There is something about the term "Gift With Purchase" that shorts all my circuits. Who can resist those cute little bags full of free goodies? Nevermind that the bags are often cheap plastic things that you would never, ever actually use as a clutch as advertised. It's free!
Well, sort of. You do have to buy product--usually to the tune of $20 bucks or more--to get the gift with purchase bag. But the upside is that you do get exposed products and colors you might not otherwise try, and the gift usually comes with at least one or two neutral stand-bys everyone can use, which explains why I haven't had to actually buy mascara, clear lip gloss, blush, or make-up remover in years.
Still, there is the question of what exactly to do with an ever-increasing supply of little vinyl bags. Happily, there is no shortage of ways to get some actual use out of them. As I recently realized, GWP bags are especially helpful for taming travel chaos. Here are 8 ways we put GWP bags to use on our trip to Turkey:
#1: Organizing Vitamins, OTC Drugs, and Prescriptions
It's handy to have one place for pills and medications.
#2: Stowing Feminine Protection Products
If you've been following the Quest, you might recognize this bag from my medicine cabinet makeover.
#3: Pen Storage
Handy even if you don't feel compelled to travel with a handful of fountain pens at any given time.
#4: Cotton Balls, Q-Tips, and Cosmetic Rounds
I've found that cotton balls, Q-Tipsand the like have a tendency to get yucky if stored with makeup. While you can use a ziplock baggie in a pinch, baggies tend to tear and give out over a number of days of heavy-duty travel. This bag is also suitable for around-town essentials, i.e. ipod, credit card, and gloss.
#5: Camera and Camcorder Bag
This is one of my favorite bags--and probably the most unusual: there are two compartments to the soft-sided, square-shaped bag: one large and one small. The large side provides storage for our 35mm camera, while the small side is big enough for the camcorder. Perfect!
#6: Binocular Bag
The original bag for the binoculars didn't fit as well as this freebie bag!
#7: Travel-Size Soap, Toner, and Cream Organizer
This is probably closer to what the GWP bags are intended for. I've found that this square-shaped bag, which has a three-sided zipper, is particularly useful for cleansers and face creams, as it lays flat on a hotel room vanity or counter and makes it easy to keep everything in the bag making it easy to pack up and go.
#8: Organizing Spillables
This is one of the most useful GWP bags I've gotten: a heavy-duty plastic bag that's ideal for storing all kinds of spillables like perfume, large toner bottles and the like, minimizing potential breakage catastrophes.
Tomorrow: creating a quick, organized day pack of travel essentials with free GWP bags.