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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Getting Your Fave Products in Miniature

It has been a really long time since I've traveled with a full-size health or beauty product that I brought from home. (I've had to purchase a few things along the way.) I know I don't need a giant bottle of shampoo for two weeks, so why pack it and have to pay to check my bag when I don't have to? When you travel, you need to learn to be a little bit flexible, and that extends to the products you bring. Instead of seeing the TSA rules as an obstacle, I think of it as a way to help me pack light and more efficiently. When someone says "You can't fit everything you need into a quart bag!" I respond with "Challenge accepted!" You know why? Because when you're creative, you can get everything you need into that little bag. 

There are lots of places you can find small sizes of your favorite products that will make your travel bag lighter and will allow you to fit everything you need into you 3-1-1 liquids bag.
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The Makeup Counter
If you shop the makeup counter for your beauty products, make sure to plan your visit when there's a free gift (Clinique and other large beauty companies advertise these several times a year). This is when you'll end up with trial sizes of some of the products you already use. Pop them in your travel bag and leave your large sizes at home. I find that most trial sizes, even if they are really small, still have enough for a week or two. 

Sephora always offers minis when you spend a specific amount (whether you shop online or in-store). Become a Beauty Insider (if you aren't already) and accrue points for purchases that you can trade in for deluxe samples. Before you get to the check-out, you can find tiny versions of some of their popular products, which might also be items you use everyday. This might be a dangerous way to shop while you're waiting in line, but it can also be useful.


Drugstores
I go to Target all the time, but maybe you frequent Rite Aid or CVS or Walgreens. They all have a travel size aisle. I find these the best place to find deodorant, bottles, toothpaste, contact solution and other generic minis. If you use regular shampoo brands found in drugstores, you can often find travel sizes of these, too, like Loreal, Pantene and Garnier. 
3floz.com
Looking for more upscale brands? 3floz specializes in these, but in sizes that specifically fit into your travel bag. Whether you need a small packet of facial wipes, a fancy eye cream or makeup remover, you can find them on this site that ranges from selling natural brands like Yes To... to more expensive products from Dr. Dennis. You can pack a miniature spa in your carry-on to help you feel at home and pampered wherever you go.
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Minimus
So, there are lots of products you can't find at a drugstore even though they exist. You are almost guaranteed to find them at Minimus. Not only can you find a huge range of beauty products here, but you can also find health items (aspirin, antibacterial cream, anti-diarrheal chews, vitamins) and even food products (single-serving snacks, salad dressings, condiments).  I have bought quite a few things from Minimus, including a variety of useful medicine cabinet necessities to put together an emergency kit for when my sister-in-law went off to college.


Decant
I have a collection of travel bottles, spray bottles and jars. If I can't find a travel size of my fave product, I decant. And sometimes you just don't need all that much of something, like moisturizer where a little goes a long way, so you don't need a large jar of it, so you can downsize even further by putting it a contact case or something similar.

With these tips, you can easily fit everything you absolutely need in your 3-1-1 bag and toiletry bag to help you go carry-on only. What's your favorite way to stock your travel bag with minis?

My next newsletter is only a few days away. It'll have tips on where to travel in April & May that are budget-friendly. Don't forget to sign up for it, as this won't be available on the blog. (Find the short form right underneath my social media buttons at the top of this post.)


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