A Perfect Spritzer

A quick note: Earlier today, I sent an e-mail about reactivating this site to the 1000+ readers who’d subscribed to my Yahoo Groups announcement list over the years. I was kind of steeling myself for a bunch of unsubscription requests and negative feedback, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive a number of messages thanking me for reviving the site. It’s nice to know people are still interested in this topic—thank you! You can sign up for the Travelite Yahoo Group announcement list here, or send e-mail to this Yahoo Groups address.


I’m always on the lookout for things I can use to travel with, and every so often I come across an “A-ha!” item. There’s just such an item on the market right now, and since I don’t know how long the fad will be happening, let me share this with you so you can buy a few for your stash.

Most smart travelers don’t bother traveling with aerosol cans, because it might not pass the security muster in some places. If you carry any spray bottles at all, they’re little pump spray bottles like the one pictured here:

Small spray bottle
Small spray bottle.

These spray bottles aren’t bad. I use them for all sorts of things, from hairspray to wrinkle releasers. I often also fill one with clean water to spritz my face with when I’m on a longer flight. But for most of my trips, I rarely ever use the entire contents of the bottle—and that means I’ve always had room to trim it down a bit. The problem is, it’s darn difficult to find spray bottles in stores—empty or not—that are much smaller than 2 ounces. You do occasionally run into a few; usually with things like eyeglass cleaner solution. You have to be rather careful with those, though, and make sure to wash and rinse them out really well to clean out the original contents.

Well recently, I’ve started seeing an even smaller bottle of pump spray—an amazingly tiny 0.17 ounce size! They are all sold filled with hand sanitizer, and they seem to be the current fad (remember when all hand sanitizers a few years ago were of the rubbing alcohol-gel type?).

Hand sanitizer spray
A little pen-style bottle of hand sanitizing spray.

Here’s what’s really cool about these things:

  • They all come with a pen clip on its cap, so you can clip it in your pocket for easy access
  • They are all about the length and size of a Sharpie marker
  • They are safe to refill (after proper cleaning) because the original product is meant to have contact with your skin
  • They are refillable!

So far, I’ve come across these at Longs Drugs, Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, and other drugstores.

There are a couple of caveats:

  • The plastic spray bottle is manufacturered by at least a couple of different brands, and the Wal-Mart house brand has a “pen cap” that neither snaps in place nor has a long enough sleeve over the bottle, leading me to lose the cap in my purse all the time.
  • Some of the bottles have the labeling silkscreened on, so if you’re the type to “relabel” your empties you will have difficulty removing the original labeling.
  • There is at least one brand that allows you to pump the pen cap itself. These bottles are not refillable.

Now I routinely carry these little pen-sizes spritzers. I filled one with hairspray. I have another that I keep empty, then fill with water before I embark on a plane, which lets me spritz my face. I keep it in my breast pocket so I don’t even have to fuss through my carry-on. You could easily use these for things like bug spray, light cologne, and liquid sunscreen.

I use an address label to keep tabs on what the contents are (I use weatherproof mailing labels from Avery), but you could easily use a grease pencil as well.

Happy spritzing!