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What do you put all your little things in?

I will have the RS 20" carryon. I have tons of little things and I was going to just put in baggies...but do you use something different? I will have:

Laundry packets, downy wrinkle release, deet wips, afterbit, body glide, sink stopper, safety pins, adaptors, hand wipes etc. makeup, OTC meds and bandaids.

Have you purchased the classic $12 RS toiletry bag? Wondering if that is worth's just 4oz..might keep some things organzied and you can hang it. Just seems like I have tons of these little items.

Posted by
15547 posts

Lulu, I don't know as it really matters but we tend to group things by where and what we'll be needing them for. For instance, I have one little bag (plastic or other cheap bag) for laundry powder, pins and sink stopper.

Things we may need while sightseeing are split between our the day bags: pin the safety pins to the inside lining, baggie of bandaids (me) wet wipes (both) kleenex (both) Advil (me) glasses wipes (husband), pens (both), etc.

The Husband and I also split up the plug adaptors (we take as many as 4): one in each suitcase, and one in each day bag. I've been known to run a quick battery recharge at available outlets in cafes during a break (I take a lot of photos, and have run down even my backup battery in a day!).

Toiletries go into zip toiletry bags: inexpensive ones from Target or similar that we've traveled with for years. We each have our own, and share some items to keep the weight down. They don't have hangers. I don't travel with makeup, and we don't take insect repellent or other stuff that we figure we can buy there if we need it. Besides Advil, the only OTC meds we bring along are Imodium and a little tube of Neosporin.

Obviously if you're not checking a bag, all gels, liquids, creams and pastes - none of them larger than 3.4 ounces - must be in a separate, 1-quart, clear baggie for security screening. Anything larger than that must be in a checked bag. We do check our bags so we haven't had to sort this stuff separately.

Posted by
3137 posts

Clear, super light weight zip lock bags. They'll easily stand up to a vacation and everything in them is visible. I also find that the Mesh bags from ETBD are good for other items like chargers, cords, etc. I considered using the toiletry bag but you still have to put most of the items in a zip lock and then reload the bag. Sort of defeats the purpose?

Posted by
13684 posts

Someone on a thread here several months ago was using these packing squares from Eddie Bauer. I saw them at the local outlet and got them pretty cheap, so I am using the middlesized one for my charger cords and adapters. I will leave it bedside and not put it in my suitcase until I have unplugged everything.

Like others, I tend to group things by use. I use a larger plastic bag some skin care products came it to pack my non-3-1-1 bathroom stuff...toothbrush, neti pot, salt packets, etc. I also have a flat mesh-on-one-side packing sack that I use for my laundry kit with my 2 gal zip lock, a plastic coat hanger, some clothes pins, and some safety pins hooked thru the zipper. If I took dry detergent it would go in here. This is flat and fits in the zipper area on the lid of the 20" roller. Make sure you have your bandaids in your purse or tote bag! I have other things in small zip locks that will tuck in shoes or other spaces.

To me toiletry bags, whether they are Ricks or another brand are too bulky.

Are you carrying on or checking your bag? If you are carrying-on the downy and probably the body glide need to go in your 3-1-1.

Posted by
985 posts

LuLu - I bought several zippered, see through colored little bags at Walmart. They are in the makeup section and are a little hardier than just a ziploc. I'm going to both organize by use plus divvy stuff up between me and husband for our daybags.

Posted by
84 posts

These won't work for everything, but I got a few small prescription bottles (free) from my pharmacy - the pharmacist said she also used them for ear rings and jewelry when she travels.

Posted by
924 posts

As mentioned lots throughout this forum (i learned about this company here), I LOVE the Tom Bihn Products - check out their web page and search ACCESSORIZE . . . I LOVE all their organizers, but this is one of my favorites..
also like . . . (Watch the video for this one)

all the products are hand made in Seattle.

Posted by
13684 posts

^ ^ ^ I don't knit but that Tom Bihn website always makes me want to take it up so I would have an excuse to but those knitting needle pouches!! Sick, I know.

Posted by
5697 posts

We bought a hanging toiletries bag at (where else?) a thrift store and took it on ONE trip -- my husband found it too heavy and not useful. Baggies work fine, sometimes grouped inside a larger ziploc, or stuffed inside shoes. I also use mesh laundry bags from the dollar store. For nightstand storage of little items (watch, change, phone) I use a light colorful cosmetic bag bought for $1 or $2 at the thrift store -- harder to miss when packing.

Posted by
5678 posts

I like the packing bag that are multi-colored and I use a toiletries bag for my personal stuff. The other bags hold electronics--been doing that for business trips for over a decade at this point!--, and then one for maps and things like that. I find that bug spray and things that I would use during the day got into the day bag. I'll put the day's map in there as well as camera stuff, and rain jacket as appropriate.

Posted by
48 posts

eBags packing squares are also very nice and they have sales all the time (especially if you sign up to get their emails).

Posted by
3171 posts

I got tired of the ugly plastic bags for odds and ends so I went to TJMaxx and picked up two water resistant, different patterned, zipper pouches with width at the bottom. I use one for dry toiletries and one for extraneous items such as sink stopper, clothes line, etc. I used a drawstring pouch for the electronic cords, chargers, etc. The rest are clothes. The pouches take up about 20% of the 20" suitcase, but has quite a bit of the weight. TJMaxx source means inexpensive. But as I am a packing addict I'm sure this system will change again… Lucky you for being able to pack for a trip right now! Wray

Posted by
3509 posts

Never use a toiletry bag -- tried several but too bulky, not flexible enough, and generally not worth it to me.

Here is how I do it:

  1. A nylon mesh zipper bag. contains all of my non liquid meds both prescription and OTC. electronic chargers and plug converters. extra camera memory.
  2. A gallon sized zip top plastic bag with toothbrush, nail clippers, bandages, and similar stuff. Probably moving to a quart bag going forward because this one is usually too large.
  3. Soap in a plastic soap holder and then in a sandwich size zip top bag. Yes, hotels all provide soap, but I like my own.
  4. Pre measured dry laundry soap in snack size zip top bags along with some fabric softener sheets all in a quart size freezer bag.
  5. My 3-1-1 compliant plastic bag for going through security with all of my travel sized liquids.
  6. A collection of various size and thickness zip top plastic bags stored in a gallon size one just in case I need some along the way.

The reason I have things broken out like this is I can find multiple nooks and crannies in between the other stuff packed in my carry on that will hold each of these without issue compared to finding one single large spot for a larger bag. Also, I asked my pharmacy for medicine bottles (properly labeled for each prescription) that are the smallest possible that will hold a trip's worth of pills. Much easier than hauling around he 3 month supply gallon jugs they tend to like to use.

Posted by
2581 posts

I use a LeSportsac soft-yet-structured toiletries tote, and found a great set of 3 clear reinforced zipper bags that are perfect for organizing other small bits at TJ Maxx. Largest is about 11" x 8" then descending by 2" for the others. I put adapters and laundry stuff in one, bottles of hair goop in another and the other is full of special foot care items--didn't need any of them last trip but rather be safe than sorry.

Posted by
19026 posts

For many trips, my "toiletry bag" was a zipped pencil "box" I got from Walmart. It was small, waterproof vinyl with some web pockets on the inside. I think I kept a small plastic zippered bag for my washcloth, in case it was wet, and put my one small bar of ivory (used for washing clothes as well as me) in it. I finally got a real toiletry bag because I wanted one I could hang in the bathroom (there was so rarely a flat surface near the sink).

I don't have a lot of other "small things". You should figure out which of those you know you will use often enough to carry with you, and which of those you are taking just in case, and leave the latter at home. If you do need them, buy them over there. I have an arthritic knee and take along ibuprofen. On a recent trip, I did a lot of walking right away and used more than expected and ran out. I bought more over there. Note, in Germany, anyway, it's pronounce E bu pro' fen (long e, long u, long o).

I do carry a plastic zippered bag with 4 drip-dry (hanger) clothes pins, two inflatable hangers, and a braided clothes line with suction cup ends - for drying clothes.

I also save every train ticket and every accommodations and meal receipt. Those go in a plastic zippered bag. My travel bag has a mesh, zipped pocket on the inside. All the plastic bags go inside it.

Posted by
681 posts

I'm one of the few (apparently) who do carry toiletry bags. Too many times we've had hotel bathrooms with no counter space, but we can almost always hang the bag somewhere within reach. Mine is small and doesn't take up too much space. I've used zip-lock bags a lot, but now have moved to mesh or fabric cubes of various sizes. Electronic adapters, cords, etc. in one, laundry kit in one, meds in one. Misc. stuff like extra glasses, bandages, etc. all go together in one. I find it much easier not to have loose things in my suitcase.

Posted by
77 posts

I'm also a fond user of the RS hanging toiletry bag. I used to be a consultant on the road for 4 out of every 5 weeks and practically lived out of my luggage for years. The hanging one by Rick is super light, flat enough to pack almost anywhere in my RS 20" bag and holds everything I need including prescription and non-prescription meds along with grooming tools. Typically I leave the mirror home to save a little weight, but everything else goes.

Posted by
2264 posts

After much trial and error, I currently use a combination of rip-stop nylon bags with zipper tops - some I made myself, the others are Eagle Creek brand (like these). They store laundry stuff, cords/chargers/adapters, and other loose items. Some of my wee small things (like safety pins/emergency repair gear) is stored in an Altoids mini-tin. Anything that can leak, stain, or has scent goes in a ziplock. If you're doing just carry on, you'll have to put your liquid stuff (downy, after the bite) in your 3-1-1 ziplock.

My toiletries kit is a pack-it-flat from eBags (see here, on sale this week!). It took some getting used to, but now I cannot imagine traveling without it. What I like most is how it fits in my suitcase (not a weird square shape). Plus it's forgiving because of the expandable zipper - might work for your situation. Technically you can hang it like the RS bag, though I find it is a little wobbly when packed to the gills. They've made some design improvements to the kit since I bought mine - looks even better now.

Posted by
1994 posts

I really like the small RS zip-up toiletry bag. Being able to hang it is so much cleaner than having to put things on the counter, plus in Europe I rarely find much counter space. And I just leave it packed year round so that I can easily throw it in my bag for weekend trips.

Posted by
139 posts

For small things, like Vitamins or OTC meds or necklace chains/earrings, I use plastic pill pouches from the drug store. They are sturdier than standard Ziplocs and much smaller. They have a strip that takes ink for labeling, if indicated. I "file" several of these in a zippered pouch.

Posted by
15544 posts

I use ziplock bags of various sizes for lots of things. I like that I can see what's in them at a glance. For bags that I will open often, I use the slider ones. I keep all my "electrical/electronics" in a large one - chargers, adaptors, spare batteries, etc. I picked up a box of up&up "portion bags" (snack-size) at Target that are great for little things. Unlike the others, these have the opening at the narrow end, not the wide end.

Posted by
11613 posts

I like pint-size Ziploc freezer bags and group items by what I will use them for.

I bought one of the RS small toiletries bags and never used it. Plastic zip bags are fine.

Posted by
2386 posts

Jandd here on the left coast has sale prices right now on several sizes of mesh ditty bags. Scroll around the website.

They are a great source for biking and camping bags -- great build quality also works well for travel.

Posted by
2767 posts

I have a three compartment organizer, a little bigger than a quart ziplock bag. It holds all sorts of non-liquid personal items (comb, cotton balls, shout wipes, bandaids, hair ties and clips, safety pins, chapstick, advil, tums). Then I have a ziplock for make-up, and another for cords, adaptors, and chargers (I keep the phone usb cords, camera chargers, and so on together).

This is the one I have

Posted by
67 posts

I use a hanging toiletry bag for all those little things. I can hang it on a door, in a closet, on the back of a chair, etc. All of my little things are in one place and I can see them. I organize the rows by function - first aid, sewing/repairs, electrical, etc. Look around places like Target or Walmart for economical options. I can roll mine up and stick it inside a shoe or down the side of my bag.

Posted by
2349 posts

I have one of those Rume cloth baggies like Mira that I use for in flight comfort. It hold an inflatable pillow, earplugs, cough drops, tissue, etc.

Posted by
1446 posts

I use my RS mesh packing cubes all the time! I gather all my Ziplocked products and loose toiletry doodads in one. All my cords, plugs, pen, corkscrew, etc., in another - which I line with spare empty ziplock bags. I like how 'scrunchable' and light they are.