Packing Toiletries – For Your Trip And Your Flight


Last week’s guest post from Claire – the Multiples Of Two Packing Plan – really resonated with the Distant Francophile community.

And why wouldn’t it?

Who doesn’t love picking up advice from fellow travellers.

Well, luckily for all of us, Claire has generously agreed to share another of her packing lessons – thank you so much and over to you Claire!


Packing Toiletries – For Your Trip And Your Flight

‘Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve’. – Coco Chanel

And therein lies my problem. While I’m definitely a minimalist packer and traveller, I have a fair few lotions and potions in the bathroom cupboard. Having said that, I’ve decided to travel with essentials only. I’m sure my skin won’t miss the rest.

Having returned from four weeks away with some very definite ideas, I hit the shops to find the items I would have preferred to travel with while the ideas were fresh in my mind.

Here is my plan:

I travel with three small bags, all flat with a zip across the top:

  1. My make up bag;
  2. My toiletries bag;
  3. My in-flight bag.

I need:

  • To replace  flat, round make up items with sticks and pencils;
  • A soap that can be used on the face and body;
  • Travel sized toothpaste, sunblock, talc and a rich body lotion that can do hands, face and body;
  • A tiny BB cream or tube of foundation so my larger one stays home;
  • A snap lock bag with a few bandaids and special blister plasters (sore feet ruin a holiday);
  • Wet Ones – individually packed. These can be split amongst bags/case and are easily added to my handbag daily;
  • A contact lens case – a great tip I read for travelling with small amounts of liquids – make up, concealer or a special cream.

Both my make-up and toiletries bag pack flat and fit on top of my case. The important thing to remember is that most countries have supermarkets where all of these items are easily recognisable. You only need enough for the first few days, particularly if you are staying put in an apartment.

My Ah-Ha moment came when I thought to create an ‘in-flight bag’. Once onboard, I put my bag away and prefer not to be up and down getting things from it during the flight. Likewise, I don’t want things around my feet.

My in-flight bag is a small plastic bag that a collection of plastic toiletry bottles came in. It is structured and see through so things are easy to find, it zips up so items don’t fall out and it is small enough to fit in the seat pocket.

Packing toiletries

My In-flight Bag

  • A ziplock bag containing a sleeping mask and earplugs – they are not always complimentary;
  • A ziplock bag containing 3 individually wrapped Wet Ones (hand wipes) and 3 wrapped panty liners (a travel convenience);
  • A ziplock bag containing phone charger cord, iPod mini and headphones;
  • 2 pocket packs of tissues for me or the person next to me who keeps sniffing;
  • Lip salve – can’t live without it;
  • Small tube of rich face cream;
  • Small tube of pawpaw cream – lips, nose, nails, itches, rashes or anything else.


Thanks again for sharing your tips Claire. You certainly learned a lot on your recent trip!

Do you have any favourite toiletries packing tips? What about in-flight packing tips? If so, please share them in the comments section below. And, you can find my favourite tips for making a flight more comfortable right here.

Until next time – au revoir.


Photographs courtesy of Claire Collins 2016.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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10 thoughts on “Packing Toiletries – For Your Trip And Your Flight

  • Taste of France

    Do you re-arrange the toiletries into your inflight bag after security? Some places go nuts if you have even a lip gloss or lipstick outside the official bag (they didn’t seem to me to be liquids or gels, but one doesn’t get to discuss–I was lucky they didn’t toss it).
    I think you can buy individual hand wipes, like they give you in restaurants (or on the plane).
    For soap, I like Dove.
    I’m looking for a solid shampoo. Besides not using space in the precious 1-liter plastic bag of liquids, it’s one less thing that might leak or spill.
    Rather than a lotion for face and body, I go different two-for-ones: a tinted moisturizer or BB or CC cream and no foundation, then baby oil to remove makeup and to moisturize the body. Though the best makeup remover is Bioderma micellar water.

    • Claire

      Hi Taste of France,
      I’ve never had my toiletries looked at and no one has ever questioned what I have carried.
      I too love Dove soap and used to buy the tiny one. I can’t find it any more so went to Lush, a body and face product store, and they cut me a small piece of soap from a large block. I think they also sell a solid shampoo.

    • Janelle Post author

      Bioderma micellar water is my favourite makeup remover too. And like Claire, I’ve never had a problem when travelling with toiletries. Having said that, I always make sure that any liquid or gels (including lip balms) are safely travelling in my in-flight liquids bag…the authorities in Australia are pretty strict on all that stuff!

      • Claire

        Someone mentioned to me yesterday that they travel with toothpaste tabs to use in flight. I’ve never heard of them but they replace a tube of toothpaste.
        I’m off to do some research.

          • Claire

            An interesting visit to Lush, a store I normally avoid because of the overpowering smell. Once you are inside it is less noticeable, or you quickly become used to it.
            All their products are natural, chemical free and solid, a bonus for travellers.

            There were solid deodorant products and solid shampoos and conditioners in many colours and flavours that all smelled lovely. Lots of different face and body soaps as well as fun bath bombs and a play dough like bubble bath/soap.
            The toothpaste tabs were in small bottles on the front counter and come in many flavours.
            I chose the black, charcoal based ‘Boom’ that was sweeter than I expected and the white, minty ‘Miles of Smiles’ that was slightly saltier than expected.
            Both were easy to use, have your wet toothbrush ready and quickly bite and chew and then get brushing. Very foamy, nice tasting and effective.
            Definitely some products worth considering to reduce liquids and the risk of spills while travelling.

          • Janelle Post author

            Great work Claire!! I would never have thought to look at Lush for toothpaste tabs. Next time I’m in the city I’ll check them out…I like the idea of reducing liquids in my carry-on. Thanks for looking into this for all of us.

  • Anne Murphy

    Great tips claire. These can be applied for a long road trip. Nothing worse than trying to find your essentials in your luggage when you need a freshen up after a long stretch of driving. Thanks

    Anne xx

  • Kathryn Bechen

    Brilliant concept as then you don’t have to be digging through your carryon-on bag! Love traveler tips from others as we can always all learn, much as we have all traveled ourselves, as there’s always someone who does it better. 🙂