Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Ladies..questions about toiletries to take

Ladies..questions about toiletries to take

Old Mar 26th, 2006, 11:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,412
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ladies..questions about toiletries to take

We will be in Spain and France 5 1/2 weeks. Independent travel and one 12 day tour. I have lots of meds and vitamins to take..but it's the "other stuff" I get confused with.

You all mention to take small amounts but small bottles won't last 5 1/2 weeks, and I would have to buy more.Most of the things there like body lotion, etc. come in large bottles, don't they?..so I end up with the same problem, i.e. carrying too big heavy bottles around..Obviously I can't take these "extras".

Really need some direction. I simply can't remember what the hotels had..I think most had shampoo but that's all I can remember. Did they have body lotion, shower gel or is that wishful thinking?....maybe none of that is necessary.

Someone on another board mention Dr. Bronners soap which she sued for "everything"..that would be great. Anyway, need your feedback. Particularly people who go for a long time.


loisco is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi. I am travelling for four weeks, but I won't be staying in a hotel. I am bringing smaller bottels of shampoo/condtitioner instead of the large bottles. i found them in a normal drug store like CVS or whatever. as for lotion, they have smaller bottle, but it depends on how much you use. hotels normally have small bottles of shampoo and/or conditioner, and they will replenish them. same goes for bar soap. hope this helped.
ink is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi loisco, I start off with travel size containers of toiletries and than replenish as I go along. Regarding what hotels offer, it does depend on the hotel. I have had good luck in buying smaller size of toietries in Italy. I do not know what Spain and France has to offer sizewise. I do cut down on the amount of toiletries. For example I use moisurizer (daytime) daytime and before I go to bed rather than taking night cream too. I buy the small container of Nivea Cream in Italy..imagine Spain and France has that also, versus lotion.

When I am ready to fly home I toss all the toiletries so I don't have to carry them back home. That gives me more room in my carryon. Not much help but do not know what else to suggest. Just keep the list simple and buy the smallest sizes possible.
LoveItaly is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 23,122
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Most hotels these days, even the smaller ones, provide shampoo--useful because it's the brand that works in the local water. I've quit taking more than a small bottle of shampoo for emergencies.

Many of the hotels we've stayed in provide conditioner as well as shampoo, and some offer shampoo/shower gel mixtures. Body lotion sometimes but not as often.
Underhill is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,681
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
take small items (even empty little bottles you fill with your favorites) and buy new when you get there - part of the fun!
flygirl is online now  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I did 3 weeks in Europe last year (one week business w/2 weeks travel at the end). I took some smaller bottles with me and tossed as I used them up. The hotels had shampoo and conditioner, but I used my own (the conditioner in France was nothing like what I use at home). I used the hotel soap, body gel, & lotion.

I started to run out of my face wash & couldn't find anything to replace what I like so I started using smaller & smaller amounts as I went along. This year I will fill 2 small bottles with my face wash before I leave. Target and Sephora.com have smaller plastic bottles that you can fill yourelf. I think that Walmart does also.

I recommend you go buy some sample/travel size bottles now and see how long they last you. If a small bottle of your favorite conditioner lasts you a week, then I'd be tempted to bring along about 5 of them. Then after you use it up, toss it out to make room for any souvenirs you might want to bring home.
chocolate2346 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,681
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
forgot to mention - one thing that is so useful on the road - the disposable washcloths! oil of olay and dove make them I believe. I think 2 packs of those might get you through the whole trip. (face washcloths)
flygirl is online now  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 83
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ladies, leave your shaving cream home & use hair conditioner for shaving your legs

A small jar of Vaseline can be used for eye makeup remover, skin softener for hands, feet, elbows.

Instead of taking hair product like gel, Vaseline works great (use sparingly, just rub a touch on the palms of your hands & lightly go over your hair)
enpleinair is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,850
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I use very specific hair and face products, so I hate to run out. So. . . the bottle that The Body Shop has for the Vitamin E facewash is the perfect size for a month of shampoo and a month of conditioner. I re-use those bottles, filling them with what I need, and they are smaller than the normal sizes, but not your typical travel sizes.

In winter I do carry a big bottle of lotion, but in summer I just trust sun oil to keep me hydrated.

I carry relatively little body wash, as that is always easy to come by in small amounts.

What takes up all the space are the styling products. I have really curly hair, but if I don't use some gel, it is just a long, frizzy afro, and I need my dignity!
laclaire is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,942
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you will be gone such a long time...you have some options.

You can buy your own travel containers (about 1 to 2 bucks at your local discount store) and fill them with your favorite products.

However, if you go thru products very quickly, then you might go with regular sized items, or smaller versions of your favorite products.

Or, just take the things you have to use (ie certain products that work best for you) and then have fun with trying different local products from the pharmacie is France!

Weleda is an excellant product that I got in France much cheaper than in US.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll tell you what I do, but I think I don't use as much of these products as you do, so maybe it won't work for you. I don't use that much body/hand lotion, for example. I also don't wash my hair as often as other people because it is fairly dry, so I don't use nearly as much shampoo or conditioner as someone who washes every day or two.

Basically, I always take my own of all these products because I don't like the stuff they provide in hotels, especially shampoo and conditioner. I don't take my own soap, though, or body wash, hotel's versions are fine with me, and body lotion is pretty generic to me, also, so using the hotel's is okay to supplement the small amount I carry just in case it isn't provided (or I carry in my tote).

I often use the travel-size bottles, or buy some slightly larger to fill up (3-4 oz size) if I have to. I never take fullsize products, except for deodorant (I take the smallest regular size of a stick deodorant), and maybe face lotion.

So, I would take a 2 oz bottle of shampoo and conditioner for my typical trips, but for 5 weeks, I'd take two of those. That's all I would need, but I do save those shampoo and conditioner samples you can get in magazines that are flat packs and if I need to supplement, I add one of those as they are not very heavy.

I take one small tube of a hand lotion which is about two oz., and I usually take a two oz. bottle of a face lotion. I do have an unbreakable compact type thing of a Nivea face cream I really like I use for traveling -- it's really a small tin or plastic case that is about the size of a compact and fairly lightweight. I really like Nivea products.

That's all I would need for 5 weeks other than what hotels provide -- 2-4 oz. bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a 2 oz bottle or tube of hand lotion, and a 2 oz bottle or tin of face lotion. Of course, my small stick deodorant and then I take a tube of toothpaste that isn't all used up, but is about 2 oz, probably. I save my toothpastes for traveling, and when I get near the bottom of one I'm using at home, I put it aside in a box where I keep my travel toiletries -- I do this for various amounts in the tube so I have some for longer vs. shorter trips, as I need more than those teensy travel toothpastes.

I would never travel with large bottles of toiletries, especially large bottles of body lotion which I don't use much. The largest bottle I've ever taken is a 4 oz. plastic bottle of Ponds face lotion, as I like their brand, but I think I took that when I had already used up about one third of it. I would never take my own shower gel on a trip, every hotel has to provide some kind of soap.

Just my opinion, but any product that can be used for anything is nothing I would put on my hair. I do use hotel shower gel sometimes for washing out underwear, even though it isn't really the best for that, but I get by on vacation. Any hotel I"ve been in replaces the small items whenever you are out of them. If I weren't so picky about my shampoo and face lotion, I would probably just use the hotel stuff. My hair is long and thick and can be bushy, so I really can't use something harsh on it or with no conditioner.
Christina is online now  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 83
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Vaseline for hair trick would definitely NOT work on bushy thick hair (!) but mine is long & silky, so it does work when I don't want to haul many products.
enpleinair is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 696
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The pond and olay disposable washclothes are great. Very lightweight and can be used on the body as well.
I'd rather take two small bottles (of whatever you need) than one large one as the first can be thrown away and space saved.
If you don't care about a certain product, take along enought for a few days and then puchase while abroad. If you use hair conditioner, pack some and then buy as most hotels don't provide it.
highledge is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 95,367
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
Some things I prefer my own brand and would take enough to last the duration (shampoo and conditioner). Some I take a small container only (body lotion) and buy a local brand after arrival. Yes it may be a slightly larger size, but you'll have time to use most of it up before you head home with such a long trip (lucky you).
suze is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 526
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We are just back from Spain and conditioner was rarely found in the hotels we used. Shampoo and shower gel were always provided. Take your own wash cloths. Some of the shampoo was like dishwashing liquid (very harsh). I took several smaller bottles as everyone mentioned and dumped the empties. I got a travel sized hairspray and took a larger bar of soap as those small slivers don't work for me. I put all my makeup (used the mini sizes you get in the 'freebies' from Lancome etc.) in a plastic container and just grabbed that whenever I needed them. A few hotels (and we stayed very reasonably) had dental and razor kits and one provided makeup remover, eau de cologne, after shave balm plus all the regular things you could wish for including combs and Q tips!
Philbill is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Aug 13th, 2019 08:38 AM
Travel Tips & Trip Ideas
Jun 7th, 2012 07:50 AM
Aug 24th, 2008 01:20 PM
Jul 6th, 2005 09:16 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:07 AM.