Frequent travelers burn through travel toiletries at an astonishing pace. Because the TSA limits toiletries to 3.4 oz sized products they are only good for a few trips before we have to replenish. This can get very costly. Instead, always buy travel size toiletries in bulk to save money.
In this article we examine the pros and cons of buying travel size toiletries in bulk. 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.
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
- My Travel Toothpaste in Bulk: 36 Pack of Crest Pro-Health Travel Toothpaste (Check Price)
- My Travel Deodorant in Bulk: 6 Pack Old Spice, Fiji (Check Price)
- My Travel Hair Gel in Bulk: 6 Pack, Got2B Glued (200% Savings Over Buying them Individually!)
- My Travel Shaving Cream: 3 Pack, Barbasol Shaving Cream (Check Price)
- My Travel Aftershave in Bulk: 6-Pack Gillette After Shave Gel, Sensitive Skin (Check Price)
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 Travellerâs First Aid Kit â 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)
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:
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:
- Can I bring a razor on a plane?
- Can I bring deodorant on a plane?
- Can I bring tweezers on a plane?
- Can I bring vitamins on a plane?
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