13 April 2009

DIY toiletries bottles

It is a fact of life that if you want to take liquids on board a plane in your cabin luggage, they now have to be a tiny size. Depending on where you are, they have to be either 100ml or less OR 3oz or less.

Its a bit silly really (well, completely) because those two amounts aren't even the same (100 millilitres = 3.38140227 US fluid ounces), so we people who use millilitres actually have a larger capacity allowed than those who use fluid ounces...

But anyway, you can either buy travel size products, and get to like them (!) or buy generic bottles and put your favourite products in them. We go for the latter. The problem with buying generic bottles is that the authorities in charge of these things like to SEE what the capacity of the bottle is. Its not good enough for the bottle to LOOK like it is 100ml/3oz or less, it has to SAY it is. And often the generic bottles don't have their capacity marked.

Now, on a good day, you'd probably get through. But if you just happened to get the security person who's had a bad hair day, you can say goodbye to your carefully re-packaged favourite toiletries!

For our last trip, I bought small empty bottles from the local pharmacy that had no size on them. I knew they were less than 100ml, so that was ok. Took them home, worked out that their capacity was about 75ml, and made up some pretend labels for each of the products I needed to take (with my own fake brand name and logo etc) and their capacity clearly labelled on each. Doesn't hurt that I'm a graphic designer so can make them look pretty respectable. :)

You can use plain coloured paper as I did, and put clear packaging tape over the top to stick them on, or use Avery type adhesive labels that are suitable for getting wet.

No-one questioned my bottles, and over the course of our trip, we went through many checks.

There are lots of rumours going round that the liquids rules might be relaxed some time this year, so we can all hope for the best! However, if you are travelling light, then its always a good idea to keep your liquids to a minimum, because they're quite heavy.

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