Welcome back to my series “Pack like a Travel Agent.” Today’s topic is toiletry bags and how best to maximize your space for all those essentials! Stick with me and I’ll show you how I pack my own toiletry bag.

If you plan to pack your toiletries in your checked baggage, you don’t have to worry about the size of the containers quite so much. You still need to comply with the TSA’s restrictions about what can be packed in carry-on and checked luggage. Please see the TSA’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date information: Travel Tips: 3-1-1 liquids rule | Transportation Security Administration (tsa.gov)

The Toiletry Bag: When selecting a toiletry bag, I would stick with a few key characteristics. I would highly recommend a toiletry bag with a hook to hang it from the towel bar or shower hook when you get to your destination. I’ve also hung mine from a closet hanging rod in a pinch! I also like a lot of pockets both inside and outside of the bag. I also like a fabric that can easily be cleaned in the event of spills.

Over the years, I have tried several different methods of packing my toothbrush; from Ziploc bags to plastic bristle covers, and the tube method is my favorite. Not only is the tub inexpensive, but I can label the outside of it and color code them, so each person in our family is a color. I also like that these holders stack nicely in the zipper pouch of our family toiletry bag for easy access.

Toothpaste: Toothpaste is something that everyone needs in their toiletry bag. Remember that adult toothpaste is often too “spicy” for young children. While travel size toothpaste is often difficult to find in stores, you can get a sample size of a children’s toothpaste from their dentist at their twice-yearly check-ups.

Hair products: Travel size hair products are often available in pharmacies and big box stores, but if you have a specialty hair care product, I recommend purchasing refillable bottles. Make sure you clearly label these, so they don’t get mixed up!

Travel-Size Items I will always buy: Deodorant, adult toothpaste, and hairspray! These three are things I just can’t use in the full size!

Other items I always carry: Band-Aids, nail file, nail clippers, laundry stain remover, extra hair ties, and a thermometer. These are items that you may need in a pinch and are much better to have on hand than need to run out to a store for them!