I guess you could say that I am slightly obsessed when it comes to travel size items. Their small size fit perfectly in your purse or carry-on bag. But if you’ve ever gone searching for your favorite products in miniature sizes, you know how pricey they can be. Over the years, I have learned some tips and tricks for acquiring these items, without having to spend a fortune. In fact, most items that you need can be found for free. With a little advance planning, next time you get ready to jump on that jet plane, you will have a supply of all the products you need for the week.
Use your beauty rewards. If your key chain looks anything like mine, then it is loaded with rewards cards from your local pharmacy, department store, or grocery market. Although they may seem at times as just another item taking up precious real estate in your purse, these cards are a great way for companies to reward their loyal customer-you. These rewards can quickly add up, especially if you frequent a store often. My favorite rewards card is my Sephora Beauty Insider. I find that the points that I rack up buying products I already use translate into some of the best deluxe samples in the industry. And the best part? They remind you when you’ve accumulated enough points to use, so you can cash them in to score some great swag. Whether you are looking for a travel size of your perfume, makeup primer, or favorite cleanser, you can usually find it (or a very similar product) here. Hate the way all those cards can clog your wallet or weigh down your keys? Many companies now offer an electronic alternative that can be easily accessed on your smartphone.
Hit up your service professional. Next time you visit your esthetician for a facial or pre-vacation wax, ask if they have any of the products you currently use in sample sizes. Spas normally receive loads of these items for free, but don’t leave them out in candy dishes for clients to grab handfuls. Of course, owning the full sizes of these products will render your skin careexpert more likely to share some samples with you. Otherwise, they could be fearful that you don’t want to spend the money for the real thing, and giving you freebies will only perpetuate that habit. Have an upcoming visit with your chiropractor, massage, or physical therapist? Ask if they have any trial sizes of pain-relieving ointments, lotion or aromatherapy. I always travel with a few packets of Biofreeze; after sitting on a plane or driving for hours, my back is glad to feel the cooling relief of this miracle gel.
Free gift with purchase. I usually try to stock-up on my beauty staples around major holidays, because this is when brands tend to give away the best freebies to entice gift buyers. Simply purchasing your favorite foundation or lipstick can qualify you for some great makeup picks, free of charge. And often times, you are able to choose the color palette or products that best suit you. Need to restock your shower with hair products or cleansers? Look for the bottles that come with a free mini size. These will not only get you through your upcoming trip, but can be refilled time and time again for frequent travelers.
Company freebies. If your upcoming trip has amenities that will enable you to do laundry or housecleaning, check out the new products being offered by your favorite household brands. When companies are launching a new item, they usually offer trial sizes for you to test out. Those new laundry detergent packets that are popping up on store shelves everywhere? With a little searching you can score a few, on the house. They also are great for traveling, versus those awkward travel pouches that can be get a bit messy for multiple uses. Browse the websites of the brands that put these products out, or check out their social media pages. You will be amazed at how many samples you can get without having to make a purchase.
Use what you have. Before you mutter “Obvi!”, give me a second to explain. Scoring sample items for an annual vacation is relatively easy, but if you travel more frequently, it can be difficult to replenish these items at the rate you are using them. Use the containers that you acquired through your freebies, and refill them for future trips. Unlike the one-time use packets that can be found in the dreaded travel section of your local store, their size is already perfect for travel, and most can be easily opened for repeated use. For items that you simply cannot find in mini sizes, or can’t be had for free, consider purchasing a well-made set of plastic travel containers. The few dollars that you spend on these will pay off after just one trip.
Now that you are stocked up on your essentials, it’s time for the best part-your vacation! Because what fun would it be to have all these petite products, without anywhere to take them? Whether you are taking off for your dream vacation to Maui, or simply traveling for a few days for business, these tips will be sure to keep your bag filled with everything you need, without busting the seams of your already over-stuffed luggage.