TSA Packing Tips – Reuse Hotel and Airline Amenity Kits

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TSA Packing Tips

Do you feel frustrated at the limit for liquids/semi-liquids when packing for a vacation? Or when you inefficiently purchase travel-sized items at a higher per-unit cost than their regular-sized counterpart? The below solution won’t help you hide your 32-ounce shampoo bottle in your carry-on, but it will make packing all of your toiletries easier and cheaper. This post will explain how to reuse items you already have, saving you time, effort, and money.

Collect Amenity Kits

Almost every hotel provides amenity kits composed of at least soap and shampoo. I enjoy collecting them and for a while, I didn’t have to buy shampoo and conditioner for use at home. I think I went the entire 2013 solely living off my collection!


Typical amenity kit at mid-range hotels.

I find that the bottles are very useful since carry-on security regulations are stringent in many countries. The general global rule is that you can not have a container of liquids or semi-liquids larger than 3.4 oz. Most of the hotel-provided amenity containers are 1-2 oz, so this is the perfect size to use and to reuse.

TSA liquids.jpeg

Reuse Them to Save Money

Since hotel amenities come in smaller sizes, they are great alternatives to purchasing expensive “travel sized” options of bigger products. Depending on the hotel you go to, they may even provide small hair combs/brushes, travel-sized toothbrushes, hairspray, detergent, and more! If they don’t list this on the website or an information booklet in the room, call the front desk to inquire. The more prestigious the hotel is, the more (and higher quality) amenities they offer. Luxury hotels have a greater incentive to keep their customers happy (a bad review from a reputable person can be business shattering), so they are more likely to get this part of their offering right. You can always ask for more and I’ve never been turned down for asking for one more shampoo bottle.


I bring my custom fair-trade, organic, gluten-free butter when I travel. Just Kidding. Or am I?…

If you want to use custom products, just empty out the bottle and fill them with the liquid of your choice. When I buy things, I often buy in bulk (I have a Costco problem). Sunscreen, bug spray, and massage oil often come in containers larger than 3 oz. Transfer these liquids to the smaller containers and label them to make custom travel-sized amenity kits. Don’t forget to label them clearly with tape and permanent marker.

Amenity Kits Also Make Great Gifts

I’ve also found that solid products like soap often come in creative sizes and smart packaging. You may find incredibly pleasing scents and shapes that would make a great gift or part of a gift basket. I remember sending a care package to a niece with a hotel soap of her favorite scent: lavender.

Hotels are not the only source of amenity kits. First and business class passengers on flights often receive them as well. If you read some of my past posts, you probably have experienced this upgrade on points or through elite status, while paying economy prices or less. Subscribe now, so you don’t miss out on learning how! You are welcome.

At the end of your flight, take your airline amenity with you. If I noticed that my neighbors aren’t using their kit by the end of the flight, I often ask if I could have them. Not only can you reuse them for future trips, but they also make great gifts for airline aficionados and travel enthusiasts. I’ve even sold a couple of them on eBay for more than $40.


Lufthansa amenity kit

The next time you travel, don’t forget to collect the amenity kits and re-use them on your next trip.

Happy Traveling!