Friday 10: 3-1-1/TSA Bag Essentials

A few of weeks ago I did a Friday 10 of my long-haul flight essentials. Another tricky part of packing a carry-on is meeting the 3-1-1 Rule when flying out of the US or Canada.

What's the 3-1-1 Rule? All carry-on liquids, gels, creams, pastes and aerosols must be:

  • In a container that holds 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less
  • Put in 1 quart clear plastic bag
  • One bag per traveler 

It's not always easy to pare down, so I put together a list of easy essentials that will to get your through the flight. 


I might be a little different in that I don't fully unpack my 3-1-1 bag when I arrive. There have been many times in my life I've been thankful to have something like a small deodorant or wet ones with me! 

As you will see, I also pack the bag so I have access to enough basics to freshen up and put on some minimal makeup if my luggage is lost or it's too early to check in at the hotel. It just makes life easier.

5 scents in 0.5 oz jars | $18.00 USD  | Bergamot+Lime, Ylang-Ylang+Calendula and Lavender+Sage are my favorites!

5 scents in 0.5 oz jars | $18.00 USD | Bergamot+Lime, Ylang-Ylang+Calendula and Lavender+Sage are my favorites!

#1 Travel Deodorant

Because I want to arrive at my destination smelling good. I usually just pick up whatever is available at Walmart or Target in the travel section, which is what's shown in the above photo.

However, my favorite natural deodorant company, Schmidt's, recently started selling travel sizes on their Etsy store. I might do a separate post on Schmidt's one day because I love their scents and it's the only natural deodorant that works for me. The biggest bonus is that it doesn't stain my white shirts since it doesn't contain aluminum. 

Stick deodorants don't need to be in the TSA bag, but I put mine in there anyway just to keep everything together. Since Schmidt's is more of a cream, though, it would have to go into the bag anyway.  

#2 Travel Toothpaste 

I also carry a small toothbrush and travel-sized floss. I usually keep all of this in my purse after I land for those spinach-in-the-teeth moments.

It's not a problem, it's a collection. Yeah. 

It's not a problem, it's a collection. Yeah. 

#3 Hurraw! Lip Balm

Yep! I'm including this again (and probably again at a later date). Planes = dry air, dry lips, dry skin, etc. and Hurraw! is the only lip balm that doesn't irritate my lips. I carry at least two with me: one with SPF and one delicious smelling one without SPF.  Prices vary. I usually pay under $4.00 CAD. 

#4 Clinque Black Honey Almost Lipstick

This is such a wonderful product! It looks scary in the tube, but it has a cult following for its nearly universally flattering shade. It goes on sheer and is build-able. It adds that lovely, elusive "my lips but better" touch of color. The formula is moisturizing and feels fantastic on. It's one little thing that can help make you feel a little more put together after a long, tiring flight.

#5 Mascara

Having very blonde--almost invisible--eyelashes means I rarely leave the house without mascara on. Even if I put on some long-lasting, waterproof mascara for flights, I usually end up wanting to touch it up before we land. I stick to L'Oreal Voluminous ($7.29 USD) or Cover Girl Clump Crusher ($7.99 USD).

#6 Makeup Removing Cloths

I use these near the end of a long flight to freshen up and then apply the following sunscreen and moisturizer(s) before landing. I love Burts Bees Sensitive ($6.00 USD). Alternately, if there isn't much room in the bag, I will take a couple of dry Olay 4-in-1 Daily Facial Sensitive Cloths ($6.99 USD).

#7 Moisturizer(s)/Tinted Moisturizer

I love this NARS Perfectly Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. So much! It has a little more coverage than most tinted moisturizers, feels fantastic on, actually moisturizes, and has SPF 30. The only downside is the cost.

So as another option, I recommend a light moisturizer like Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel under a broad spectrum sunscreen. It's soft, lightweight and doesn't leave me feeling greasy. 

I also carry an unscented lotion for my hands. 

#8 Sunscreen

Being very pale has made me something of a sunscreen expert. I believe everyone should wear sunscreen daily, especially on their faces, to protect their skin and keep it healthy.

Not a believer? Watch this video. 


I'm currently using a broad spectrum, SPF 50, matte-finish Vichy with Mexoryl SX.  La Roche Posay's Anthelios Ultra-fluid Lotion SPF 60 (with Mexoryl) is also nice. They are both around $25 here in Toronto, but I don't think products with Mexoryl are available in the US.

I'm less picky about what goes on the rest of my body, though.  Sometimes I throw in a small travel-size sunscreen or sunscreen wipe if there's room. I worry less about this when going to Europe, especially France, because they have the good stuff when it comes to suncreens. 

#9 Hand Sanitizer

Any kind will do. I try to get unscented ones out of respect for the other people I'm packed into a metal tube with for hours on end. Not everyone likes the smell of juniper berry bliss or whatever. 

#10 Wet Ones Antibacterial

For gross tray tables, gross hands, gross anything that you might encounter on the plane or anytime afterward (I'm looking at you, public washrooms). I usually find the thin travel packs for about a dollar at the drugstore/Walmart/Target.

That's it for my essentials. If there's room leftover in the bag, I might toss in some extra stuff from time to time like a small travel-sized perfume (like these La Vanila ones). 

There are some reusable 3-1-1 bags on the market, like this one at REI or this one on Amazon.  I think $5 is a little steep for a plastic bag. I just us a Ziploc freezer bag. They've never let me down, and I like being able to replace them easily. 

I'd love to hear what you put in your 3-1-1 bag!

Hope you have a great weekend!

*Always check the rules and regulations of your departure country before your flight, just in case something has changed recently.