Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Organized Travel Toiletries

I can't believe it. My babies are turning five. I have no idea how they got this old this quickly, but it happened. For some reason five seems like a big number. A milestone. They are officially "kids". Not toddlers, definitely not babies. Kids.

For their birthday, we decided to go big and take them to Disneyland. It's been months of planning and anticipation, making to-do lists of errands and tasks that needed to be done, looking at pictures of the park and videos of the rides, discussing plane etiquette and the importance of being patient in long lines, and dreaming of meeting princesses and heroes.

As I was making checklists of what to pack, I realized my system for travel toiletries needed an overhaul.  I like the idea of having a travel toiletry bag that is always packed and ready to go at a moments notice. You know, for all those times that my husband and I have a whimsical, spur-of-the-moment, getaway. (Ha!). But seriously, I don't like having to start at square one every time we head out of town, so I  began by making a list of all the toiletries I wanted to keep permanently stashed in my travel bag. This may vary person to person, but here is what I chose to include:
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Day cream
  • Night cream
  • Spray bottle w/ water (for wetting down my bed head)
  • Blow dry protecting spray
  • Body lotion
  • Razer
  • Shaving cream
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Aspirin
  • Bandaids
  • Eye mask (for sleeping)
  • Ear plugs
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
  • Deodorant
With my list in place, I sourced my house for what I already had on-hand and made a Target run for the rest. I purchased duplicates of several of the items on the list so that I could keep one in my bathroom drawer for everyday use and one permanently in my travel bag.  Too many times I have spent my vacation smelling like Old Spice because I forgot to throw in my deodorant and have had to use my husband's instead.

After taking this photo, I realized I forgot to include my eye mask in the picture. But trust me, it made it into the bag. I can't live sleep without it.

For most of the liquid products, I used these travel size bottles that I bought years ago. To keep myself from shampooing my hair with body lotion, I whipped up adhesive vinyl labels using my Silhouette.

Quick tip: Another way to make a cute and easy label is a strip of washi tape and a permanent marker. I have found it holds up well, even in water.

A travel sized aspirin bottle also got a cute label and was the perfect size for a set of earplugs:

Quick tip: A prescription medicine bottle makes another great travel container. I covered one in contact paper and use it to store my daughters hair ties.

Once I had gathered and labeled all my supplies, I went to work on finding the perfect toiletry bag. My previous bag had lots of pockets to help keep the toiletries organized, but truth be told, I never actually used them. Inevitably, I always ended up throwing all my toiletries in one of the larger zippered pockets. When searching for a new bag I knew I wanted something that had just one large compartment. My other complaint about my old toiletry bag is that it was too bulky. Even empty, it took up too much room in suitcase. I found the perfect bag at Ulta: it is lightweight, machine washable, and the perfect size to fit my needs.

I used a Ziploc bag to secure the items that I was worried might explode mid-flight due to cabin pressure.

To complete my travel toiletry set, I also bought the matching makeup bag. It has two zippers so that I can keep my makeup on one side and my brushes on the other.

When it comes time to pack for vacation, all I have to do is thrown in my hairbrush and comb and I'm ready to go!

Now that I'm all set and ready to travel, I am itching for my next destination. Who wants to sponsor me for a trip to Hawaii? Anyone? Anyone?