Packing is one of the more stressful parts of travel, but finding the right bag for your toiletries and makeup can make the process much smoother. Whether you’re looking for a travel toiletry bag for women, a portable Dopp kit for men, a hanging toiletry bag, a clear makeup case or anything in between, there’s a bag for your travel needs.
To get you started, we talked to travel experts about the best bags, pouches and containers that will help you transport your products securely and keep you organized once you’ve reached your destination — whether you’re looking to pack the bag in your checked luggage or carry-on bag. If you’re heading on an epic vacation or just a quick weekend getaway, read on to make sure both you and your favorite products get there in one piece.
Clear toiletry bags
When it comes to travel, clear containers are a must. “I have a preference for transparent or see-through bags so I can quickly locate my products (makes security checks at the airport speedier too)!” says Travel Channel host Oneika Raymond. Ciara Johnson, founder of the popular solo female travel blog Hey Ciara, agrees: “I look for clear containers and pouches that make it easy to sort through when I’m on the go,” Johnson says. “It’s much easier for me to stay organized and identify what is in each bag.”
Johnson loves this chic, spacious cosmetics case from Calpak, which features two zippered compartments and a convenient top handle.
Raymond recommends this three-piece set of clear, TSA-approved cases for keeping carry-on toiletries organized and accessible.
This bestselling three-pack, featuring reinforced seams and 3,000 5-star ratings, is another simple, no-fuss option for carry-on toiletries.
Travel makeup bags
While clear bags are perfect for getting through security, more traditional makeup cases and bags are ideal once you reach your destination. So long as you’ve got a flat surface to work with, they make it easy to access all your products at once and then quickly scoop everything up when you’re on the move.
Johnson says that she’s “loving the Beis cosmetic case because it comes with a mirror and it’s spillproof!”
This upright case features four elastic loops and six adjustable compartments to keep your products organized. It’s also made from recycled bottles and cute enough to earn a spot on your vanity back home.
True to its name, Lay-n-Go’s bag opens flat so you can see all your makeup at once — and then quickly scrunch things closed when you’re ready to go. Reinforced sides prevent items from rolling away, and there’s also a zipper pocket for added organization.
This affordable travel makeup organizer from Monstina is great if you travel with a lot of makeup brushes. It features three elastic brush slots (which you can also use to organize things like eyeliner or brow pencils), plus multiple smaller compartments for items like lip gloss and earrings.
This unique barrel-shaped bag stands upright and is another option that works well for travel-size toiletries and makeup brushes. Just tighten the drawstring on the top when you’re done and you’ve got a lightweight pouch that’s ready to toss in your suitcase.
Travel toiletry bags and Dopp kits
Dopp kit-style toiletry bags offer more discretion than clear containers and are ideal for situations when you have to cart your toiletries from room to room (if you’re staying somewhere without a private bathroom, for instance). Look for sturdy fabrics that are easy to spot clean and thoughtful organizational compartments. Raymond also recommends picking up a waterproof case, “which is great in case of any spills.” And while Dopp kits are typically marketed for men, they work for anyone!
“The Away Large Toiletry Bag is full of compartments, which make it easy to organize and sort different products,” says Johnson. The bag’s nylon body is also water-resistant, and the interior easily wipes clean.
The double zipper on top of Bagsmart’s Dopp kit allows the bag to remain fully open when upright. It offers plenty of space and organizational pockets, plus a separate waterproof front compartment.
Herschel’s classic Dopp kit keeps things simple with one large, waterproof main compartment, plus a small front pocket with a leather pull.
Hanging toiletry bags
If you’re camping or simply aren’t sure whether you’ll have a counter handy where you’re staying, it’s worth investing in a hanging toiletry bag for easier access to your products.
Associate beauty editor can't travel without this sizable toiletry bag that has a convenient hook to save precious counter space.
Sea To Summit’s classic bag was designed for ultralight backpacking and camping, but it features enough space and thoughtful organizational touches (including a hanging mirror) to make it an excellent companion on any kind of trip.
Mossio’s highly rated, affordable bag is another great option. It features a sturdy hook for hanging, water-resistant fabric and plenty of clear storage compartments so you can easily access your toiletries.
This hanging bag from L.L.Bean features a water-resistant and abrasion-resistant fabric. There are plenty of storage compartments to keep all of your belongings organized. Plus, it can be personalized with your monogram.
Use travel pouches to organize toiletries or cosmetics within a bigger purse or backpack. Johnson says that she prefers “flexible pouches that are soft, cloth, plastic, etc. as opposed to hard or solid containers because they are easier to stuff or mold into larger bags.”
If you’re not worried about leaks, pop one of these mesh travel pouches in your purse or carry-on for easy access to small toiletries and cosmetics.
Another soft, flexible zippered sack that’s also water-resistant, Pack All’s pouches come in three different sizes, so you can choose the perfect pouch for your needs.
Refillable travel containers
Instead of constantly having to buy new travel-size toiletries, transfer toiletries you already own into some economical (and ultimately more eco-friendly) reusable containers. “I love refillable containers that I can fill with my favorite products,” Johnson says.
“I’m obsessed with these refillable travel-size containers,” says Raymond. “Not only are they inexpensive and TSA-approved for carry-on luggage, they are also color-coded so I can easily identify them, and [made of] silicone so that I don’t have to worry about them cracking, splitting or breaking on my travels.”
In addition to being sturdy, leakproof and customizable, Cadence Capsules magnetically snap together to create honeycomb-shaped bundles for all your favorite travel products. Fill them with medications, jewelry or even your favorite moisturizer. Their smooth interiors make it so you can scoop out every last bit of product, and they’re dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Transfer your favorite perfume or cologne to these reusable atomizers to smell your best on the go.
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