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.

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

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

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.

Book Review: Blues Hands

blueshandsYou know what they say – a picture is worth a thousand words. And this book is certainly full of a lot of great photographs of hands that play the blues. Some of the hands belong to well known artists like Al Green, BB King and James Brown.  Others are less well known but all the hands tell the story.

At the end of the book there are some notes on the performers and the photos that were included, but just looking at the photos really captures the essense of the blues and the life these people have led.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Through images of hands, this book conveys the strength, beauty, diversity, depth, and power of the blues, the root of all American music. It features photographs from Joseph A. Rosen’s 30-plus years of adventure in blues and music photography. Included are such noted music personalities as B.B. King, Gary Clark, Jr., Buddy Guy, Al Green, Willie King, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, The Blind Boys of Alabama, James Brown. The book holds rich treasures for lovers of music, photography, and the human form. One need not be deeply versed in the blues to appreciate the beauty, strength, and diversity of those who make it. With powerful imagery, as well as anecdotes and biographical information, Blues Hands tells a story of human experience.

Book Review: Van Halen Rising

vanhalenVan Halen Rising: How A Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal.  This book is very heavy on the text.  There are a few pictures mixed in but it is all full of information.  The book was written based off of over 200 different interviews with members of the band and other pieces to the Van Halen puzzle.  It is probably the most comprehensive writing that you will be able to find.

How did Van Halen save Heavy Metal?  Read the book and find out… if you dare.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A vivid and energetic history of Van Halen’s legendary early years

After years of playing gigs everywhere from suburban backyards to dive bars, Van Halen — led by frontman extraordinaire David Lee Roth and guitar virtuoso Edward Van Halen — had the songs, the swagger, and the talent to turn the rock world on its ear. The quartet’s classic 1978 debut, Van Halen, sold more than a million copies within months of release and rocketed the band to the stratosphere of rock success. On tour, Van Halen’s high-energy show wowed audiences and prompted headlining acts like Black Sabbath to concede that they’d been blown off the stage. By the year’s end, Van Halen had established themselves as superstars and reinvigorated heavy metal in the process.

Based on more than 230 original interviews — including with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and power players like Pete Angelus, Marshall Berle, Donn Landee, Ted Templeman, and Neil Zlozower — Van Halen Rising reveals the untold story of how these rock legends made the unlikely journey from Pasadena, California, to the worldwide stage.

Book Review: His New Jam

hisnewjamHis New Jam is about Sydney Peters, a girl in marching band who is sick of playing just the symbols and wanting to play drums.  Then there’s Hunter, who seems to be flirting by playing her a song on his sax every day – most recently “Let It Go”, so maybe he thinks she’s an ice queen for ignoring him.  Sydney had a bad last relationship and isn’t sure she trusts guys anymore.  But somehow Hunter ends up breaking down her guard and her giving him drum lessons and joining his band turns into more.

This was a good book. It was short, which I always appreciate, which means it got to the point (and action) rather quickly.  Of course the relationship with Hunter and Syd was not without it’s drama, since both have had issues in the past that needed to be worked through.

I received a free e-copy in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Sydney Peters can’t wait to finally drop the cymbals in marching band and devote time to her true love: drums. With the semester coming to a close, she’s blocking out the cacophony during practice, especially sax serenades from Hunter Reed. But when Hunter offers her a paid gig as a drummer in his band, Sydney quickly changes her tune. The two favor different styles, but they make beautiful music together…in more ways than one.

Hunter is fascinated by Sydney’s distant allure. He might be a ladies’ man on campus, but the sarcastic cymbalist is impervious to his advances. When Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn’t anticipate, however, is falling so hard. But will the repercussions of his past crash down on his chance at something real?

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