One of my cardinal rules for packing light is to decant your liquids into smaller containers. After all (especially if it involves traveling within, in, and out of the U.S.), the Transportation Security Administration still has its 3-1-1 rule—3 fluid ounces per bottle in a a 1-liter transparent resealable bag per 1 traveler—which means that if you want to travel without checking in your luggage, you have no choice but to restrict your liquids.
I realize however, that not everyone likes dealing with pouring goop into smaller containers (although if you want to give it a try, I’ve got some instructions here). For one thing, it’s a hassle. It requires extra planning in advance, shopping for small bottles (and hoping they don’t leak), using labels so you don’t accidentally try to brush your teeth with hair conditioner.
If you’re the type to just pick up sample- or travel-sized bottles at the store but have been dissatisfied with the options available to you, you might want to check out Burt’s Bees.
Burt’s Bees started out selling beeswax candles almost 30 years ago, and has since expanded to offer lip balms, moisturizers, and even toothpaste (apparently they’ve moved well past just using beeswax). They’ve always marketed themselves as an environmentally and health-conscious alternative, which means you’re probably more familiar with them if you do your shopping at health food stores.
A few years ago, however, Burt’s Bees went through a major expansion, so you can now find their products in most large retail outlets (including box stores like Target and WalMart).
For our purposes, though, what you want to know is that Burt’s Bees offers travel-sized versions of almost all of their items right on their website. Go to their website and type “travel” in their search field (or just click here), and the results yield about a couple dozen products. If you like their products, this is a fantastic way to pick and choose what you want to pack in your 3-1-1 kit.
Now… they may all say “travel,” but not all of the products are travel-friendly. For example, they offer a travel-sized bar of peppermint soap. That may smell nice, but I have yet to find a hotel that doesn’t offer even just a basic bar of soap… so for pack-light purposes, I wouldn’t recommend getting it. There are other products that are pretty specialized, like cuticle creme, that I’m really going to suggest you not bother packing. You may as well get your nails trimmed or go to a salon right before your trip, and not worry about taking along such extras.
A travel-sized bottle of Burt’s Bees body wash.
Some products, though, I would highly recommend. They offer a travel-sized tin of hand salve that is wonderful. It’s not a cream, but a very thick salve so you don’t have to worry about it leaking… and it’s a great way to keep your nails and fingers from drying out while you fly. It has a very light hint of eucalyptus that I personally find very refreshing.
I am also a fan of their peppermint and rosemary body wash. It’s not too strongly scented, and fragrance is both invigorating and soothing at the same time; perfect for a nice shower after a day of sightseeing.
One final note: You won’t find it by searching for “travel,” but Burt’s Bees has one product line that I really love—and it’s finally knocked off Blistex Lip Tone as my top pick for a travel-friendly tinted lip balm.
A tube of Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm.
The line is their new Tinted Lip Balm line. If you’re already familiar with their lip gloss or lip shimmer and weren’t too keen on them (I’m no fan of putting liquid goop on my lips; the stuff never lasts… and I’m not a fan of glitter or shimmer on my lips as I’m no longer 14), their Tinted Lip Balm is worth a serious look-see. They run around $7.00 and are in your standard lip balm tube… and it means you can put it on liberally without using a mirror. By being both a lip tint and a lip balm, it does double-duty, which means you have one less item to pack. And that means it gets my seal of approval!