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lightening that 3-1-1 bag

I've read here and on other women's packing sites about bar shampoo and conditioner from Lush. I thought this sounded interesting, so I bought some last week to try out. I love it! A couple of swipes of the bar across my wet hair, and I'm all sudsed up. The conditioner works equally well, my hair feels soft,and scalp irritation is less than with my normal expensive shampoo. Lush makes it in little round shapes, and they sell lightweight carry tins that fit just right. Each tin+bar weighs less than 2 oz. Each bar lasts 60-80 washes, they say, so I think I'll use about half of it now, and pack the rest for my six-week trip this summer to make it even lighter. (BTW - I'm not staying in any hotels.)

The reason I'm interested is to reduce the amount of water weight I'm carrying in my 3-1-1 bag and overall in my carry-on luggage. Yes, I have often left wet toiletries home and purchased them in Europe. I really enjoy browsing supermarkets and pharmacies wherever I travel. But the often-overlooked problem is that once you buy that stuff, you are adding that weight to your carefully-packed-and-weighed bag for the rest of your trip. Sure, ditch it at your last stop, but now you've hauled it up and down subway stairs, and in and out of every subsequent hotel and mode of transportation. I'd much rather carry wine than shampoo!

With the encouragement of the Lush success, I looked at the rest of my wet stuff. Body lotion, sunscreen, and antiperspirant come in roll-on versions; mosquito repellent and hand sanitizer can be found as individual wipes; Lush body soap also fits a little round tin; even toothpaste can be bought in powdered form. I'm not carrying liquid makeup, just a 50-ml tinted moisturizer; that's still in my 3-1-1. That and possibly a mini bottle of mouthwash should be about the only liquids I'm taking. I haven't finished assembling and weighing these items, but I think I'll probably save over a pound of liquid weight.

Has anyone else tried this, and what were your results? Any tips on other items that fit the non-liquid/non-gel category?

Posted by
16705 posts

Nelly---I love your priorities---carrying wine upstairs rather than liquid shampoo.

I love my Lush bar shampoo but for some reason I keep forgetting it on our trips to Europe. Now I'll get some conditioner and try that too. That is actually the bulkiest thing in my 3-1-1 bag. I cannot do without my face cream and eye cream but they come in very small containers so not a problem.

I actually cannot think of anything to add to your list, unless maybe Forever New soap powder for hand washing lingerie in the sink.

Posted by
2252 posts

Good advice and information, Nelly. I have used the Lush products for a few years now-I cut a shampoo and conditioner round in half and fit them both into one of those tins you mention. They last a good long time. DIdn't think of powdered toothpaste! Good for you and your best advice? Carry the wine rather than shampoo! Love it!

Posted by
102 posts

My kids hate sunscreen lotion on their faces so we have long used stick sunscreen. We particularly like purple prairie because it gets good ratings from the environmental working group and it rubs in much better than most sticks. They also carry stick bug repellant, which we have used.

Posted by
14159 posts

I had tried a locally made shampoo bar from the Farmer's Market which left my hair really dry, then this Fall in Bath I was seduced in the actual Lush store and bought the shampoo bar and the conditioner bar. My hair did not like either of them and I wound up leaving them at the hotel in Bath. My reason for mentioning this is so that people will try the products at home to see if they work! I have fussy hair (apparently, lol) and am allergic to lots of stuff so I just go with the liquids that work for me.

I did find that I have always taken sunscreen and even thought I KNOW I am supposed to use it ~all~ the time, I don't when traveling. It gets my clothes dirty faster so I am just going to leave that out next time. I do take a face cream that I decant in to a small container. I've tried (an expensive brand of ) tinted sunscreen/moisturizer but did not like the scent. Nelly, what brand do you use?

I use a deodorant stone when I travel so that gets rid of a liquid deodo for me.

A friend uses the toothpaste tabs which make you look like you have rabies or something because you foam at the mouth. My brother uses tooth powder all the time, not just when he travels. Again, I'm wedded to my brand but have started taking 2 smaller tubes so I can pitch one out when it is empty.

I usually wind up with about 17 tubes of Chapstick tucked around in different places. Next time I pack I need to be aware of blindly tucking them in because I have not marked them off my packing list!

This part of packing really is the heavy part and I agree it can lighten your load to ditch some of this!

Posted by
1056 posts

Yes, I definitely wanted to try out the Lush stuff before I packed it along. So far so good, but I'll use it a few more weeks at least to see if it irritates my scalp or makes straw out of my hair. Andi, I have to admit I never thought of cutting it in half. That's brilliant, I will steal your tip.

Pam, I use Olay Total Effects moisturizer with sunscreen. Nothing super expensive. Costco sells it in a 2-pack of 100 ml each, but the drugstore has the 50 ml size which will be plenty. I may not take the tinted, now that you mentioned laundry. I'm sure I'd get it all over something white. Just the regular without tint will be fine. Deodorant stone? Never heard of it...off to the web I go!

Crl, I will check out that Purple Prairie sunscreen and bug spray. I am a bit of a nut about sunscreen, and I always wear my Tilley hat when I'm out and about. I'm willing to be a fashion misfit to save my easily-burned skin.

I'm glad I'm not the only one looking at options for dry toiletries. I hope it shrinks my 3-1-1 bag significantly.

Posted by
2252 posts

OK-my second reply to this thread....I love all the ideas and will be checking them out. So many things I didn't know existed or even thought about checking out options. Thank you, Nelly, for starting this topic as I totally agree-this is a place I can really cut back on weight!

Posted by
18 posts

I bought a Lush shampoo bar and their "toothy tabs" (tooth powder in a little pellet form); I adored the shampoo and now use it all the time. The tooth tabs worked fine for traveling although I don't use them for everyday. One thing about the shampoo bar - make sure you're letting it dry thoroughly before closing it up in a container or it will dissolve into an unpleasant mass of goo.

They also market something they call body butters - basically solid bars of heavy duty moisturizers (not cleanser) that you use in the shower. If you have dry and/or sensitive skin, they're great.

Beware - Lush is a slippery slope. First it's shampoo bars, then it's bath bombs and face masques and shampoo gels and body butters, and then a store opens up near you and then you may as well get a second mortgage on your house :)

Posted by
14159 posts

Nelly, if you have a natural foods store or some kind of health store they may have the deodorant stone there. I prefer the small size in a plastic container that looks like a stick deodo container. They have some of the stones that are not in a container and I have found they can get a little rough on an edge especially if you drop them.

This is an Amazon link to a smaller size. I'm sure Amazon Canada has them but you can try locally too.

http://www.amazon.com/Thai-Deodorant-Stone-Natural-Crystal/dp/B0014B0KXG/ref=sr_1_12?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1453248648&sr=1-12&keywords=deodorant+stone

Thanks for the info about the Olay tinted moisturizer. Yes, I too can see myself squirting it all over.

Posted by
7395 posts

Nelly, I actually have the opposite issue with my 3-1-1 bag. As we progress through our trip, I am acquiring more hotel shampoos & conditioners. One of my favorite souvenirs (sometimes the only thing I bring back besides memories & pictures) is the hotel little bottles. I have them placed in the window sills that surround our bathroom soak tub; they bring back fond memories of each location. So, in my case, I drink the wine at each location & carry the shampoo - ha!

Posted by
796 posts

On my last European tour I took a tiny bag of liquids, as I was renting an apartment and had researched through Google about where to get my fave produces there. In my bag I had a tiny toothpaste, my fave moisturizer in a tiny (1 oz) container, a 1-2 ounce container of toner, a tiny container of my favourite hair goop (1 oz or less), maybe a tiny shampoo and conditioner. I hoard 1-1.5 ounce containers that I can refill (i.e. hotel shampoos) and I refill them with my own products. I did have a small bar of soap, cut in half to fit in a smaller container than a regular bar soap that was re-used from another purpose (I think it had hair goop in it before). It was much lighter than a full bar and nice to have a small container to fit in my "bathroom bag" that hangs up.

This worked really well for me. I had what I really needed to get through the flight and a first night there, then I went off to shop. I went to Monoprix in Nice, France; it is a department store that had some travel sized items. I bought more things I needed in the travel size and that worked. I might have purchased a larger toothpaste, maybe 100 ml, as I knew i could travel back home with that.

I will do the same on my next trip. I have tried the Luxe body lotion but it was so heavily scented that I could not wear it much as my friends and family are very aware of scents and it was a bit much!

Shopping for hygiene products while abroad is fun, imho!

Posted by
529 posts

Thanks, Nelly, for the post. I am like Pam, I purchased a shampoo bar at our farmer's market and hated it. I don't wash my hair with shampoo each day, so I will stick with my smaller tube of shampoo. (As I have aged I have found I don't need to shampoo as often. I do rinse it each day.)

My dentist is now recommending plain old baking soda to brush teeth. So, on the next trip I won't need to put in a tube of toothpaste in the 3-1-1. I have to admit, the taste is somewhat lacking, but my teeth feel cleaner.

I will check out the Oil of Olay, I need a good moisturizer and with sunscreen protection, sounds like a winner, winner. I will be checking on this my next trip to Costco.

Posted by
1056 posts

Well, I've learned new things here too! I'm afraid I am headed for that Lush mortgage, the toothy tabs and body butter sound good. I didn't even look at other items the first time I went in, but now I'll have to go explore. I also wasted some time last night looking up tooth powders. I found a zillion DIY recipes - Debra, maybe you can add some flavoring to your baking soda. People were using powdered sage, cardamom, cloves, etc. And deodorant stones - a brand new concept to me. Maybe I'll travel completely liquid-free (except for that Italian wine, of course).

Lola, where do you find Forever New? Is it a camping store item, an online item, or just grocery stores?

Still 4 months to wait for my trip, so I'll keep exploring options to pack lighter!

Posted by
1194 posts

I have been traveling with solids for years. I carry my own products because of allergies. In addition to the Lush Jungle conditioner I use:

  • Home made toothpaste dots for brushing teeth
  • Salt for oral and/or nasal rinses
  • Chagrin Valley Soapnut shampoo bar
  • Olay 4 in 1 cleansing wipes - cut into quarters because one sheet is too large
  • Crystal deoderant stick - taken out of its packaging (I use a snack sized zip lock)
  • Dr Bronners Tea Tree solid soap - usually cut into a half or a quarter and in a snack bag
  • Honey House Naturals Mini bee bar for hand lotion
  • Aztec Secret clay powder for facial masques - I put a tablespoon into a pill bag. I usually carry 2 or 3 bags depending on the length of the trip
  • Evo Haze styling powder

I don't use solids for sunscreen as I find that they have uneven coverage. My liquids bag has a facial moisturizer tube, a small hair spray, eye drops, and contact solution. I bring bug juice and sunscreen if needed.

For makeup I like the Neutrogena Healthy Skin compact makeup (solid cream, SPF 55). I also cut off part of a NARS multi-stick and put it in a used lipstick tube. I use solid eyebrow and eyeliner pencils, a lipstick and a small 3 color eyeshadow.

Posted by
1056 posts

Wow, thanks for that list, Cindy. More items new to me to investigate. I'll definitely look for some of those. I did get Lush'd today. Didn't require a mortgage (I stayed under $100!) but I did get quite a few new things to try.

Posted by
361 posts

Hi Nelly,
I find Forever New in lingerie shops. They have small plastic bottles but I buy the 1000 gram one ( they have larger ones as well)and then put some in a Ziploc bag to keep down the bulk and weight. The equivalent of a cap full usually does a bathroom sink load. It's probably available online but I haven't looked. Hope that you like it. Sherry

Posted by
1194 posts

Honey House Naturals also makes a body lotion bar in addition to their hand cream bar. I have not tried it yet.

Posted by
14159 posts

You may find Forever New in the lingerie section of a larger department store in your area. They used to carry it at the local Macy's (now scheduled for closure) and I have also seen it at the Nordstrom's in the nearest larger shopping hub to me. It can be ordered online and one container will be enough to last you forever, lol!! I am not sold on it, I just usually wind up using the body wash/shampoo from my hotel.

I do love this thread. It has a lot of interesting things to check out.

Posted by
11294 posts

" We found out that Prague grocery stores/supermarkets do not carry toothpaste."

Yes, different stores carry products in various countries than we are used to in the US. For instance, when I needed sunscreen and ziplock bags in Spain, I got them at El Corte Ingles, a big department store (more accurately, in the drugstore and supermarket sections in their basement). I'd never go to Macy's for these items in New York, but in Spain, it was the natural place to get them.

Something I've found in multiple countries in Europe is that a "drugstore" and a "pharmacy" are two different stores (sometimes different sections of the same store). Which products are carried in which is not intuitive, at least to me. So, if you want Vaseline (or in some countries, sunblock), you have to go to the pharmacy, not the drugstore (which carries things like toothpaste and shaving cream).

Posted by
3941 posts

I'll have to check out our Lush store (I think we still have on in our capital city!) When I was in NYC last year, I bought a bar from someone selling it at a shop in Chelsea Market. And she said it was great for hair and I thought...yeah - I won't have to carry shampoo/conditioner with me! But I tried it out at home and it left my hair very, hmmmm...heavy and tangly feeling. I have very long fine hair and I need conditioner or it gets the flyaways and drives me crazy. I'll have to see if our Lush carries this and give it a try.

Posted by
10334 posts

Thanks a lot you guys, letting me know about Lush. I rarely go to the mall, though I drive by it regularly. Today I went into Lush. Wow, for such a small store they have a lot of tempting goodies! I bought a shampoo and a conditioner bar. I'll give it a try before my trip. It was a good suggestion to cut them in half. The woman who assisted me said that the round tin isn't necessary, but to be sure you pat the bar dry before putting it into a ziplock bag. I resisted the other things in the store, but I suspect I'll be returning. ;-)

Posted by
1194 posts

Andrea et al: I cut the bottom corners off of the snack size zip locks and also puncture them with scissors. This creates air holes in this zip lock for faster drying. I will also sometimes leave the top unzipped if I know that things can't shift around in my toilet kit. That is usually enough air flow to keep the shampoo bars and conditioner bars (and soap) from getting gooey.

Posted by
2462 posts

For shaving purposes I take half of a Williams mug soap bar . Less than a dollar at my local supermarket. Yes I know it's for boys, but it works just fine and doesn't have a strong scent. As for Lush products, unfortunately they bother my sensitive skin. But I did find a decent alternative in J.R. Liggett solid shampoo. A third of a bar gets me through a three week trip no problem.

Posted by
14159 posts

CL, that shampoo bar looks good and like it would not be drying. Did you find it locally or did you order online?

Posted by
1056 posts

All great ideas, thank you. Aerated ziploc bags is a great idea. So far, my hair is good with the Lush bars but I'll keep this Liggett option in mind.

Posted by
8 posts

I've got some Lush products on the way now, thanks to this thread. (By the way, US customers need to use http://www.lushusa.com rather than http://www.lush.ca, or Canada will be the only shipping destination shown when you check out.)

Has anybody tried the shampoo powder, as a refresher to rehumanize at the start of a day in a new time zone after 16 hours in planes and airports?

I've been using the "Thai" deoderant crystals (basically a big rock of salt) for years, starting after my previous sticks started causing irritation in my armpits. I have a loose crystal (about 2-inch cube) I use at home, and my travel bag has one in a little plastic container, about the size of a travel-sized stick deoderant, useful for flights or for trips to the gym. It works great for me. But remember that it's a deoderant and not an antiperspirant. If you need something to stop you from sweating, this isn't the stuff!

Posted by
76 posts

After reading this thread, I went to the Lush store at Alderwood Mall and purchased the Copperhead shampoo bar along with the round tin. The cashier passed along a tip from a customer: Insert a ribbon under the bar in the tin for easy removal. I suggested my own: I just cut off some of those annoying rubbery strips attached to garments (presumably for hanging purposes, but who hangs sweaters by those flimsy little strips??) and thought that might work better, as it would probably be waterproof.

I told her about my trip this May and she gave me the information that the Lush flagship store is in Oxford Street and they have a lot of exclusive products. I may be in trouble.

Posted by
66 posts

If you are unfamiliar, you really should try Chagrin Valley products. I also use their Soapnuts bar on my hair, and they have many other wonderful products. They are at www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com. They sell regular sized bars of soap, and sample size. I almost always buy the sample size. It is smaller, packs well.

I use Cover Girl tinted moisturizer with SPF 15. It is cheap, evens my skin tone and protects my skin. Usually found wherever Covergirl is sold. So my 3-1-1 bag usually contains face moisturizer, a small bottle/container of apple cider vinegar which I use to rinse my hair as conditioner, small toothpaste. I also use deodorant stone. Sometimes I also carry a small bottle of Neutrogena moisturizer, which I use on my body. And depending on where I am going I take bug spray. That's it. I take a mascara, a lipstick, and my tools (nail clippers, toothbrush, razors, etc).

Posted by
11507 posts

Well I am surprised so many folks like Lush.. I can barely walk by that store in the mall without feeling sick... I can not imagine walking inside.. it absolutely reeks.

I get Forever New at the lingerie counter at the Bay ( for Canadians)

I find Lust to be expensive though so I bring a chunk of Dr. Bronner's soap, which can be used as soap, shampoo, face wash, to wash clothes, to clean makeup brushes...I just cut the amount I need depending on the length of the trip.

Another suggestion I have is to bring sample sized items so you can toss them as you go and free up space. I do this with lotion, makeup remover, face wash, foundation, hair conditioner, etc because I like to bring my skincare and makeup arsenal (and accumulate more as I go.)

Posted by
692 posts

I have Lush shampoo but did not care for their conditioner options. Instead, I did a search on Etsy for solid conditioner and found a very nice shop where you can get sample sizes of soap, shampoo and conditioner, or large sizes. I bought four sample sizes so I could test the scents and I'm very happy with what I purchased. There are many entrepreneurs on Etsy making these items. PM me if you'd like the name of the shop. I highly recommend them!

Posted by
101 posts

I have used the LUSH shampoos and I like them -- the conditioners not so much -- but after traveling with LUSH products a few times I'm not sure they are a better solution over liquid shampoo. I found that getting the bars to dry out before packing up was an annoyance for me. (On my trips I usually change locations every 2-3 days.)

So instead I tracked exactly how much shampoo and conditioner I use, and found that 2 ounces of each easily lasts me 2 weeks. So for a trip of 2 weeks or less I just bring the travel-size bottles, re-filled at home before I leave. Even with mousse, hand sanitizer and deodorant added in, it is never a problem to fit my things into the 3-1-1 bag.

For a much longer trip, or for someone with longer hair than mine :) , I could see see the solid toiletries being worth it.

Posted by
93 posts

I always pack Purex laundry sheets. They look like dryer sheets. Packed in ziplock bags.. We use them for sink laundry. I cut them in half before we leave home.. A few in half again. They are great.. We try to do laundry soon after we walk in the room. It gives it a little more time to dry.. We also pack a drying towel. Roll our clothes up in it and each take a end and twist it. The clothes come out so dry. Two years ago I didnot want to the spend $$ on the towel and took my yoga towel. It was too heavy and didnot dry very well when it was wet. The drying towel was much lighter.. I also bought a hanger with clips to use on our last trip.. It was so useful.. I think we used it everyday.. I now have drawer in our guest room with all my travel stuff in it. Next trip first thing I want to buy is a night light for Europe.. would be nice to see your way to the bathroom at night..

Posted by
630 posts

Next trip first thing I want to buy is a night light for Europe.. would be nice to see your way to the bathroom at night.

Sue, I bring a keychain flashlight and attach it to my nightshirt or wrist when I sleep. It's always readily available for the nighttime walks to the bathroom without waking my husband.

Posted by
3941 posts

I just use whatever iGadget is beside the bed as a nightlight for bathroom trips - if you take electronic stuff with you! My iPod has come in handy a few times in dark, unfamiliar rooms.

A keychain flashlight is certainly not going to add any weight - also would be good to carry in your day bag in case you are in one of those places with the hall lights on a timer - you take too long the hall light goes out and you can't see the lock on the door or the stairs. This wouldn't happen in hotels of course - but we've stayed in airbnb buildings with this - Paris and Venice come to mind - you can't take too long to get up those stairs!

Posted by
630 posts

I just use whatever iGadget is beside the bed as a nightlight for bathroom trips - if you take electronic stuff with you! My iPod has come in handy a few times in dark, unfamiliar rooms.

Nicole, I used to rely on my iPhone or iPad for light in the room; however, I have found that sometimes they are being charged in a plug that is across the room and not near my bed (ugh!) Or I've tried to reach for the phone and I knock it off the nightstand and wake up my husband. The keychain light gives out the perfect amount of light and doesn't wake up the hubby. :)

Posted by
8 posts

Extreme alert - not saying this works for everyone, but here's an example from a thin tail of the normal distribution. This probably is more of a lifestyle change, not really a packing suggestion, but there are many toiletries that aren't really necessary as long as you have access to clean water and don't wear makeup (at least not on vacation).

I bring a small bottle of Dr. Bronner's (good for almost anything), a small spray container of vodka (for topical use), and a small container of olive oil (for moisturizer or salve). That's it for my 3-1-1.

Depending on destination I'll add bug spray (available in wipes if you want) and virus-effective disenfecting wipes. For longer trips I bring a small amount of powdered eco-friendly clothes detergent.

Shampoo/conditioner? You can use the hotel's, but there is also a whole "water only " or nopoo movement for hair (no shampoo, no conditioner, just rinse with water - but there's a transition period that can last weeks).

Toothpaste? When I was exploring home made tooth powder (my skin was reacting to commercial toothpaste), my dental hygienist told me the toothpaste isn't soo important, it's mostly the brushing action. 7 yrs later, 2 different dentists have confirmed my water-only toothbrushing is effective (when combined with daily flossing and a low sugar load-ymmv).

Deodorant? Antibacterial? Mouthwash? That's what the vodka's for (I blend to get 55% abv - studies show 50% or above kills germs). Also works as glasses cleaner. Even as anti-itch (admittedly that's probably either placebo effect or simple drying action...).

Sunblock? I wear a sunblock light jacket and a hat (and, for a beachy vacation, wear - not pack - gloves because it's cold on planes).

Moisturizer? It took me 15+ years to transition from normal personal care items to stuff-that-I-could-eat (not suggested for Dr. Bronner's, but it won't kill you-actually the label used to have that as an item...). I used to carry 6 kinds of moisturizer (body, hand, nail, foot, face, eyes) in teeny tiny amounts.

Not saying anyone "should" try this, but offering as an example of radically lighter packing. Maybe I have over-corrected! But I am certain there's someone out there that brings even less than I do :)

Posted by
102 posts

This doesn't directly answer your question, but I like packing just enough to last me a day and then buying shampoo, conditioners, body washes, etc. when I get to my destination. I like trying new products we don't have in the States. I'll buy smaller bottles and leave whatever I don't use behind (unless I REALLY like the product then consider checking my luggage in on the way home).

Posted by
25 posts

We are in Italy right now and after reading this thread I decided to try the bar shampoo and conditioner from LUSH before we left and I was so disappointed when I looked at the ingredient list after I got them home. I assumed they were all about homemade and natural (meaning good for you) and the first ingredient in the shampoo bar is Sodium Laurel Sulfate. I'm staying away from that but just thought I'd mention it.

Posted by
1625 posts

Angelia- I tried this in Italy and I could not find an unscented bar soap or liquid body soap to save my life! Everything was super scented or menthol (Gross!!!). I love to try new things and was so excited to go look for new products, big let down...I will now carry my own bar soap as a back up. Back to OP- I pack my liquid make up and liquid eye make up remover in my make-up bag, not in my 3-1-1 and my make-up bag is in my "personal item" and my 3-1-1 is in my carry on. Never had any problem domestic or International.

Posted by
14159 posts

Letizia, I am surprised you have not had a problem with your extra liquids in your purse. It doesn't matter if it is in your purse or your carry-on, each passenger is restricted to a total of 1 quart-sized bag of liquids limited to 3.4 oz sizes or less per item.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/liquids-rule

If people check luggage there is no restriction.

If the TSA security screeners are missing liquids in purses that is a problem.

Posted by
9363 posts

Leticia, I, too, am surprised you have not been stopped for liquids in your purse. ALL liquids, aerosols, and gels should be in your 3-1-1 bag. BTW, to the OP - roll-ons are also liquids.

Posted by
3941 posts

Sometimes things get overlooked by the liquid police. My mom flew 4-5 times with face cream in her handbag and it never got noticed...I actually am the one who told her it should be in her 311 bag and she said nothing was ever said flying from Canada to London and back.

We also had a couchsurfer who had a Carbona liquid stain remover in her purse...she's like...'oops, guess the tsa missed that.'

Don't be surprised if someday they do notice it and you gotta toss it or make it fit.

Posted by
2764 posts

"Sometimes things get overlooked by the liquid police. My mom flew 4-5 times with face cream in her handbag and it never got noticed...I actually am the one who told her it should be in her 311 bag and she said nothing was ever said flying from Canada to London and back"

Sometimes????? I have been carrying tubes of hand lotion in my purse practically sense the 3-1-1 show started. (Not the same tube of course but there is always one there.. they range from brand new and full to practically empty) For most of this time (until about a year ago) I traveled at least two weeks a month and often more. About 4 years ago I added a spray mister of some type to the cosmetic bag in my purse. As soon as a member of the TSA finds my contraband I plan to write a congratulations letter to his/her boss. So far there hasn't even been a close call on finding it LOL!

Now one trick I found for the Lush bars. Go to the dollar store and buy some of that "mesh" rubber stuff you put on shelves in the kitchen. Cut a piece to fit in your little tin... solves the "turns to mush when it sits in it's own moisture' problem!

Posted by
3941 posts

Lol Carol - my luck I'd have liquid in my purse and they'd find it right off. I even had to put my lip balm and lipstick in a baggie when we flew thru Heathrow. I think the first time we flew (out of Halifax in '08) they even went thru my non-liquid makeup/toiletries bag - the one with my face wipes, makeup brushes, tweezers, etc. The lady opened my eye makeup remover pads (like wet wipes but for your eye makeup) and poked em and said...'what are these?'...to what I really wanted to reply with 'eye makeup remover pads, like it says on the container, duh' (but of course I didn't!).

My mom accompanied us from London to Italy. For some unknown reason, she packed her large shower gel and shampoo in her carry on...the great thing about Gatwick - they just put it in their liquid sensor machine (sorry, I don't know the name) and didn't make her throw it out, just put it back in her bag. This is when she said she carried her jar of face cream in her purse (which Gatwick didn't catch). Of course, it slowed us up going thru security...but only for a few minutes...

Posted by
10334 posts

I always have hand sanitizer in my purse. TSA never says a thing.

Posted by
2764 posts

I do find the Europeans are a bit better at finding the hidden stuff. When I went through at CDG after watching them tear apart a few peoples luggage for small things I did move my lotion to the baggie.

The Thousands Standing Around? Total failure! I don't even bother to worry about it:

Posted by
1625 posts

Carol and Andrea- I also have hand lotion (purse size) and hand sanitizer in my personal carry on also and did not even think about it!!! They are not hidden, usually in the large (easy to get to) front pocket of my bag. And I have a solid (like deodorant) lip balm and it also lives in that front pocket (someone mentioned that and again I did not consider that "liquid".)

I have flown internationally since 2008 with the 2.8 liquid make up in my make-up bag and never one problem (the make-up bag is clear, everything is viewable if someone opened my bag). Thinking about it, what about mascara? That is liquid...and lip gloss. In 2008 I checked my bag before I discovered this forum and had a personal bag with all the same liquids in my purse/makeup bag (no 3-1-1 bag-I did not even know this was required for carry on bags). I have flown internationally through LAX, LHR, CDG, FCO and FLR..at LHR the TSA agent just commented on the brand of my bag and how much she loved it.

And just thinking of anyone touching my makeup remover pads, if they were exposed I would just throw away the whole thing due to contamination!

Posted by
3941 posts

Re - the eye makeup remover pads - she was wearing gloves...but yeah...how many other things did she touch? Maybe they change them every time they look thru bags...who knows...most likely not :(

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1625 posts

Carol or Nicole or maybe another experienced traveler can answer this question for me. For the 3.4 ounce allowance is that the size of the container or the amount of liquid. I have containers that when full are 8.0 oz but the product, once used, is now 2 oz, can I take that in my carry on? I recently took a domestic flight to visit family and wanted to take this product (space in my carry on was not an issue, just a 5 day trip) and thought it would be nice to use there and throw away instead of transferring the product to an allowable container (which I landed up doing because I erred on the side of caution). For international flights the real estate in my carry-on's is so limited that all my containers would be 3.4 oz no matter what.

Posted by
1625 posts

Carol or Nicole or maybe another experienced traveler can answer this question for me. For the 3.4 ounce allowance is that the size of the container or the amount of liquid. I have containers that when full are 8.0 oz but the product, once used, is now 2 oz, can I take that in my carry on? I recently took a domestic flight to visit family and wanted to take this product (space in my carry on was not an issue, just a 5 day trip) and thought it would be nice to use there and throw away instead of transferring the product to an allowable container (which I landed up doing because I erred on the side of caution). For international flights the real estate in my carry-on's is so limited that all my containers would be 3.4 oz no matter what.

Posted by
27352 posts

I know I've read that the limitation applies to the container itself, not the amount of liquid/gel remaining in it, but I can't remember the source of that information. It's logical, though. Imagine the arguments about how much shampoo is really left in a traveler's 7-ounce bottle.

Posted by
3941 posts

I've never tried to take anything large but almost empty in my carry on that would go in the 311 - I always buy travel sizes...but I think it would prob trigger something, because I don't think the agent could eyeball and know it was less than 3.4 oz...my best guess...

Posted by
14159 posts

Yes, the containers themselves have to be 3.4 oz or smaller, not just the contents inside. So, for instance you couldn't bring an 8oz tube of toothpaste that only had a dab left in it. In reality this would probably get thru, but that is the rule.

I fly out of a small airport and gosh, everything is scrutinized. I've had them put my 3-1-1 bag thru the scanner twice which is so dumb as they could just look at it and see it's zipped and everything is smaller than 3 oz. I have inadvertantly gone thru the metal detector with a chapstick in my pocket but they are the old metal detectors not the nude-o-scopes where everything has to be out of your pockets.

Posted by
1097 posts

Pam - that's my experience, too. ATL is my home airport and it's amazing to me what gets through there - they have to move fast to move that many people so I appreciate the challenge. I have on a few occasions flown to/from Brunswick, Georgia, which is the home of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. It's a nifty little airport (free parking!) but I'm surprised they haven't instituted a body cavity search on departure and arrival. They are very thorough. Good news is there are probably never more than a dozen people waiting in line.

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14 posts

Spent almost 6 weeks in Germany & France in 2013 with just a carry on & backpack. Took Lush solid shampoo & conditioner. I put them in Human Gear Go Tubbs. The Tubbs are a little bigger than the Lush metal containers & are plastic (no dents!) and that made it much easier to get them out when they went in wet. There was no leakage what so ever. The shampoo made it to the end of the trip, barely. Also used Lush solid skin cream. Need to be careful though, some of it can be a little greasy. For tooth paste I used toothy tabs instead of the powder but will take the powder next time. Found a Lush store in Munich I think and bought deoderant foot powder. If you walk a lot you will need it! Something else about the solid shampoos & conditioners is that some of the fragrances can be pretty strong. All in all it worked out really well.

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102 posts

@Letizia

Yes, I can see if you need unscented items it can be troublesome. We bought hair products and body wash at market, but a suggestion would be to try the a pharmacy (farmacia) for unscented/sensitive skin products. I saw they had a lot of gentle products for babies, but I would happily use them!

In the camping section of Walmart - you can buy a small bottle of Coghlan's camping soap. This is another multipurpose soap. See what backpackers use. Backpackers are experts on shaving off ounces when packing.
Instead of carrying both toothpaste and mouthwash - just carry toothpaste in a tiny tube. Leave the mouthwash at home. Personally, I would leave most or all of the make- up at home.