Travel Light and Travel Well – Toiletries

It’s that time of year again where we scatter around the globe, visiting family, fleeing from family or setting off to new places. I’m currently writing from our hotel room in Chamonix, France, while the blizzard outside puts any plans of skiing firmly on hold, before heading off for a few weeks in Italy. Travelling, even for an extended trip, shouldn’t mean having to lug around half your wardrobe or bathroom. You can travel light and travel well with some decent forethought and preparation.

With travel comes the task of packing. Packing well is an art in and of itself. Getting it right allows for easy, unencumbered movement throughout the trip. Getting it wrong means lugging heavy bags around, comprised largely of things you hardly end up using or wearing.

Later on, I’ll write an article on choosing and packing the right clothes, but for now, this article focuses on the quick win of getting toiletries right, which saves more space than you’d think and cuts out a lot of inconvenience.

Getting this right doesn’t have to result in compromise, you can still bring all of your essentials, if you know your options.

Use an atomiser:

I don’t feel like myself without the scents of some of my favourite toiletries, most notably my cologne (Tabacco Toscano from Santa Maria Novella in Florence). Atomisers allow you to take your preferred cologne with you, without the bulk of the full bottle. Additionally, their smaller capacity lets them through airport security without any hassles. My atomiser from Travalo can take enough cologne for up to a month away from home, weighing in at around a fifth of the size of my SMN bottle and a sixth of the weight.

Travel Light: My bottle of Tabacco Toscano from Santa Maria Novella, Florence, next to my Travalo atomiser.

My bottle of Tabacco Toscano from Santa Maria Novella, Florence, next to my Travalo atomiser.

Compact Shaving: 

At home, for me, shaving takes up a healthy amount of room in the shaving cabinet, but to take my shaving creme and Marfin brush on the road is cumbersome, due to their size. A travel sized can of shaving foam from Italian company Proraso minimises space and smells great.

Travel Light: The difference in size between my daily shaving accessories of Marfin badger brush and Santa Maria Novella Crema di Barba and my travel option of Prorasso shave creme

The difference in size between my daily shaving accessories of Marfin badger brush and Santa Maria Novella Crema di Barba and my travel option of Prorasso shave creme (which easily lasts for a couple of months).

If you’re a die-hard badger brush shaver, then the best option is a shave stick from Dr. Harris, matched with a nickel plated collapsible badger brush from Edwin Jagger, made in Sheffield. I’ll usually take this on shorter trips or road trips, where space and weight isn’t at such a premium.

Travel Light: My other compact shaving solution of dr Harris shave stick, with Jagger collapsible badger brush

My other compact shaving solution of Dr. Harris shave stick, with Jagger collapsible badger brush. The holes in the base allow moisture to escape, avoiding unhealthy moisture to build up.

Travel Light: The Jagger brush, extended for use

The Jagger brush, extended for use

Travel sized options for everything else:

For most other basic items, like moisturiser, cleanser etc, finding travel sized options will do the trick, as shown below with my moisturiser from Kiehls and cleanser from Aesop.

Travel Light: Kielhls travel sized moisturiser alongside an everyday option

Kiehls travel sized moisturiser alongside an everyday option

Travel Light: Everyday vs the travel option of my cleansers

Everyday vs the travel option of my cleansers

Incremental gains:

The final images below show the difference in volume through incremental gains – i.e. finding a more compact solution for each item.

Travel Light: Most of my everyday toiletries

Most of my everyday toiletries

Travel Light: The entirety of my toiletries for a month away

The entirety of my toiletries for a month away. Notice my soap (from French makers Mistral) has been lopped off to a quarter of it’s original size. I’ll then put this in a zip-lock bag and toss it in with everything else. Similarly to my cologne, I just wouldn’t feel like myself without it.

Travel Light: The size difference is easy to see here, with my travel toiletries taking up less space than just a few everyday items

The size difference is easy to see here, with my travel toiletries taking up less space than just a few everyday items, easily packing into a small toiletry case.

Similarly to my choices listed above, it’s worth planning ahead and finding smaller substitutions for your normal toiletries and it will make your time away much more simple and hassle free.

Andrew is an Australian born writer, covering the world's leading bespoke tailors and craftspeople in menswear, with a focus on authentic quality, over branding. He spends most of his days running his successful (god knows how) consulting company and travels frequently to Europe for work and writing. He's a passionate cyclist, former trainee professional golfer and lover of all things Cocker Spaniel. He's married to his best friend and significantly better half, Mehri. They have 2 little boys born 11 months apart, which was funny for about 2 seconds before reality set in.

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