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Toiletry Bag Packing List

Traveling? Be sure to check out this Toiletry Bag Packing List first. There’s a breakdown for additional items for men and women as well.

For more tips to help you plan your trip, check out all of our travel posts.

A toiletry bag in a hotel bathroom with the words "Toiletry Bag Packing List" digitally written on top.

I love lists. I often make To Do lists so I can keep my blog work on track. And sometimes, I add things I’ve done to my To Do list, after I’ve finished it, just to cross it off.

When I’m traveling, I’m a big fan of lists too … especially packing lists. My mom used to have a great master list on the computer that she would print every time we went on vacation. There was a version for camping and another for flights. It was a huge help. So, to help you out, I actually made list of what to pack in your toiletry bag.

If you’re headed out on vacation or getting ready for a night out of town, this is perfect.

Let’s talk for a second about what counts as a toiletry. Toiletries, by definition, are items that help take care of your body. So this list is specifically focusing on those items. They’re, more or less, items you use in the bathroom.

This what to pack in your toiletry bag list is actually broken into three lists: a general toiletry bag packing list, one with must-haves for women, and another for must-haves for men. Now, of course, you don’t have to pack gender specific items, but I thought listing them might help.

A suitcase on a porch with the words "The Ultimate List Of Packing Lists" digitally written on top.

Speaking of packing, this is just one of the packing lists we have on the site. For more, check out The Ultimate List Of Packing Lists.

Affiliate links are included in this post and Drugstore Divas may make a small commission if you use them.

A toiletry bag with three sample sized items in front of it.

Tips For Picking A Toiletry Bag

Wondering which toiletry bag is right for you? These tips for picking a toiletry bag will help.

Get a waterproof toiletry bag:

At some point, something will spill in your toiletry bag. It’s inevitable. You won’t completely close your contact case and some solution will drip, your lotion will leak, who knows.

If you have a fabric toiletry bag, you may never get it clean from that liquid. But if you have a waterproof toiletry bag, you can easily wipe the spill with a towel and your bag is fine.

Look for compartments:

I can’t stress the importance of compartments enough. A toiletry bag with lots of compartments will make it so much easier for you to organize your items — and find them when you need them.

If you have a toiletry bag that’s just one big pocket, you have to rummage through the entire bag when you need something. And that can be a big mess.

A flat lay is a great shape:

If you want a bag that’s easy to get things out of, a flay lay toiletry bag is perfect. It will easily open on the counter in your hotel room, no matter how you stuff your toiletry items into it. Some other shapes may roll and not sit flat when you open them or will force you to dig down deep to find your items.

Get a clear, reusable toiletry bag for flights:

When you’re flying with liquids in your carry on, you’ll have to put them in a clear bag and pull them out when you go through security. You can use a plastic ziptop storage bag, but those are not cute. Plus, you use them for that trip and then toss them. What a waste.

Instead, pick up a clear, reusable toiletry bag. You can use a vinyl cutting machine to cut out words like “travel” or “bon voyage” to put on the front. Or just add a cute sticker to give it some personality. That’s a lot cuter when you’re putting it in the security bin.

Tips For Packing A Toiletry Bag

Before your trip:

Remember travel-sizes for flying:

If you’re flying and your toiletry bag is in your carry on, you have to keep your liquids under 3.4 oz. (100 mL) each and they must fit in a clear, quart-sized bag. You can either purchase items that are designated as “travel sized”, pack your full-size products into clear, plastic travel bottles, or request free samples (which are trial-sized) before you travel and just take those with you.

Keep in mind that if you’re flying, the airline may enforce additional restrictions on what can be packed. We mentioned nail clippers above. Those can go in a carry on. But scissors cannot. So be sure to check with your airline before packing.

Keep your toiletry bag handy:

If you’re flying, you’ll be asked to pull your liquids out of your carry on bag when you’re going through security. So, safe yourself some time, and keep those items out of your toiletry bag or at least somewhere you can easily access them.

Use tape to close liquids:

The worst thing that can happen is one of your liquids exploding all over your toiletry bag. This can happen if you’re rough with your luggage, from air pressure on the plane, etc. So my best tip is to close your liquids with a piece of tape over the top. It gives it a little extra security.

After your trip:

Refill your products:

When you get back from vacation, make sure to refill any used toiletries items (like shampoo, body wash, etc.) so that you have enough for your next trip.

Before you pack, though, be sure to pick up a new toiletry bag that is designated for overnight trips only. That way, you can always have it packed for when you go away.

Toiletry Bag Packing List

A toiletry bag with a deodorant in front of it.

Must-have travel toiletry items for women:

A toiletry bag with a body wash in front of it.

Must-have travel toiletry items for men:

Toiletry Bag: Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a toiletry bag and a Dopp kit?

If you’re looking for a new toiletry bag, you may come across references for a Dopp kit. So, what’s a Dopp kit?

According to the Chicago Tribune: Jerome Harris, a Chicago-resident, dropped out of school during the Depression and began doing janitorial work at his uncle Charles Doppelt’s company to help his family. The Charles Doppelt Co. was designing a new leather case for toiletries and Harris, then 19-years-old, eventually became the designer for the case.

It was named a Dopp kit, based off Charles’ last name. The Dopp kit was issued to GI’s during World War II and became so popular that Samsonite ended up buying the company in the 1970’s.

The kits were a popular gift given to boys when they became men, so now, Dopp kits are used to describe toiletry bags used by men while toiletry bag is the term used by women (although, of course, a woman can use a Dopp kit and vice versa).

Purchase Toiletry Bags Online:

If you’re shopping for a new toiletry bag, you can find some really nice ones online at the following stores:

Don’t forget to check a store’s minimum cart total to qualify for free shipping. Also, consider instore and curbside pickup to avoid shipping charges.

Comment below and let us know what items off this Toiletry Bag Packing List you forget most often.

Angela Ricardo

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Hi, This is an informative article on toiletry bag packing list. My question is if I am going on a campaign with my baby then what should I bring in my packing list. Thanks in advance for your suggestion.

drugstore diva lisa

Tuesday 14th of August 2018

Definitely anything that you pack in your baby bag: diapers, wipes, burp cloths, ointments, bottles, formulas, a travel fan (if it's hot out), a pacifier, and a change of clothes.

Sarah Butler

Wednesday 8th of August 2018

I always forget Q-tips!

Betty Curran

Wednesday 8th of August 2018

I usually forget my razor.

Kathy Hanley

Wednesday 8th of August 2018

I forget my toothbrush half of the time because I leave it out to use in the morning and in my rushing around forget to pack it!

Philip Lawrence

Wednesday 8th of August 2018

I usually forget the lip balm.