Monday, November 15, 2021

Travel Win -- Toiletries

When I'm flying for a long trip in the US, I sometimes don't pack the toiletries I need up front. Instead, I put in an order at the local WalMart for pickup, and just get it when I get there. (This is especially true when I fly to Chicago for work.) It saves me from packing or especially flying with liquids.

I knew that Scotland would be a different matter. My skin and hair are particular about what products I use, and my scalp especially will break out if I use a bad shampoo. A lot of hotels and hostels provide a generic body wash and shampoo, but I didn't want to trust them.

The first thing I bought was a cheap generic travel pack. I threw mine away in Scotland after emptying them (to save every ounce in Chicago), but you can usually wash them out and bring them home if you wish. The ones I bought aren't sold any more, but for now here is an equivalent pack:

Here's what I packed:

  • One pump bottle of Nutragena T-Gel coal-tar shampoo
  • Two regular bottles of clear laundry detergent
  • Two of the makeup powder bottles full of toothpaste
I should have packed a second bottle of shampoo (I almost ran out). If the hotel or hostel provides laundry detergent, then 2 bottles is overkill. However, you will want one for handwashing clothes, or two if the hostel washer under-soaps (like the Glasgow hostel did). A bottle of Tide stain remover or Shout wipes would have been useful for patching stains or drips. I'd recommend packing an unused toothbrush, but I forgot mine and had to buy one there.

You'll notice that I didn't mention liquid soap. Bars of soap do not count for liquids, so you want a bar soap. I recommend plain or lightly scented bars of Castile soap, because Castile soap will safely wash just about anything. I am a big fan of Kroger's Simple Truth Honey Almond Castile Soap bars, and bought 6 or 8 of them on sale one time. Pack 2 in your luggage, and security won't care. They will clean you (you can even use them as shampoo in a pinch), and they will clean your clothes too. (More on this upcoming.)

For packing or storing a wet bar of soap, purchase this carrier from PORTINEER off Amazon. It has a good reputation because it's designed to let you close the wet bar of soap in the box. Then you can pour off the remaining water, and the bar will dry without turning to goo inside the box. I just pulled the second bar of soap I took out of mine 3 weeks later, and it was dry as a bone with no mold or problems at all. (I put the bar in my bathroom for handwashing, and washed the container for the next trip.)

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