways. This way when you get home from your trip, you don’t need to unpack those items. Now your toiletry bag is preloaded for your next adventure without worrying about what needs to go into it. It’s already there.

Products this works great for


Don't buy it at your destination

Slows you down

If you’re like me, I’m not a fan of this option when it’s often suggested to travelers. Unless you’re traveling for an extended period and need to resupply.

Otherwise, the last thing I want to do while traveling to a new place is to go shopping for a new body wash. I say new because unless you are traveling domestically with the same big box chain stores, finding your favorite toiletry item might be difficult. Plus, I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling I’d rather be exploring the new city and not the local Walmart. You may never be in that city again — every hour is precious.

Wait what about makeup? I wear that stuff.

Don’t worry! We didn’t forget. We are choosing NOT to categorize “makeup” as a toiletry, instead, it deserves its own category and lesson. Which is in the works — signup here to be notified when it’s out!

You did it! Congratulations.

By completing these 8 steps, you drastically reduced weight, saved tons of space, and avoided shampoo explosions from ruining your trip. BOOM.

You’re now one step closer to becoming the traveler you’ve always wanted to be.

Proud of you.

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You before Lessification

You after Lessification

Davies, B. (n.d.). The Complete Travel Toiletries List – Pack Right Every Time! Flashpacker Family Travel Blog – Travel With Kids. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Edwards, A. (2019, July 17). How To Pack Toiletries. WikiHow. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Gravel. (n.d.). Best Toiletry Bag for Travel. Gravel Travel. Retrieved from…

Heazlit, C. (2011, November 23). Decanting And The Principle Of “just Enough.” Lady Light Travel. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Jimenez, A. (n.d.). The Ultimate Guide to Travel Toiletries. Travel Fashion Girl. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Kaplan, J. (2020, January 3). How to Pack Toiletries in One Carry-On Bag. The Spruce . Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Lexico. (n.d.). Toiletries. Lexico Dictionaries | English. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Mak, Q. (2020, February 23). Pack like a Minimalist: My Minimalist Toiletries for Every Trip. Ms Travel Solo. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Schoenman, B. (2013, September 16). 30 Days to Packing a Better Bag – Day 16: How to Pack Liquid Toiletries. Her Packing List. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from…

Make packing toiletries easy, with this helpful checklist

It's printable + an interactive PDF