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Travel is expensive. But, stocking up on all of your supplies doesn’t have to be! Yes, there are some things you need to buy from certain stores or brands. Beyond that, there are plenty of things you can buy for you next trip without breaking your budget. You can find some of the best cheap travel items to buy at Dollar Tree!

With a little creativity and digging, you can prepare your travel toiletries, basic accessories and other personal supplies for just a few bucks. This is an easy way to create a little wiggle room in your travel budget. Why buy brand names from big box retailers when you can spend less on the “stuff” and more on travel fun!

There are a variety of things that might appeal to individual travelers and fit with various travel styles. Even though everyone is different, we scoured our local Dollar Tree to see the best items they have in store for travel.

Toiletries

Toiletries and personal care products are a huge consideration for travel packing. We know plenty of people who require certain products to meet their needs. For those of us who have a bit more flexibility in our product choices, there are plenty of options at Dollar Tree.

Travel and Trial Size Products

Recently, the selection of trial and travel size products has grown at Dollar Tree. Similar products cost double, sometimes triple (or more) at Target. But, before you dump all of these items in your cart, consider the negative impacts.

These tiny plastic bottles only last a few uses. Then, they are discarded (usually in the hotel trash) and never recycled. We all know there is a global crisis with single-use plastics. Personally, I like to use solid bar and more ethical products when possible. So, before you buy tons of these fun little minis, consider what you really need and what you can substitute with more sustainable choices.

Refillable Bottles

If you are looking for ways to lessen your single-use plastic consumption, but still meet those TSA 3-1-1 carry-on liquids requirements, there are options! Dollar Tree also sells a variety of refillable bottles that are well under the 3.4 ounce size limit.

Don’t worry! Dollar Tree also sells a variety of full-size products that you can use to top off these mini refillables. Look for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and more. Solid bar soaps are also stocked, which are a better option with less plastic waste.

Shower Sponge

Do you call it a loofa, shower sponge, mesh, poof, or something else? Regardless of what you call them, Dollar Tree sells them. Look for the two-pack. These are smaller in size so they fit nicely into luggage. At $.50 each, you really can’t beat a deal like this!

Dry Shampoo

This magical product has become an absolute staple in my travel toiletries packing. After a long flight or a day at the beach, a quick spray will help freshen up your hair. But, it is expensive! Dollar Tree’s travel sized version “compares” to Batisse… at a fraction of the price.

Styling Tools

I maintain a separate bag of travel tools and supplies at all times. To stock it, I look for smaller sized items. Dollar tree has a variety of compact hair brushes, handheld mirrors and combs. This is also a great place to stock up on hair ties, clips, headbands, and hair pins.

Sunscreen

Luckily, Dollar Tree sells sunscreen! If you need a little something to take on your trip, consider this option. We do caution against regular sunscreen for people going to the ocean, as well as lakes and rivers. The chemicals in it are harmful to the environment (and to you if I’m being honest). This stuff is probably better saved for summer city exploring, not your next beach vacation.

Health and Wellness

We have always traveled with some basic health and wellness supplies. But, now more than ever, this has growing importance for all travelers. If you want to create a basic travel first aid kit (which we recommend for all travelers), this is the place to do it!

Hand Sanitizier

A.K.A. “liquid gold”. We have always traveled with hand sanitizer. But, it wasn’t until a recent worldwide shortage that we realized how valuable this stuff is! Dollar tree sells standard hand sanitizer pumps, as well as smaller travel size bottles. The great thing about their smaller bottles is they clip on to bags and purses. Pick up a travel size (or two) as well as a few larger pumps to use when it is time to refill.

Antibacterial Wipes

Wipes are nearly as valuable as hand sanitizer. I like them for when you actually get your hands dirty or touch something icky. Having a few of these in your gear can help you in a sticky situation. But, remember that wipes do leave behind trash. Try to limit your use of them, dispose properly, and do not flush these!

OTC Medications, Band-Aids, and Ointments

Basic first aid kits are important to travel with. We dip into ours nearly every trip. Yes, we know you can generally buy what you need while away, but I would just rather have everything with us. Everyone’s medical needs are different. With that said, here are the minimum items we recommend you think about adding to yours:

  • Pain Reliever
  • Allergy Medicine
  • Upset Stomach/Nausea Medicine
  • Cold/Flu Pills
  • Antacid
  • Anti-Diarrhea Pills
  • Cough Drops/Throat Lozenges
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Eye Drops
  • Band-Aids
  • Super Glue

If you want to keep these items super compact, buy a pill dispenser for a dollar too. Then, you can divvy out the various pills in each compartment for easy storage and access. If you want something else, pick up a small makeup bag or other container while you’re here.

Shoe Inserts

I was thrilled to see the Amope brand cushions and heel protectors at Dollar Tree! I love slipping these in to my shoes to protect my heels or feet on active vacations. That little bit of cushion can really help save your feet after miles of walking.

Miscellaneous

Tissue

Always travel with a pack of tissue. Always. I cannot tell you how many times I have found myself in a bathroom without toilet paper. This is even more true if you are traveling outside of the United States. And, for the bathrooms that charge you to buy a bit of toilet paper… no thanks.

They are also great for runny noses, creating barriers on handles and high touch surfaces, or even just wrapping something up lightly. These little packs come in handy in so many ways.

Refillable Water Bottle

If you still aren’t traveling with a refillable water bottle, you no longer have an excuse not to buy one. Dollar Tree carries a variety of sizes and colors. To make your water even better, swing down to the grocery section and pick up some drink mix to take along on your next trip.

Storage and Organization Containers

Head over to the craft section and check out their containers. While these are labeled for crafts, that is not the only creative use for Dollar Tree’s containers. These can be used to organize jewelry before putting it in your suitcase, separate and store certain supply items or snacks, and more! I love reusable organization containers – their uses are endless!

Flip-flops

You probably don’t think of Dollar Tree when you think about buying flip-flops for your next vacation. But, if you are headed to the beach or pool, or just need a pair of cheap shower shoes for your hostel, this is the place to get them. You will have a pair of flip-flips during your trip, but if something happens to them, there is nothing to be upset about!

There are plenty of other items at Dollar Tree to meet your needs based on your travel style. From loading up on snacks and drinks for a road trip to preparing for a cruise, you can certainly find what you need. Depending on your type of trip, you may want to consider looking for the following:

  • Clothes pins
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Kids games
  • Mesh laundry bags
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Shower caps
  • Sunglasses
  • Pens

Keep in mind that inventory in these stores is constantly changing. To really build your travel supplies stockpile, you may need to return periodically to replenish old favorites or seek out new seasonal products.

You may see some familiar brands, but you will also see a lot of off-brand products. Many of these are just as good as the name brands. And, if it’s something you’re are only going to use once or twice, might as well save some money on it! Just make sure to always check the expiration dates.

Vacations can be expensive. But with a little flexibility and creativity, you can cut costs on some of your travel products!

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14 Comments

  1. Some great tips! I had never really even considered Dollar Tree but they have a lot of things we use quite a bit when traveling. And like you, we have always traveled with hand sanitizer and wipes, and now even more so.

    1. I think a lot of people overlook it. But, if I can save a bit of money on some of our supplies, I’m all for it!

  2. I’m trying so hard to save money and NEEDED to see this post! I always forget about Dollar Tree, (how is that even possible?) I spend WAY too much on travel sized shampoos and conditioners when I travel. Also, I love the idea of buying styling products at the Dollar Tree. I never have enough room in my luggage at the end of a trip. If worse came to worse, I could leave these behind and not feel so bad about it!

    1. It’s even better when you’re traveling to places that accept donations of unwanted items from visitors. Many times, these things are donated throughout the communities to those in need. Talk about a win-win!

  3. Fun stuff! I love to shop for toiletries for my trips – to me, it’s part of the whole travel thing. However, recently, I’m always opting for sustainable products like solid shampoo and tooth paste-tablets.

  4. This is the post we all needed! I love a good bargain shopping trip and if it helps my travels too that is even better. Honestly would have never thought about some of the items being available at the dollar store (i.e sunscreen), so good to know!

    1. I don’t think a lot of people think about Dollar Tree for these types of items. But, you really can save some cash on many travel necessities here!

  5. Browsing Dollar Tree for things I don’t need is one of my favorite guilty pleasures! But, maybe there are actually some things I do need! Love your point about the tissues. Those are also great to carry if you’re traveling places where you’ll be eating street food or at small streetside restaurants. I am thinking about my visit to Hong Kong or China where it is a bring your own napkin or tissue situation.

    1. You sound like me! I love wandering through Dollar Tree just to see what they have and what deals I can find! I didn’t know about the “bring your own tissue” standard for street vendors. Good to know!

  6. What a creative idea! Who could have thought a trip to a Dollar store could get everything needed for a trip during these pandemic times. You’ve made a comprehensive list of all things needed for a safe trip. I’ve heard of dry shampoo but never tried one. Have you?

    1. You certainly can find a good variety of supplies here. I love dry shampoo, but haven’t tried this particular brand yet.

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