10 best travel-size versions of daily essentials

Travel Essentials

Choosing the best travel-size versions of daily essentials can make the difference between a quality travel experience and a chaotic one.

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Best travel-size essentials

While travel can be among life’s greatest joys, it can also wreak havoc on your hygiene and daily routine. With abrupt changes of air pressure, dry airplane cabins, climate differences between locations, germs on every surface and a disruption to your daily habits, it’s easy to feel frazzled and a little unkempt.

To keep up your regular hygiene standards, fill your toiletry bag with some of these 10 travel-size essentials to ensure your travels are easier, lighter and less disruptive. 

Hand sanitizer

Whether in the form of liquid, gel or foam, hand sanitizer quickly kills viruses and bacteria, which is especially convenient when a handwashing sink with soap and running water isn’t easily available.

When choosing a hand sanitizer, it’s important to go with one that contains mostly alcohol and a few competing ingredients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol.

Best travel-size hand sanitizer

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel — 2 fl. oz.

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel — 2 fl. oz.

This top brand of hand sanitizer comes in a refreshing gel formula and offers effective, alcohol-based sanitization. It acts quickly, absorbing into the skin and protecting you from germs and bacteria. Keep in mind that it has a strong alcohol smell, and some users say it can dry out the skin.

Sold by Amazon, Staples and Bed Bath & Beyond

Best travel-size hand sanitizer for the money

Germ-X Hand Sanitizer, Original, Travel Size, 1.5 fl. oz.

Germ-X Hand Sanitizer, Original, Travel Size, 1.5 fl. oz.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, travel-size hand sanitizer, this one is a great option. Killing 99.99% of germs in 15 seconds, it is effective, alcohol-based and formulated with vitamin E, which provides a moisturizing effect. Some users complain of a broken or half-empty bottle upon arrival.

Sold by Amazon

Deodorant

The only thing more uncomfortable than noticing foul body odor while traveling is realizing that the unfortunate scent is coming from you. Stay smelling fresh and clean by packing a travel-size deodorant in your carry-on. 

Best travel-size deodorant

Native Deodorant — Natural Deodorant Travel Size

Native Deodorant — Natural Deodorant Travel Size

This natural deodorant is well loved for its clean ingredient list, softness, variety of scents and lightweight feel. Keep in mind that some users claim it stings the underarms after shaving, and there are mixed reviews when it comes to odor control.

Sold by Amazon

Best travel-size deodorant for the money

Degree Antiperspirant, Invisible Stick Travel Size

Degree Antiperspirant, Invisible Stick Travel Size

This formula offers a fresh blast of odor-controlling antiperspirant that lasts for up to 48 hours. With Degree, a little goes a long way in reducing sweat and offering a bold, uplifting scent. Some users complain that it can leave a white residue that can transfer to clothing.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Facial cleanser

A good facial cleanser gently removes dirt or other debris from the skin, giving freshness and breathability to your skin. Be sure to take your preferences and skin type into consideration when purchasing a facial cleanser.

Typically, oily skin that is more acne-prone does well with retinol or salicylic acid in a facial cleanser, whereas skin that is more sensitive and dry responds well to glycerin or ceramides in a facial cleanser.

Best travel-size facial cleanser

EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser

EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser

This rich, pleasant-smelling facial cleanser is effective at deep cleaning and leaving your skin feeling refreshed, pure and clean. Some users find it a bit drying, so be sure to follow with your favorite moisturizer.

Sold by Amazon

Best travel-size facial cleanser for the money

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Liquid Travel Size 2 oz.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Liquid Travel Size 2 oz.

This gentle yet effective cleanser is popular for its versatility and affordability. Ideal for many skin types, this light cleanser is dermatologist-approved. Some users find the scent unusually strong.

Sold by Amazon, Ulta Beauty and Bed Bath & Beyond

Moisturizer

The purpose of a moisturizer is to protect, lubricate and moisturize the skin, promoting healthy, hydrated skin. Dry skin benefits more from a heavier, oil-based moisturizer, while oily skin tends to respond better to lighter, water-based moisturizers.

Best travel-size moisturizer

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream

Users love this award-winning moisturizer for its luxurious, lightweight feel. This moisturizer is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and healthy nutrients. It truly is a superfood for your skin, offering vitamins C, E and K, as well as plenty of essential phytonutrients. Note that some users say it isn’t hydrating enough for dry skin types.

Sold by Amazon and Youth to the People

Best travel-size moisturizer for the money

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Delivering up to eight hours of hydration, users enjoy this oil-free formula for its lightweight finish that offers big results without clogging pores. Designed to build your skin’s natural moisture barrier, this moisturizing gel helps improve your skin’s elasticity over time. Some users say it isn’t quite moisturizing enough during the dry winter months.

Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Sunscreen

This topical product should absorb easily into the skin to reflect ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Application helps protect the skin against sunburn and the damage that comes with that, keeping your skin fresh, moisturized and preserved. When purchasing a sunscreen, look for a sun protection factor that is 15 or higher. It’s also important to get broad spectrum coverage with water-resistant protection.

Best travel-size sunscreen

Supergoop Play Everyday SPF 50 Lotion, 2.4 fl. oz.

Supergoop Play Everyday SPF 50 Lotion, 2.4 fl. oz.

This family-friendly, oil-free sunscreen offers long-lasting protection that will keep the whole family protected from the sun. With an impressive SPF of 50 and antioxidant cellular response technology, this sunscreen promotes healthy-looking skin with gentle ingredients. Some users say it has a greasy feel and strong fragrance, and some reported skin breakouts after using.

Sold by Amazon, Supergoop and Sephora

Best travel-size sunscreen for the money

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion | Vegan and Reef Friendly

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion | Vegan and Reef Friendly

With summery scents and an SPF of 30, this vegan sunscreen lotion resists water for up to 80 minutes. It’s oil- and paraben-free, and it contains vitamin E and plenty of healthy antioxidants to help your skin. Some users say it stings your eyes and may run if you sweat heavily.

Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ulta Beauty

 

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Abbey Ryan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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