The Ultimate Travel Beauty List: What to Pack and What to Leave Behind
You have your TSA-approved beauty staples down to a science, but even the most experienced traveler will end up with a melted flat iron that couldn't quite take the heat of the international voltage settings. With summer vacation season in full swing, it seems that just about every other Friday is spent determining the product lineup you'll stash in your carry-on, only to find out everything you brought was already provided. To help make the routine a little easier, we rounded up a list of the items you can definitely bank on finding at your hotel or AirBnB, and the ones you should plan to bring along with you. Keep reading to find out the products you should pack, and what to leave at home.
Leave It: Hair Dryer
Aside from taking up room in your suitcase that could be better used for other items, those traveling abroad run a high risk of having their Drybar Buttercup ($195; sephora.com) burn out. The model provided at your location may not be as up to speed as your home version, but if you play your cards right, you can make even the saddest, wall-attached tool work in a pinch.
Take It: Round Brush
Want to fake a salon blowout when working with a hotel blow dryer? Grab your Double Pint round brush ($42; sephora.com) and have some patience. Start by either letting your hair air dry, or rough dry it until 90% of the moisture is gone so you don't have to do as much wrist work. Apply a layer of serum, then use your round brush to smooth over individual areas.
Leave It: Shampoo
We know it sounds crazy, but hear us out: Unless your hair has very specific needs, it's probably safe to leave the bottle of shampoo behind, or at the very least, decant your Earth's Nectar Mint Leaves & Tea Tree formula ($22; sephora.com) into a smaller container. Regardless of whether you're at an AirBnB, actual B&B, or in a hotel, shampoo will be provided, and to be honest, hotels have really been stepping up their beauty game. We've checked in to find Aveda, Paul Mitchell, and even Molton Brown products adorning our bathroom counters.
Take It: Conditioner
Try going on a week-long cruise where not even a generic conditioner is provided, and those dreams of your beloved IGK Volume formula ($25; sephora.com) will start to occur on a nightly basis. Shampoo may be a constant for most places, but you'll want to bring your favorite conditioner along for the ride, especially if you'll be exposed to dry air or salt water. Even when provided, we often end up using the entire hotel-sized bottle on our mid-lengths and ends.
Leave It: Body Wash
Just like shampoo, body wash (or at the very least, a bar of soap) will be provided wherever you stay, so you can leave that gigantic bottle of Soap & Glory's Clean on Me ($10; drugstore.com) in your shower.
Take It: Body Oil
Sure, you can probably count on a tiny bottle of lotion to await your arrival, but some formulas aren't quite as moisturizing as the stuff you have back home, which is why we like to stash a bottle of The Body Shop's Polynesian Monoi Radiance Oil ($25; thebodyshop-usa.com) in our checked luggage. As an added plus, it moonlights as a hair treatment. Work a small amount through your layers either before or after your shower to hydrate and add a mirror-like shine.