3 (oz) is the Magic Number

September 8, 2011

small, but mighty

I just got home from a week on the West Coast — a gear-heavy camping trip that required the checking of significant baggage. Like most frequent travelers, I do everything in my power to avoid the checking of any bags and let go with great resistance when required to send my bags into the belly of the plane.

It’s a leap of faith, really. Will my stuff actually meet me in Reno, Bangkok, Newark? Will my under things be untouched and my toiletries intact?

I comfort myself by packing a carry-on designed to carry me through. In addition to a spare pair of underwear, I outfit myself with a handful of personal care products — in TSA-approved sizes, 3 oz or under — that will keep me looking fine over a day or two without my luggage.

Once it became an unavoidable part of flying, I took the 3 oz limit as a challenge and worked to find goods that fit the bill. In my bag: mini toothpaste (.75 oz); jar of moisturizer (2 oz); contact lens solution (transferred into 3 oz travel bottle); lip balm (.15 oz) and shaving oil (.5 oz).

Beauty routine, miniaturized.

What’s in your carry-on?

- Marisa

Cocky Traveler: Check What?

October 22, 2010

I am filled with a disproportionate sense of elation (and pride) each and every time I avoid succumbing to an airline’s checked baggage regimen. In these gritty days of air travel, not checking a bag is no small victory. It’s a significant win — and one that I accept with little to no humility.

No checked luggage equals less time standing on slow, snaking lines (I check in at home the night before), less money pushed into the hands of poorly run companies ($25 to place my bag in the belly of your aircraft? that’s the best you can do?) and more time sipping frothy Starbucks’ pumpkin lattes with a dignified calm.

Yes, I practically strut to security with my carry-on bag tossed lightly on my shoulder. And in said bag lies the secret to this entire operation: a jumble of miniature toiletry items that can go the long haul without agitating the testy TSA.

These days my arsenal includes a jar of potent moisturizing lotion (1.7 oz); a two-ounce bottle of little-goes-a-long-way conditioner; 2.4 ounces of roll-on deodorant; and my trusty shaving oil.

Take that airlines! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one skipping past the baggage claim.



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