The TSA’s Byzantine security measures are making it increasingly difficult to travel “carry-on only” these days. It seems we travelers are now required to remove everything but Clif Bars from our screened baggage.
One little-known trick is to replace all (or as many as possible) liquid toiletries with solid alternatives. Stick-based products are not required to be packed in a one-quart, liquids-only Ziploc bag, meaning they don’t need to be removed from your carry-on luggage for separate screening. Here are five of our favorite solid travel products to get you started.
Solid Soap/Detergent (Sea to Summit)
Sea to Summit offers an excellent line of solid travel and outdoor products, however, their Pocket Wilderness Wash is hands-down the most versatile. A single, Tic Tac container-sized box holds 50 “leaves” of dry soap. Just add water, and the detergent leaves dissolve almost immediately, providing an effective solution for washing your hands and body, plus clothing and dishes. It’s 100% free of parabens, phosphates, and fragrances.
Solid Cologne (Duke Cannon)
We love Duke Cannon’s entire line of solid goods. They’re best-known for their no-nonsense Big Ass Brick of Soap, available in scents like Victory, Naval Supremacy, and Accomplishment. But we also dig their solid cologne which allows you to skip the Axe and other sickeningly perfumed body sprays. These concentrated balms melt with the heat of your fingers and allow for more precise application where you need it. The nature-inspired scents are crisp and earthy with names like Air, Land, and Sea.
Solid Sunscreen (Neutrogena)
In some areas of the world — we’re looking at you, Caribbean — sunscreen is often exorbitantly overpriced. If you plan on traveling some place tropical for even a week, a travel-size bottle of spray or liquid sunblock likely won’t be enough. Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Face + Body Stick is a deodorant-like stick sunblock that’s water-resistant, lightweight, fast-absorbing, and offers SPF 70 protection.
Solid Insect Repellent (Repel)
If you’re heading anywhere remote or fun (think: Costa Rica, Africa, Alaska), you can probably count on there being plenty of bugs. While the best bug repellent comes in spray form, Repel’s Insect Repellent Sportsmen Stick works almost as well. The compact, one-ounce sticks offer long-lasting protection (Repel promises up to eight hours) against the usual pests, including gnats, ticks, chiggers, and fleas. Most importantly, it protects against mosquitoes that can transmit Zika, Dengue, West Nile, and Chikungunya viruses.
Solid Toothpaste (The Dirt)
If the idea of solid toothpaste sounds strange, you’re not alone. But, The Dirt’s Trace Mineral Tooth Brushing Powder is well-reviewed and guaranteed to take better care of your teeth than traditional paste. The proprietary blend of nutmeg, sweet orange, cardamom, and cinnamon tastes and smells great. It’s also naturally whitening and free of xylitol, corn, soy, or gluten. Plus, the company makes a pocket-sized, 6-week jar that’s perfect for carry-on travelers.
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