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The ULTIMATE Toiletries Packing List

The ULTIMATE Toiletries Packing List

Looking for the ULTIMATE toiletries packing list that works for hot and cold weather destinations? Then you have come to the right place.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

We have split our ULTIMATE toiletries packing list out into sections – the toiletries that should be packed no matter the destination, travel toiletries for women, toiletry essentials for men and those that a specific to weather conditions.

But before we get into our toiletries packing list we will first turn our attention to how to pack toiletries for travel.

How to Pack Toiletries for Travel

Woman packing toiletries for travel
How to pack Toiletries for Travel

How to pack toiletries for travel will depend on how whether you are packing toiletries in carry on or if you want to pack toiletries in checked luggage.

How to pack toiletries in carry on

If you want to pack toiletries in carry on the most important thing to remember is that in most airports around the world the amount of liquids you can carry with you is limited. For instance the TSA in the USA restricts liquids to travel-sized containers that amount to no more than 100ml / 3.4ounces for each item. And they are to be stored in a quart-sized bag.

Therefore when packing toiletries it is important to buy travel sized toiletries, or better in my opinion, decant your existing toiletries into your TSA approved travel toiletries bottles. We use the ones pictured below.

And when you are traveling through security they will ask that your liquids are placed inside a clear bag. For this I tend to use a clear ziplock bag.

However I also have a clear toiletries bag that only holds TSA approved sized bottles. This will greatly speed up your airport security process.

Click here to shop quart sized toiletry bags.

How to Pack Toiletries in Checked Luggage

The benefit of packing your toiletries in your checked luggage vs hand luggage is that you aren’t restricted in terms of volume of liquid. However we recommend that you try to avoid overpacking.

Just be sure your toiletries are closed well so don’t leak and are stored within a separate waterproof bag or ziplock. This way if there is a leak or burst you won’t find your whole suitcase covered in shampoo etc.

Personally I like to travel with my toiletries in checked luggage in ziplock bags when I am worried about spills, in a hangable toiletries bag.

Hangable toiletry bags help reduce the space your toiletries take up in your case and is easy to access when unfolded at your destination.

Click here to shop hanging toiletry bags for travel.

ULTIMATE Toiletries Packing List

Flat lay of toiletries for travel
Essential Toiletries Packing List for Travel

Note: it is always worth considering whether you want to pack your toiletries or if you want to purchase them on arrival. If I am traveling to a Western City i.e. any of the European cities or bay US, Australian or Canadian cities I will often buy my toiletries on arrival. That is because they will be readily and cheaply available.

However I always pack a full toiletry kit when traveling to more remote destinations, safaris or to all-inclusives or on cruise ships. These places usually don’t have a great selection to choose from and in all these places you will pay a high premium for toiletries.

Best Toiletries to Pack no matter the destination

Shampoo and Conditioner

Although many luxury hotel rooms and cruise ships will provide some shampoo and conditioner, it is not necessarily the type most suited to your hair or the best quality. 

For this reason I will usually pack some shampoo and conditioner. I recommend packing whatever shampoo and conditioner you use at home as you know it suits your hair type.

However for places I am going where I know that I will be doing a lot of swimming, in salt water and in the sun I will normally pack products that can protect my hair. Also I like to look for reef safe products where possible. One product that I love for hot weather destinations is the sun bum hair products.

Click here to shop sun bum shampoo.

Top Tip: if you are traveling carry on only or are worried about spills in your luggage we recommend traveling with shampoo bars and conditioner bars. These won’t spill in your suitcase and dry shampoo is not counted as a liquid if you are traveling with carry on only. And even better, these shampoo and conditioner bars are better for the environment by reducing single use plastics.

Click here to shop shampoo and conditioner bars.


Goes without saying really. Spray or roll on varieties are entirely down to personal preference.

Soap Bar

Like with shampoo, I don’t always like the hotel soap or shower gel. For this reason I always travel with a soap bar. I travel with a bar of soap as opposed to shower gel as it reduces the risk of a spill in your bag.

Lip Balm 

If I don’t use lip balm on a long-haul flights I am guaranteed to get chapped lips. Therefore lip balm is always on my essential travel toiletries list. 

If I am just planning to use the lip balm on the flight I tend to opt for a generic brand.

However if I am travelling to a sunny destination then I will pack one that has SPF. One of my favorite brands is Sun Bum.

Click here to shop travel lip balms.

Hand Cream

Along with dry lips, I also get dry hands on long flights. Therefore I will always have a small container of hand cream with me.

Hand Sanitizer

I have always carried hand sanitizer with me but it is especially important today.

TSA Approved Perfume Bottles

I love traveling with perfume, but don’t like to take my large bottle in my checked bag and of course you have to meet TSA liquid allowances for carry on. 

To get round this I decant my perfume into these TSA approved perfume bottles. 

Click here to shop TSA Approved perfume bottles. 

Note: these work just as well with aftershave as they do perfume so are completely unisex.

Perfume / Aftershave

As I use the above bottles I just decant my home perfume / aftershave.

Sun Screen with High SPF

Sun screen is an essential no matter the destination, no just as part of a beach packing list or hot weather vacation. However the type of sun screen we pack is dependent on the destination, season and the length of our itinerary.

Our favorite brand, especially for those thinking of doing snorkelling is the reef safe sun bum sun screen.

If it is Winter however you may be able to use a smaller stick sun screen as most of your skin will be covered by clothing in cold weathers.

Click here to shop sun screen sticks.

Brush / Comb

An essential for everyone. I tend to pack with a collapsible travel hair brush or a tangle teezer when I am going to a windy location such as Mykonos or plan on doing a lot of water based activities where hair can get very knotty.

Dental Kit

I always travel with a toothbrush, travel sized toothpaste and some dental floss. I like to use a bamboo toothbrush as this reduces plastic waste.

And if you are worried about the toothpaste leaking or you have limited liquids you could pack toothpaste tablets instead.

Nail Kit

A compact nail kit with a nail file and some nail clippers is another essential on my toiletry packing list. I hate getting a ragged nail and struggling to find something to cut it with. For this reason I am never without my travel nail kit in my carry-on bag.

Click here to shop nail kits for travel.

Travel First Aid Kit

I never travel anywhere without a travel first aid kit. Thankfully I have never had to use one on my travels but it is a comfort to have one with you especially in more remote locations such as when on safari or on a remote island.

Click here to shop travel first aid kits.

Wrinkle Release Spray

I hate wrinkled clothes so I always travel with wrinkle release spray especially when I travel with linen and when I am traveling to somewhere special such as a wedding.

Click here to shop wrinkle release spray.

Travel Toiletries Packing List Female Edition


I personally always have make-up with me when I travel but I think that one mistake many women make is to overpack on the make-up front. 

For this reason I try to limit travel make-up. After perfecting my makeup bag packing over many trips my travel make up essentials tend to be:

But my favorite travel beauty product is the  Nars Multiple.

Nars is one of my favorite cosmetic ranges no matter the situation but with the multiple you have one makeup stick that can be used beautifully on eyes, cheeks and lips which greatly reduces the amount you need to pack.

Of course you should add any of your favorite beauty products that we haven’t included i.e. lip liner etc.

Period Products

Even if I think my period isn’t due on my vacation I will always cary some period products with me. A menstrual cup is a great option for reducing the amount of products you have to take as well as being good for the environment.

However if you prefer towels or tampons or regularly use period pants then pack these instead.

Click here to shop the best period products for travel.

Travel Razor

I always have a compact travel razor with me no matter the destination but it is especially important for me when I know I will be swimming or sunbathing. Click here to buy travel razors.

Hair Ties

A mix collection of hair ties are an essential especially if you have long hair. 

If you have more space you could add any of your other hair accessories too. 

Travel Hair Dryer 

I have a collapsible travel hair dryer which I like because it is a larger hair dryer that folds up. However any travel hair dryer on the market is likely to be better than any hairdryer that you get in a hotel or airbnb. 

Click here to shop travel hair dryers.

For more women’s travel essentials check out this post.

Travel Toiletries Packing List for Men

Although the men’s toiletry packing list for travel is largely similar to ladies, there are a couple of key additions. They are:

Shaving Kit

A shaving kit is an essential for keeping your yourself looking tidy. But a beard trimmer may be needed also.

Click here to shop shaving kits for men here.

Essential Toiletries for Hot Weather

Generally speaking our essential toiletries for hot weather is the same as our general essential toiletries packing list but with two key additions.

After Sun / Aloe Vera

Although no one wants to get burnt on vacation we recommend packing some after sun or aloe vera just in case.

Click here to shop after sun.

Chub Rub

If you are traveling to a hot weather destination, particularly if you are plus size, chub rub can be a real life saver and can help prevent chaffing. 

Click here to shop chub rub.

Essential Toiletries for Cold Weather

Generally speaking the Winter essential toiletries are the same as summer and the general list but with one addition that I would say is otherwise a nice to have. And that item is:

Body lotion / Body Moisturiser

As you will be out in the cold, and potentially the wind and rain and maybe even snow and ice it is worth adding some body lotion and moisturiser to your list. Winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin and moisturiser is a great salve for this.

Nice to have Toiletries for Travel

Travel toiletries in clear quart sized toiletry bag
Travel Toiletries Packing List

So now you know what should be on your essential toiletries list, here is our list of nice to have toiletries to add to your toiletries check list.

Travel Curling Iron (optional)

You may want to get a compact travel curling iron if you like to style your hair further while traveling. Click here to shop travel curling irons. 

Eye Mask 

If you struggle to sleep when there is light then an eye mask can be useful for sleeping on planes and also for destinations that has sunlight late into the evening such as Norway and Europe in Summer. 

Click here to shop eye masks.

Ear Plugs

Planes can be noisy places. I always have ear plugs with me. 

Click here to shop ear plugs. 

Note: if you are flying business class you can check if ear plugs or eye masks are provided as part of your amenities kit.

Toilet Paper

Although not needed in more developed locations having your own supply of toilet paper and cleansing wipes can be an essential in developing countries. When we did our safari in Uganda and Rwanda I never went anywhere without my own roll of toilet paper.

Facial cleanser 

This is definitely not an essential for me, especially on shorter trips but for some skin types it is good to add a cleanser to the toiletries checklist.

Bobby Pins

Bobby pins are not something I use in everyday life but if you do then you will want a handful with you.

Hair spray

I don’t tend to be a hair spray person but if you are or if you plan on styling your hair for a nice restaurant meal or special even then you may want to add hairspray to the list.

And there you have it – our Ultimate toiletries packing list. Is there a toiletry essential for travel you think we have missed? If so let us know in the comments below and we can add it to our travel toiletries checklist.