Obligatory jumping photo overlooking the Catalina Islands
If you're anything like me then you pack in variations. You probably have an outline of what exactly you'll be doing on your trip, but you like to fill in the blanks when you get there. Unfortunately, this causes a rift between you & your suitcase.
My Pre-Military travel days consisted of many bags in preparation for the unforeseen. I wanted to cover all my bases from mountain hiking to possibly red carpet ready. I have learned through many bursting suitcases, broken wheels, over weight baggage fees and flat out ending my trip to realize that I didn't even use a chunk of the shit.
I've learned that there is definitely a science behind it and I think I finally have it down! Every trip I take is a new challenge against myself to see if I can pack less, but utilize more. I am now in a committed relationship to all things 2 in 1 or 3 in 1, as well as convertible & multi-use products.
These helpful tips will allow you to utilize your space to spare you the headache of excess clutter or packing an item just to use once or worse...not at all.
Let's break down the levels of packing....
-ALL UP IN TSA-
So of course you have the dreaded liquids bag that must pass TSA standards. I know what you're thinking "How the HELL am I going to put my whole life in 1 quart size bag?" I KNOW RIGHT?! That is my first question that usually stimulates copious amounts of sweat. In conjunction with thoughts of accidentally leaving something behind, not having all my life essentials & being over 3.4oz with the possibility of encountering a strict TSA agent that forces me to throw my stuff away!
Just breathe...we will get through this together!
Now don't forget that you CAN have liquids larger than 3.4oz, but you are going to have to check them in. And if you are planning to only do carry-on or returning from an International flight then do your research and plan accordingly.
-WELCOME TO THE QUART SIDE-
The best way to do so is lessening the actual liquids that go into the bag itself. Whatever essentials that you prepare under 3.4oz can be easily replaced with powders. VOILA! Now you have more empty space. Unless, they are items that are life or death in terms of acne creams, wrinkle creams or prescriptions, then there are ways around it. After that, it's just your willingness to replace it for the love of max travel.
Here are basic items that can be replaced for more space:
-Dry Shampoo (Aerosol/Non-Aerosol)
All these items can be replaced with a powder version. Thus, maximizing space in your liquid quart bag to fill in whatever your heart desires. LUCKILY, there are many products in powder form that you can choose from. Below I listed a couple of them to help you get started:
I personally have used the LUSH Greeench when I backpacked Europe for 34 days. I also didn't want to bring the whole bottle so I poured some into a little container. That lasted way beyond the trip and into some trips after. The awesome thing about powder deodorants is that you can even make your own. And if you're into alternative deodorants without the harmful Aluminum then this is perfect for you!
Homemade Powder Deodorant:
1. Combining baking soda and arrowroot powder/cornstarch.
2. Add four tablespoons melted coconut oil and mix with a fork.
Continue adding coconut oil until the deodorant reaches your preferred consistency. Add natural fragrance oil if you choose.
Well look at that...another wellness recipe that calls for Coconut Oil. I swear that it's the cure for everything. And I am OKAY with that!
I have personally used Living Proof dry shampoo and I SWEAR by it. This is designed to actually clean your hair, not mask the oil. My hair is oily and this was another product I made sure to bring on my 34 day Eurotrip. It didn't leave white residue behind like other dry shampoos tend to do. It kept my hair light & fragrant without the build up.
I felt obligated to list the dual form natural coconut oil because I bring this on every trip. I scoop it into a small container and BAM you have a 50 in 1. It is great to shave, moisturize, heal and even cook if you're in a bind on the road. While staying in Tuscany, I started to cook dinner and then realized I didn't buy olive oil. So I spooned some into my pan and in no time dinner was ready. What a life saver!
The LUSH toothy tabs were a fun discovery. I can't believe I didn't find these sooner because it would have made past trips a lot easier. Not only are they easy to carry, but natural as well. I purchased 2 boxes and it lasted me way after my Europe trip. All you do is put a tab in front of your teeth, crush it, wet the toothbrush and start brushing. The concoction will start to foam up and when you're done your teeth will feel squeaky clean.
The Aztec clay is unique because just like the other powders you can use water, but the real magic happens with apple cider vinegar. It's great at drawing out impurities and you can really feel it working. As someone with acne prone skin this is very helpful in a natural way.
So there you have it!
A helpful beginners guide to getting you started in the crucial toiletries department. I found that if I leave room in my quart size bag before the trip then I have a buffer for any cool beauty finds I collect along the way. Not to mention that less liquids leads to less clean up, if for any reason your products become just as adventurous as you are.
The only downside to having all these powders is you might look like a cocaine dealer......but hey at least you have room!
How do you save room in your liquids bag? What are your favorite products?
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