Thursday, October 27, 2011


I would like to begin this post by saying I am reading an actual book! Nothing like 2 hours to kill waiting for jury duty... so, coming next week: a review of Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces.

In the meantime, I have decided to blog about something else completely unrelated: packing. Traveling has become a semi-regular part of my life that I am still trying to figure out. In the beginning I struggled most with the 3-1-1 liquid rule, and feeling like I have finally mastered that, I've decided to post my tips. (Now, I just need to figure out how to bring only 1 pair of shoes...)

Here is Rachel's guide to getting through security with everything you need.

#1. Almost all hotels offer the basics like soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. You don't need to bring any of those things and most of these items can be re-purposed!

What else is shampoo good for? Instant laundry. While that free hotel soap might leave little white flecks all over your black undies, shampoo is clear. Fill your sink and voila!

Conditioner makes pretty good shaving cream and can also be applied to your ends as hair product if you're prone to dry hair, frizzies, etc...

If the thought of going without body wash makes your skin itch, (soap can be pretty drying), after suddsing up, apply lotion liberally (standing away from the direct flow of water) and wait about a minute. Rinse and enjoy your non-dry skin. You can always put more lotion on again out of the shower.

#2. Your deodorant? Not a liquid. If you use the gel kind, I think you can switch to a solid for 2 days of your life.

#3. Facewash? Not needed. Face cleansing wipes are also not considered liquids. I like the foaming ones from Olay, but Ponds, Neutrogena, and probably every other skincare brand offer them too.

#4. Perfume. Department store makeup counters frequently give out little tiny samples of perfume as a gift with purchase. You can also buy them from Sephora, Amazon, and online perfume sites for about $2 each.

#5. When it comes to haircare, a straightening iron is your best friend. No liquids required. Also, no matter how bad your morning hair a bun will usually hide the worst of it. Stash some bobby pins in your bag and you're good to go.

#6. There's no substitute for toothpaste. It's important to know that you cannot bring a larger size toothpaste tube that only has 3oz remaining. Why this is, I have no idea.
Fortunately, travel sizes are widely available. If you're cheap, the best place to get these for free is your dentist! He or she will be delighted that you are taking such an active interest in your oral hygiene. Alternatively, if you and your coworkers all do a lot of business travel, your company might be willing to spring for a bulk box.

#7. Makeup
- Tinted moisturizer is like face lotion, sunscreen, and light foundation all-in-one. Pretty much every drugstore and department store brand makes one and all of the ones I've seen are 3oz or less.
- Mascara might be a liquid, but I have yet to be stopped at security for going through with it in my purse. If you're a stickler for rules, try one with a skinnier tube so it takes up less room in your bag.
- Chapstick, lipstick, and eyeliner aren't liquids. (Unless you use liquid eyeliner...I'm not that skilled/steady handed.)

And finally, if you must have your (insert product you can't live without here), you can order travel sizes of pretty much any product online. Here are my two favorite sites (and before you ask my blog is not nearly popular enough to have paid advertisers): which carries the usual brands you'd find a store and some more upscale brands, and which only carries fancy brands.

Happy travels!


  1. I use a solid-bar shampoo (like bar of soap) from Lush. I use it since I like it, but it has the added benefit of going through security.

  2. Your loyal readers want another chapter of your novel!