While I usually wait until as close to departure as possible to make my final travel wardrobe selections, there are a few other preparations I like to handle in advance. (And I find doing so helps avoid last-minute scrambling or forgetting something important.)
Packing Toiletries And Beauty Products
We’re now about a week and a half out from our departure, so it’s a good time to re-organize and re-stock my toiletries kit.
I keep my EMME toiletries bag packed in between trips, but a few days before we leave, I pull everything out and take inventory.
- OTC meds: toss anything that’s expired, or mostly used up and replace.
- Skincare: I go through sample packets, organize by product type and clip or rubber band together. If I’ve decanted any products into small travel containers, I dump any leftover product, wash the containers, and re-fill.
- I make sure that my liquids* will all fit into a quart-sized baggie. The clear pouch on the EMME bag is also designed to be TSA-compliant for liquids. (While I’ve never had any issue taking the clear pouch from the EMME bag through security, some people have reported they did. If you’re on the cautious side, you can always travel with your liquids in the quart baggie and transfer to the pouch once you arrive at your destination.)
- Cosmetics: I like to pack a fresh tube of mascara, and new or nearly-new lipsticks for travel. While I love to shop for skincare and some makeup when I travel, I don’t want to HAVE to in a pinch because I’ve run out of something.
(Be sure to use code UNEFEMME for 20% off your EMME bag!)
Liquids And TSA…
While security checkpoints have become a little more efficient over the last few years (and with Global Entry, the process is further streamlined), I still prep and pack as though everything will be scrutinized. Liquids include:
- Shampoo, conditioner, hairspray
- Creams, oils, lotions, sunscreen, liquid foundation.
- Liquid fragrances
- Eye drops (unless prescription)
Regarding those sample packets, I always ask for samples when I visit department store cosmetics counters. Sometimes you can get travel sizes of favorite products during “gift with purchase” promotions. Sephora usually has a ton of travel-sized products and sets. Otherwise, you can decant your favorite products into travel-sized containers.
*What I don’t count as liquids:
I usually pack these separately in a cosmetics bag along with my tools (tweezers, eyelash curler, makeup brushes, nail clippers, etc.). While I have never had a problem at security checkpoints, your experiences may differ. So use your own experience, judgement and comfort level.
Hair Tools And Products
I’ve received many questions over the years about tips for packing hair tools and products. Because my hair requires minimal upkeep and styling, I’m turning this question over to the experts: You. Do you have favorite travel gadgets for hair styling? What styling products are worth making space for?
A Few More Advance Travel Preparations
In addition to packing toiletries and beauty products, here are a few more preparations you can take care of a few days before travel:
✅ Check your prescription medications to be sure that nothing will run out while you’re traveling. You may need to arrange a “travel advance” with your pharmacy to be sure you’re covered.
✅ Call your credit card companies to let them know where and when you’ll be traveling. If you plan on making any larger-than-usual purchases while you’re out of town, make them aware of that too.
✅ Set up a “vacation hold” for your mail if no one will be home.
✅ Download your airline’s mobile app and register, if you haven’t already. This is a great way to stay on top of flight delays, gate changes, boarding notifications, etc.
✅ Locate charging cords for any devices you’re planning to bring (phones, tablets, portable speakers, magnifying mirror 😉)
What travel preparations do you prefer to handle in advance?