How Do You Pack Your Products?

Julie Christie
Julie Christie

There’s something enjoyable about packing travel-size toiletries for a short trip— sample packets, tiny toothpaste tubes, those little nubbins of deodorant that are the right size for a Jack Russell Terrier’s armpit. But while moving across the country last week, I contended with the less fun version: I had to pack or toss every toiletry item I owned.

It's nerve-racking to cram a thousand full-sized products into a checked bag. Statistically, something has to explode. Articles on Google recommended transferring everything into leak-free squeeze bottles, but I just couldn’t do that. I'm sure those bottles work great, but they also look like they belong in a hospital, and it’s sad to trade in nice packaging for generic farting tubes.

My strategy was not much better. I stuffed my one cosmetics case to Augustus Gloop-like proportions, and from there it got progressively shittier: plastic shopping bags, sandwich bags, tin foil (???), and sloppy combinations therein. In the end, the contents of my suitcase looked like a dozen school lunches hastily prepared by a single dad.

During the flight, I speculated on which item would be the one to goop all over my stuff. Maybe it'd be the Cure Natural Aqua Gel that comes in a bottle that doesn't close (Why? Why would they make it like that?) or the half-full makeup remover I should have left behind. Maybe a luggage handler would stomp-dance on my bag for fun. Who knows? Six more hours!

The Exploder turned out to be a dark horse—a big jar of moisturizer that unscrewed its own lid during what must have been a steamy affair with a wool sweater. Given this messy, expensive twist ending, I have to ask: What are your toiletry-packing tricks? I’m also all ears for tales of untimely in-suitcase explosions. Maybe it’ll ease the pain of the dry cleaning bill.

—Emmy Blotnick

Image via Getty. Read more Open Threads here.