DIY travel spice kit: easy, affordable and convenient

DIY travel spice kit: easy, affordable and convenient

I don’t claim to be a foodie and my palette is anything but refined. But a travel size spice kit does make it into my suitcase on certain trips and I am glad for it. I decided to make my own, personalized spice kit and I recommend you do the same. A DIY travel spice kit is easy to make and very affordable. And for all you foodies out there, you can call this your mobile foodie survival kit.

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A portable spice kit is good to have when you are traveling and plan to…

  • Do a lot of cooking
  • Are picky about your spices
  • Camp
  • Prepare a special meal or two
  • Do not want to buy full-size spices from a local grocery store
  • Are unsure what the spice situation is in your Airbnb or VRBO
  • Pack light
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Christmas roast + DIY travel spice kit

I set out to make my own spice kit after R and I decided to spend Christmas in Germany. The country basically shuts down during this time and we knew that finding open restaurants would be a challenge. So we planned to make a nice Christmas dinner at our Airbnb. Since I wasn’t sure what our Airbnb would offer in terms of spices and I didn’t want to buy full-size spices at the grocery store, I decided to bring my own. Honestly, it was one of the quickest and easiest DIY projects I have ever done.

bread, potatoes, roast, Christmas dinner, Germany
Christmas dinner in Germany made with spices from home.

There are a lot of good reasons to create a travel spice kit for your next trip. Travel spice kits are simple to make and super affordable. You may even have everything you need at home to make one. They are also customizable. It is your spice kit, make it the way you want it. But best of all, they are portable and convenient. No need to buy full-sized spices at the grocery store.

To make your own travel spice kit, you need just three things:

  • Your favorite spices
  • A way to label your spices
  • A container of some sort to hold your spices

Choosing your special spices

The best part about making your own travel spice kit is that you get to decide which spices you want. My spice selection is pretty basic. I included salt, pepper, garlic salt, dried onions, rosemary, thyme and sage in my original travel spice kit. But please, feel free not to be as boring as me.

DIY travel spice kit, girl, short blonde hair
Proudly holding my DIY travel spice kit.

Bonus: I grew my own herbs and dried them. It was fun to be able to include a little piece of something I grew in Idaho and use it on our Christmas roast in Germany.

Labeling your spice kit

When it comes to labeling your spices, you can go as elaborate as you want. That is the beauty of DIY! I have a handy little label maker that I love, so a DIY travel spice kit is the perfect place to use that. But a sharpie would work just as well. Your container of choice may dictate how you label, but the important thing is that you label those spices. There is nothing worse than adding the wrong spice to a dish simply because you had a cold and your nose couldn’t tell the difference.

Finding the right container for your DIY travel spice kit

There are a lot of options for choosing your container. I am going to share with you my preferred container options, but also some other options you could use depending on your preference, or what you have around the house.

Preferred containers for a DIY travel spice kit

I actually have two containers that I prefer and I purchased both of them in a craft store. That’s right, head to the beading section of any craft store and you will find a treasure trove of containers. One I particularly like is a cylinder shape with small round containers that screw onto each other. The best part about this type of container is that you can customize your kit to the exact number of spices you want to pack. If you only want to pack three types of species, you just use three containers and leave the rest at home. I packed seven species when I went to Germany and my spice kit was still small and lightweight. This cylinder shape comes in different sizes itself, so it is a perfect option for a DIY project.

bead storage for a spice kit
Check the craft store for travel containers.

The other container from the bead section of the craft store that I like is a circle shape with eight compartments with snap-lock closures. This container is small, yet holds a lot of spices. The only downside is that you cannot take less than eight. Sure, you can leave some of the compartments empty. But whether you fill them or not, you have to take the whole container. Good thing it is small!

round DIY travel spice kit container
Lots of spice in the palm of your hand.

Containers in the craft store are affordable. They will cost around $3-4. Or there is always Amazon: Darice Round Bead Caddy.

Alternate container options for a DIY travel spice kit

Pill containers

Head to your local pharmacy and check out the pill containers. These make excellent spice containers. The Walgreens down the street had every size and color imaginable. The cheapest was 99 cents, which is hard to beat. I find two downsides to using pill containers for spice kits. First, there will always be some sort of letter or day of week plastered all over the case. So you may have to work a little harder to label your spices. Second, pill containers come with a pretty set number of spaces: seven. I did find a pill container with three sections, but most were seven. I doubt this a dealbreaker, but it is something to keep in mind.

pill containers, spices, DIY travel spice kit
Pill containers = spice containers

Small baggies, jars or other containers

The most customizable container of all is not any one container, but multiple containers. Small baggies, travel-sized jars, tins or even used Tic Tac containers work for this DIY option. The real advantage is its scalability. The real disadvantage is that you will need a separate container to contain your mini containers. And depending on how many spices you pack, you will have to sort through them to find the one you want. None of this is a big deal in my opinion and you may find this DIY option to be the best for you.

spices, jars, baggies
Look around your house. You may already own the perfect container.


If you research DIY travel spice kit options, you cannot help but come across an option that uses straws. I decided to try this option out to see how easy it is. Turns out it’s really easy. You just need plastic straws, a lighter and a pair of pliers. It took me less than two minutes to package some salt using a straw.

orange straw, salt, pliers, lighter, tools for a diy travel spice kit
Use straws to make single-use containers for spices.

The bright side to this type of kit is a super lightweight, highly customizable spice kit. The downside to this type of kit is that these spices are one-time use. Once you open that straw, you cannot seal it up again (unless you are in the habit of carrying a lighter and pliers wherever you go). If you want to use your spices more than once, or more importantly, your containers, you may want to consider another option.

Where to buy a travel size spice kit

I realize not everyone loves a good DIY project. Or perhaps you just don’t have the time. Or you want something cute and you know your limitations. You can always take out the DIY part and simply buy a travel spice kit. There are really, really cute options for travel size spice kits on Etsy and even a few options on Amazon (although they are not as cute as the options on Etsy):


A DIY travel spice kit is easy to make and affordable. I highly recommend you try making your own if you plan to do any cooking on your next trip. You can customize your spices and create a kit that meets your packing needs, and keeps your taste buds happy.

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