It’s been over two years since I quit my job, relinquished my apartment, put all of my worldly belongings in a storage unit, and hit the road. That’s two years since I’ve lived near a Target or had a shipping address to order anything on Amazon. Two years since I’ve had my favorite health and beauty products either a short drive or a 2-day delivery away.
This might not seem like a big deal to some, but it can be incredibly challenging to find health and beauty products that you love and trust while traveling. Seemingly simple things like tampons are nearly impossible to find in countries in SE Asia. Many makeup products may have familiar packaging but are actually knock-offs. And often even when you do find brands you love, they cost 3 times what you’d pay for them in the USA (damn you import taxes!).
So stock up on your favorite travel health and beauty products prior to boarding that plane and pick up a few new ones that may come in handy during your trip. I’ve outlined all of my favorites below to help you prepare for your upcoming travels!
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Keep Your Products Organized
Hanging Toiletry Bag
Keep all of your make-up, skin care, and hair care products organized and easy-to-access in this hanging toiletry bag. Unlike most hanging toiletry bags, this one can also sit on the countertop in case your hotel room is short on hooks.
There’s no real need to purchase your favorite shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion in travel sizes prior to your trip. Just buy these leak-proof, TSA-approved travel bottles and fill them with products you already have.
While those are the best travel bottles in terms of function, these are the cutest travel bottles we’ve ever laid eyes on…
Skin Care Products
Moisturizer with SPF
You’ll probably spend a good amount of time outdoors during your trip and those sun rays can do damage to your skin, even if the sky is cloudy. Protect your pretty face with a daily moisturizer with 30 SPF or higher. Don’t forget to slather it on your neck and décolletage!
Body Lotion with SPF
Your face isn’t the only part of your body that needs protection from the sun. Don’t forget about your arms, legs, and back throughout the day. Invest in an SPF that is rehydrating and smells good too.
After Sun Lotion
If, despite all of your best efforts, you still manage to burn your skin, you’ll want to have some post-sun lotion in your bag so you’re not in pain for the remainder of your trip. This Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration lotion has soothing aloe and is super hydrating.
Sun Spot Serum
All of the sun exposure that I’ve gotten through my travels have left a few noticeable sun spots on my face. And they make it so I feel like I need to wear makeup to cover them up daily. But who wants to get done-up every day while traveling? Minimize those sun spots by applying a vitamin C serum to your entire face every morning and night.
Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
There are times during your travels when you’ll want to give your face a good mid-day scrub (on an airplane), or where washing your face with soap and water is challenging (while camping for instance). If you have a pack of cleaning towelettes in your bag you won’t have to worry about getting to a bathroom to freshen up.
These compact towels are perfect to toss in your bag and have ready for anything you may encounter on your travels! Use them for cleaning your face, or as bathroom tissue (toilet paper is not provided in many restrooms outside of the US), or for cleaning up spills.
When packing for a vacation, most women have some trouble picking shoes that will be comfortable and stylish. And occasionally the stylish option wins if you are short on space. Prepare for a few potential blisters by throwing a pack of Band-aids in your suitcase. They’ll protect your feet during long days out exploring the city.
A razor won’t take up a lot of room in your bag so you may not think you need one specifically designed for travel. However the biggest issue with most razors is that the blade pops off of the handle in your bag. Or the blade cover comes off which causes the blades to dull faster. This Venus razor is designed specifically to throw in your bag so it is tiny and even has its own protective case!
Mosquitoes are a nuisance. Not only do they cause you to scratch and inflame your skin, but they also carry harmful diseases like malaria and zika. Make sure you have insect repellent on-hand to keep those annoying creatures away.
Travel Makeup Kit
Keep your makeup routine short and simple while traveling. Just a bit of powder, some mascara, lipgloss and you’re good to go! Plus if you’re headed to tropical climates you’ll sweat it all off in an hour anyway. This darling little makeup kit by Clinique is everything you need, all in perfect little travel sizes.
Oil Absorbing Tissues
Hopefully you’ll be escaping the crummy weather back home to vacation somewhere sunny and tropical. But those warm temperatures generally lead to a whole lot of sweat. Pick up some oil absorbing tissues before you leave so you’re not shiny in all of your vacation photos.
Hair Care Products
Travel is especially rough on your hair, your skin, and your stomach. Allow those natural oils to do their job and resist the urge to wash your hair daily. Instead of soaping up, give your hair a spritz with this miracle leave-in product. It’ll leave your hair feeling silky smooth.
If you don’t have the time or the desire to wash your hair every day while on-the-go, then invest in this travel-sized dry shampoo by Batiste. It’ll keep those locks from getting too oily so you can spend more time out exploring as opposed to in the bathroom getting ready.
Spending all day at the beach or by the pool? Embrace those salty, beachy waves by making them more pronounced and defined with a texturizing spray!
Travel Shampoo Kit
If you’d prefer to purchase a travel-sized shampoo and conditioner rather than just filling up reusable travel bottles, this set by LuxeOrganix will keep your hair super hydrated and healthy.
Hair Brush with Traveling Case
Keep the bristles of your hair brush from getting smashed in your suitcase by investing in a detangling brush with a travel case. It’s gentle enough to use on either wet or dry hair and small enough to fit in your pocket!
No-Crease Hair Ties
Go a bit longer in between styling your hair by using hair ties that won’t crease. That way you can put your hair in a ponytail without worrying about that awkward indent that hair ties always make.
Travel Hair Dryer
Depending on where you are going and what kind of accommodations you’ll be staying in, they may or may not offer a hair dryer for your use. And if you’re headed to tropical climates and you need to keep that mane contained, you’ll no doubt need a hair dryer. This one by Conair is lightweight, foldable, and still powerful enough to dry your hair quickly.
2-in-1 Travel Hair Straightener/Curling Iron
If a hair dryer isn’t enough to tame those unruly locks, you’ll also want to invest in a travel curling iron or straightener. This option is compact, lightweight, and serves as both a curling iron and a straightener so you don’t have to choose just one (or pack both).
There’s nothing worse than spending time styling your hair, only to step out into a thunderstorm. Throw a travel umbrella in your suitcase just in case bad weather strikes.
Be sure to pick up a foldable toothbrush before your trip. It’ll take up less room in your bag and because it folds into its own case, it will stay sanitary.
If you are planning on checking a bag you can carry a full sized tube of toothpaste, no problem. But if you are only bringing a carry-on, you’ll need to invest in a travel-sized tube. I like to keep one of these in my carry-on even when I do check a bag so I can brush my teeth after napping on the plane.
Dental Floss Picks
I’m not generally a fan of dental floss picks since they create so much unnecessary waste, but they are just so convenient to have while traveling. You’ll probably be dining out for every meal and will need a convenient way to get the gunk out of your teeth afterward so be sure to toss a few in your purse before you leave every morning.
Those of us that are from the US are incredibly lucky to have as many menstrual product options as we do as it can be difficult to find tampons in other countries. On a recent trip to Myanmar I could only find pads that were the size of diapers. They were uncomfortable and totally unnecessary. Be sure to pick up a Diva Cup prior to departing to avoid a similar period predicament!
Depending on where you are traveling, the bathroom situation can vary widely. In SE Asia you’ll probably run into a few squatty potties with a spray hose for clean-up. In many countries you’ll find a Western-style toilet that is lacking a toilet seat. And everywhere you’ll often find that bathrooms lack toilet paper. Keep some flushable wipes in your purse for when nature calls no matter what toilet awaits you.
Unless you are a solo female traveler, you’ll likely be sharing a bathroom with someone. And if you are the type of person who likes to keep private things private, then be sure to pick up some poo-pourri to mask any bathroom odors.
Make sure you schedule an appointment with your doctor prior to departing to ensure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations. Provide them with your travel itinerary so they can inform you of any additional required shots. For instance, you may be required to show proof of your Yellow Fever vaccination for 6 months after leaving certain countries in South America and Africa.
Travel can be incredibly hard on your stomach. Especially if you are traveling to a place that is not known for their sanitation efforts (i.e. India and the Philippines). Keep some Imodium on hand just in case you find yourself suffering.
Keep those germs away during your trip by having travel-sized hand sanitizer readily available!
Natural Sleep Aid
Not looking forward to the long flight you have ahead of you? Or do you have trouble sleeping while sitting upright in the smallest, most uncomfortable seat ever made? Pick up a natural sleep aid to help you drift into dreamland (preferably while not drooling on your neighbor).
You never know what you might get into during your adventuring, so have a travel first aid kit on hand, just in case. Keep in mind that it is actually much easier to purchase pharmaceutical products outside of the US if you have some sort of injury or illness that you haven’t prepared for.
It’s pretty inevitable that you’ll spill on yourself at least once during your trip. Keep a Tide To-Go pen on-hand to take care of the stain before it sets!
Mini Sewing Kit
It’s always nice to have a mini sewing kit on hand, just in case you lose a button or snag a hole in your favorite shirt!
So there you have it, our favorite health and beauty products for traveling. Is there a beauty product that you love and always carry with you when you travel? Let us know so we can add it to the list!