Personal Care Rituals: Bon Voyage!

by Laura Pilati

As you read this, I’m in Savannah, Georgia–sporting my shades and scrounging for some veggies among all the southified food–for a week-long work conference. Which means two things: 1) I’ve got to talk about something travel-related, right? and 2) I’m shooting for a short post here.

Madison Square, Savannah

As far as the average twenty-something goes, I think it’s fair to say that I have the opportunity to travel quite frequently (though I’m always on a budget). In the last two years, I’ve had six round-trip flight itineraries (and am about to buy another trans-Atlantic flight for this summer), driven five times to North Carolina, gone to DC at least four times a year to visit friends, and traveled back home to Hampton Roads and Lynchburg (where my boyfriend’s family resides) on countless occasions. I’m an introverted homebody, but I also have to keep myself busy. And when your friends live on all corners of the earth (seriously), it’s hard not to do otherwise.

Pacific Coast, Oregon (Summer 2010)

I believe that my personal care rituals are reflective of this. But whether it’s my constant travel that has influenced a simplified toiletry sack or a simple personal care ritual that has led to my “get up and go” attitude, I have no idea. It’s truly a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. So, in recognition of the start of summer and travel season, I thought that it would be interesting to “reveal” my travel toiletry bag to you–and ask you to reveal yours! After all, travel influences us to take the things that we simply can’t do without, and what an interesting way to describe ourselves to others, right? After the post, leave a comment with the things that you put into your travel bag and how often you find yourself on the road (or on the plane/train/boat, as it were).

Tornesch, Germany (December 2010)

Laura’s Toiletry Packing List

  • Shampoo and conditioner – Brand: luck of the draw. But only if I’m traveling for at least two nights! ‘Cause I’m a dirty hippie and I only shower twice a week, remember?
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush – Hopefully, this is the one item we all have in common.
  • Crystal salt deodorant – Just add water!
  • Tweezers – For plucking.
  • Razor – For hairs that I can’t bring myself to pluck!
  • Nail clippers – Primarily for emergencies…I can’t stand a chipped or broken nail, it catches on everything!
  • Comb – For unruly days.
  • Burt’s Bees Honey Lip balm – I have dry skin, but I find that travel–even to humid climates–tends to dry my skin out worse. Probably more so during plane travel. Being on vacation with cracked lips is just no fun!
  • Headbands, bobby pins, and barrettes – Hair, don’t stop me now!
  • Badger balms – Usually only for longer-than-a-weekend trips. I take these for moisturizing as well as aromatherapy reasons, since I have several ranging from “headache soother” to “sore muscle rub”. I really love the badger brand, too!
  • DivaCup. This one could and will have a whole separate post–to be discussed at another date. 🙂

The Bean, Chicago (May 2011)

I don’t wear make-up, so I don’t carry any sort of make-up bag or products (otherwise I would list those here as well). And, with the exception of Dr. Bronners (I don’t pack a body soap or wash because I can use my shampoo or find something else) and for-blue-moon-uses-only items like clays, deep moisturizing hair treatments, and pumice stone, these are the items that I find myself using at home, too. So I don’t really have a long repertoire of personal care items, which usually makes discussing my personal care rituals rather boring, but it also means that I’m set to go at a moment’s notice–which appeals to me personally. At the same time, I know that this list will grow and evolve over time–I’m already looking forward to adding some fun DIY solid perfumes, moisturizers, and sugar scrubs to this list!

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah

Alright, now it’s your turn to spill–what’s in your toiletry travel bag??


2 responses to “Personal Care Rituals: Bon Voyage!

  1. I’m on a trip now too! I just found out I forgot my toothbrush. I’m a habitual forgetter – usually it’s pajamas. Unfortunately, whenever I forget something like deodorant or shampoo, I end up having to pick something up at a drug store that I know I’ll never use after the trip is over. So I have a little stock of partially-used travel sized body wash, shampoo, soap, etc. at home. I need to get a better strategy for packing – I guess I’m too absent-minded.

    As far as my travel bag goes:
    chapstick (also Burts Bees: Replenishing is hands down the absolute best).
    Tom’s or homemade deodorant
    mineral powder makeup, sometimes from Alima Pure
    Dr. Bonner’s liquid soap: it does everything: face, body, windows, laundry, silly straws, etc.

  2. I’m a new convertee and now devoted user of Dr. Bronners. Just thought I’d share that my boyfriend, who intends on spending upwards of 2 months in the mountainous Montana backcountry excitedly informed me yesterday, “All I will need is Dr. Bronners!”

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