Ever since the transatlantic aircraft plot in 2006, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been enforcing what is known as “3-1-1 for carry-ons,” wherein travelers are allowed to carry liquids through security checkpoints in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less that fit comfortably in one quart-size clear plastic zip-top bag.
It is, in a word, a pain. At least it is for me, because my personal rule of packing is to make sure I have everything I would need for 24-48 hours with me, and that includes sample/small sizes of all the “essential” liquids and gels I would need. Here’s what that usually includes:
True, in the age of COVID, we can bring up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizer with us. But even without the little bottle of Purell, my liquids still barely all fit, even when I put everything into the bag as if it was a Tetris game.
Oh, and if we’re going somewhere cold, add a tube of Carmex and a small bottle of hand lotion to that bag (and to make it all fit, I remove the asthma inhaler, since it’s medication and doesn’t have to be in my 3-1-1 bag; I just prefer that it is, so I always know where to find it).
Anyway, I recently discovered a few items that might be able to help decrease the liquids in many peoples’ 3-1-1 bags…
- Soap: Obviously, you can bring a bar of soap instead of liquid soap. That one’s a given 😉
- Shampoo: Several companies make solid shampoos, including Lush (they also make solid conditioners), Basin, Chagrin Valley and Ethique.
- Lotion/Moisturizer: You wouldn’t think that a moisturizer could come in a solid form, but it can! Basin makes several, as does Honey House Naturals. Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your own.
- Perfume/Cologne: Basin and Lush both carry over a dozen different scents of solid perfume, and several companies make men’s colognes in solids (all are available on Amazon):
- Bug Repellent: If you know you’re going to be in a “buggy” situation as soon as you land and you want to bring bug spray with you, OFF! makes insect repellent towelettes, as do Repel and Cutter, among others.
- Toothpaste: Instead of toothpaste, you can bring tooth powder. Colgate makes it, as does Pepsodent. You can even make your own. Oh, and Poligrip makes a powder, in case your teeth are like the stars and come out at night (my dad told me that joke when I was a much, much younger Sharon. So young that I didn’t know about false teeth yet and totally didn’t get the joke).
- Deodorant: Stick deodorant is considered a solid so you can bring whatever size and brand you like; it doesn’t have to go into your 3-1-1 bag.
Of course, if you’re flying somewhere where you know it’ll be easy to get liquid products, you can always just buy them once you land. That way, you can kill two birds with one stone – you can avoid going over the TSA limit and you get to shop local. If you’re not sure if that kind of option will be available in the area where you’re going to be, you can always ask your hotel in advance, or you can also check to see if there are smaller, independent boutiques or shops nearby and check their listings online.
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