My name is Michelle and love to travel. Either for longer periods like for things like my study or a few days out in the wilderness with a minimalistic backpack.
Most of my packing I have figured out by now, except my toiletry bag.
With smaller trips it is usually fine and take all the mini’s I can find and it is not too bad. However for my longer trips it seems that half my bag it filled with (heavy) bottles of shampoo etc.. For my longer trips I do prefer to bring the bigger bottle over smaller as the smaller bottles are just not enough.
But I would like to see if there are ways to cut down on some stuff.
Because of some “bad” genetic luck I am forced to also bring the following items, on top of all the normal things in a toiletry bag:
• Contact lenses + bottle of cleaning fluids + pair of glasses.
• Lot of anti mosquitoes spray + anti itching stuff (mosquitoes seem to love me)
• I am a redhead and so need lots of sunscreen and after sun (of other time of body lotion)
• Some extra medication
On top of this I am still looking for a good travel toiletry bag. Now I usually bring two toiletry bags where everything is loose in one big compartment and having the big bottle loose in my big back pack.
If anyone has some tips for me to reduce the stuff to bring or how to organize it please let me know.
I usually wear lenses at home, but for practical any travel I stick with a pair of rather cheap glasses (screw fashion, I'm travelling)... I'm currently travelling West Africa for a year and lenses are simply too much of a hassle... I do carry a set of planned replacement lenses (good for two weeks) in case I loose/damage my glasses, and my prescription in English and French so I can get a new pair made once I reach a capital city...
As for both sunscreen and mosquito spray I simply buy as I go along... It's not cheap down here and in general only available in capitals and beachside resorts (extra expensive), but it beats travelling around with a huge supply...
I do cover up (both for the sun and the mosquitoes).. Anything a 100% cotton should stop the mosquito... It's a little hot if I'm staying places without A/C (often) and it's no good for my tan, but it saves me a ton in use...
For the past three months this have worked pretty well..
Medicine seems difficult to reduce...
Buy everything once you arrive at your destination... best advice I can give.
Apparently, Mosquitoes are attracted by perfumes, colognes, and lotions so lighten your load by not carrying those & avoid a few bugs as well.
I use daily disposable contact lenses when travelling (yes, a bit more expensive) but then don't have to worry about cleaning fluid, losing one, etc.
I'm a redhead too, and make sure that I have SPF in my moisturiser or foundation, and usually go for roll on or spray sunscreen, and only carry one bottle, and buy another when empty.
As far as shampoo goes, go for a combined shampoo/conditioner to eliminate one bottle, and use sparingly, again, buy more when you need it. Hotels/hostels often provide it anyway, or just rinsing thoroughly with water every couple of days might surprise you!!
I travel with disposable lenses too, and that way you're lightening your load slightly each day as you get rid of them!
I also have a small fold- up brush and mirror which hardly takes up any space and is great as it's 2 items in one.
I agree with the other suggestions that buying as you go along is a good idea, assuming you have access to shops to do this.
Thank you all for the advice