When it comes to packing, I've gotten my routine down to such a perfect science that can I can pack for a two-week international trip in 15 minutes or less and not forget anything I need. That is except my toothbrush. That I accidentally leave behind pretty much every single time I travel — until this week when I brought three with me thanks to a little planning from past me.
I'm not entirely certain why I can't manage to pack a toothbrush. I think it has something to do with my daily brush being a little too large to fit in my makeup bag, which means I have to go grab a freezer bag to stash it in before I throw it into my suitcase. Somewhere between packing everything else I need in the bathroom and heading to the kitchen I forget all about the brush, and I manage to leave it behind every. single. trip. It's an issue no packing list or plan could correct.
When I was consistently staying in hotels this wasn't the hugest deal. I would realise I was brushless the night I arrived, call down to the front desk, and 20 minutes later I'd be the proud owner of a super-cheap brush and a few packets of toothpaste.
Now roughly half my trips are booked in Airbnbs, which unlike their hotel counterparts don't have a secret stash of toothbrushes waiting for me. After my tenth supermarket trip of the year, I got smart last month and bought myself a three-pack of travel brushes and three tiny travel toothpastes.
Instead of just using one and leaving the others in the package, I hid them all in my luggage.I put one set in the front pocket of the book bag I always travel with, one in the inside pocket of my suitcase, and another inside my makeup bag.
Last week I was travelling in New Orleans and realised night one that I had forgotten my brush once again… and then I remembered my stash and pulled one out.
I purchased the tiny toothbrushes you used to get at the dentist, which are roughly half-sized and have cases that double as handle extenders. They seem like the best fit for this because they're so compact and the case keeps them safe and secure. If you always travel with the same suitcase, you could probably get the same effect from just stashing a normal brush in your bag.
For me, the book bag one has come in handy a few other times, like after a stinky lunch or before heading to an event, where I happen to have my book bag with me. However, not having to make an emergency trip to the chemist or supermarket the first day of a trip made that $5 3-pack worth a million.