Liquid-free travel

solid toiletries for travel

Have you thought about liquid-free travel, but not sure how? Traveling without liquid toiletries can seem too tough, but it’s actually much easier than you think. The liquids that I do have in my bag? Sunscreen, bug spray and nail polish. Other than that, I have no liquids in tow.

solid toiletries for travel

Traveling without liquids

On my last trip, I found that liquids were a real PITA to deal with – they added weight and added worry (that they would open as my bags were being handled). Additionally, before I took that trip, I had started using more natural solutions for health and beauty, so it felt like I was taking steps backwards when I went to travel. I had been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for my hair, but felt like traveling around Colombia with a little bag of white powder might raise suspicion. Plus, would I be able to make my baking soda/water mixture in the hostel bathrooms? It just seemed so…not cool, man.

How to travel liquid-free?

After doing some research about solid toiletries for travel, I changed my approach. I worked to find Earth-healthy and body-healthy products that also do their job. Solid shampoo and lotion bars? Sounds like witchcraft, but I went for in-store demos to prove what I read online to be true.

You can find these at stores like LUSH, or alternatives online (examples from Amazon below).

Here are the solid toiletries I decided on:

Solid shampoo bars

Shampoo is one of the heaviest and bulkiest liquid toiletries, so looking for a solid shampoo option for travel was a priority. I picked up the New Solid Shampoo bar. I have used a few others – this has such a great cinnamon scent. Solid shampoo will run about $10-$12 each, but each shampoo bar I’ve used has lasted me over 6 months.

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How to use solid shampoo: Pretty easy, it lathers up just like a bar of soap and you lather it into your hair.

These are three well-reviewed solid shampoo bars available on Amazon ($6-$16):

solid shampoo bar option for travel

ethique solid shampoo bar (~$15)

solid shampoo bar option for travel

J.R. Liggett’s solid shampoo bar (~$7)

solid shampoo bar option for travel

Yellow Bird solid shampoo bar (~$10)

Dry shampoo for travel

Because travel means you aren’t always near a relaxing, hot shower, I grabbed No Drought dry shampoo as a dry shampoo. Bonus – it is powder, not that awful aerosol spray that everyone else sells.

How to use dry shampoo: sprinkle onto the scalp, let it sit for a few minutes and brush out.

When looking for dry shampoo for travel, look for powder, no aerosol ($10-$25):

dry shampoo powder travel bumble and bumble

Bumble and bumble ($25)

dry shampoo powder travel schwarzkopf

Shwarzkopf ($10)

Solid conditioner

The Jungle solid conditioner just smelled amazing and had a smooth feel to the touch. There are a few options, so it’s worth exploring. I have really curly hair, so was the most skeptical about switching to a solid conditioner.

How to use solid conditioner: this one is a bit tougher than the shampoo, but same concept – work in your hands until it has an almost liquid consistency.

These are two well-reviewed solid shampoo bars available on Amazon (both ~$18 and come in different styles):

solid shampoo bar travel option ethique

ethique solid conditioner (~$18)

solid shampoo bar travel option nature skin shop

Nature Skin solid shampoo (~$18)

Solid lotion

This is where I was starting to think the folks at LUSH were off their rockers. Lotion can’t be in a bar. It just can’t. Oh wait, that’s lotion in a bar. Mind. Blown. Instead of a regular lotion bar, I went with the Therapy massage bar, not only because the slight lavender scent had me ready for a relaxing hammock hangout, but because of the promise of benefits to sore muscles (which happen to pop up all over the place when traveling).

How to use: this feels a bit weird, but run the bar along your skin, warming it up, and rub it in.

solid lotion travel bee bar

Bee Bar Lotion (~$12)

solid lotion travel botanicals

Botanical Bars (~$11)

Solid face lotion

Ok, ok, you showed me body lotion in a bar, but no way can I put that on my face (which is totally the same skin as the rest of my body, but just doesn’t see it that way). Not only does Full of Grace totally [not] describe me to a tee, but just melts on the skin. More to come on how nicely it plays with makeup (though I go light and do only powder).

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How to use: work between your hands to warm up and run along your face. Rub in and you’re set!


Toothy Tabs (~$20)

Whoa, “bath bombs for your teeth” she said. Toothy Tabs are little tabs that foam up when they make contact with your saliva and you can brush your teeth from there. These seem like the least expensive, but also like they’ll be the quickest to go through. They come in a ton of flavors.

How to use toothpaste tabs: pop in your mouth and brush! So simple.

Solid body soap

solid toiletries for travel dr bronners

Dr. Bronner’s (~$6)

One of the first “travel” items I ever purchased was Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. I was lured in with its promise of so many uses – shampoo to laundry soap. It wasn’t great for me hair-wise, but I loved it for everything else. If you go with the liquid version, it’s so concentrated that it lasts what seems like forever. But since I wanted to ditch the liquids and keep the suds, I have switched to the bar version (I love the tea tree one) and keep all the benefits.

How to use: Ok, you’ve got this one down. But a little secret I have is these hand towels that are perfect for travel – I know they’re made for dishes, but they’re great for body soap and dry so quickly. Always on my pack list.

Other accessories for liquid-free travel

Reusable TSA approved bag

I always used plastic bags, but don’t like using single-use plastics. So I finally bit the bullet and got a reusable bag. The key is to look for the ones with cloth or reinforcement on the corners, or the plastic will come apart over time. Reusable TSA approved bag (~$10).

liquid-free travel hand towel

Since you’re traveling liquid-free, quick-dry hand towels are a life saver to lather everything up and just minutes later, they’ll be dry enough to go back in your bag. Quick-dry hand towels (~$6).


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Solid toiletries for travel

Now I know that seems like a post all about LUSH products, but basically it is. Deal with it. I love their approach to cosmetics and products – make stuff with good stuff to do stuff (that is definitely not a marketing approved slogan, just my summary). I’m interested in additional products that let you go liquid-free, but these guys seem to really have it all covered and are the ones that I have used the most. But there are a ton of additional solid toiletry options, linked here and from other companies trying to get rid of liquids! Happy shopping.

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Founder of How Dare She, Jessica is on a mission to visit every country in the world, and bring you along with through photos, video and stories. 6 continents and 104 countries in. She has a BA in journalism and Master's in innovation and change, but her real skill is plugging in a USB in 2 or less tries (most of the time). She believes daring isn't about being fearless, but choosing to opt in, in spite of fear. She dares to see, taste, experience and meet the world as she goes.

3 Comments on “Liquid-free travel

May 5, 2015 at 11:47 am

Have fun!! I never knew these types of products existed. Very insightful for the traveler out there 🙂 Good luck and I look forward to reading more posts.

May 6, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Interesting post.

Samantha En Route
May 19, 2015 at 6:03 am

[…] did a write up on liquid-free travel (mostly Lush); totally loving it.” – Jessica, How Dare She […]


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