There are plenty of things to worry about on a trip.
Have you found the best deals on flights?
Have you studied the local language?
Do you know where you’re going to stay?
One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about, though, is your travel gear.
If you find the right equipment before your trip, you can spend all your time learning about new places and new people instead.
Doesn’t that sound like a more fun way for a man to spend his trip than worrying about his travel gear?
Why Do Men Need Special Travel Gear?
As a man, you have specific needs when it comes to travel gear.
For one thing, your clothes need to toe the line between practicality and style. Plus, there’s a good chance your clothes take up more space in your luggage, so size and portability are key.
Grooming is another area where men have special requirements.
Shaving, haircuts and general personal hygiene are all issues any man is bound to run into, no matter the journey. Luckily, you can keep yourself covered with the right gear.
That’s not all, though. Men are also more likely to get cramped in tight spaces. They might have higher water or food demands, too.
It’s important to keep all these things in mind when you’re packing so nothing interferes with your trip.
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Travel Luggage for Men
Believe it or not, I do almost all my traveling with just a backpack.
That’s because I found one that checks all my boxes: a variety of pockets, high volume and military-style Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE). It also fits in the airplane overhead and has full zippers that make it easy to go through airport security without unpacking.
The GoRuck GR2 is a tough rucksack specifically designed for men of the world.
It holds a massive 40L, which is typically the highest volume for a carry-on backpack. You can attach even more equipment with the MOLLE loops and carabiners.
That’s room for everything a guy needs in just one carry-on. The thick canvas and comfortable design also makes it great for long treks.
If you’re going for a longer trip or traveling for work and have a lot of material to bring, a suitcase is the smart way to go.
Specifically, go for a hard-shell suitcase with wheels, like this one from Delsey. The hard shell keeps your luggage from getting damaged while you crisscross the map, and the wheels make it convenient to move around airports, train stations and city streets.
The size of suitcase you want depends on your specific needs. Read up on which factors you should take into consideration so you can make the best choice for you.
Travel Clothing for Men
When you’re traveling, you want shoes you can depend on.
Not only should they be able to handle a lot of walking without becoming uncomfortable, they should be resistant to water and changing temperatures so you can walk on any terrain.
You want all this in a stylish package, too. This way, you only have to pack one pair.
You’ll always catch me boarding the plane in my Timberland Earthkeepers.
Their thick, rubber soles make them great for taking on miles of cobblestone streets, and the waterproof lining keeps your feet warm and dry regardless of the weather. They’re 100% leather and go well with any outfit.
Like your shoes, your pants should hold up for long periods walking.
They should be flexible and comfortable and keep you warm without overheating. You need a durable fabric so you can take them on trip after trip without wearing holes in the knees.
Patagonia Belgrano Hiking Pants fit the bill. They’re water repellent and quick drying. They also have four deep pockets for all the things a traveling man needs quick access to, like passports and change.
Plus, despite being so highly functional, they look professional. You can take them backpacking through Bolivia, then still wear them to work a week later.
Travel Toiletries for Men
Trust me, packing clippers will make your life on the road much easier.
Packing everything for shaving, from cream to razors, wastes space—and that’s assuming you can even get away with taking it all in a carry-on bag.
You can use a good pair of clippers to groom your face and save yourself some money by cutting your own hair.
I opt for the Philips Norelco. The 120-minute lithium ion battery and dual-cutting technology are great, but what sold me on it was the one-comb-one-length design. With only one guard, you can give yourself elaborate, stylish haircuts. Nothing to pack but the clippers.
6. Water-free Soap and Shampoo
Even if you’re planning to stay in five-star hotels, travel is unpredictable.
You never know when you’ll end up without a shower! Maybe your flight is delayed overnight. Maybe the hostel’s water heater goes out.
Nurture makes a combined shampoo and body wash that’s rinse-free. You just wipe it off.
Travel Accessories for Men
7. Travel Pillow
Plane seats are too small for me. Train seats aren’t much better.
Men typically have a lot more trouble getting comfortable in small, cramped spaces like airplanes and train cabins, so a travel pillow can make the difference between an enjoyable trip and a miserable one.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. This memory foam pillow by JUNING comes at a great price but still supports your neck and is soft on the skin.
8. Water Bottle
Local tap water varies from nation to nation and even within countries. In many developing places, it isn’t even safe to drink.
Consequently, you might find yourself without easily accessible drinking water.
I carry a full water bottle wherever I go, from Germany to Mexico. Just in case!
I specifically like this Kemier Collapsible Silicone water bottle for its high 750 mL capacity combined with its exceptional portability.
As the name suggests, you can collapse it down so you don’t waste any space at all. It doesn’t leak in your backpack, either.
Even these days, with phones and computers galore, a wise traveler makes sure to take a paper notebook.
You might want to jot down a memory or experience in a moment when you don’t have access to your electronics. More importantly, notebooks are good places to record addresses, directions or contact information you need reliable access to.
I’ve been stashing a Moleskine in my pocket since 10th grade.
They’re small and compact but have plenty of paper. They’re also firm and durable. The hard cover keeps them from getting bent or ripped on your rougher trips.
Travel Electronics for Men
It’s unfortunate, but books just aren’t great for traveling. Even one book is heavy and difficult to pack.
Good thing the digital age has a solution: the e-reader.
With an e-reader, you can carry more books than you can possibly read on one trip. You can also stay up to date with newspapers and magazines and store your foreign language dictionaries for wherever you wind up.
The Kindle Paperwhite is always a good choice. The basic option comes with 8 GB, plenty for all your books, magazines and dictionaries. And it’s waterproof!
Plus, you can read it in the dark. I’ve enjoyed this feature on several overnight train rides.
11. External Hard Drive
These days, you can get extensive external storage without a wallet-busting price tag.
It’s smart to take an external hard drive along with you because it’s a great tool for organizing all your files locally, so you have access to them even if you don’t have internet.
It’s USB powered, so you don’t need an external power source. You can get it in 1, 2 or 4 TB, enough to store all your work, plus movies and music for those long plane rides.
12. Universal Travel Adapter
One of the biggest hassles while traveling is dealing with all the different plugins.
Even in Europe alone, you have to deal with two different outlets, one on the continent and another in the UK.
If you travel a lot or plan to visit multiple countries on your trip, you don’t want to carry multiple adapters with you. They take up precious space.
The best solution is an all-in-one travel adapter like this one from SublimeWare.
It covers the UK, US, EU, Japan, China and more. Plus, it has four USB ports. This makes it even easier to charge all your electronics.
These days, you need a laptop to travel.
Not only can you use it for work, you can keep up with friends and family back home and all the new people you meet along the way.
Plus, you don’t have to give up your luxuries. You can still watch Netflix, browse social media and learn languages for your travels with FluentU.
I’ve always used a Dell Inspiron. They’re reliable computers and great for travelers.
They’re thin and compact and have long battery life, so you can depend on them while waiting in the airport without an outlet.
If you want to be a man of the world, you have to travel right.
If you want to explore and grow as a person, you need gear that helps you along the way.
Do your homework and get everything you need as a man to make your trip go smoothly and successfully. Then hit the road!
Christian Monson is an American living and working in Mallorca. After studying English and German at the University of Arkansas, he was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany before moving to Spain. He speaks German and Spanish and an ever-increasing amount of Catalan. You can learn more about his articles and fiction at christianmonson.com.
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