Travel Essentials Part 1 – Tips and Tricks

Every time I travel, my goal is to pack as light as possible, but that doesn’t always happen, especially when I go to places where there’s temperature fluctuations or have unstable weather. The two items that manages to stay consistently light is my wash bag and my make up bag. I spend quite a long time packing these two items. For me, I find it easier to buy clothes wherever I am, but the same doesn’t apply to skincare and make up simply because I have sensitive skin and prone to breakouts, so I have to be selective in what I use. As such, I make sure to have all the skincare and make up essentials I need for my entire trip.

I decided to separate the topic of travel essentials into three parts. In this post, I will share some tips and tricks I’ve gathered. The second post will showcase my skincare essentials and the last post will be to of my make up essentials.

So here goes – tips and tricks:

Decant creams, liquids or anything you need to bring into smaller bottles

Who really needs or wants to carry multiple bottles of toner, creams in their original size on their trip (unless they are on a year long trip!) Without question, I decant all of my liquids and creams every time to smaller containers. I’ve tried different brands of empty containers, and I find Muji ones  are the best because they are sturdy, stylish and they most importantly, they don’t leak. (Note: this will link to the company’s Japanese site. If you’re looking to buy these containers, visit your local Muji store.) If Muji isn’t available, look for ones that are made of thicker plastic and make sure the containers are of good quality. When using the containers for the first time, test them to see if they leak. That is one of my major issues with decanting!

Labels, labels and more labels.

With all of the products that are decanted, be sure to to label them! I can never remember what I have decanted and they all look and smell the same to me. My investment in a label machine like this one totally paid off!

A small selection of what I bring with me every time I travel. All containers are Muji - of course!
A small selection of what I bring with me every time I travel. All containers are Muji – of course!
A glimpse of my paper mask collection. All of them are from South Korea. They are cheap and cheerful, but most importantly, effective!
A glimpse of my paper mask collection. All of them are from South Korea. They are cheap and cheerful, but most importantly, effective!

Paper masks are a life saver.

After each flight, my skin gets very dehydrated. I feel no matter how much lotions and serums I slather, my skin just inhales it all in and still wants more. Moreover, most places I go are typically less humid than in Hong Kong. With the already dehydrated skin plus the dryer surroundings, my skin needs a larger boost of hydration. Paper masks to the rescue!! I find expensive ones don’t necessary give better results. The ones I buy from the drugstore particular ones from South Korea are also of great quality. I can have a spa treatment each night in my hotel room without breaking the bank! A tip I took from one of my friends – use the leftover paper mask serum on other parts of your body. It is very likely there will still be plenty of “juice” left after using on the face mask. Why waste it – spread it over your hands, feet, and even body! It’s not only your face that needs hydration, right?!

Don’t throw away samples!

For us girls, we always find excuses to go beauty shopping regardless if locally or when traveling. At least in Asia, particularly in South Korea, many beauty brands now have become more generous in giving out trial sizes or samples when making purchases. Before going crazy in taking whatever they give me, I make sure the samples are suitable for me and that I will actually use. In fact, I often ask beauty advisors for samples of the products I have already purchased, or products I’m currently using. I then store them and bring them out again when I pack. That way, there’s less for me to decant and to carry. I know in the US, samples are typically more easier to come by. I’m not implying to run to the department store and grab samples of all ones regular skincare/cosmetics products, but instead of getting samples of new items the beauty advisor recommends, perhaps reconsider whether these samples will be useful.

Use hotel vanity kits.

Depending on the type of hotel, especially in Asia, if I stay in a three star or above hotel, there will typically be vanity kits available. It usually include toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, cotton pads, shavers etc. Use them! If you’re not sure, check the hotel’s website, they will usually post what amenities they have on offer. If it’s not available, contact the hotel before your travels. It’s good to be prepared!

Pack in small pouches.

There is a plethora of pouches, bags to transport travel essentials available in the market. My personal preference is to use multiple smaller pouches, rather than one large one. There is a couple of reasons of the preference. I can categorise each pouch – hair products, skincare, dental, makeup, etc. so I can easy grab what I need instead of digging through my entire collection. It makes packing more efficient – I can slip these into small pockets of my suitcase instead of dedicating a large space for it.

A small selection of the pouches I own
A small selection of the pouches I own

I hope you find the above tips useful. In the second part of my three part series, I will share what is typically in my toiletry bag. Stay tuned…

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  1. Great list! I also have a collection of relabeled and repurposed travel-sized containers, which make traveling so much easier. I’ll have to try the small pouches idea next go. I’m always looking for an oddly-shaped space for the toiletries bag in my suitcase, and your approach would help a lot.

    • Thanks Trina! I’m glad this is helpful to you. I travel quite a bit and these are some of the tips I gathered that works for me and so wanted to share!

      I love buying pouches, so I make good use of them when I travel! 🙂

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