The Comprehensive Toiletry Packing List for Trips: with PDF

Embarking on a new adventure is thrilling, but let’s be real – the toiletry packing struggle is real.  With three decades of road trips, backpacking escapades, and countless hotel stays under my belt, I’ve faced the daunting task of transforming my bathroom essentials into a travel-friendly haven more times than I can count.  

As I stood before my bathroom cabinet, facing the challenge of what to pack in my toiletry bag that could adapt to the unpredictable nature of road trips, the limited space of a backpack, and the comforts of a hotel, questions flooded my mind.

Do I really need all those products?  Should I invest in pint-sized wonders?  Or risk an exploding shampoo disaster mid-flight?  

Over the years, I’ve learned the art of packing light without sacrificing the essentials, and now, I’m here to share my insights.  

In this guide, we’ll delve into crafting the perfect checklist to pack your toiletry bag – a magical bag that will have you looking great and staying fresh.  So, let’s dive in and create your toiletry packing list, backed by three decades of on-the-road wisdom!

In this Article on What to Toiletries to Take on a Holiday/Vacation You Will Learn:

A selection of toiletries to include in your travel toiletry bag
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Creating a Toiletry Packing List

A few weeks before you travel, start looking at your travel toiletries list (you will find a full toiletry checklist further down with the opportunity to download a free PDF copy).  Identify any items that you need to purchase. 

Next, consider the length of time you will be on vacation, this will help determine the size of the toiletry product that you need to buy.  For example, when I travel for just a couple of days, I use what is in my bathroom to create my own travel-size toiletry items. To do this I fill empty travel bottles* and containers.

However, if I am travelling for longer, I will buy a new tube of toothpaste, new shampoo and conditioner.  But not the jumbo economical size. I buy the smaller versions eg 300ml/10oz shampoo.  Ok, I could buy all this once I arrive at my destination, but I don’t want to waste precious vacation time at the supermarket looking for my favourite bathroom brands.

When you create your travel toiletries kit pack all these items into a waterproof bag. You could just use a plastic shopping bag.  However, the best way to pack toiletries is to use a specifically designed toiletry bag like these toiletry bags* is stronger and provide’s compartments for you to easily access the desired toiletry item required.  This will also ensure the remainder of your travel luggage will stay dry when you repack.


Top Trip Tip: A hanging toiletry bag* is great for use in communal showers. It prevents everything from getting wet as you can hang it on the hook on the back of the door away from the shower.

Discover all the different…

The Essential Travel Toiletries List

Irrespective of your travel style, holiday inclinations, gender, or whether you’re on an adventure with the little ones, the following toiletry essentials should never slip your mind. Certain items, like toothpaste, can be shared among travel companions, fostering a communal spirit.

On the flip side, personal items such as toothbrushes demand individual attention. In essence, mirror your home routine in your travel preparations – ponder over your daily habits and this becomes your essential toiletries list.

My essential travel toiletries consisting of toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cleansers, moisturiser, hairbrush, comb and small hair dryer
What’s in my toiletry bag

The essential holiday toiletries I pack in my toiletry bag include:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shower gel
    • Check to see if your accommodation provides this – you may not need to pack it
    • This is one of my handy hints on how to pack light
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Hair ties
  • Shaver and shaving lotion
  • Sanitary items (for women)

Top Trip Tip: Stay healthy and only use bottled drinking water when brushing your teeth overseas

Handy Toiletries to Pack

These items aren’t absolutely necessary, they are more personal preference add-ons.  Packing these toiletry items may depend on the style of travel and activities you have planned for your trip.

You may like to add these to your holiday toiletry checklist:

  • Facial cleanser, toner and moisturiser
  • Body lotion
  • Hand moisturiser
  • Lip balm
  • Make-up
    • Continue reading for a full list of what makeup to pack for travel
  • Perfume or aftershave
  • Tweezers
  • Nail file or clippers
  • Scissors
  • Tissues
  • Floss
  • Face wash/flannel
  • Contacts solution
  • Small hairdryer
    • Check to see if your accommodation provides this to pack lighter

Top Trip Tip: If packing toiletries in your carry-on hand luggage ensure each bottle is no larger than 100ml/3.4oz and placed together in a clear zip-lock bag.

A few basic medical items you may like to include are:

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Band-aids
  • Antiseptic cream

You may wish to compliment this with the…

Makeup for Travel

I don’t wear a lot of makeup, generally, I just like to put a little on when I go out.  But in saying that, I have studied makeup artistry, so I do have a good understanding of what makeup to use.

My travel makeup kit consisting of lipstick, mascara, blush, bronzing powder, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and makeup brushes.
What’s in my travel makeup kit

The travel makeup essentials I pack in my small kit include:

  • Bronzing powder
  • Blush (that I dust over my eyes as well)
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Lipstick

However, if you want the works this is what makeup to pack for travel:

  • Primer
  • Foundation
  • Translucent or bronzing powder
  • Blush
  • Eyeliner
  • Eye shadow
    • To reduce space get just a trio set of your favourite colours
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Lipstick

Finally, no matter whether you have packed a small kit or a large makeup bag you will also need:

  • Make-up brushes*
    • Buy a small set with short handles
  • Makeup cleanser
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Cotton wipes
    • Pack only how many you will need in a zip lock bag

Luxury Pampering Items to Include

If you are planning to have a day or evening of indulgence and particularly if you want to save some coin pack a little pampering kit and relax in your hotel bathroom.  Don’t forget to order some champagne or cocktail as you wrap yourself into hotels luxury thick bathrobe.

  • Bath bombs
  • Body scrub
  • Face mask/mask sheet
  • Conditioning mask for hair
  • Body loofah

Complete your travel packing with this…

What Toiletries to Take on a Plane

If you’re taking a long flight, it’s nice to take a few toiletries on the plane so that you can freshen up en route, in transit or as you arrive.  If you are travelling on a full-service airline, you may receive some of these in your amenities kit but there’s no guarantee.

essential travel toiletries for travel including toothbrash shampoo and conditioner in black toiletry bag
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Don’t forget when packing your toiletries for a flight all liquids need to be no bigger than 100ml/3.4oz each and then put into a clear bag* to be shown separately as you pass through security.

  • Toothbrush
  • Small toothpaste
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Hand sanitiser wipes or lotion
    • I prefer the wipes as they are not only great for cleaning hands but also wiping your tray table or freshening up your face
  • Lip balm
  • Lipstick
  • Small hand lotion

Discover what else to include when…

Final Tips for Packing this List of Toiletries

With your complete toiletries packed for your trip, you will be looking and smell great throughout your vacation.

  • If you are travelling with young kids don’t forget to add in their child-friendly versions of these toiletry items
  • When buying new toiletry products consider how much you will use during your holiday and try to buy the size/amount to match
  • Use travel bottles* to create your own set of mini toiletries
  • Alternatively, keep an eye when your favourite cosmetic brand is having a giveaway promotion that includes a set of mini beauty products
  • Only pack one toiletry product for any item you can share eg. toothpaste.  This will save space and help you to pack lighter.
    • When you next visit the dentist ask for a toothpaste sample (or two) these are perfect to take on the plane or for a weekend getaway
  • Stay healthy and only use bottled drinking water when brushing your teeth overseas
  • A hanging toiletry bag is great for use in communal showers.  It prevents everything from getting wet
  • If packing toiletries in your carry-on hand luggage ensure each bottle is no larger than 100ml/3.4oz and placed together in a clear zip-lock bag*

As we wrap up this guide, remember that your toiletry travel kit isn’t just a collection of personal care items; it’s a passport to confidence and well-being on the road.  Whether you’re navigating winding roads on a road trip, shouldering a backpack through uncharted territories, or luxuriating in a hotel’s comforts, a well-prepared toiletry bag ensures you’re ready for anything.

So, fellow traveller, armed with the learnings from my three decades of travel exploits, your personalised toiletry checklist is complete to embark on your next adventure with the assurance that you’re equipped not just with shampoo and toothpaste, but with the wisdom to pack light, stay fresh, and make the most of every moment.

Discover More Travel Packing List

I aim to keep all your travel stress-free and for you to become a travel planning guru using my complete range of travel packing lists with PDF’s.  Some of the most popular checklists include:

For the complete collection head to… 


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  1. Good list! A couple of things we’ve recently tried are shampoo and conditioner sheets, and toothpaste tablets. They save a bit on room, and are dry, so they don’t have to come out of your bag at security. The sheets are different than dry shampoo, though: once wet, they dissolve into shampoo/conditioner. Good idea, but you have to use a few to get enough shampoo/conditioner to do the job. The toothpaste tablets are great though! Chew on them a bit and then brush as normal. Biggest drawback is that they’re kind of hard to find unless you have a travel store nearby, or shop on Amazon. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. I hadn’t heard of these, I had seen laundry washing sheets through. It’s good to know they work Rob and Ann – even if they do take a little getting use to.

  2. My toiletries bag is always very big but I do think you’ve covered the necessities. One thing I would add is sunblock! They sell those in little bottles too, I think. I’m currently carrying a tiny 35g one with SPF130 (SPF50 is fine though!).

    1. Totally agree on the sunblock Michelle. I have it in my Medical packing list (coming soon). But I think I may add it to this list as well as it is so important.

  3. Great list. I have a few of those soft silicone bottles and really like them. My beloved toiletries bag is getting worn out, but I can’t find a replacement that exactly fits all my requirements. My daughter prefers kid toothpaste, but it’s so difficult to find in the travel size. I mentioned that to my dentist, and she luckily gave me a few for free.

    1. That was kind of your dentist Michele. Yes here in Aus you can only get kids toothpaste in one size. Fortunately, it is smaller than the large adult versions.

  4. Nothing missing fro your list of essential toiletries, Sally. Sometimes, depending on the kind of hotel where I’m going, I may not take shampoo and conditioner for my husband (he doesn’t care too much what kind of shampoo he uses). Body lotion is essential however when you have a very dry skin. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Hi Anda, I totally agree about not packing the shampoo and conditioner if the hotels supply some toiletries. I often don’t pack soap or shower gel if they are supplied by the hotel.

  5. I usually always manage with travel size containers and keep them in the plastic bag to make it easier to go through security. The one toiletry that really makes my life easier is dry shampoo, I always bring that along.

    1. I haven’t tried the dry shampoo Anisa. Great to hear that it works. Do you have to then use it every day and how long can you keep going before you really need to wash your hair?

  6. I always pack all my toiletries in a plastic baggie! Best tip I could ever recommend! #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    1. The zip lock bags are great for stopping those spillages through your luggage. Thanks for the tip Lolo 🙂

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