Although I normally tend to use higher end shampoos and conditioners because I think they are better for my color treated hair, my hoarder tendencies kick in when I’m staying in hotels and I cannot resist taking as many of those hotel toiletries as will fit in my suitcase…Why? I have no idea, I just love them. Sometimes I even grab extras as I’m passing the housekeeping cart in the hallway. If you are like me and absolutely cannot resist just leaving these hotel “luxuries” behind, there are many options for these hotel extras:
- Wash out your laundry using the shampoo while you are staying in the hotel; since the savvy traveler packs light, hotel laundry is a necessity.
- Try using the hotel soap AS soap and save a tiny bit of space in your suitcase.
- Double duty the use of conditioners and lotions by using these as shaving cream.
- Wrap your shoes in the shower caps to keep shoe dirt off your clean clothes.
- Bring them home and put them in your guest bathroom for your guests; another fun way to remember all the places you’ve been (and all the hotels you’ve stayed in!).
- Stash them in your gym bag to conserve space and to help keep that bag lighter.
- Keep an extra bottle of lotion in your car or purse; who doesn’t need a bit of hand lotion when you get to your destination? When driving, just be sure you wait to put on the lotion when you are AT your destination because a slippery steering wheel can be dangerous!
- Donate your collected “treasures” to a local homeless and/or women’s shelter or check out an organization such as Clean the World (https://cleantheworld.org/)which accepts unopened and unused bars of soap and shampoo for distribution domestically and internationally to those in danger of hygiene-related illnesses. Another organization to consider is the Global Soap Project (http://www.globalsoap.org/) which collects and reprocesses soaps into new bars. For example, the Global Soap Project responded to the Nepal earthquake with an initial shipment of soap and hygiene kits to reach clinics and camps serving over 5,000 families in Kathmandu. The soap was also distributed to clinics where aid workers and doctors providing healthcare to victims.
- Package and send them off to those stationed in the military; yes, they do get a free supply of their own toiletries, but they are standard fare; it is always nice to get items that may be a bit better than standard fare. Some organizations such as Operation Military won’t accept toiletries unless direct from the manufacturer, while others, such as The Forgotten Soldier Organization )http://www.theforgottensoldierprogram.org/) does accept such unused/unopened items.
- Of course, you could always practice the 1st R of recycling: Refuse; and just leave them all behind at the hotel, but what fun would that be?