Image of Toothpaste and Toothbrushes and text saying Travel Size Toiletries in Bulk - Frequent Travelers should buy bulk travel toiletries

Why Frequent Travelers should buy their Travel Size Toiletries in Bulk! [Updated for 2020]

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Frequent travelers burn through travel toiletries at an astonishing pace. Because the TSA limits our toiletries to 3.4 oz sized products we can only get a few trips out of our products before we have to replenish. This can get very costly and is exactly why you should always buy your travel size toiletries in bulk.

In this article we examine the pros and cons of buying bulk travel size toiletries. Specifically we answer the following questions:

  • Should I buy my travel toiletries in bulk?
  • Where can I buy travel size toiletries in bulk?
  • What’s the best place to buy travel size toiletries in bulk?

If saving money, traveling more efficiently and focusing more on your trip instead of your budget interests you, read on.

Always buy Travel Size Toiletries in Bulk if you are a frequent traveler

To baseline the conversation let’s do quick refresher on the TSA Rules for liquids (after all, this will help us understand what we can and can’t buy in bulk toiletry form). In this section we examine:

  • TSA Rules for Traveling with Liquids
  • How to save money when you buy bulk travel size toiletries

TSA Rules for Liquids when Traveling

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) restricts the size of liquids. Specifically, the “3-1-1” rule applies. This means any liquids or gels brought through airport security and onto the plane must be three ounces or smaller (3.4 oz, to be precise), must be stored in a 1 quart size clear plastic bag and only 1 bag per traveler is allowed.

Always buy Travel Size Toiletries in Bulk

There are some exceptions to these rules (e.g. if you are traveling with breast milk or formula), but for the most part travelers must still abide by these post 9/11 rules.

As a reminder, there is not a size limitation on liquids packed in your checked baggage. By the way, if you are looking for TSA rules on traveling with food visit our detailed guide here.

Save money when you buy bulk travel size toiletries

For frequent travelers the cost of maintaining a current supply of travel toiletries can add up over time. While the cost of an individual tube of travel toothpaste is tiny, the per oz price is terrible and that means you are getting ripped off.

Take, for example, this Travel Size Toothpaste from Crest (below). Target currently lists this .085 oz product at $1.39.

That’s roughly a $1.64 per ounce of toothpaste. Compare that to a full sized tube of the same toothpaste which is listed at $2.99 for a 5.4 ounce container, or roughly $0.55 cents an ounce. That’s an almost 300% price difference (295% percent to be exact)!

Yes…you read that right 300 Percent!

Regular Sized Crest Toothpaste (compared to travel sized toothpaste)
Target Lists this 5.4 oz container of the same toothpaste at $2.99

While I am sure that the folks at Proctor & Gamble are enjoying their margins on travel size toiletries and in the grand scheme of things we are talking about a few nickels here, not thousands of dollars, the frequent traveler is always better served when being frugal with their money.

“Nickels Make Dollars!”

As my old boss used to say, nickels make dollars. The point being that even small amounts of money are worth keeping track of. It all adds up.

Buy your travel size toiletries in bulk to save money over time Nickels Make Dollars!
bulk travel size toiletries are always the way to go

The savvy traveler knows that making smart financial choices at all levels pays off over time. That’s exactly why I will only buy my travel toiletries in bulk.

“I will only buy my travel toiletries in bulk.”

Let’s compare some prices to see why this strategy usually pays off.

That same toothpaste is available on Amazon.com in a 72 pack (yes, 72!) for around $0.85 cents an ounce.

Click Here to See Price of Crest w/ Scope 72 Pack – 0.85oz Travel Size

If you are not up for buying 72 tubes of travel toothpaste, there are smaller quantity packages too – that save a good amount of money as well.

For example, even just a pack of only 4 Crest w/ Scope Travel Size Toothpastes will run you $1.26 an ounce which is a 33% savings.

The point is this. Buying your travel toiletries in bulk will save you money – potentially significant money – over time. When you combine that strategy with the willingness to do a little comparison shopping you will likely be able to find some really great deals!

“Buying your travel toiletries in bulk will save you money – potentially significant money – over time.”

Bulk Travel Toiletries – some more ideas for travelers

To give travelers some additional examples, I’ve summarized a few travel toiletries that I personally buy in bulk for my trips, plus a few other examples that may be of interest to readers.

Where can I buy travel size toiletries in bulk?

Here are a few of my personal favorites, courtesy of Amazon.com:

These are my go-to brands and maybe not for you. But, it’s likely you can find your favorite travel size toiletry products in bulk on Amazon, Walmart, or Target.

I also, btw, have built a travel first aid kid designed for frequent travelers and all of the ills that can befall us. Check out The Traveller’s First Aid Kit – the savvy road warrior is always prepared.

Some other ideas

Here are a few other interesting mini toiletries in bulk that I’ve found on Amazon that may inspire our readers:

Pantene Conditioner 3.38 Oz Travel Size (Check Price) (for Pack of 3)

Convenience Kits Men’s Premium 20-Piece Necessities Travel Kit

This men’s convenience travel kit is interesting because it does the heavy lifting for you. By building a potentially perfect travel toiletry kit for you, there’s no heavy lifting. Maybe a great gift idea for the traveler in your life?
Speaking of travel gifts, don’t forget to check out our gift guides for travelers including 53 Amazing Gifts for Business Travelers in the 2019 Gift Guide for Travelers

Don’t forget the Toiletries Bag

You need a great place to store your travel toiletries so here are few popular options to consider:

Mossio Hanging Toiletry Bag

Vintage Leather Toiletry Travel Bag for Men by Dopp

42 Travel Hanging Toiletry Bag – wildly popular on Amazon and one of their Top Travel Accessories

And if you have special toiletries that you can’t buy in bulk…

Sometimes your special beauty products don’t come in travel sizes. Not to worry. There are a variety of different options for travelers. The most common is to buy a leak proof set of silicon travel containers to pour your favorite conditioner (or whatever) into for your trip. One of the more popular brands is noted below:

Final Thoughts on Buying Bulk Travel Sized Toiletries

We hope you are convinced that buying your travel toiletries in bulk is the best way to go. Frequent travelers will likely save money over the long haul by employing this strategy.

So…what’s your favorite bulk travel items? What products do you wish had a travel size and don’t! Join the conversation by dropping us a comment, below. 

One final thing…do you have questions about how to bring certain travel hygiene items on a plane? We’ve got you covered:

If you liked this content, please do us a favor share it on social media and click the “like” button below and don’t forget to follow us on social media including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

And, of course, if you are interested in more travel tips and travel advice, you might like these great articles:

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Author Biography

We. Do. Business Travel. The CBoardingGroup.com is a leading business travel focused travel blog. The principal author has over 18 years of consistent & frequent business travel. Over the years, he has developed various travel habits, travel tips, advice and more that he shares with fellow travelers of all skill levels. From hotel life, to airplane tips, to the weekly grind of frequent travel, plus a little travel humor, this blog is a haven for business travelers. Read his full bio here.

Advertiser Disclosure: CBoardingGroup has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. CBoardingGroup and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. “Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”

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