Traveling Liquid Free

With another trip that requires flying coming up, it brings up the topic of – how do you travel with only a carry on when it comes to liquids? I managed to do a weekend trip to Colorado completely liquid free. I don’t wear any make up or have any sort of skin care routine that requires liquids, which made it easier.  But using some of these products that are solid will clear up a lot of space in your quart sized baggy if you do need to bring make up or other items that don’t have solid options.

(If you’re looking for tips on how to pack your carry on – Holly over at Traveling Fan has a great post on Packing Cubes – which I have started using since reading some of her posts about them.)

For my trip to Back to the Island I will be using the Flight 001 X-Ray Quart Bag from ebags. I have not used it yet but it is supposed to be TSA approved and the way it is shaped is supposed to allow for more items in it than the typical quart sized bag. While I am not 100% sure what I will be packing yet, I did toss in some bug spray,  shampoo, shower gel, 2 containers of sun screen, aloe, tooth paste, deodorant and a toothbrush and it all seemed to zip in just fine. There have been mixed reports on whether or not TSA will let it through so I may have to bring a back up baggie just in case.

Shampoo
I have several solid shampoo bars from LUSH.  The tin that they sell to put the round ones is great, but it closes so tight I often have trouble opening it again. But one bar can last several trips or you can even use it at home regularly. If you let it dry out correctly it is supposed to last up to 90 washes.
My Review of Lush Shampoo Bars

Toothpaste
LUSH also offers a variety of solid tooth paste tabs.  There are several different “flavors” and I found these left my teeth feeling clean, but without the minty-fresh feeling you are used to with most “liquid” toothpaste. That took some getting used to, but these are a great alternative!
My Review of LUSH Toothy Tabs

Soap / Shaving Cream
Skip the shower gel and grab a bar soap. Tada! You can also use bar soap in place of shaving cream in a pinch. I’ve yet to find a “travel sized” shaving cream container that does not take up way too much space in my quart sized bag.

Travel Containers
If you need to condense larger containers into travel size, I really like the Dot&Dot Travel containers I used earlier this year.  They come in a pouch of 4 and even have suction cups to attach them to the shower wall.
Dot&Dot Travel Containers

Sun Screen
For my Colorado trip I used 2 different solid sun screens.   These are both small and you can throw it in your bag and not have to worry about it leaking.  There are also a couple of brands who have 1.8 oz spray sunscreen available.  A liquid, but tiny enough to throw a couple in your bag without taking up too much room.  I suck at applying lotion sun screen so the spray helps me get a more even covering.
SPF 70 Sunscreen Stick Banana Boat SPF 50 Sport

Deodorant
Usually I am not sure if this counts as a “liquid” or a gel or whatever so I throw it in the bag anyway, better to be safe than sorry. But a deodorant that is 100% solid is the Crystal Body Deodorant Travel Stick.  Just wet it, apply it to your under arms and you’re good to go. I don’t think I ever did a proper review on this but while you’ll be wanting to smell your armpits constantly, even on a really sweaty day I never noticed any sort of smell and can’t recommend this enough even though it’s sort of a hard idea to wrap your head around.

Bug Repellent
There are a lot of bracelets out there to help prevent mosquitos from feasting on you. I will be bringing these All Natural bracelets that I reviewed earlier this year.

Alternately a liquid option is “pen sized mosquito repellent”.  It takes up a lot less room in your quart sized baggie and works quite well. I got one that smelled like eucalyptus instead of the usual chemical smell for Jamaica year 2 and had no mosquito problems.

One tip is not to bring the larger (though still within the limitations of ounces for 3-1-1 rules) OFF spray can.  Year 1 of Back to the Island it made it TO Jamaica but didn’t make it home. I switched to the pen sized for year 2 but my friend ended up buying the one I had the previous year and once again Jamaica airport security would not let her take it. Fortunately it was on our way home it was taken so we did get to use it, but we hardly used any of it so it ended up being a waste to have to surrender it.

There is also a website called AllTravelSizes which offers travel sized products. (Keep an eye out though, some did seem to be larger than the limit when I was browsing)  They offer free shipping for orders of $40 or more, but my order coming in just under $20 they wanted $11.35 to ship so I decided not to bother.  If you need $40 worth of travel items you’re probably going on a longer trip and might as well just check a bag since you’ll probably need more clothes too.  I may decide to order with friends in the future to try and hit the $40 limit – I did like that it had single use toothpaste and shampoo available so I have a little bit more room on the way home!  I may try to see if the local drug stores offer larger packages of these for future trips!

Just FYI none of these are affiliate links, I just figured it is easiest to link to what I used so you could see for yourself, I won’t be getting any kick-backs if you decide to purchase through these links.

Category: Travel
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2 Responses
  1. Holly says:

    Nice article! This is a topic I’ve wanted to tackle for a while, but I felt like I needed to try out a few more things first. I’ve already done the Lush solid shampoo and toothy tabs and like both. I wanted to try the solid sunscreen for Cancun, but I figured it would be worth it to just eat the packing space once I thought about the time and skill it would take to cover my entire body with it. Let us know how the quart bag works through airport security! I always pack an extra ziploc bag because I break mine before the trip home every single time.

    • Katie says:

      I’m not sure I’m ready to go 100% solid with the sunscreen when a bathing suit is involved. For just lower legs/arms and face it worked out fine but those body parts are more exposed to the sun regularly in the summer for me. A swimsuit exposing more legs and arms than usual still makes me nervous so I’ll probably stick to the spray for better coverage.