Ralph Waldo Emerson told us life is a journey, not a destination. A little bit of wanderlust resides in most of us, whether you’re a globetrotter or simply prefer a good road trip. It’s also been said travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. If that’s true then you will definitely want to become a savvy packer. Hauling around too much luggage is restrictive and makes travel feel like work. In fact, the word “luggage” first came into printed English in 1596 from the verb “to lug,” as in “that which needs to be lugged about.”
Fortunately, there are a host of cleverly designed accessories to make our travels involve a lot less lugging. A smart and sensible toiletry bag is one you can’t do without. Bringing toiletries on your trip is non-negotiable. You’ll want to look for one with water-resistant material, a large main compartment, and multiple pockets for storage options. Do you need a family-sized toiletry bag or a personal one? Will you hang it, roll it up, or stash it in a suitcase?
It’s estimated about 1 percent of all checked bags fail to meet up with their owners at the carousel. If you’re traveling overnight or internationally, you might consider keeping your toiletry bag in a carry-on. If you do, be sure to check with your airline for current requirements. Whichever way you decide to go, you’ll be in good shape with this toiletry bag from Bagsmart. This smart and stylish piece of mini luggage looks as good as it is efficient. It completely unfolds to offer four consecutive compartments with a combination of pockets, zippers, and straps that can accommodate a variety of toiletry items and hold them secure – from full-sized shampoo bottles to tiny Q-tips. Transparent inside covers let you see at a glance where everything is stashed. A swivel hook turns a full 360 degrees to offer plenty of hanging options if you find yourself in tight bathroom spaces. Two-way zippers on the outside make access to your essentials quick and easy. It’s all carried with a handle that doubles as a hanging strap to slip onto luggage when you’re moving from place to place. The Bagsmart toiletry bag is water-resistant and presented in a peached material that looks much more expensive than it actually is.
This large men’s shaving (“dopp”) kit is made of a handsome polyurethane vegan leather, with a heavy-duty double zipper and reinforced seams. It’s made to endure all the rugged travel you might put it through. The term dopp kit is the namesake of the man who popularized the toiletry bag back in 1926, Charles Doppelt. A leather craftsman, he designed a kit that would be issued by the US military to all the servicemen in World War II. Referring to them as “dopp kits” was understandably more popular than the original term, “toilet bags.” With separate outer compartments, you can keep your wet swimsuit away from your dry belongings in this bag. Nylon lining keeps everything safe from leaks, and multiple pockets are equipped to house a full variety of items in different sizes and shapes. It comes with a bonus waterproof garment bag that works great for keeping dirty shoes or soiled clothes away from the clean ones in your suitcase. When you have to get going in a hurry and there’s no time to air dry, you can still hit the road with confidence.
Lightweight and compact
What do you do on a long layover? Many find something to eat, read a good book, or get some work done on their laptop. The Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok has a different idea. Here you can play an entire 18 holes of golf if you have time, at the Kantarat Course stretching between the airport’s two parallel runways. It comes complete with bunkers, hazards, and greens, but the biggest challenge is not being distracted by the sound of aircraft taking off or landing 20 yards away from you. It’s great to have your toiletry bag on hand during a long layover as well. This version by Amazon Basics comes in black, is made of water-repelling polyester material, and is fully lined to wipe clean easily. Like the Bagsmart toiletry bag, this model also features a hanging hook to access your toiletries in case there’s no counter space. It offers a mesh-lined main compartment with two internal storage spaces, and two outer zipped pockets to hold your smaller items.
The right size
With Maliton’s high-capacity toiletry bag, you won’t have to pick and choose what to bring. Hang this bag from its built-in hook and it unfolds to display four storage compartments. One of sturdy mesh and one of transparent plastic accommodate full-sized bottles and wet items that could potentially leak – but won’t because of the leak-proof nylon material that repels hot and cold water. Two other compartments hold medium to small-sized items, such as toothbrushes or cosmetics. Zip around design and carrying handle makes it convenient to pack around. Did you know that luggage is officially declared lost if not reunited with its owner within 21 days? Ever wonder what happens to the leftover luggage? In India’s Bangalore International Airport, it’s auctioned off publicly to free up storage space. In the U.S., one enterprising facility called the Unclaimed Baggage Center purchases it from U.S. airlines and resells it online from a 50,000 square foot outlet store. Some of the most unusual items they’ve resold include an Egyptian burial mask and a suit of armor.
When passengers remove loose change from their pockets going through security, they often forget to collect it from the tray afterward. What happens to all that leftover coin? Everything unclaimed is deposited into a fund and reinvested into aviation security programs. In 2019 alone, more than $926,000 was collected, with nearly $100,000 of that coming from passengers at New York’s JFK airport. You won’t need to break the bank with this toiletry bag by Wandf. It works well as a dopp kit, toiletry bag, shaving kit, or cosmetic bag. Made from water-resistant nylon, it’s designed for men or women and offered in ten different colors. The main compartment holds larger items like shampoo bottles or shaving cream. A zippered mesh pouch on one side is made to contain your smaller toiletries like cosmetics, while a second zipped compartment on the other side provides additional storage. A stretchy side handle is easy for carrying.
Kelli Brandenberger is a contributing writer to Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. Kelli is a writer and editor who spends as much time as possible near the water.