How to Pack a Lighter Carry-On: What’s in my Liquid Bag?

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Taking a trip sounds like a really great idea until you have to start thinking about packing. Packing is the part of travel that I absolutely loathe. It isn’t any fun and the size restrictions on liquids can really put a damper on a diva’s beauty loving spirit. So how do you do it? How do you pack a lighter carry-on bag and still have everything that you need?

What Liquids to Pack in Your Carry-on Bag

When it comes to travel I want to keep it simple at all times, the less fuss the better. I have my fair share of beauty products and truth be told I want to lug them with me wherever I go but when traveling I just can’t. When it comes to packing a lighter carry-on bag, I have to remember to keep it simple. You have to swap out products that you would normally use for travel friendly versions or just eliminate them all together. I recently had to pack for a trip myself, so I thought I would give you a glimpse into the things that I brought and why I packed them the way that I did.

How to Pack Liquids for Your Carry-on Bag

Liquid Carry-Ons

Having to limit my liquids to 3 oz. containers in one quart size bag can really put a damper on your travel plans. One doesn’t even realize how much liquid product they use in a typical day until you try to fit them into one of those small bags. As a beauty junkie here are the products that I pack in my liquid carry-on bag that will still have me looking and feeling fabulous on my trip:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner: I’m not a fan of hotel shampoo and conditioner because it usually doesn’t work well with my hair. I’ve found a shampoo and conditioner that my hair absolutely loves and works well at keeping frizz at bay so I like to keep that with me when I travel. I received those two travel sized bottles as samples and just refill them from the bigger bottles in my shower whenever it’s time to take a trip.
  • Hand Lotion: flying and washing your hands constantly can really dry out my hands so I like to have some sort of hand lotion with me that both smells good and does a good job of moisturizing. If I need to I can also apply it to other areas of my body like knees, elbows, or feet to keep the dryness away.
  • Mouthwash: you don’t want to show up to a meeting with funky breath, so I pack mouthwash with me for when I brush my teeth just to freshen up things a bit.
  • Mini Perfume: I typically wear perfume and on vacation this is no different. I like to pack in my liquid bag either a mini sample size perfume or a roller ball of my favorite scent.
  • Mascara: one wouldn’t think that mascara would be considered a liquid but I think it is as it isn’t necessarily solid.
  • Small Lotion: typically after I wash my face I like to apply a moisturizer before I apply my makeup. I wanted to bring with my favorite gel moisturizer but I didn’t have enough product left to pack into a smaller container so I opted to just pick up a small lotion from the drugstore instead. Again like the hand lotion, this lotion can also be used in other places so it is multipurpose.
  • Concealer: not enough sleep combined with all day travels and time zone switches, dark under eye circles are bound to happen. To hide them as much as possible I always carry my favorite concealer with me.
  • Eyeshadow Primer: those that know me well or if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I prefer to play up my eyes, to keep my eyeshadow put during travel I rely heavily on my favorite eyeshadow primer. I can’t go anywhere with out it.
  • Facial Scrub: my favorite way to clean my face is with a facial scrub. I love the exfoliation process and how my skin feels renewed afterwards. I’ve been using this particular facial scrub for years and am happy that a travel size can be found at most drugstores.
  • Lipgloss: I’m a lipgloss girl so I have to pack my lipgloss in my liquids bag when traveling however lipsticks since they are not liquid do not have to be packed this way. Maybe I should switch just for traveling?
  • Toothpaste: a mini toothbrush is a must to keep those teeth fresh and pearly white.
  • Moisturizing Facial Mask: after traveling all day, it feels so good to crash in your hotel room and apply a moisturizing facial mask to rejuvenate your skin. It is something I look forward to the most on the first day of travel. These mask are individually packaged tissue mask that are easy to fold up and slip into your liquid bag.
  • Hair Product: whether it is hairspray, mousse, or another styling product don’t forget to pack a hair care product to keep those locks looking gorgeous.


Tips for Packing Liquids in Your Carry-on Bag

Some of the liquid products that I use on a daily basis don’t come in a trial or travel size container so I have to figure out a way to carry them in my liquid bag. For example, I love to smooth Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment through my tresses before and after I style my hair. But the container that it comes in is more than 3 oz. plus it would take up a lot of room in my required quart size liquid bag. So what do I do? The empty travel size containers would work but honestly they are just too big. I only need a few drops each time I apply this moroccan argan oil to my hair so I didn’t want to carry a huge container with me traveling. So I took a small container that used to hold hand sanitizer, emptied and rinsed it out thoroughly before I refilled it with the moroccan argan oil. Now I have a much smaller container to carry one of my beloved hair products in so I won’t be without on my trip.

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To keep up to date with all of the travel tips that I find don’t forget to follow my Travel board on Pinterest. Also, bookmark my Travel board on Amazon.I’m constantly updating my Idea Lists with awesome finds. 

The Domestic Diva
The Domestic Diva

Heather is a homeschooling mom of two boys currently living in central Georgia. She has been sharing her domestic story online as a lifestyle blogger for 15 years. Through her blog and social media platforms, Heather provides a glimpse into domestic life as she shares with other stay-at-home moms how she tackles modern homemaking and the challenges of raising a family.

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  1. Lisa B.
    February 26, 2017 / 11:37 am

    I use/pack almost all of the same brand products that you do. I also throw in a small travel size pack of sanitizing wet wipes. Airplanes are filthy these days. Wipe down every surface including tray table, seat belt buckle, light and air-conditioning controls, and the handle of the window shade (need I even mention the surfaces in the lavatory?). I never use the seat back pocket (I’ve seen people stuff dirty diapers in there…ick) but if you do use it, wipe it down too!

    • February 28, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      I didn’t even think of that, Lisa. You are soooo very right. Definitely adding sanitizing wet wipes to my travel gear. Thanks for the tip!

  2. April 13, 2018 / 7:56 am

    I love this! I will be traveling East next year. I haven’t been out of the country yet and I feel like I just can’t get enough infor. This really helps

  3. Becky
    August 25, 2018 / 10:30 am

    Contact cases work great for mosturiser or sun screen

  4. Christy
    September 6, 2018 / 10:31 am

    I’m not sure if makeup eye remover pads and face cleaning pads count as liquid? I’ve tried TSA websites, but there’s not any info about this.

    • October 24, 2018 / 7:34 am

      I could be wrong, but I don’t think they do because they are absorbed into a cloth. I have traveled before with hand sanitizer wipes just in my purse and not in my liquids bag.

  5. Mitzi
    October 17, 2018 / 6:30 am

    This is great information! I am flying to Florida (from Ohio) in April 2019. This is my first time flying so as I am excited, I’m freaking out because I know I can’t over pack lol. Especially my beauty products.

  6. Laura
    January 21, 2019 / 8:41 am

    We’re flying from PA to Florida the same month, and it’s my first time flying too! My husband hasn’t flown in years so I’m trying to find all the info so we don’t have any surprizes :)

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