Hang Up Your Toiletries and Make Travel a Breeze
I travel a fair bit, and in flying back and forth up and down the West Coast (and even sometimes, rarely, to other places!) I've developed a few travel tricks that I find indispensable in making the whole mess of packing and staying away from home easier. My number one travel tip, the thing that I cannot possibly overhype because it is an absolute essential, is TSA PreCheck. I already wrote about PreCheck (and since then I've used it a dozen times, easily, and it's proven its worth again and again), so instead we'll pivot to another important travel item: Toiletry organization.
I used to use cosmetics pouches for both my makeup and toiletries. I'd just toss everything I needed in them, cram them in my suitcase, and hope for the best. This was also before I had PreCheck, so I'd have to keep a quart Ziploc bag with all my liquids separate as well. It was just A LOT. I mean, you get to your destination and your bathroom counter is now overrun with at least three bags of stuff. I couldn't handle it. I needed a change. Enter one of these old-school hanging toiletry organizers.
These travel cases can be found just all over the place - I got mine on Amazon for $15. Particularly when you browse a site like Amazon, there are tons of options when it comes to the amount of compartments and how they're divided - if they are at all. My case has two plastic compartments at the top that are divided into four smaller compartments at the top and three in the second one. The third space is one huge plastic pocket, and I keep large items like my hairbrush and toothbrush in there. The bottom has two mesh pockets that are great for items that aren't likely to leak.
The case has two straps on the back with plastic buckles to secure it closed - the idea being that you roll up the case when it's full and click the buckles closed and head off on your adventure. This is an unrealistic expectation (and there are plenty of griping reviews on Amazon to attest to that fact). But I've found that while it's impossible to roll up this travel case when it's full, it's perfectly easy to fold it in half, and it actually takes up less space in my suitcase when I do. I usually put this is my case last, and I have all my other items packed away and then I fold this in half and lay it over my stuff and away we go. (It basically looks like a small garment bag, and it lies surprisingly flat!)
I keep this toiletry case in my suitcase with travel sized products already packed in it, so all I have to do when I'm packing for a trip is add the few items that I use every day at home, either that I have just one of or that I use full sizes of and have tiny duplicates in my travel stuff. It makes packing go SO quickly and the whole process couldn't be simpler. Then, when I get to my destination, I just unfold my case, hang it on a towel rack or wherever, and I'm good to go.