Shipping Cosmetics / Toiletries

Jul 10th, 2007, 08:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 209
Shipping Cosmetics / Toiletries

I am planning a trip to Yellowstone.

I plan to fly into Salt Lake City, get a minivan and drive to Yellowstone, GTNP and Glacier.

I am well aware of the restrictions for carry ons. I know it is possible to check cosmetics / toiletries in checked bags.

However, I have lots of sensitivities/allergies to soap/cosmetics/shampoo etc.

And it is not always easy to find the brands and types of cosmetics/toiletries I am able to tolerate - even here at home where I know what stores have which items. I covet my holiday time. I don't want to spend my trip shopping going to store after store looking for what are for me ordinary items.

I also don't want to get to Salt Lake and find the clothes in my checked bags soaked in shampoo etc. from that gentle airline handling.

So, does anyone know a way or has anyone shipped ahead a box of these type things?

I want to relax and have a good time on my trip - not shop and or itch and scratch the whole time. Or have a migrane style headache from the scent.

Thanks for any help or advice.

By the way, I am very happy for all the people who are able to thrive on anything the hotel provides. Sadly, I am not one of them.
Jul 10th, 2007, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,281
A couple ideas:

In checked baggage there is no reason for leakage. Package things in good plastic bottles then into ziplock bags, small ones into snack or sandwich size, then everything into a gallon bag/doubled. Even if something leaks a bit it will not spoil your clothes, guaranteed.

Depending on the length of the trip, you might be able to do with your own 1-2 oz. bottles of what you need, managing to meet the carry-on regulation. For me a tiny bottle of shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. last at least 2 weeks. How long's your trip? Experiment at home. You might need less than you think.

Purchase high quality tiny containers, they are not always easy to find. Label them. And off you go with your own stuff. I'm fussy too and take maybe a dozen products, but just enough to last thru the trip. It's less than you think.
suze is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,203
I am spending 8 days in Boston this month and have decided to ship a box to the hotel, mostly so I will not have weight restriction issues when I fly.
I have to ship some business materials anyway, so my special bubble bath, soap, shampoo, Wrinkle Release and any other heavy items are going in the box.
I know there are stores in Boston but I hit the ground running when I arrive and will not have 1 extra minute for the whole 8 days, certainly no time for a trip to a specialty store.

Having said that, I would probably not ship toiletries for the trip you describe.
I have never had anything leak... well once I did and it DID stain my clothes.
Since then I use my handy dandy veggie bags (from the produce dept). EVERY liquid gets out into a veggie bag and the bag gets tied very tight in a knot.
I also carry 12 new veggie bags in my case for use during the trip.
Takes NO room at all and it seems I always use the bags.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 09:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 209
Thanks for the advice.

Suze, I really do need two large bottles of shampoo and conditioner (two each, that is), bottled hand soap, contact lens things, face lotion, SPF lotion, hand lotion, etc..

TxTravelPro, how are you shipping things? Are hotels okay to sign/receive/whatever the boxes? I want to ship it early to know it gets there before I fly. Will shipping people hold it as an alternative?

Thanks, again.
Jul 10th, 2007, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I donít think you would have any problem shipping these items by DHL, FedEx or just by mail. My question is WHERE you would send the package, as you only seem to be picking up a rental car in Salt Lake, and not staying at any hotel. Possibly, you could mail them to yourself from a Mail Boxes Etc in your home area to another MBE in Salt Lake for your collection in Salt Lake; worth asking if this is possible. You then of course have to find that MBE in Salt Lake, which may be in a downtown location; is this worth the time and hassle, getting lost, etc. Are you arriving at night, will it be open, etc.. It may be possible to send a FedEx or DHL package to a FedEX or DHL location in Salt Lake for pickup (preferably at the airport), again you would have to ask, and again will it be open when you arrive, etc.

Of course there is not guarantee that Fedex, DHL or the US mail will treat your package any better and that things wonít leak during shipping.

Assuming that your airline is like most airlines and allows TWO checked bags, and assuming that you only need ONE suitcase for clothes, you might consider putting all your toiletries in one separately checked bag, well packed and plastic-wrapped. That way if they do leak, they at least will only leak onto over each other. (By the way, the maximum size of suitcase allowed for checked baggage 62 inches, which is huge, believe me, I have two of them (a light packer I am not), so one may do for your trip for your clothes...and 50 lbs per bag is generally the weight limit, again that is a very heavy bag, you can get a lot into a 50 pound bag.)

I have never really had bad experiences with leakage I have to say in 25 years of flying. And I fly about 3-4 times a month, and those are all international flights, and in countries where I have seen them literally throw the bags from the plane onto the belts.
Cicerone is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 03:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,516
If you pack the items in your baggage as well as you need to back them for Fedex/UPS, you won't have any problem. I would still, however, carry small sizes in your carry on just in case your luggage is delayed. UPS recommends 2" of packing material around each item. The only problem I have had in baggage was when I did not pack material between bottles and the cap of one punched a hole in the bottom of the next (souveniers in glass containers). Fedex/UPS won't be any gentler than airline baggage handlers.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,281
Well, how about checking a separate small suitcase with all the toiletries in it (since you are worried about your clothes)? A smaller tote of some kind, well padded.

I am sure there is no problem shipping thru UPS either, I would let the hotel know you are having a package sent, that they will need to hold for you.

I would definitely want to have at least a couple days worth of what you need actually with you though... in either your carry-on or in your checked luggage... just in case.
suze is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,281
Oops, I was assuming there was a hotel at least the first night to receive the package. If there's no hotel I'm not sure where you mean to ship to?
suze is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 07:26 AM
Posts: n/a
Wrap each tolietry in it's own ziplock then throw all of them in a space bag.

If they leak then, you weren't meant to have any health and beauty aids with you.

I think you are making this way too complicated.

Agree with Cicerone and suze, where would you have the package shipped to?
Jul 11th, 2007, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
This will not answer your question about shipping, but I take my own toiletries with me for the same reason. Even a small towel - my face gets red if I wipe it with a hotel towel.

First of all, I prepare bottles at home. By now I know how much of everything I will need for a week or 2 weeks. I fill the bottles 1/2 with water, put them upside down on a paper towel. If several hours (or overnight) later the towel is dry, I fill it with shampoo.

There are no restriction on liquids in checked luggage. I put all bottles with liquid in an individual zipper bag, and all of them in a large zipper bag. Never ever had a leak out of it.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,568
I always have some liquids in checked baggage and have rarely had anything seep out of bottles, but then the ziploc held the mess and other contents were not affected. To avoid seepage, be sure that the bottle is not full of liquid, to allow some room for expansion as air pressure changes in flight.
kayd is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,716
Do yourself a favor, put your liquids in zip-lock bags in your checked luggage and you'll be just fine. Both savy and unsavy travellers have been doing this for years with excellent results. FYI shipping your cosmetics and toiletries is going to cost you as much as or more than the items themselves.
A_Traveller is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 216
I often pack a small backpack in my checked luggage in the event I need another bag to bring items home or for day trips while on vacation. Putting the plastic bags inside the backpack gives you even more certaintly nothing in the suitcase would be damaged by any spillage.
sundown is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,881
You, of course, run the risk that the hotel could lose the box you've shipped, especially if it is sitting around for a few days. The advice on packing things in your bags is a good one, as well as being realistic about how much you will need. Two large containers of hair products seems a lot unless the trip is for weeks and weeks.
MikeT is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,203
I have been shipping things to hotels for 10 years and have never had anything lost... but I generally stay in good hotels.
This time I am at the InterCon Boston.
I will ship my stuff FedEx 2nd day and probably ship it this Friday. It will arrive next Tuesday. I arrive on Thursday.
It is expensive to ship stuff... I am not sure how much because it all gets billed to a corporate account that I never see.

It is ridiculously easy to ship to a Post Master for pick up.
My brother has done the Appalachian Trail 2 times and I shipped dozens of boxes. You send it to the Post Master of any US city to hold for pick-up. They held it for a couple of weeks at a time before he would pick it up.
Works like a charm.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,203
Oh... and I would use the flat rate USPS boxes. They would arrive in 2-3 days.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
I have to use unscented products also.

Have a look at

I've been using these products for many years and like them all. Excellent products at reasonable prices. They run free or nominal shipping promotions regularly. The shampoo/body wash and conditioner are very concentrated. Best is to find a combo face/hand/body lotion you like and a face/body sunscreen. 2-3 ounces of shampoo or conditioner lasts a long time. I pack them in small bottles and seal them in a zip-lock freezer bags (one inside another) if packing in the same bag as clothing. I fill bottles only 2/3 full and make sure the caps are secure. I've never had anything leak. With every order, you can pick samples, so I "collect" packets of the shampoo, conditioner, etc., for the carry on (don't count as liquids) should the checked bag not show up (but that's never happened). If I'm traveling for more than a week, I pack all the toiletries in a seperate bag and check it.

I thoroughly sympathize with being unable to use anything provided by the hotels - even once!

Many unscented products have an unpleasant smell - but not Paula's. Well, except for the sunscreen products, but that's unavoidable.

If you use concentrated products, you'd be amazed how long they last. Try pouring a few ounces out and seeing how long they last you at home.

A terrific resource for refillable travel bottles is Sunburst. Love the pump dispensers.
djkbooks is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
I also have sensitive skin and have to use certain products.

I pack a small amount of necesary toiletries and put them in my carry-on. Then I put the rest in my checked luggage. This way, if my checked luggage is delayed, then I can get by for a few days while my luggage catches up with me. Double bagging in ziplocks has always worked for me with checked luggage.
J_Correa is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,281
I'll take your word for it but two large bottles of shampoo and two large bottles of conditioner would last me a calendar year!
suze is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 05:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 209
Wow, thanks for all the replies.

I think I might try the extra checked bag for toiletries only idea.

If so, I will wrap, bag and re-bag everything.

Suze, I will be staying a night in Salt Lake City on arrival. I will take a very small set of items in my carry on, to avoid the lost bag crisis. Thanks for the kind advice.

TxTravelPro, thanks for all the shipping (and general) advice.

Djkbooks, thanks for the tip on the non-scented toiletries. I will give them a look. Thanks for getting the allergy/sensitivity thing. A lot of times it is a real inconvenience.

I have always taken toiletries in my carry on bag in the past (in ziplocks). However, I have never checked it so I knew it was handled gently (by me).

Thanks for the advice of those who have checked toiletries/cosmetics (apparently lots of times with no problems). I feel (a little) better now.

I am having a hard time with letting go of the "take everything that is really important and impossible/hard/a real pain to replace in your carry on" philisophy. It has always worked great before. I know it is not allowed. I don't have to like it.

Thanks again, everyone, for the many replies.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:03 AM.