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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Radi

tsa liquid limits got you down? here are my favorite hacks

We've all been there. I barely remember the days where I didn't have to stand in the TSA line with my Ziploc baggie of liquids, shuffling slowly toward the metal detectors. And my mom made us do this before it was required because she's brilliant and wanted to prevent a dreaded lotion explosion once we were airborne. But now as flying regulations get stricter, liquids become a more serious matter than ever before. Now, let me preface this whole thing by saying I'm not a light packer by any means. I definitely thrive when I have many of the products I'm used to in my carry on and get a little worried when I can't fit something or have to make a substitution.

Throughout my time in the air, I've found a list of hacks that can make your life WAY easier if you're particular about what to take with you. POINT OF CLARIFICATION: this information is what's current as of March 2018 and I'm definitely not a TSA agent. If you're concerned about something you're bringing aboard a plane, check the TSA website. Or just don't bring it. Also: I'm not paid to promote any of these brands and only recommend products I sincerely love.

1. Lip balms, solid deodorants, and lipstick all count as solids, meaning you don't need to take up precious room in your tiny little ziploc bag. Praise the saints who came up with this one! As someone who didn't figure this out until embarrassingly late in my travels, I've never felt so free to throw that favorite shade of lipstick casually into my carryon (I wear Bite's Mimosa all the time!) without fear of it being taken away by one of the checkpoint employees.

2. I switched to some solid skincare products and it changed how I travel. I definitely favor traveling barefaced so my skin doesn't freak out anymore than it already does from dry airplane or train air. That being said, I do clean up at the airport or station and put something on my face before I start exploring. The trick here is to keep your skin moisturized during travel so you can live your best life, flake free once you arrive. I found a solid serum bar from Lush called Full of Grace and it changed my skin. I love it so much and would definitely recommend checking out their solid beauty products to free up some space for your Tide to Go pen because a toddler might kick your seat when you're trying to drink your coffee.

3. Don't compromise on hand sanitizer. Ever. Planes, airports and human bodies are germ factories. Always remember and never forget to sanitize everything you touch unless you want to start your trip with 18C's head cold. I also know that Clorox wipes come in a travel sized container, so I use those to wipe down my tray table, armrests, etc. 15/10 would definitely recommend.

4. If you're a chronic notebook carrier like I am, put your ballpoint pens in your baggie (or one of their own). I've heard horror stories of people's carryons getting covered by ink because one burst in flight and I'm determined to never be one of those people.

5. Invest in refillable travel bottles for your liquid necessities that you can't replace. This is key because those tiny, single use bottles at Target are super expensive, and they may not have the brands or products you use. I use some silicone bottles for my shampoo and conditioner because I'm picky, but they're also great if you need certain skincare products, medicated creams or other things that you can only get in large bottles. I know someone who uses one for their favorite kind of barbecue sauce. No judgement here! Just rinse it out well if you're transitioning from soap to condiments. Side note: these can also go in your suitcase if you don't have extended layovers.

6. If you're traveling extensively, consider switching to a powder foundation. Some people are really unsure of this one. I know. I was one of those people. But guys. It's so worth it. And contrary to popular belief, you can find powder foundations that offer fuller coverage like their liquid counterparts. I love BareMinerals BarePro. Full coverage without taking up coveted liquid room and saving you from the fear of opening your bag to a broken bottle.

7. When in doubt, put it in your checked bag or buy it when you get there. If you don't need your shower gel while flying, pop it in your checked bag. If you're backpacking, this can get dicey, but remember: they sell soap everywhere. You'll probably be able to find sunscreen and you don't need a full-sized toothpaste for a 3 hour flight. Pop a few gallon-sized sealable bags in your checked suitcase to lighten your load. This has saved me so many times. I don't travel without sunscreen or hair oil but I don't need them when I fly.

By opting for solids and curating your stash of liquids, you avoid the dreaded TSA scramble where you're simultaneously chugging your half-full water bottle while rummaging to find that pesky nail polish that you just had to throw in at the last minute. Follow my tips to breeze through the TSA checkpoint so you can take on the friendly skies and enjoy your next adventure.

What are your favorite substitutions for liquid products? Let me know in the comments below!

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