How To Keep Toiletries From Ruining Your Luggage

Have you ever opened your suitcase only to find your favourite hair product has leaked all over your clothes? If you’ve ever had your toiletries make a mess of your luggage, here’s how you can keep that from ever happening again.

Don’t pack big bottles

If you pack a big bottle, you’re going to need to check the bag. If you check a bag with a big bottle inside, you’re increasing your chances that said bottle could leak or explode. Don’t do it.

One time, my husband packed a huge bottle of coconut oil and it ruined so much stuff, we couldn’t get the oil out even after multiple washings.

Your checked bag isn’t being carefully placed on conveyor belts—it’s getting tossed around. Do you want to buy a whole new wardrobe when you’re travelling? No? Don’t bring big bottles.

Use the aiport-required bottle sizes

Internationally, not every country has the same regulations on sizing. When travelling through London’s Heathrow airport, I had a relatively small jar of body cream that was confiscated although it met the United States TSA standards and the jar was half empty. According to their rule, the jar was bigger than allowed. Always know before you go.

Put them in clear plastic with labels

Labelling your bottles can make your life much easier, alleviating confusion and avoiding delays through security. On a trip through Germany’s Frankfurt airport, I had a small carry-on backpack filled with toiletries. Their security made me take each one out and tell them what each was before placing them in a bucket to scan and then leaving me to pack them all back in the bag—before running to my gate. If I had labelled each item, I would have saved myself a lot of time and stress.

Nowadays, companies are doing the work for you and have brilliantly made approved bottles that come in clear plastic reusable bags, with labels.

The best thing to do is to simply tape all of your lids and tops to your toiletries. First, place the tape over the hole of where the product comes out. Second, tape the part where the lid meets the bottle.

Stack pack 

Stack packing is something that I do to ensure that my toiletries are going to stay in place and not move. Think of stack packing like a sandwich:

  1. Put firm folded clothing like denim on the bottom layer.

  2. Make your toiletries the meat of your stack packing sandwich by placing them directly in the middle.

  3. Add a top layer of clothing.

  4. Also, add additional clothing or items on the sides of your packed toiletries to keep them jam packed.

Most of the time toiletries open and ruin your items because they had too much space. By condensing how much movement the bottles have, it can reduce the likelihood of them cracking, breaking, or product seeping out of the lids. That said, don’t put any heavy stuff on top of your toiletries—you don’t want to crush them.

Buy or use toiletries at your destination

Most of the products we use can be found at our destinations. Some of us just want our own stuff—I get it. But your hotels and accommodations typically offer free shampoo, conditioner, and lotion—use them. There’s always a convenience or drug store that can provide you with whatever toiletries you need without having to pack anything and running the risk of ruining your clothes or electronics. Also, it can be fun to find products from different places around the world.


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