Airline passengers are aware of the restrictions imposed on carrying liquids in their carry-on bags. The Transportation Security Administration refers to them as the 3-1-1 rule whereby the containers can only hold 3.4 ounces or less (that is 100ml) and must be held in a one plastic bag, with one bag allowed per person.
You can, however, have as much liquid as you wish in your checked bags but do you really need to cart around that 250ml bottle of shampoo amid all of those other 3-1-1-busting containers? In both cases, the answer is to decant your liquids into smaller containers so that they're lighter to carry and don't fall foul of any rules.
Travel-size bottles are popular and there are lots available but which ones should you choose? For our money, you should opt for bottles that are free from an industrial chemical called BPA which research has shown can seep into liquids – this will be of particular concern if you want to store food or drink in the bottles or containers.
It's also a given that you won't want the contents to spill out so a leak-proof product with a sealing cap should be a high priority. Many of the bottles make it easier to fill thanks to larger openings but having different size bottles can help when you're packing them into your transparent bag. After all, you'll want to place as many varied liquids in there as possible.
Ultimately, shop wisely. Consider your needs first – do you really need a 10-piece set or will a small set of bottles suffice. After all, you're going to need to carry these around and the more you have in your luggage, the heavier they'll prove to be.
Featuring a unique locking cap to make leaking more difficult
Allowing you to decant liquids up to the maximum allowance of 100ml, these stylish travel bottles are made from food-grade silicone that allows them to be squeezed. They also have a wide opening, so they should prove rather easy to fill too.
Their unique selling point is a patent-pending method of securing the bottle which the manufacturer calls the LoopLock. By keeping the cap firmly in place, it has been made to ward against accidental opening so that the contents don't end up spilling out.
It does so with the aid of a loop which can also slide out to the side, allowing the bottle to be easily hung on a hook. With different colours for each bottle, enabling you to remember what's in each, they could become your essential travel companion.
Teapile 9 Pack Travel Bottles
Enough bottles and tubs for most of your toiletry needs
For those who tend not to travel light, an assortment of size-approved bottles becomes a must. This reusable set includes four leak-proof, squeezable bottles in vivid colours, all with wide mouths to make them easier to fill. They also fit within a bundled cover bag for added leak protection and they come with labels so that you can remind yourself what is contained with them without relying on colour alone.
The caps are also made using three layers for extra sealing and the set comes with a trio of cream tubs and a couple of toothbrush covers which is something of a bonus. As such, they should provide more than enough space for your shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and creams while ensuring you get through security with ease.
Standie Travel Bottle 17-Piece Set
A selection of bottles perfect for a family getaway
Although you're allowed to whizz through security with a liquids of up to 100ml, none of the bottles in this pack maxes out at that. Instead there are two 80ml silicone bottles, a couple at 60ml and a pair of 38ml containers as well as four cream boxes (two of which are 20g and two of 10g), four mini spatulas to help with refilling and two toothbrush covers.
Throw in the clear bag, however, and you've got 17 items in total which is why this bundle is well worth considering. As with many bottles, they're made from food-safe and washable silicone and it's true to say that they'll provide plenty of space for most typical family trips. The rather good price will also leave enough change for a round of delicious ice creams.
Naglene Travel Kit
The sturdy bottles scientists would use in the lab
These bottles are made from Naglene plastics rather than silicone and they're also rather simple in looks – so don't expect any funky colours here other than a few different caps. Since, however, this brand of plastic has been developed for use in a laboratory, their functional appearance is perhaps to be expected. The main thing is that these bottles will be strong and resistant to leaks.
Unfortunately, not all of the containers comply with the Transportation Security Administration rules because a few of them are greater than 100ml or 3.4 ounces. It does mean, however, that you could pop them in your checked luggage without worrying about spillage and their sizes also ensure they won't be taking up too much room.
Elephantine Me – Cute Travel Bottles
Fun designs for these baby-friendly bottles
Designed for carrying toiletries for your baby (and cute enough for kidults to desire them too), these fun toiletry bottles are not only made from safe-silicone but they could also double up as a distractive toy. You get a couple of penguins (one pink, one black) and two bears (turquoise and blue) and these fit within their own transparent washbag for easy transportation.
The penguins hold up to 90ml and the bears can store 80ml. But what we also like about the design is that they have label rotators in the cap so that you can quickly indicate what each of the bottles contain. Since those caps are also made from three layers and contain a leak-proof valve, the likelihood of them suddenly spilling their contents should be low.