How to pack to travel the world with less than 5kg! Part 3

Toiletries!
This is where the lightweight packing goes so wrong for most of the people that I see struggling through the airport with enormous cases.
For those amongst you who love the make up – you have probably figured out that I am not on the high maintenance end of feminine grooming.  I get my hair cut twice a year and don’t own a hairbrush.  I figured out, when I was a workaholic in my thirties getting five hours sleep per night, that the time other women spent doing their hair and putting make up on is 30 minutes I would rather be asleep.   And frankly, I can’t have make up on for more than five minutes without getting lipstick on my teeth, or rubbing my eyes and getting mascara all over the place.  So, as a result, I have a pretty stripped down beauty regime which is brush the teeth, slap on some moisturiser and deodorant, run the fingers through the hair and then wander out the door.  (including having a shower, I can be from bed to door in 9 minutes)
I get this isn’t everyone’s approach for day to day life, but when travelling I advocate the simple approach.  In hot climates you will probably be sweating buckets anyway, so that make up will be wasted as it will slide down your face.   Also, in many places, it is easier to look a bit rough around the edges as you fit in better with the ‘poorer’ locals and therefore get less hassle.
So, what is on my packing list….
Toiletries – wet

So, obviously I decant all the wet toiletries into a container that will last for the maximum of the duration of the voyage or up to two months, which ever is shorter.  You can buy most things on the road

  • Moisturiser, anything will do, a pot of 15g lasts at least three weeks, decant it!
  • Sunscreen (10 hour), – I use a 20 ml bottle of Riemann’s once per day P20 (the oil version not the spray version)
  • Lipgloss, I use blistex– the the tiny pot
  • Antiseptic savlon – for cuts decanted in a 15 ml spray bottle
  • Betadine – for cuts, a tiny bottle of 5mls
  • Insect repellant – normally with deet if I am in a malaria zone, or something less toxic like tui balm  if I am not worried about Malaria
These I pack in a TSA  compliant Muji bag so I don’t have to use a ziplock bag, and I buy the small pots from muji
Toiletries – dry
  • Salt deodorant stick – this is a great alternative to chemical based deodorants and it lasts forever (though I change mine every year).  It weighs 50g grams, and is wholly natural.  You run the salt stick under cold water and then apply to your underarms
  • Toothpowder – rather than use heavy toothpaste, I switched to tooth powder as you can carry six months worth for the same weight as 2 weeks worth of toothpaste.  Different flavours and brands available, but I use this one
  • Shampoo soap – again, rather than carry shampoo which is 90% water, buy a  bar of shampoo soap and carry a small slice – weighs little and lasts for a long time
  • Drugs – I always travel with sleeping pills/stilnocht (for overnight flights), painkillers/nurofen, anti diarrhoea/immodium, dicloflenac, codydramol, antibiotics/ciprofloxacin antibiotic, dioxin (for altitude).  I pack these in a tiny pill case from MUJI. I am also toting some arnica pills at the moment for some ongoing injuries
  • Compeed and a couple of plasters for cuts and blisters
Other
  • Earplugs (mandatory for cheap hotel rooms, dorms, flights, loud buses, or single engine planes),
  • Razor blade (just one replacement blade, don’t bother carrying the handle)
  • Toothbrush (I tried cutting the handle off, and take one of these when I am going to the bush, but when I am travelling I take a whole one)
  • Nail clippers (tiny)
  • Tweezers (tiny)
  • Some cotton buds
  • Hair ties
  • Safety pins – handy for fixing broken bags or shoes, joining up curtains that don’t meet so people can’t see in from outside (this happens to me frequently)
Note, I don’t normally carry soap as almost every where has it, although I will take it if I am camping or going overland
Total weight 250-400 grams depending on trip duration
My entire toiletries kit looks like this!
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And there is no make up, no hair brush, no hair spray, no conditioner, no hair dryer, no eye cream, no mascara, no foundation, no bubble bath….., :-).  Try it, you will love it and feel liberated!

3 thoughts on “How to pack to travel the world with less than 5kg! Part 3”

  1. Just started our indefinite world-your journey, and toiletries was what kept me from traveling in a carry-on. This is helpful. Thank you!

    1. yay! only just saw this… have had troubles with my spam. hope you are having an amazing trip! i swear by the dr bronners all purpose bar soap these days. not liquid, and you can wash yourself, your hair and your clothes with it 🙂

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