As we prepare for holiday travels, seeing family and friends and even those mid-summer escapes to the tropics, one question that will arise when packing your bag is what you should bring in your bag to stay well groomed? If you’re like me, that is usually answered by opening up the medicine cabinet and shoveling it all into whatever bag will fit it. However, not everyone is able to do this due to space restrictions or maybe you just want to take a minimalist approach. In the case of air travel, you won’t have that luxury either. So today I’m going to share a guide on how to select the proper grooming products for your travel plans.
Consider your Destination/Plans
The most important thing here is to think about where you’re going. If you’re going to a tropical island to spend all of your time on a beach, you probably won’t need to look as put-together as you would if you were headed to Dallas for a business conference. So think about how you’ll be spending your time and in what setting to determine the level of grooming you need to maintain. If you find that you really just don’t need to look all the well-groomed, you’ll just need the basics.
Depending how long you will be at your destination, you can plan in advance to minimize the amount of grooming products you need on your trip. For example, grooming your nails and eyebrows, and trimming and lining up your beard before you leave will allow you to leave the razor, tweezers, and nail grooming kit at home. This works for trips under 2 weeks, but if your stay will be extended, you may not be able to do any preliminary grooming without needing those products still.
If you’re flying, you’ll be restricted by their 3-1-1 rule. Put simply, all of your liquid, paste, aerosol, or similar products should be in 3.4oz containers that are all enclosed in a single one quart-sized zip bag. This means you’ll need to be extra selective. A good rule of thumb for me is, if I can purchase the item at my destination for less than $3 I won’t bring it with me. I end up leaving behind toothpaste and deodorant, and I usually just plan on using the shampoo supplied by the hotel.
What I Always Bring
Even though everyone’s grooming routine is different, I find it helps to have a starting point, so here’s the list of everything I like to bring on my trips when I’m trying to keep my bag light. All of it fits nicely in my Dopp kit and with some effort I can get it all into the quart-sized bag as appropriate for flights.
- Hair Styling Product (I use Matte Hair Clay)
- Beard Oil Conditioner
- Conditioning Beard Balm
- Round Brush
- Wooden Beard Comb
- Boar’s Bristle Beard Brush
- Hair Cutting Shears
These are my baseline products. Depending on the above factors, I’ll add in everything from face wash and moisturizer, to nail grooming kits, to tweezers, to shampoo and conditioner. So feel free to play around with it and see what works for you! Just think about how long you’ll be gone and what you typically would have done in that time, and bring the tools that allow you to accomplish that.
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