5 Packing Hacks Under $10 for Toiletries

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The TSA 3-1-1 rule has been in place since 2006. By now you should be familiar with cramming a week’s worth of liquids and lotions into one transparent quart-size travel bag. While I understand and appreciate why there are TSA liquid limits, it makes it hard for a girl to bring all of her favorite toiletries on a trip.

Travel-sized toiletries are great, but pack a few of those 100ml or 3.4-ounce bottles and your bag will quickly fill up. Of course, you can also buy as you go once you land but most of us have products that we love and can’t live without. Use the tips to maximize the space in your quart-sized bag and still comply with the TSA liquids rule.

TSA Packing Tips

Contact Lens Cases – You likely only use a little dab of eye cream, concealer, lip balm or moisturizing gel so why bring the entire tube or bottle? Scoop some out and put it in a contact lens case. Make sure you get the cases with screw top lids so you don’t have any leaks. You can get 30 of them for under $8.


Solid Products – Sea to Summit makes an entire line of solid soaps. They are lightweight and compact. You can get laundry wash, handwash, body wash, shampoo, and shaving soap. There are 50 leaves per pocket pack. Pick them up for just $8 each.


Squeeze Bottles – Use silicone travel bottles for the liquids you need the most of like shampoo, conditioner or sunscreen. Buy ones that are leakproof but are soft enough to allow you to squeeze out every last drop. Get a 4 pack of reusable travel bottles for $10.


Wipes – If you can pack an item in towelette format, it doesn’t count toward your TSA liquids. You can get mosquito repellent, hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes. Brands like Cetaphil, Neutrogena, and Aveeno make face cleansing wipes which means you won’t need liquid makeup remover or face wash. Pick up a 25-pack of towelettes for $6.


Small Ziploc Bags – These pill pouches can be used for everything. Instead of bulky pill bottles, I put my medications in these because they lie flat in my bag. They work well too for jewelry too. You can even put foundation or finishing powder in them. Buy a set of 100 for just $5.

More Packing Tips

I always try to pack minimally no matter what type of trip I am going on. Meaning I bring only one rollaboard piece of luggage. There are a few things I always keep packed in my suitcase too like over the door hooks and extra-long power cords. What are your secrets for packing the most TSA Liquids in one quart-size bag?

Commenting area

  1. I probably rely too much on the hope that my hotel will provide shampoo and soap. As an aside. in Amsterdam, you can bring a bottle of water with you on the plane. They have a way to tell that it is water.

    • Dana Freeman October 25, 2019 at 8:17 pm · · Reply

      Me too, but sometimes I stay in a vacation rental and they don’t provide shampoo and conditioner. I had no idea about bringing water on in Amsterdam. I tend to carry a reusable water bottle and just fill in the airport after I go through security.

  2. Love the Sea to Summit soap … unless you let a drop of water accidently get into the container and then, presto, slimy mess. Dry hands only please. 😉 Therese swears by the silicon bottles too. Wipes are also a great idea, though we HATE the disposable nature of the beast so we try to avoid as much as possible.

    • Dana Freeman October 27, 2019 at 3:57 pm · · Reply

      Good to know about the Sea to Summit soap. Something to be aware of for sure. I don’t love making more waste (wipes) but when I am trying to eliminate a liquid from my TSA bag this is an easy one.

  3. If I know I am flying to a city and its anything like a 4 star or 5 star, then I expect there to be the shampoo’s, soap etc but anything less, I always try and take them with me. Only been caught out once when the hotel didnt have any smellies. I never had a problem with contact lenses as what they come in (the amount of liquid) is very very small and the airports dont care about them, even when I forget to put them in the clear bag we suppose to shove through security. Wipes, thats a new one on me as I now have children and always put them in the hold but if they dont count towards the liquids as hold luggage, then I am very happy. Baby wipes are vital for ANYTHING, espeically messy children on board planes 😀

  4. This is timely, I just started gathering my travel toiletries for my next trip to New Zealand. I like to use sample sizes when I have them. I don’t rely on accommodation having what I need, usually their shampoos are pretty cheap. I like the tip of the contact lens cases for a small amount of cream, very clever!

    • Dana Freeman October 28, 2019 at 5:53 pm · · Reply

      How coincidental, I am heading to Auckland, New Zealand next week! Where are you going? Glad you found the tips helpful. I too love the sample sizes.

  5. Of all the travel packing I do, toiletries is a constant struggle! I love the silicone squeeze bottles, I am always on the lookout for durable ones so I would definitely try these out. And I am absolutely a wipe packer, they come in so handy for so many purposes during travel!

  6. Some great tips here although an awful lot of plastic. Do you know of some good environmentally friendly alternatives for the squeeze bottles perhaps?

  7. I love reusable travel bottles for shampoo and I swear by them. Also i carry solid soaps instead of liquid so I never face the issue. Overall a great list to abide by with good recommendations of products.

  8. Great tips for any frequent traveler! I’m going to get some of those silicone bottles. Every bottle I’ve ever used for my shampoo and such always ends up leaking or the top popping off or something, and those bottles sound like they may not do that. The contact case things is another great idea!

  9. Yukti Agrawal November 1, 2019 at 12:03 am · · Reply

    I never used travel-sized toiletries as I used to carry heavy ones but now the options given by you looks very feasible for me. I would love to buy these silicone travel bottles which comes in pack of 4 to carry my liquid toiletries. Even Sea to Summit which makes solid soaps look great.

  10. You have some good tips on packing hacks under $10 for Toiletries I should get some of those Small Ziploc Bags especially for my med’s. I definitely do already take the wipes with me and the traveling bottles which I just love.

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