Let’s talk about travel toiletries. When Clay and I travel, we typically drive, meaning most of our vacations are road trips. Even if we stay in a hotel, versus a cabin rental, we always take full size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, etc. Even when it is just the tow of us.
Why? Because there’s typically, at minimum, 5 of us and I keep our travel toiletries packed and refilled year round. Our toiletry bag and suitcase are nearly always ready to go and we can just toss in a few extras based on weather or season and hit the road. I have a few tips for what we like to keep packed for road trip toiletries. EVERYTHING FITS IN ONE BAG! I hope you find them useful for your trips.
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The Travel Toiletries Bag
First things first: the bag. You’ll need a decent sized toiletry bag to hold everything. With that said, ours really isn’t that big but the layout lets it hold a ton of stuff! I got this bag at Walmart for less than $20.
One thing I like to keep packed and on hand, as far as road trip toiletries go, are full sized bottles of our favorite shampoo and conditioner. I’ve tried using travel sized bottles, in the past, but always run out or end up needing to pack several or buy more during our trip. Taking our full size bottles along ensures we have enough for everyone, no matter how long our trip is. I always take the same brand as what we use at home. Or, when taking a beach vacation, I’ll pack something with a coconut scent. Just to get us all in the beach vibe. One brand I really love to pack is Maui Moisture.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Maui Moisture shampoos and conditioners contain aloe juice, pure coconut water, minerals, electrolytes and vitamins so they are very hydrating to the hair. My hair tends to get very dry when we travel, especially to the beach (ocean water and chlorine), so shampoo and conditioner that can help restore moisture is a must!
A huge bonus for me? I can purchase them at Walmart! That is the closest store to us, Plus, you can find one in nearly every mid-size town so, if we run out, I can replace them easily. My two favorites are the Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter and Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk. These make our hair extremely silky and smooth. And with our cistern and hauled water, that’s a big help!
Soap or Body Wash
I also keep full sized bars of soap packed. My, personal, favorite is Dial Spring Water. I love how fresh and clean it smells without being overpowering. So, I keep a soap container with a new, full bar packed at all times. When we get home from a trip, I put the used bar in the shower and place a new, unused bar, in the travel container.
Some of our group prefers body wash so I’ll, occasionally, pack a bottle of body wash and bath pouffes. I feel like this takes up quite a bit of room so we usually just do the bar of soap.
EXTRA TIP: On our last beach trip, we didn’t have enough wash cloths. So, my mother-in-law bought a pack of wash cloths to keep in our travel tote. We just wash, dry and toss them back in. We always have enough that way!
Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
We keep a new tube of full sized toothpaste in our travel toiletries. Like with the soap, I will pack a new tube for a trip. When we return, it goes into the bathroom for use at home and a new tube goes into the travel bag. For our toothbrushes, I replace these after a few trips.
We each try to have our own color of travel toothbrush and I make labels and put our names on our toothbrush and place a travel cap over each one. It’s not that I’m super OCD (I probably am). It’s that I’ve had my toothbrush accidentally used by family members and that really grosses me out. So, the name labels avoids any confusion on which toothbrush belongs to which person. We have dental floss and picks packed in there too.
Cotton Swabs and Cotton Balls
Our kids like to buy the chewing gum that comes in a plastic container. I hate throwing those things away. They are pretty good quality and hold a variety of things. I actually have a blog post coming up soon with ways to re-purpose them! One way is by using it to hold cotton swabs. This little container fits, perfectly, in my travel toiletries bag and holds plenty of cotton swabs. A 2nd holds cotton balls. This keep them all in place and clean.
Makeup/Face, Deodorant & Body Wipes
When it’s just Clay and me, I place a few make-up wipes in another one of the chewing gum containers. When the girls are going, too, I take along a full-size package. I usually keep the full size package packed and just switch it out when there’s only the 2 of use. Just to save some room.
I also like to keep body wipes, face wipes and deodorant wipes on hand for quick clean up like when we went horse back riding, recently. We were starving when our ride was over but we didn’t want to go all the way back to the cabin. Instead, we gave ourselves a quick wipe-down with a body wipe, followed by a deodorant wipe and we were refreshed and ready to go.
We each pack a full size deodorant. I also have a spray deodorant that I take along.
Razors and Shaving Cream
I have a little zippered pouch that holds our razors. I pack a full sized can of shaving cream. I have a coconut scented shaving cream in the bag right now. Clay doesn’t mind using the one we use so I usually just pack one type of shaving cream. When it’s empty I’ll pick up a new one and replace it. I pack a mens razor for Clay and women’s for us girls. We’re currently using, and loving the Billie Razor!
This is the exact one I use and love:
Hairbrush, Comb and Accessories
We keep a regular sized hairbrush in our bag. It is a duplicate of the one we use at home. This makes hair styling a breeze since we’re used to the brush. It’s just a simple, basic brush that gets the tangles out easily. I also keep a comb and several hair ties.
This is the one items that I keep a travel size of. We don’t use much hair spray but like to have it, just in case. It helps tame stubborn fly-aways and can be used for other purposes as needed.
Heat Protectant Spray/Hair Oil Spray
I always take a flat-iron and a small hair dryer in our suitcase so we need something to protect our hair from heat damage. A spray works well so you can just spritz it on, brush it through and style your hair. I love the L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight Heat Spray
That’s pretty much it. These are the travel toiletries items that we keep packed at all times. I replace them, as needed, and keep them stocked and packed at all times. We also keep a set of basic clothes in our suitcases. This includes a t-shirt, jeans, sweatpants, socks, underwear and an extra set of pajamas. We change these out a few times per year. If we ever have to run out the door, we’re ready!
I have a small nail clipper set that has a large and small set of nail clippers, an emery board and a nail file. It fits perfectly in our toiletry bag!
This next item is one I forgot about when I made up the pin graphic and listed 12 items. So, you get a baker’s dozen of must-have road trip toiletries tips!
I know, I know, this seems silly. But, those little bottles of spray that supposedly make your poop not stink, actually work pretty well! And when 5 – 6 folks (or more) are vacationing together…. mama does what she needs to! BUT, I don’t buy it. I make my own! I’ll be sharing a recipe soon and will link it here as soon as it’s live on my site.
Stay tuned for our upcoming article showing you our road trip kitchen travel tote!
That’s the 12 main items we like to keep in our road trip toiletries travel bag.
What are some road trip travel toiletries must-haves you like to always bring along?
If you liked this post on road trip travel toiletries, check out more great travel content like the following posts:
- On The Go Body Wipes: Stay Fresh While Traveling With Busy Beauty
- Must Haves For Tent Camping
- Our Pacific Breeze Cabana Saved Us On The Atlantic!
This post was originally shared November 11, 2019 and was updated in 2023.
Crystal is a stay-at-home- mom, living in KY with her husband and children. She is a travel and lifestyle blogger encouraging folks to live their life one adventure at a time while also focusing on beauty, essential oils and health. From time to time she also likes to showcase her adorable pets along with her family. Along with Cinnamon Hollow she can be found at The Martin Family Adventure … read more