Travel-sized tubes are a bonus packing item, especially in these challenging days of packing for airport security, where liquids and gels carried on airplanes must adhere to strict airport rules around size and quantity.
Using sample sizes helps a lot with this, and you'll definitely want to look into it if you'll be traveling carry-on online. This article covers where to get small travel-sized tubes in three ounces or less of liquids and gels like deodorant, make-up, hair gel, shampoo, shaving cream and other liquids and gels.
Oh, and laundry soap, food, and more than you could ever imagine, which can often come in small, sample sized travel packets.
Where to Buy Travel-Sized Samples
If you buy a lot of beauty products, you probably have a ton of samples shoved in a drawer at home -- travel is a great opportunity to try some of these out! I save any samples I get from Sephora for travel purposes and bring some samples of primer, foundation, shampoo and skincare products in my backpack. These are far smaller than bringing your entire bottle of product and save on weight, too.
Minimus.biz is another fantastic option for travelers. Minimus offers tons of products in small, travel-sized tubes, packets, and containers of three ounces or less, perfect for travel packing in view of airport security rules. On the site, you can find individual packets of everything from salad dressing to laundry soap, and get small packets of drugs like Tylenol, too.
Amazon.com is usually my first port of call when I want a specific product in a sample size. You can just search for the product name and "sample" or "travel size" to see if there's a small-enough option for your travels.
Grocery and drug stores will typically have a section by their toiletries with travel-sized samples of most liquids and gels you'd need for your trip.
They're usually pretty overpriced, but it's definitely worth spending a few extra dollars to save on weight and space in your luggage. You'll be able to pick up sample sizes of laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, hand sanitzer, makeup, and more while you're there.
Additionally, these stores will often sell small or folding toothbrushes, which are great if space is *really* tight, and clear plastic tubes and jars into which you can squeeze your own liquid and gels. Get the small, resealable (like Ziploc style) plastic bags required for airport security packing that are tougher than sandwich or freezer bags in this section, too.
How to Make Your Own
If your favorite product doesn't come in a travel-sized container, it's relatively simple to fashion one yourself. Pick up one of the empty clear plastic containers at a drug store (or Amazon has a wide range of different sized ones available) and spend your afternoon squeezing any products you really want to use abroad into the empty containers. For my most recent trip to Europe, I did exactly did with my sunscreen so that I didn't have to take a full bottle with me. As I was traveling carry-on only, this was especially useful!
One other thing you could do is keep any sample-sized bottles of product you have precisely for travel purposes.
I have plenty of small bottles of cleanser and makeup remover than I store in a drawer once I've finished using them -- and after washing them, of course. Once I need to go on a trip, I fill them up with other products I want to take with me, saving money on buying travel tubes elsewhere.
More Packing Tips
Read more travel packing tips and tricks here:
- Packing Light and Smart
- How to Pack for Airport Security
- How to Avoid Lost Luggage
- Information hub: How to Prepare for Air Travel
This article has been edited and updated by Lauren Juliff.