Image source: Human Gear
It's a quandary every flier must face. How do you pack toiletries if you're not checking a bag? How much can you get away with taking through TSA under the 3-1-1 rules? What if you end up committing that most horrific of travel mistakes that brands you as a rookie - holding up the security line?
What do each of those 3-1-1 numbers mean? The 4-1-1 on the 3-1-1 is that the 3 refers to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) being the maximum amount of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, or paste allowed in any one container. The first 1 is the one quart-sized, clear, zip-top, plastic bag you can put all of the containers in. The final 1 is that every passenger gets one of these types of bags and no more.
When trying to meet these requirements, let companies who already have the whole thing figured out do it for you. Here are five products that can make your 3-1-1 experience a breeze.
You can just get rid of the whole liquids issue altogether by using La Fresh's Travel Lite amenity disposable towelettes. It's amazing what you can put into a wipe - sunscreen, facial cleanser, antiperspirant, makeup remover, nail polish remover, disinfectant, shoe cleaners, even mosquito repellent! Even better, wipes take up less packing space than liquids.
Most squeeze bottles are made of hard plastic that hurts your hands, cracks, dispenses too little or way too much, and doesn't go back to its original shape. GoToob calls itself the civilized alternative because it's made of a soft, simple-to-squeeze silicone product that's easy on the fingers and gives you the feel of knowing exactly how much you're going to squeeze out. Sizes range from 1.25 fl. oz. to 3 fl. oz., or check out the 2 fl. oz. size that has a suction cup on one end so you can attach the tube to the wall and have your hands free.
This brand offers travel sizes relating to everything - wash, spray, style, shield, condition, control, moisturize, purify - a woman would ever need to do to her hair. You can even wash your hair right in the middle of the airport after a red-eye flight with Clean Freak dry shampoo.
Guys, we know you travel too. Men tend to like things simple. They don't want to have to search around for a bunch of different products or pour things into tiny sized tubes. MenScience gets guys, so they came up with a men's travel kit filled with 10 TSA-allowed products such as shaving gel, aftershave, moisturizer, shampoo, and deodorant.
Now that you've got all of your toiletries and liquids into the right-sized tubes and packages, make sure you can find them easily with the Pack-It Wallaby, part of Eagle Creek's Pack-It system that lets you get lots of stuff into tight spaces. The Wallaby can be placed in a larger case, has a handle for carrying, and also comes with a hook to let you hang it up anywhere. The zippered compartments let you keep things organized while the removable quart-sized clear 3-1-1 pouch lets you move quickly through security.
What is your favorite tip for packing toiletries?
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Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin are hosts of The Travel Brigade Show - a weekly travel and destination podcast. Kathleen Curry is experienced in both the travel industry and broadcasting. She has worn the hats of travel writer, photographer, travel agent and hospitality evaluator. Her advice of, “No excuses, just travel!” reaches out to listeners who pick up on her enthusiasm for travel and benefit from her savvy advice. Her travel guilty pleasures are eating at a street-cart vendor so she can splurge later to order room service, finding deals to rack up sky miles so she can book her next flight and hoping her social security comes through some day because she has spent her future retirement savings trekking the globe.
Geoff Griffin is a reformed attorney turned travel junkie with over two decades of experience as a journalist and editor specializing in sports, outdoor recreation and travel. His current philosophy is that there are two stages in life - You’re either on a trip, or you’re planning your next trip. His travel guilty pleasure is trying recreation adventures that require the use of an expert guide to keep him from harming himself or hopping on a plane knowing nothing about his destination other than the airport code and wandering about a new town while relying on the locals to point him to the best places.
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