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How Do I Choose the Best Travel Toiletry Bag?

By David Bishop
Updated May 23, 2024
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A travel toiletry bag is a useful item for transporting and organizing essential hygiene items on a vacation or business trip. Selecting the best bag depends on how much the bag needs to hold, whether the bag is being used for air travel, and how much the consumer wants to spend on a bag. There are many options to choose from in various sizes, materials and accessories.

The first thing a person should consider when choosing a new travel toiletry bag is how many hygiene-related items he intends to carry with him on a trip. If the person takes short trips or stays in hotels that provide toiletries, he may choose to purchase a smaller bag that only holds a few personal items, such as a toothbrush, razor and medicines. People who take longer trips or travel to areas where their preferred toiletries may not be readily available may want to choose a larger travel set that is capable of carrying soap, shampoo, shaving cream and a hair dryer. Some of the larger kits are designed to hang from the top of a door, allowing the kit to be stored away from the sink yet remain easily accessible. These larger bags also can make a useful carry-on bag for people who need to travel with several medications.

When traveling by air in the United States, it is important to follow the guidelines set forth by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). These guidelines limit the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels that can be brought on board an aircraft. The guidelines also limit passengers to a single quart-size (about 0.95 liter) resealable plastic bag per person. Exceptions are usually made for medications, breast milk, baby formula and baby food. While there is no TSA mandate for liquids stored in checked bags, airline passengers may wish to consider using a clear plastic or mesh travel toiletry bag inside their checked luggage to make it easier for security personnel to verify the contents.

The final issue to consider when choosing a travel toiletry bag is cost. Bags made from nylon or other synthetic materials usually cost less and are available in a variety of convenient sizes and colors. Leather toiletry bags are generally more expensive but may stand up better to rough travel and handling. Customers can usually find a good selection of toiletry bags in the luggage and menswear sections of a department store or online at a specialty retailer.

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Discussion Comments

By jennythelib — On Nov 15, 2011

I really like the hanging travel toiletry bags. Most hotels have hangers you can put them on.

I have one where it's easy to access the largest pocket. That's important because I like to have the toiletry bag, but when I fly I don't have room for both the bag and then the toiletries packed separately.

See, I don't like to check a bag, and you have to remove your liquids (in those infamous 3-ounce containers, of course) from your carry-on bag and place them on top. So I pack my little containers in the requisite quart-sized zipper bag, then put the whole quart bag in my toiletry bag but leave the bag unzipped. Then it's easy to slip the quart bag out, while leaving everything else (toothbrush, razor, etc.) in the bag.

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