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15 Travel Beauty Hacks That Will Completely Change How You Pack


Travel can be exhilarating, but it can also bring some stress when it comes to packing. Plus, all those hours spent in the air and changing climates can quickly bring some unwanted changes for our skin and our hair. From long flights to limited packing space, maintaining a beauty routine while traveling can be a challenge—but not if you have the right tools and tips!

Luckily, us well-traveled beauty editors have picked up a multitude of travel beauty hacks over the years that not only make packing a breeze but can also help you feel your best and freshest on the go. No matter where your journey takes you, these are the best travel beauty hacks to live by. Here’s to keeping you glowing and vibrant throughout your adventures! Grab your passport, and get ready to discover the secrets of effortless travel beauty.

The Best Travel Beauty Hacks

1. Invest in the Right Bags for Your Beauty and Wellness Products

This may seem silly, but trust us, having the right gear for your products while you’re on the go makes all the difference. It’s our number one packing tip for a reason. Using a dedicated travel-sized makeup bag or two (our Glam Bags make the perfect little pouch) will prevent you from overpacking and will help you take stock of what you actually need. When your trip is over, no need to unpack these separate bags. Keep them intact and simply restock them as needed for your next trip. 

2. Separate Your Carry-On Essentials

Pack a small travel pouch with the things you’ll need to be able to grab quickly on the plane or in the car. Some ideas could be wipes, hand sanitizer, an extra hair tie or clip, lip balm, oil blotting sheets, and a face mist. Personally, we can’t travel without a pack of wipes, hand sanitizer, and TOWER 28 SOS Rescue Spray. Whatever you need at an arm's-length-reach in the name of beauty, put in this bag. 

3. Define Your Makeup Bag—You Don’t Need Everything!

While you already have a makeup bag; you can not travel with the whole entire thing (sorry!). Unless it's really important to you, we bet you anything you can pair down the collection. Take a good look at your makeup stash and ask yourself what gets used on a daily basis? Of course you’ll need the essentials for a full face, but you probably won’t need more than one small eyeshadow palette, highlighter, and maybe even blush. You don’t necessarily need travel-sized everything—most makeup products are pretty compact. 

4. Use a Caddy-Style Bag for Everything Else

This bag is arguably the most important and it will be your biggest. It will fit your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, skincare routine, toothpaste and toothbrush, and any other odds and ends you might need like Q-Tips, cotton rounds, dry shampoo, and razor.

Get a caddy of some sort that you can hang and can fold up to be compact in your luggage, like the CALPAK Terra Hanging Toiletry Bag. It fits so much, having endless little compartments for every thing you could possibly need while traveling.

5. Use Spill Proof Travel-Size Bottles

This might seem like a silly thing to mention but it’s another one of those pieces of travel beauty gear that will make packing and traveling a breeze without sacrificing your beauty routine. Our favorite travel-size bottles for things like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash must be silicone, spill-proof with secure tops, and reusable. Bonus points if they come in cute colors. 

6. Fill Travel Jars for Your Skincare, or Buy Travel Size

For traveling with skincare, you never want to pack all your full-size products. While it may seem easier to just throw it all in your suitcase, they’ll take up tons of room, will add weight, and they might even spill. Instead, you can purchase travel jars to take small amounts of products like face wash or makeup remover balm with you or get a full set of travel sized products. We recommend the latter if you’re packing a full routine, including cleanser, vitamin C serums, moisturizers, and SPF. 

7. Pack a Sheet Mask or Eye Patches for a Relaxing Flight Experience

If you have a long day of travel ahead, you can expect your skin to be in need of some TLC. Pack a hydrating face mask or under-eye patches to keep your skin plump, hydrated, and avoid those dark circles due to jet-lag. Some other in-flight skincare you’ll want to consider is a good sunscreen (while in the plane you are traveling closer to the sun) and makeup wipes (in case your eye makeup needs a little touch up). Sit back and relax and enjoy the comfort of the skies in skincare style.

8. All-In-One Hair Tools

When you're packing for a trip, it’s essential to travel light. Instead of lugging around a bunch of different hair tools, opt for multi-use ones like a one-step hairstyler that can blow out, straighten, add volume, and curl.

9. Opt for a Rollerball Perfume

Before you pack your entire expensive perfume that is likely housed in an elaborate glass bottle, see if your signature scent comes in a rollerball about an expensive bottle of perfume being compromised if something were to break. We love the Women's Coffret Rollerball Collection from ENGLISH LAUNDRY, so you can choose based on whatever mood you’re feeling or vacation vibe you’re taking!

10. Don’t Forget a Travel-Size Mirror

We don’t mean a tiny little compact for your purse, while helpful we find packing an extra mirror will come in handy if you're sharing a hotel room or Airbnb with friends. We love this Fold Vanity Mirror from LUXBOX, which is easy to travel with, and it stays protected since it can fold up like a case. This way, you won’t have to rely on the bathroom. Some travel mirrors even have a little light that will help with your makeup application or a cute selfie. 

11. Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated while traveling is crucial for maintaining healthy-looking skin. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and avoid caffeinated beverages, as they can dehydrate you further.

12. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Airplanes and hotel rooms can have dry air which can cause your skin to dry out. Be sure to moisturize your face and body before and during your travel to keep your skin hydrated.

13. Dry Shampoo

A busy travel itinerary may not allow for daily hair washing. Dry shampoo is an easy and quick solution to keep your hair looking fresh without having to find a shower.

14. Always Bring Sunscreen

Protecting your skin from the sun is critical, whether you’re at the beach or exploring a new city. Make sure you pack a travel-sized sunscreen to safeguard your skin while on the go.

15. Pack a Few Resealable Plastic Bags

You never know when you’ll need one. You can use resealable plastic bags to organize your beauty products, waterproof or safe guard them against spilling, or instead of packing a whole pack of makeup wipes you can throw enough for your trip in a plastic bag to keep them fresh. Transparent bags also make it easier to go through airport security checkpoints.

Looking for more beauty tips to help you on-the-go? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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Article Last Updated April 11, 2024 12:00 AM