When traveling carry-on only, liquids can be a big frustration. Those pesky carry on liquid restrictions mean you have to find smaller versions of all your toiletries, and you might have to leave a few things behind. But what if you could find some great non-liquid carry on toiletries to make traveling carry-on only a little easier?
What toiletries can you take on a plane?
If you find yourself asking, what toiletries can I take on a plane, rest assured that you can take just about any toiletries you want in your carry on bag. But there are limits for liquid toiletries. The carry on liquid rule allows containers that are up to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) and all containers must fit in a clear zip top bag no larger than one quart (one liter). Anything bigger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) is not allowed, even if it’s not full.
But you know what kind of toiletries you can take on a plane without having to worry about how many ounces are allowed? Solid toiletries! There are many options for carry on toiletries that are non-liquid and won’t count against your airplane liquids limit, allowing you to take more toiletries on flights.
Keep reading for my favorite carry on toiletries!
Please note that some posts contain links that earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Non-liquid soap for carry-on travel
This should be an easy one. Lots of us use liquid shower gel on a daily basis, but when you’re traveling, packing a solid bar of soap is an easy switch. It might not be your favorite way of showering, but it will still get you clean and it won’t take up space in your liquids bag.
>>Can you take hair straighteners in hand luggage? Click the link to find out, plus info about taking curling irons and hair dryers in carry on.
Solid shampoo and conditioner for carry-on travel
Solid shampoo might be for the more hard-core travelers. I understand not wanting to give up your normal shampoo, especially for the ladies, but this is something to consider if you have a lot of other liquids you just can’t give up. It’ll certainly help you fly carry-on only. I made the switch a few months ago, and now I only use solid shampoo – even when I’m at home!
I personally use Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo Bar and Solid Conditioner Bar and I love them. The conditioner bar took two or three uses before it really started working well for me, but now I love it, so be patient with it. Those links go to their versions for oily hair, but there are several different types of shampoo bars, plus a conditioner bar for those of you with dry hair.
If you happen to live in Germany, I’ve also tried the Jolu Shampoo Bar, and I love this one too. Unfortunately I’ve only been able to find it on the Amazon Germany site.
Ethique shampoo and conditioner bars and Jolu shampoo bar have become my favorite carry on toiletries, and they’re ones I now use daily at home or on the road.
Lush shampoo bars (listed below) are also good, but the ones for my hair type have chunks in them, like seaweed or lemon bits, and that annoyed me after awhile. Apparently not all varieties are like this though. Their conditioner bar isn’t great either. Even as someone who doesn’t need much conditioner, I never felt like I was getting enough out of theirs. That said, Lush makes good stuff and is one to consider when testing out solid toiletries, plus many of their products come without plastic packaging.
Here are a few other solid shampoos and conditioners to try:
- J.R. Liggett bar shampoo
- Real Beer Shampoo Bar from Tasmania Australia
- Honey Silk conditioner bar
- Lush shampoo bars
No matter which ones you choose, make sure you test them out ahead of time so you know how they work with your hair.
Non-liquid perfume for carry-on travel
Ladies, I know you like to smell nice whether you’re home or on the road. But packing your favorite perfume might not be practical. Those bottles spill too easily, and if it’s a big bottle, it might be over the 100ml/3.4 ounce limit.
I used to work with the female travel site Her Packing List, and I got to try out their solid perfume sticks, called Aroamas. They’re small, roughly the size of a lipstick but thinner. They won’t leak or spill because they’re solid, made from a base of coconut oil and beeswax so the texture is similar to lip balm. They come in a wide variety of scents to fit your preferences.
Update: Unfortunately the Aroamas are no longer in stock. Check out these solid perfume suggestions instead. They’ll make a great addition to your hand luggage toiletries.
>>Read more about taking makeup on a plane.
Solid toothpaste? What? Yes, you read that right. Lush makes solid toothpaste tabs, solid mouthwash tabs, and powder toothpaste to help you reduce your liquids. They also come in recycled packaging, which is a great environmental bonus. I’ve tried the solid toothpaste tabs, and while they take a little getting used to, I love having one more non-liquid alternative when packing up my carry on toiletries.
Did you know sunscreen comes in solid form too? This is perfect for those beach vacations, or really any trip where you’ll be spending a lot of time outside. I tried this solid sunscreen on a recent trip and thought it was a great option for reducing carry on liquids.
Non-liquid bug repellent
Seriously, who knew? Instead of bug spray that gets all over your clothes, try out this solid bug repellent stick. This might be better than normal bug spray regardless of the carry-on benefits. I tried it out on a recent trip to Central America, and as long as I remembered to actually use it (I forgot a few times…oops!) it worked well to keep the mosquitoes away. This is definitely one to add to your airplane toiletries packing list.
This might not apply to all of you, but if you’re traveling long enough to need to do laundry, consider picking up some non-liquid laundry detergent strips. I don’t recommend them for an entire load of laundry (I once tried using 4 or 5 in one load and my clothes didn’t quite feel clean) but they work great for washing a few pairs of underwear in the sink when you’re in a pinch.
The possibilities are endless. Do a quick search for “solid” or “non-liquid” plus the product you’re interested in, and chances are there’s a solid option for you. Non-liquid carry-on toiletries are a great way to reduce the stress of the TSA liquid restrictions and reduce the chances of things spilling in your luggage.
Read more great posts about packing:
- How to Pack Light With Liquids
- How to Pick the Best Carry-On Luggage
- Carry-On Size Chart by Airline
- And check out the full packing section here