It’s been over three 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 three years since I’ve lived near a Target or had a shipping address to order anything on Amazon. Three 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 some countries around the world. 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 any essential travel beauty products prior to boarding that plane and pick up a few new ones that may come in handy during your holiday abroad. I’ve outlined all of my favorite travel beauty products below to help you prepare for your upcoming trip!
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The Best Travel Beauty Products
Travel Makeup and Facial Care Products
1. Travel Makeup Kit
It’s best to 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 for your travel makeup routine, all in a perfectly portable package.
2. Tinted Moisturizer
Don’t have time or energy for a full face of makeup while on the road? Keep a tinted moisturizer with SPF in your bag to even out your complexion and give you a fresh-faced glow!
3. Face Moisturizer with SPF
A high-quality face moisturizer with SPF is one of the most essential travel beauty products you can pack. You’ll probably spend a good amount of time outdoors during your trip and those sun rays can do damage to your skin, even when 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!
4. Sun Spot Vitamin C 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 sunspots by applying a vitamin C serum to your entire face every morning and night.
5. 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.
6. 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.
Travel Skincare Products
7. 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 a daily body lotion with SPF – it’s one travel beauty product that I never leave home without.
8. Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Not all sunscreen is created equal. If you’re planning on doing any snorkeling on your tropical holiday then make sure you bring along a reef-safe sunscreen. The worst chemicals are oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene so check the label for these major offenders. In general, you’ll want to look for a “mineral sunscreen” which means the active ingredients are Zinc and Titanium Dioxide.
This Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion by Australian Gold checks all of the boxes for being reef-safe plus it’s waterproof for up to 80 minutes. It’s the perfect sunscreen for your next trip so you can have guilt-free fun in the sun!
9. 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 – an essential product for any tropical vacation.
Travel Hair Care Products
10. Solid Shampoo Bar
If you’re the type of person who likes to fly with just a carry-on then one of the best travel beauty products you can invest in is a solid shampoo bar. It will reduce the number of liquids you need to pack without forcing you to rely on the shampoo provided by your hotel.
This shampoo bar by Ethique is amazing because the company uses biodegradable ingredients and compostable packaging. That means fewer liquids in your luggage and fewer plastic bottles in the landfill – it’s a total win-win!
Ethique has a great lineup of solid shampoo bars for all hair types so you’re sure to find one that is perfect for your next trip.
11. Solid Conditioner Bar
While you’re saving the planet and eliminating liquids from your carry on luggage be sure to replace your hair conditioner too. One bar of Ethique solid conditioner is the equivalent of 5 bottles of liquid conditioner so it should last you for your entire trip. This is one travel beauty product that can lighten your suitcase, save you money, and save the planet all at the same time!
Note: You’ll probably want to invest in some type of carrying case for your new shampoo and conditioner bars. We love these FlatPak Soap Bar Cases from Matador!
12. Dry Shampoo
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.
13. Leave-in Conditioner
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 It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-in Product – it’ll leave your hair feeling silky smooth.
14. Hair Texturizing Spray
Spending all day at the beach or by the pool? Embrace those salty, beachy waves by making them more pronounced and defined with this texturizing spray by L’ange!
15. Compact Folding 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 travel hair dryer by Conair is lightweight, foldable, and still powerful enough to dry your hair quickly.
We actually wrote a whole article about the best travel hair dryers that includes this one by Conair as well as 4 more great hair dryers that you can pick from.
16. 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 bring along a travel curling iron or hair straightener. Or, etter yet, bring both! This dual-voltage 2-in-1 curling iron/flat iron is compact, lightweight, and serves as both a curling iron and a straightener so you don’t have to choose between these 2 beauty appliances for your next trip.
It also comes with a heat resistant travel case so you can pack it in your luggage without waiting for it to cool down completely. It’s definitely one of my must-have travel beauty products.
17. 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!
Don’t Forget: 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 Feminine Care Products
18. On-The-Go Razor
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 on-the-go travel razor is tiny and even has its own protective case – perfectly designed to throw in your bag for your next big trip!
19. Menstruation Cup
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!
20. Biodegradable Wipes
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 missing a toilet seat. And everywhere you’ll often find that bathrooms lack toilet paper.
These biodegradable wipes are pH-balanced and hypoallergenic making them perfect for even the most sensitive lady parts. Keep them 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. Just a few drops in the toilet is all it takes!
Travel Health Products
22. Hand Sanitizer
Keep those germs away during your trip by having travel-sized hand sanitizer readily available. We like this Organic Hand Sanitizer by EO because it uses naturally derived alcohol from non-GMO sugarcane and scented with essential oils. Plus it is free of parabens, phthalates, triclosan, dyes, and artificial colors.
23. Plant Based Insect Repellent
Mosquitoes are a nuisance. Not only do they cause you to scratch and inflame your skin, but they also carry harmful diseases like malaria, dengue, and zika. If you’re traveling to a high-risk area, make sure you have insect repellent on-hand to keep those annoying creatures away.
24. Tiger Balm
And if you do get a few mosquito bites during your travels, you can soothe the itchiness with a dab of Tiger Balm ointment. You’ll see it sold in stores all over Asia because not only does it help with bites, but can also reduce muscle aches and pains. You’ll want to have it in your purse wherever you go!
25. Natural Sleep Aid
All the travel beauty products in the world won’t help if you’re not well-rested. And getting a good night’s sleep while traveling can be surprisingly difficult. Between red-eye flights, time changes, and noisy neighbors in your hotel there are plenty of things that can throw off your beauty sleep routine while you’re on the road.
This natural sleep aid by Better Rest is full of natural, non-habit-forming herbal ingredients like Valerian, Melatonin, Chamomile, and Lemon Balm to help you drift into dreamland. This is one essential product for every world traveler.
Band-aids are not exactly a beauty product, but essential none-the-less. 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.
27. Travel Toothbrush
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 remain sanitary. Very convenient and practical!
Don’t Forget: Travel Toothpaste
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.
28. 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.
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.
30. Travel First Aid Kit
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.
Don’t Forget: Personal Medications
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.
Keeping Your Travel Beauty Products Organized
31. Hanging Toiletry Bag
Keep all of your travel make-up, skincare, 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.
32. Reusable Travel Bottles
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. You’ll be able to take a travel-sizes portion of all your essential beauty products!
While those are the best travel bottles in terms of function, these are the cutest travel bottles we’ve ever laid eyes on…
Other Essential Travel Products
33. Compact Disposable Towels
These compact disposable 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.
34. Spot and Stain Remover
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!
35. 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 dress!