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Travel Companions

Notable tips and tricks for must-pack beauty and grooming items…
The Beach Boys said it best in “Kokomo” with their tropics-inspired lyrics about escaping to Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahama, Key Largo, Montego and, of course, the Florida Keys. After all, that’s where you go to get away from it all. According to, checking off bucket-list travel to the islands and beyond is a big priority this year, with 45 per cent of Canadians reaching for their passports and planning the next getaway.
“At this time of year, Canadians are looking to shake off the last remnants of winter and emerge from their winter cocoons,” affirms Maryam Siddiqi, editor of La Carte magazine. “It’s a good shoulder season too—rates are lower if you want to go south to the Caribbean, and temperatures aren’t too high yet. If you’ve got kids, summers are often about family and kid-centric stuff, so spring travel is an opportunity to do adult-focused travel.”
Packing your suitcase for that dreamy destination will fill you with feel-good anticipation—at least until you have to organize your toiletries, that is. The average 750-mL bottle of shampoo weighs 2.2 pounds. Supplement that with a hair conditioner, tube of sunscreen, jar of face cream, favourite toothpaste, must-spritz fragrance, pocket-size lip balm and 24-hour antiperspirant…and you’ve added 10 pounds to your luggage, 20 if you’re travelling with your partner.
What to do? “Keep it simple when you’re travelling,” advises Kirk Brierley, a beauty expert, trainer, on-air personality and Cityline favourite. “There’s no reason to get bogged down with baggage.”
One good solution, if your vacation will be one week or less, is downsizing: travel with smaller, 100-mL-size products in your carry-on suitcase. You can even call ahead to see what amenities your hotel or lodging offers, to avoid bringing unnecessary items.
“If they have full toiletries, hair dryer, etc., that will cut back significantly on what you need to cart around,” says Siddiqi. “Hotels often like to brag about the toiletry brands they carry, so this info might easily be found on their website. A lot also like to feature local products and ingredients, so it’s a fun way to test out new brands and product lines. If you can’t find this info online, call the hotel. Better to plan ahead than to show up and have to rummage and make do.” If you are stuck and nd you don’t have what you need once you arrive at your destination, “head straight to the hotel concierge,” adds Siddiqi. “This is what they’re there for. Otherwise, head to a local grocer or pharmacy with Google Translate ready on your phone.”
Alternately, use a bag you’re willing to check in at the airport, and pack it with full-size items that provide you with double-duty benefits, such as a shampoo that can also be used as your face and body wash, an oil that works as a hair conditioner, as well as a face and body moisturizer and a head-to-toe sunscreen. “But avoid anything that comes in a jar,” warns Brierley. These containers are often bulky, heavy and made from glass, which can break. Plastic tubes and bottles are more easily transported, plus “anything in a tube helps dispense a measured amount and is less messy,” he says. Don’t forget to pack it all into a zippered liquid carry-all bag to help prevent spills from seeping into the rest of your luggage.


ADRIANA ERMTER is a Toronto-based, lifestyle-magazine pro who has travelled the globe, writing about must-spritz fragrances, child poverty, beauty and grooming.

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