Sending toiletries in advance

Old Mar 17th, 2009, 08:24 PM
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Sending toiletries in advance

Hi all

I've been reading the many posts about packing light, etc., and it occurred to me that it would be very nice to send on ahead my shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, moisturizer, sunscreen and bug repellent! I think it would be a fairly decently light package and would save me the trouble of carrying on ... Plus I could throw away any extra before we depart for the States. As our first accommodation is an apartment rental, I see no reason why the owners wouldn't accept a package and have it waiting. Has anyone had any experience with this? Thoughts?

We don't leave for Italy until July so I can mail wellllll in advance.

DD
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 08:54 PM
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Really, if you don't want to carry it, why not just buy it when you get there? I've managed to buy toothpaste and shampoo etc. in much more remote places than Italy! And I rather like checking out local shops (the non-souvenir variety).
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 10:10 PM
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You are probably right. My sister echoed your comment -- just buy it there (although I think my DH would object!) Anything but to pack it!

Thanks,

DD
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 10:39 PM
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The alternative is to decant from the big bottles into smaller ones. I use not quite filled 4 oz plastic bottles - of course that doesn't match the new 3oz standard for carry-on, but that seems too small to me.

Why would DH object?
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 04:36 AM
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Unless your rental apartment is in the middle of nowhere, or unless you need very special brands due to allergies or similar, I do not see much sense in mailing toiletries. You can buy everything in any supermarket, the big international brands are available all over the globe, and the bottles usually have inscriptions one can understand or guess. I pack a tiny amount of shampoo and shower gel for the first morning. Those little hotel bottles hold enough for one or two uses, I have kept a few and refill them before each trip. A little travel-size tube of toothpaste, toothbrush and deodorant are in my carry-on because they are also nice to have during a long flight. That way I do not have to run shopping right after arrival but can leave it to the next day.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 12:49 PM
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Unless you are trying to travel carry-on only (?) it would not be cost effective to ship in advance. Aren't you going to check any luggage at all?

Even IF you are doing carry-on only... I can pack the liquid toiletries I need for two weeks in the 1-quart allowance. You just decant things into 1-2 oz. containers for shampoo, conditioner, etc. Large items like a full-sized body lotion, buy after you arrive.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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OK - I don't understand. You plan on shipping more than your carry-on allowance of liquid toiletries - yet its OK to toss out the leftovers before flying home. Why not just take less in the first place? Then it would fit in your carry-on and you wouldn't have to throw any away.

A 1-qt ziplok w/ 3 oz/smaller containers is more than enough for at least a month. If there is some product you use a ton of - say sun screeen - just decant from your large bottle into multiple 2 or 3 oz plastic bottles.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 06:45 PM
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The only problem with "decanting" is that some TSA screeners at some checkpoints impose an unpublished rule that the containers in the Victory Baggie must be official travel-sized containers with official manufacturer's labels. They will then confiscate any unlabeled containers.

The supposed reason behind this "rule" is that it's too difficult for the screener to verify the size of an unlabeled bottle, so they confiscate it on the "better safe than sorry" theory. The utter stupidity of this "rule" is obvious, since it's easily circumvented by decanting into a labeled bottle. They have no way to verify that the contents actually match the label. Sometimes the only way around stupidity is to do something that makes even less sense.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 09:38 PM
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I have never (not once) seen screeners confiscating anything because it was not labeled. The size is what they are interested in. The TSA websites only speaks to sizes of containers - not labels.

Heck - they don't even require labels on prescription drugs. (For drugs - the TSA website merely states "original labels are suggested")
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 10:15 PM
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Hi all

I admit I may have gotten caught up in the travel-only-with-a-carry-on threads, and began contemplating how I could ease the burden (weight) of toiletries for two adults and two teenagers. It occurred to me that since we weren't changing places but a couple of times on our trip, it didn't matter too much if we had larger, heavier sizes with us except when we fly. If sent ahead, we could have the products we like, not worry about whether our bottles are three ounces, whether the three ounce bottles will last, etc. And, if it turns out I overestimated the amount we needed, I wouldn't feel that badly about chucking the remainder before our return flight.

Plus I thought I had read somewhere that toiletries can be quite expensive in Europe???

Many posters talk about sending stuff home to get under weight limits and/or not having to lug stuff around, so what about sending stuff to our destination?

Nevertheless, I agree that it would be more fun, and more ecological, to buy only what we need, when we need it.

DD
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 06:57 AM
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Regular toiletries are about the same price in Europe as here, though the exchange rate can certainly affect affordability and not all brands are going to be available everywhere.

But just think how much it would cost to send a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo to Italy. If you sent it by sea mail (taking 3 to 9 weeks) it would only cost a little more than the actual cost of the shampoo. If you sent it airmail or by Fed Ex, then it would cost several multiples of the cost of the shampoo.

Frankly, I just don't see the logic in paying double or triple or even more just to have the toiletries waiting for you on arrival. It's cheaper to pay $15 to check a bag. Unless you are a business traveler and the cost of all this is going to be reimbursed, it seems a hugely expensive and wasteful proposition.

Now, if you have very specific allergies to products, I guess it's another thing. But I still don't see the advantage in pre-shipping. I can easily go for two weeks on a 3-ounce bottle of shampoo and many more than that with a 3-ounce bottle of facial cleanser. As many other people have said, just take 3 oz. of each thing. Save space and weight in your bag by paring down your list of required toiletries and simply taking less.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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I have really sensitive skin, so I have to bring all my products with me. I can still generally manage to stay within the carry on liquid allowance. And I've never had any trouble with unmarked containers - I buy mine at the outdoor equipment store because they are more rugged than the ones. I also have some travel sized containers for products other than the ones I use that I have since refilled with my own products. That works well too.

I buy sunscreen and bug repellant at my destination, so no need to pack those - that cuts down on the need for bringing liquids.

The other option is just to check a bag.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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I don't see the point in packing or buying full sized containers when you travel. I love my own products, and things like the shampoo and hair conditioner I use are extremely concentrated and a 1-2 oz. bottle easily lasts a month. I pack everything I need easily into the allowable liquids baggie. No one ever has questioned my handmade labels. Never gave it a glance. IF they were confiscated for whatever reason, no big deal, I'd just figure something out once I arrived.

I do like to buy a full size bottle of body lotion or suntan lotion, for example. And do bring home what I don't use. But I always check my suitcase on the return trip anyway.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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Apart from the 3oz bottles, I get a lot of free shampoo/conditioner or lotion samples in those foil packages. These you can really cram a lot in the ziploc bag.

For things like face cream or eye cream, I really just need a very small amount, so I fill those with the tiniest containers I have.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 10:18 AM
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We do carryon only and it really is easy to fit everything into the small ziploc bag. For face cream or liquid foundation (items that a tiny amount go a long way) I use contact lens cases. They don't leak, they hold plenty and they take up minimal room.
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Old Mar 21st, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Check the shipping rates. I think the post office has some global super saver. But also check their list of no-no's. You know how they ask if you have anything fragile, liquid, or perishable.

I love mailing things, but have only done it in the US.

Another thing I have done was order from walgreens.com and have it all sent. For awhile they had free shipping for over $50. The baby was young, so diapers and formula got me there. So basically it was just like shopping at a local Walgreens, but it was waiting for me when we got there. Maybe they have something like that in Italy? The site would probably be in Italian, but you might want to poke around.
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