The Usual Suspects: What’s in my Toiletries Kit

When I was a kid we’d head up to the cottage every few weekends, and even when I was in university I found myself traveling back to my parents place at least once a month (free food and cable!). Since I found myself away fairly often I got really good a packing up really quickly. One of the things I’ve done as a strategy is to leave my toiletry kit packed so when I need to leave, I can just grab and go. Rather than having one large kit, I have four. One for makeup, one for medical, one for hair/jewelry, and my main kit with general items. Here is what I usually travel with.


This is the case and refillable bottles that I love with from Muji!

Main Kit

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Face wash (I have a special one because I have acne prone skin)
  • Body wash
  • Razor
  • deodorant
  • LUSH Toothy Tabs and tooth brush
  • dental floss
  • Face moisturizer (once again, I have a special one for acne prone skin)
  • Acne spot treatment (noticing a trend yet?)
  • Body lotion
  • Make up remover

At minimum, when running out the door I bring this kit. All of it fits into an TSA approved size clear plastic bag. I’ve invested in refillable bottles which cuts down on waste and makes topping up after a trip simple. The Toothy tabs are great as well, if I want more space in my liquids allotment when flying I can always move them to another one of my pouches temporarily. They also taste great–my flavour of choice is Atomic, which tastes of coffee, cinnamon and clove.


Medical Kit

  • Bandaids
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antacid tablets
  • Emergen-C (vitamin C packets, great for hang overs)
  • Personal medication (I take a series of doctor prescribed supplements daily)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Body Glide

I actually keep this kit, along with my make up kit, in my purse all the time. I have an allergy to the adhesive on certain types of bandaids so I carry my own. It’s not a life threatening allergy, but if I don’t have to deal with the skin irritation I’d rather not. If you’ve never heard of Body Glide, you should look it up. I first heard about it through the group I run with, it helps prevent chafing and blisters. I’ve used it when breaking in new shoes, when wearing skirts and shorts, and in spots where I find a collar or cuff is rubbing. It’s a solid, looks like a deodorant stick, and it even comes in travel size!

make up

Some of my makeup essentials

Makeup kit

  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Black mascara
  • Concealer stick
  • Powder Foundation
  • Bronzer
  • Eye shadow
  • eyebrow pencil
  • Lipstick
  • Tinted lip balm
  • Tweezers
  • Travel size make up brushes

Yeah, that’s what I wear daily. Which also means that’s what I wear when I travel. Some people espouse that you should go minimal or all natural with you make up when you travel to save space. It would save you space. But for me, because I wear makeup virtually every day, I wouldn’t feel comfortable going on a trip without it (I wore liquid eyeliner in the rainforest in Costa Rica). The travel sized makeup brushes are great–I got them at Sephora years ago and it contains five different brushes all in a carrying case. All in all, it’s smaller than a cell phone. My one concession to not wearing make up is when I fly over night. If I know I’m going to be trying to sleep, I’ll wear only minimal make up onto the plane and then do touch up on arrival.


Chaos band, bun form, and hair pins. Everything I need to fix my hair after a long haul flight.

Hair/Jewelry Kit

  • Extra hair elastics
  • Hair pins
  • Bun form
  • Small comb
  • Chaos band
  • 2 statement necklaces
  • 4 bold pairs of earrings

I have long but fine dyed hair which can make traveling interesting (I’ve written a lot more on the subject here). Even one day without washing it can make it look like it hasn’t been washed in a month. So I need a few things on hand to help me deal with in–since I’d rather be busy exploring than worrying about my hair. The Chaos band has been one of my favorite discoveries for my hair (I now own three). The great thing about the Chaos band is that I can make it wide enough to cover my bangs when I need it, and when I don’t need it for my hair it has many other uses such becoming a hat or a face mask against dirt. I store my hair pins in an old Tick Tack case so that I don’t loose them, and the hair elastics I just have accepted that I will lose them. In terms of jewelry, I really do wear the same things every day, so I bring very little extra. Usually I bring two additional necklaces to add a little extra to an outfit for evening, and a couple pairs of earrings for the same reasons. Both my ears are pierced twice, so I bring four pairs to mix and match. None of these pieces take up much space, so I don’t worry about the fact that I will probably only use them once or twice on a trip.

So there you go, that’s the contents of the four kits I bring with me on every trip–whether it’s for a high adrenaline adventure in Costa Rica or just back to visit my parents. By dividing everything up into four smaller kits rather than one larger one it’s easier to divide up things into different bags or to simply fit them into corners in a suitcase. Some of these things are really personal choices, what are some of the things you wont travel without?