What's In Felicia's Toiletries Bag
As we are winding down to the last week of our trip, I figured it is better late than never to publish a post on what I have been carrying in my toiletries bag for the past 4 months. One of the most common questions I received before we left for Mexico and Central America was, "What are you taking with you?!"
I used to be an over-packer, but I knew I didn't have the option to pack my entire bathroom into my backpack and could only bring the absolute essentials. I spent a lot of time during the weeks leading up to our trip trying to figure out what I was going to bring with me, reading multiple blogs from other travelers and watching YouTube videos on other backpackers' toiletries bags. I hope this helps out anyone who over-packs for their trips and makes you realize that you really don't need to bring all that much with you no matter where you're going (and that's coming from someone who considers herself high-maintenance).
So let's get started...
This is my toiletries bag, and it is the small REI Co-op Shower Roll (https://www.rei.com/product/127990/rei-co-op-shower-roll-small). It costs about $30.00, but I think I got it for about $20.00 during one of REI's sales. I got this bag because it's waterproof, I can hang it easily above my bunk bed in a hostel dorm room or in the shower, and it rolls up and packs down easily into my bag.
So let's move onto what's actually in my bag...
Everyone knows how much of a Lush Cosmetics fanatic I am, but this trip made me appreciate that amazing company even more. I was able to bring my all-natural face moisturizer and shampoo bar, which both lasted me most of the trip. What's great about Lush products and the Coola SPF moisturizer (not by Lush), is that all you need is a pea-size amount, so it can last forever. However, I am not using my shampoo bar all of the time. If we're staying at a hostel or AirBnB that provides shampoo, I tend to use what is available and only use my shampoo bar if absolutely necessary. We also packed an extra empty bottle, so we sometimes fill that up with shampoo provided by an AirBnB or hostel to save us some money! Andy also buys shampoo frequently during our travels, so I sometimes use his if I don't feel like using my shampoo bar. Normally, I don't like using random, multiple different brands of shampoo. However in a situation like this, I just need to wash my hair, and it didn't matter what I was using. I took this picture during the second week of our trip. We have exactly 7 days left of our trip, and I just ran out of my face moisturizer and my shampoo bar... not bad.
Obviously, some of these items such as Q-tips and body wash did run out, but those are so easy to find, and Andy and I restocked multiple times throughout our trip. Also, I need to talk about how much I love that mini hairbrush. I got it from Marshall's for $3, it fits in the palm of my hand, and it takes out every single knot in my hair so easily... and I have A LOT of hair.
I read multiple blogs from other female travelers to get an idea of what they packed for their long-term trips, and every single one who has spent months in Mexico and Central America emphasized how they didn't even wear make-up most of the time.
I thought to myself, "Pfft, no way. I need make-up, so I'm bringing the little that I use anyway." It turns out, I've gone several days without any make-up whatsoever, and it felt amazing. Don't get me wrong-- I definitely used these products throughout the trip, but I realized there was no point in putting any make-up on when I'm just going to wash it off when I go swimming in a natural spring, spend 8+ hours on a shuttle, or sweat it off during a hike. Plus, sometimes it's just too hot to put anything on.
I do regret packing one thing though, and that was my perfume roller. For the past 4 months, all I have worn was deodorant, sunscreen, and bug spray, so it was really pointless to wear any fragrance that would get masked by those products or could potentially attract more mosquitos to me. So if you're traveling through these countries, don't even bother packing perfume. Luckily, it takes up little to no room in my bag.
Well, that's everything in my toiletries bag! I think I did a pretty good job minimizing the products down to exactly what I needed for this trip, and I hope it makes you realize that you also don't need to pack your entire bathroom with you for a trip, whether it's only for a few days or a few months.