Grooming is an integral part of everyone’s life these days. It makes us look and feel good, thereby increasing our confidence levels. Most of us keep a lot of grooming accessories in our bathroom closet, but somehow forget to take it with us during our holidays or business trips. Women seem to take care of their grooming needs well, but most of us men seem to give it a miss. And we end up spending a lot of money to procure it from local markets or we end up looking unkempt. If you wish to avoid these two broad problems and also ensure that you have no problems with airport security or baggage weight, you can follow these handy tips based on my many days of travel experience. If planned well, all of these will fit into a small travel pouch or toiletries kit.
Hair, Beard and Moustache
Facial hair is trending these days, but it has to be well groomed to attract the right attention. It is here a beard trimmer comes in handy and is one of my favorite grooming accessories. Depending on your choice, you can pick up small ones with low battery backup or big ones with a lot of battery backup. Personally, I use a multi level beard trimmer from Panasonic that gives me about 8 hours of beard trimming battery and one that holds charge even for as long as 30 days.
Shaving Razor and Blades
Most men do not forget to carry their razors, but forget to carry enough blades. In most places, you will find the blade of your choice, but in some you won’t and that can lead to a rough shave. As long as your razor is not a knife edge razor or one that works on old age blades, it will pass through airport security in cabin bags.
After Shave Balm
This is another accessory that most of us men forget to carry with us on our trips. A good after shave balm goes a long way in keeping our face well moisturized and protects us from cuts. If you are going on a short trip, I would recommend putting your after shave into a small squeezo bottle or tube.
A pair of scissors go a long way in keeping your moustache and beard well groomed. The only problem is carrying it in cabin baggage. Do ensure that you pack it into your check-in baggage else you will face trouble while clearing airport security.
A comb comes in handy to groom your hair and while trimming your beard and moustache. This is again something that we forget to pack in our toiletries kit.
Shaving Cream, Gel or Foam
This is required if you shave regularly, but if you pack a good moisturizing soap and a good after shave, you can give it a miss. If you really like your shaving cream, then make sure you carry it in gel form and in small quantities. A 50g gel tube will last you many months. Personally, I think foam is not a good idea as they come in pressurized containers (that can rupture in transit) and are bulky.
Personally, I prefer carrying a shaving brush in my kit. Call me old school, but I feel that it comes in super handy and prevents me from making my hands messy. It also ensures that a little bit of shaving gel goes a long way in producing a lot of lather.
Moustache Wax and Moustache Comb
If you like to keep your handle bars or take pride in your moustache, a moustache comb is an essential accessory. Moustache wax is also great if you wish to keep your moustache in one place. I use the ClubMan moustache wax and comb.
Hair Styling Gel
An important accessory for those who like to keep their hair in one place. These days, it is used by many men and is easily available in small boxes or tubes.
Personally, I am one of those skin types that don’t burn and I am already very tanned so I don’t use sunscreen lotions, but most of you are not like me. If you do not wish to get burnt or if you do not wish to tan too much, having a sunscreen lotion in your toiletries pouch is an absolute essential. Depending on your location, carry SPF 15, 30, 45, 60,90 or 120. These days sunscreen lotions are available in wide varieties waterproof, whitening, moisturizing, etc., so depending on your need and location, you can take your pick.
Different weather conditions, dirt, water and pollution can make our hands lose their sheen. A hand cream helps in getting this sheen back. It can also be used as a backup moisturizing option. Not an essential, but a good to have. Personally, I use the shea butter hand cream from L’Occitane.
These days, most hotels (with the exception of luxury and 5 stars) do not provide any moisturizing or body lotion. Hence, it becomes essential to have some in our grooming kit. The last thing we want is to go meet people with flaky or grey skin. You can either buy small packs or buy a large pack and a small travel pouch and keep replenishing it. The latter helps you save on cost while keeping the baggage weight the same.
The lip balm or chapstick is one of the most under rated skin protection accessories. While traveling, we see a lot of different environments and weather in a short duration and the first thing that gets affected are our lips. It is in such situations that lip balms are fully appreciated. Personally, I use the Moisturizing lip balm from L’Occitane.
Most men forget to pack a nail clipper in their toiletries kit and we end up borrowing it from others. I have done this and this is not something that I would recommend. If personal hygiene is important, I would recommend carrying one for personal use. The nails also look good when these are around.
According to me, a good perfume is an integral part of a man’s grooming kit. It comes in handy for date nights, late night parties and especially when you have women around you. You can either purchase travel size bottles or buy small travel perfume spray bottles that you can keep refilling.
Deodorant or Anti-Perspirant
A deodorant is always present in my grooming kit. For a trip to tropical countries, it is an absolute necessity. Even though deodorant sprays are easy to use, I don’t like pressurized containers in my checkin baggage as they can burst any time due to the heat at airports or in the boot of cars and buses. I prefer roll on deodorants. You can opt for an anti-perspirant if you are meeting someone outdoors and are wearing dark clothing.
How many of us have forgotten to carry our toothbrush with us on our trips? It certainly can be a huge pain if you forget.To avoid this situation, I keep a spare toothbrush in my travel kit.
If you are used to a certain type of toothpaste, it is best to carry your own on your trips. Like with the toothbrush, I carry a spare one in my travel kit. For check-in baggage, you can carry large tubes, but for cabin use, you can carry only a small tube.
If oral hygiene is important to you, you will pack a dental floss kit in your grooming kit. It comes in handy to get rid of those coffee/tea stains that do not go away with brushing the teeth. Most dental floss kits come in small travel friendly packs.
Shower Gel or Soap Bar
These days, most hotels (with the exception of premium luxury or 5 stars) do not give good quality soap. Most of the times, my skin becomes super dry after using them. Sometimes they smell too feminine. And which is why I opt to carry my own. I prefer soap bars to shower gels, but if you want to take shower gels, carry them in travel friendly bottles. And if you opt for a soap bar, carry a soap box along.
The one thing that you will miss most while traveling is your favorite face wash. As you will be outside most of the times, your face will bear the brunt of the elements and become tired. Since you will be away from your hotel most of the times, taking a shower and freshening up is not possible always. It is here that a good face wash comes in handy, especially if you are meeting friends or family.
Hair Conditioner and Shampoo
As I am bald, I don’t need to carry any hair conditioner or shampoo, but I am sure you would like to carry some for yourself. A good hair shampoo and conditioner in travel friendly bottle packs are good to have in your grooming kit.
I hope this gives you a good idea of what to pack in your travel grooming kit. And do remember that all of the above should fit in a small toiletries kit or bag. Please do not carry large bottles or pressurized cans. They cause more problems than you can expect.