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18 Travel Toiletries AFAR Staffers Always Pack

By AFAR Editors

10.25.19

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Use Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate for extra facial hydration. 

Courtesy of Kiehl’s

Use Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate for extra facial hydration. 

These are the must-have travel toiletries we take with us wherever we go.

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Toiletries can be a pain to pack. Unless you’ve mastered a bunch of life hacks—or love checking a ton of full-size toothpaste and shampoo into your luggage—it can be a hassle to find travel-size items that will keep you feeling fresh on the road. To make your next trip a little easier, AFAR staffers share the tried-and-true travel toiletries that they always bring in their dopp kits.

Travel-size beauty products

Glossier Stretch Concealer

“I love this concealer so much I bought a second that always stays in my travel toiletry bag. It covers dark circles under my eyes—which are inevitable after a red-eye flight—but isn't so thick that it feels like I'm wearing gobs of makeup on a plane. It comes in 12 shades, plus it's cruelty free. ” —Lyndsey Matthews, destination news editor

Buy Now: $18, glossier.com

Supergoop Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45

“Instead of packing a makeup brush and container of loose powder, I always have one of these Supergoop 2-in-1 setting powders in my toiletry kit. Takes up way less space and also includes SPF 45 for more protection.” —L.M.

Buy Now: $30, sephora.com

Gucci Bloom Fragrance Roller

“I always have my Gucci Bloom fragrance roller; it’s the perfect pick-me-up when you don’t have time to freshen up after your travels.” —Laney Boland, luxury sales manager

Buy Now: $34, sephora.com

First aid and health

Tiger Balm can relieve itching from mosquito bites.

Tiger Balm

“I do not travel without Tiger Balm. It is hands down the best product for mosquito bites. It relieves the itching and—I swear—makes them go away faster.” —Maggie Fuller, associate editor

Buy Now: $12, amazon.com

Lucas’ Papaw Ointment

“Made in Australia, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is a real workhorse of an ointment—it can soothe any travel ailment, from a rash to mosquito bites—packed into a small, smart-looking package.” —Aislyn Greene, senior editor

Buy Now: $12, amazon.com

Aesop’s Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash won’t dry out your hands the way other hand sanitizers might.

Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash

“I’m very attached to Aesop’s Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash. It’s aromatic (citrus with some earthy notes) but not overwhelming and won’t dry you out like a lot of other hand sanitizers do. Plus, you can dab some on a paper towel to sanitize your armrests and tray.” —A.G.

Buy Now: $10, nordstrom.com

Hair care

Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo

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Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo keeps you looking fresh without having to wash your hair every day while traveling—plus, you can get it travel-sized.” —Anique Halliday, product director

Buy Now: $3, ulta.com

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil

The Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil in the luxe travel size is one of my beauty travel essentials. It’s perfect for your daily hair care routine, and I love to use a few drops on my locks before a long flight or to protect my hair before a beach day.” —Veronica Baesso, director of travel sales

Buy Now: $45, us.gisou.com

Skin care

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is carry-on friendly at 1.7 ounces.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

“I use Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate for moisture every night and on long-haul flights after I’m done with my eye masks. By nature it’s carry-on friendly—only 1.7 ounces—and it just feels luscious. Three drops can give your face all the hydration it needs.” —A.H.

Buy Now: $49, kiehls.com

Sephora Collection Eye Masks

“The Sephora Collection eye masks ensure you emerge from your 16-hour flight looking better than you feel. I slap them on, moisturize, put in earplugs, and I’m down for the rest of the flight.” —A.H.  

Buy Now: $5, sephora.com

Thayers witch hazel with aloe vera comes in pad format, so it won't take up room in your baggie of liquids.

Thayers Witch Hazel

“I use the bottled formula of Thayers witch hazel with aloe vera at home, but on the road, the pad format gives me one less thing to worry about in my baggie of liquids. I use them as toner after washing my face—strong enough to keep me breakout-free, gentle enough that my skin doesn’t dry out. They’re also good for bug bites and other skin irritations.”—Nicole Antonio, managing editor

Buy Now: $7, target.com

How to Apply Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic to Packing

Aesop Aromatique Hand Balm

Aromatique hand balm is super-hydrating—the perfect thing to apply after using that moisture-sapping hand soap in airplane bathrooms.” —A.G.

Buy Now: $30, nordstrom.com

Use Evian facial spray after a long plane ride for some much-needed hydration.

Evian Facial Spray

“One of my favorite travel beauty toiletries is Evian facial spray. I might feel like a dried out twig when I get off the plane but at least I won’t look like one!” —Christine Corvalan, digital sales planner

Buy Now: $19, amazon.com

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

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“For warm-weather trips, this is my go-to sunscreen. The zinc-based formula is reef friendly, but doesn’t leave that dreaded white sheen behind like other mineral formulas. Plus, this bottle of sunscreen is small enough to pack in your TSA-approved plastic baggie for carry-on-only types.” L.M.

Buy Now: $14, amazon.com

Dental

Quip toothbrushes are both compact and visually appealing.

Quip Toothbrush

“I’ve been traveling with my Quip toothbrush for the past two years and love that it’s both compact and easy on the eyes. It’s not as powerful as, say, a Sonicare, but it offers a timed brushing experience (buzzing for four intervals of 30 seconds), which keeps me from getting lazy on the road.” —A.G.

Buy Now: $40, getquip.com

Marvis travel-size toothpaste is available in a three pack on Amazon for $15.

Marvis Toothpaste

I know spending more than $1 on travel-size toothpaste is ridiculous, but I stayed at a hotel once that included a 1.3-ounce tube of the Italian cult brand Marvis in their amenity kit. I took it home with me and it lasted through my next three trips. You can pick up a three pack on Amazon for $15 (and it makes for great gifts!).” —L.M.

Buy Now: $15, amazon.com

Why I’m Obsessed With This Reusable Toiletry Bottle

Miscellaneous travel toiletries

Japanese Tenugui Cloth

“I have a Japanese tenugui cloth that is always in my toiletry case. I use one every day to keep my hair back while I’m washing my face, and when I’m traveling it’s a great backup to have on hand: It’s an impromptu shower cap, a washcloth, and I’ve even used it once as a towel in an emergency at a hostel. (They’re also beautiful gifts if you need souvenirs from Japan.)” —Chris Pacheco, data analytics manager

Buy Now: $20, amazon.com

MakeUp Eraser

Instead of packing a whole bunch of makeup remover wipes, which can take up space and are really wasteful, I always take along one of these MakeUp Eraser cloths. All you have to do is wet the cloth and it magically wipes away even the most long-lasting makeup. —Ciera Velarde, newsletter engagement editor

Buy Now: $20, amazon.com

This article originally appeared online in February 2019; it was updated on October 25, 2019, to include current information. Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. We may earn a commission if you buy through our links.

>>Next: 9 Essential Tips to Help You Get Better Sleep on a Plane