You might have read that the TSA limit for airplane travel size bottles is 100 ml or 3.4 oz.
Or you might have heard of the TSA 3-1-1 Rule. The 3 in the rule refers to the fact that you are allowed 3 oz travel size bottles in your carry on luggage.
Actually 3 oz is only 89 ml. You are actually allowed 3.4 oz which is 100 ml.
Most people don’t intuitively know how big a 100 ml bottle or 3.4 oz container is?
So exactly how much is 100 ml? How large is a 100 ml bottle? What does 100 ml or 3.4 oz actually look like?
This article has been written to help you get feel for the real size of travel size bottles.
How Much is 100 ml In oz?
This is simple but unless you have a good feel for fluid ounces it might not help you.
100 ml equals 3.4 oz. 100 ml of water is also 100g.
How Much Is 100 ml in Cups?
Are you into baking or cooking? Do you use measuring cups?
In the US a measuring cup is 8 oz.
So 100 ml or 3.4 oz is not even half a cup. It’s 42.5% of a cups.
Or if you prefer you could also say that 100ml is 64 US size tablespoons.
Give It To Me In Real Terms
Okay here’s a measurement I feel confident you’ll be familiar with…
A Standard Size Can Of Coke Is 12 oz or 355 ml.
So 3.4 oz is 28% of a standard can of coke.
A 100 ml travel bottle is not even 1/3 of a standard soda can.
Or you could say a standard can of soda is the same as three and a half travel-sized toiletries bottles.
Travel size toiletries are really quite small!
Don’t Drink Soda? How About The Harder Stuff?
Alcohol nips or miniatures are usually 50ml in size.
So 100 ml looks like 2 nips.
And yes you can take nips on a plane you just can’t pour them yourself.
What’s The Best Size Of Travel Toiletries Bottles Or Containers?
Just because the maximum size of TSA approved bottles for air travel is 100 ml doesn’t mean that’s the best size to use.
Remember you can only take one quart-size bag in your carry on. So you can only take about 7 or 8 maximum sized travel bottles.
It’s actually a good idea to sometimes use smaller than maximum size toiletries so you don’t run of space in your quart-sized bag.
Full-size toothpaste tubes are often around 6 oz. That means they are too large to go in your toiletries bag.
Taking toothpaste on a plane is fine and 3.4 oz should last you a month if you don’t go crazy with your pea-sized amounts.
A typical shampoo bottle is around 12 or 13 oz. Again it’s too big to go in your toiletries bag.
A travel-size shampoo bottle of 3 oz is about 1/4 the size of a regular shampoo bottle.
Women typically use about 10 ml or 0.35 oz of shampoo per wash. So a travel size shampoo bottle might get you 9 or 10 washes.
Those with short hair will use less and might get up to 20 washes.
If you have long hair and are going for a long vacation you might need to take more than 1 travel size shampoo bottle with you.
Or buy some when you reach your destination!
Apparently you need 6 teaspoons of sun cream to cover your body. A teaspoon is 5 ml so 6 teaspoons would be 30 ml.
So with a travel size bottle of sun cream, you might be able to have 3 full body applications.
If you are going for a long vacation in the sun consider using a stick of solid sunblock instead of cream. Solid sunblock is not a liquid and hence not restricted in carry-on luggage.
Bodywash Or Shower Gel
Bodywash is one of these products that’s it’s easy to be wasteful. You might use 30 ml of body wash per shower. So that 3.4 oz bottle of shower gel isn’t going to last very long.
If your hotel doesn’t provide body wash consider packing a bar of soap in your hand luggage. This will last the full vacation and is not restricted since soap is not a liquid.
Eye cream is a product where you use smaller portions. It might be that a 100 ml bottle of eye cream is way too much for your vacation. A 3.4 oz tube of eye cream could last a full year.
You should use a pea-sized amount of eye cream per application, this means about 1 ml.
Look for smaller size bottles of eye cream or transfer a small amount of cream into an empty container. 30 ml of eye cream is plenty for most vacations.
We use around 20 ml of mouthwash per cleanse.
A 3.4 oz bottle of mouthwash will only give you 5 uses.
Consider something like Listerine tabs which are solid and won’t need to go in your quart size bag.
You might not have realized but a lot of cosmetics count as liquids.
Often the quantities required of cosmetics are a lot less than 3.4 oz. So don’t fill up your quart bag with products that you don’t require.
You get the idea. While the maximum size for toiletries is 100 ml this isn’t always the sensible amount to take with you.
For some toiletries, you might need to take more than one 3.4 oz bottle.
For other toiletries, you don’t need to take the full 100 ml.
A quart size bag isn’t all that big. So think carefully about what you really need for your trip.
It’s sensible to buy some small empty travel bottles or containers of various sizes and to transfer the amount of product you need for your trip into them.
The great thing about empty travel size bottles is that they very quickly pay for themselves.
Travel-size miniature bottles are usually very expensive and it’s much cheaper to buy larger bottles and then transfer what you need. You can clean the bottles and use them again and again.
Hopefully, you’ve now got a good idea of what 100 ml looks like, how far 3.4 oz might get you, and whether you should fill your own travel-size containers or not.
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