Air travel is enough of a headache without worrying about the size of your liquids.
That’s the theory that Pack Simply is banking on, anyway.
The New York-based startup is trying to take the hassle out of buying travel-sized toiletries by offering the ability to build your own TSA-approved toiletry bag online. Pack Simply ships the bag to you already packed and ready for your trip.
The platform is simple, and works like most e-commerce sites. Pack Simply divides the toiletries into several categories (shampoo, shaving, medicine, etc.) and lets you add various products to your cart. Each category has about 10-15 products to choose from, and if you spend more than $20 on products, Pack Simply tosses in the $3.99 clear plastic travel bag for free.
If it sounds a little unnecessary, maybe it is. When describing the product to my Business Insider colleagues, most of them had reactions I can only describe as incredulous.
But they’re also lucky to live in a city with Duane Reade and CVS on every other street corner. Buying products like these in New York City is incredibly easy.
In my hometown outside of Buffalo, New York, it’s at least a 10-minute drive to the nearest Rite Aid or CVS. It’s 10 minutes more to the closest Target — and that’s in suburbia. Anyone who lives in even a slightly more rural location, or doesn’t have a car or access to public transit, is going to have a tougher time buying products that will get them past security.
Of course, lacking access to tiny bottles of Dove body wash isn’t remotely similar to living in a food desert or needing to get to a pharmacy to pick up life-saving medication. The ability to travel by air is, in and of itself, a luxury. And of course, you can (and probably should, for the environment’s sake) buy reusable travel bottles you can fill with your own supplies. But don’t worry — Pack Simply sells those too.
Full disclosure: the company sent me one of their travel bags completely out of the blue. Inside was a tiny tin of Altoids, a stick of Burt’s Bees lip balm, and a small pack of wet wipes, among other products. Curious to see how much my own personalized bag would cost if I packed it full of every product I wanted, I went on Pack Simply’s site and picked out 12 products plus a travel bag.
The only issue I found with Pack Simply is that their product selection is still somewhat limited. They didn’t have hairspray (a necessary product for me), and only had two types of face lotion and one type of shave gel. On the plus side, they toss in cotton balls, hair ties, bobby pins, and cotton swabs for free.
The grand total: $22.80, minus the cost of the bag. For $18.81, that seems like a pretty good deal to me.
So is Pack Simply going to totally change how we travel? Probably not. But is it incredibly convenient? You bet.