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What Are the Different Types of Travel Toiletries?

M.C. Huguelet
Updated: May 23, 2024

Those who dislike using the shampoos, soaps, lotions, and other body products provided by hotels may be glad to know that it is possible to purchase an almost dizzying array of travel toiletries. While travel toiletries have long been in existence, the 21st-century proliferation of airline security regulations limiting the size of items allowed in one’s carry-on luggage has encouraged toiletry manufacturers of all stripes to roll out miniature versions of their regular products. Consequently, both the most pedestrian toiletries, such as toothpaste, and the most luxurious ones, such as spring water face elixir, can be purchased in travel sizes. Those who do not wish to pay the premium rates often charged for travel toiletries can make their own with reusable travel-sized containers.

As a protective measure against terrorist attacks, the early 21st century has seen a proliferation of airline security regulations limiting the size of liquid, gel, and paste-based toiletries allowed in one’s carry-on luggage. The maximum acceptable size for carry-on toiletries can vary from country to country, with the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), for instance, allowing only products of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less. For hassle-free passage through security lines, those traveling abroad should familiarize themselves with the regulations for those countries they plan to depart via plane.

While certain travel toiletries have long been available, these airline restrictions have encouraged a diverse range of toiletry manufacturers to produce miniature versions of their normal products. Consequently, it is possible to buy almost any daily-use toiletry, such as shampoo, body lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, hairspray, and shower gel, in travel sizes. Increasingly, many luxury toiletry manufacturers are also producing small versions of their best-selling products, translating to a plethora of petite bottles of spring water face elixir and tiny tubs of alpha-hydroxy wrinkle serum.

Those who do not wish to pay the premium rates often demanded for travel toiletries can make their own travel-sized products with ease. Many pharmacies, beauty supply stores, and online retailers sell reusable plastic bottles in a wide range of shapes. To “make” travel toiletries, simply fill these bottles using full-sized versions of the desired products. One caveat: check reusable bottle packaging to ensure that they conform to airline volume regulations.

WiseTour is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including WiseTour. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By Grivusangel — On Jun 19, 2014

One nice thing about travel size toiletries is that you can try a new product without paying full price, or having a full size version around if you don't like the product.

I've got a travel toiletry bag that fits nicely in my suitcase, so I can keep all that stuff together. It's one that hangs up in a closet, too. I really like it and it's been to Aruba, Denver, Lake Tahoe -- everywhere I've been! Travel size toiletries fit into the compartments, so I'm ready to go.

By Scrbblchick — On Jun 18, 2014

I don't want to carry full size products when I travel anyway, but it's ridiculous that everything has to be three ounces and in a clear, ziptop bag if you're carrying it on board with you. I last flew in 2007, so I'm sure things have changed since then.

You can get anything in the travel aisle, though. I've seen shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, deodorant -- you name it. Still, it's better than trying to pour liquids into small bottles.

Travel toothbrushes are handy, though. They usually come with a little carrying case, so they don't get gunk in the bristles.

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide...
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