Although summer is almost over, it hasn’t quite left just yet, so if you’re planning on a late escape to the sun, or maybe a quick staycation, here are a few things that every man should have in his suitcase.
Whether you’re headed away for a few weeks or you’re just making a quick trip for business, you should always travel in style. The days of backpacks through the airport with your sleeping bag on top should probably be put behind us (they have their place, though) and packing correctly means that your trip runs smoothly from the moment you leave the house. Plus, you might as well look good while doing it.
First of all, a good travel bag is a must have for any man. While they can range in price from the cheap to the ludicrous, you still want to have a bit of style and invest in a piece that can last a good while too. It also makes you look like you’ve got your stuff together and you’re effortlessly floating through the stressful environment of the airport if you’ve got a nice bag, even If you are sweating to death in all your layers that you’ve worn to try and lighten the load on your carry on baggage.
Ted Baker make a range of quirky numbers, but when it comes to a classic look, then leather is the way to go, like this number here for £279/€350. Canvas is another option if you want to go for a cheaper option and Marks and Spencer do a great range for about €95.
A dopp kit should be the first thing in your bag…well after you’ve put all the stuff that you need inside it but you get what we mean. You can get a wash bag pretty cheap, in fact you can even get free ones when buying your toiletries in some places, but if you want to go with a bit of class, then get yourself a nice dopp kit. Leather or tweed will give you an air of class that you might not have, but then again no one will be able to tell from a distance.
It’s an easily overlooked item, and should be a once-every-ten-years sort of purchase, which is why we feel we can justify splashing the cash on it a bit. This J-Crew Montague leather dopp kitt is a favourite of ours from Mr. Porter (where you can get almost anything your heart could want) for around €140.
Filling the dopp kit is the next step, and that’s where you need to have your essential toiletries. A couple of colognes to start, but not too many, as what you should really aim for is to find a signature scent and stick to it, but sometimes we like to mix it up.
Emporio Armani Diamond Rocks for Him (50 ml - €40) is one that came out this summer and has a sweet scent without being overpowering. There’s a hint of tangy bergamot and apple as well as citrus and woody notes in there, plus the bottle is solid and pleasing on the eye.
Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb (50ml - €58) is another fragrance we’re a big fan of at the moment, and with quite a spicy kick to it (scents of chili and saffron) it’s one that will work well into autumn too.
Some product to keep your do in check over the space of the holiday is always important, and for us Layrite Super Hold Pomade (€14.99) makes the cut because it’s water soluble, meaning that it won’t leave you with a horrible sticky residue on your hands or a case of cement head when you get in the shower.
You’re going to be getting some serious shut eye on the trip (you’re getting away to relax after all) and your skin care regime shouldn’t take a backseat either, just because you’re giving yourself some time off. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel has long been a favourite of ours, so bringing a scrub and a moisturiser ensure that your skin will get some much-needed care too.
There is but one crucial ingredient left for any trip, and that is a couple of fine whiskeys dropped into the dopp kit. We won’t say we’re hiding them, as that sounds a bit sordid, but there’s no reason that you can’t keep them away from the greedy paws of those who might be inclined to liberate you of your booze. James Fox in Dublin does a whole selection of whiskey miniatures, but we particularly like the look of this Wild Geese sample set (€21.50), which should ensure you’re the most popular man around once the hotel bar stops serving.
Every man should also have a Moleskine, no matter what you do. They say there’s a novel in all of us, so make sure that yours actually gets written by jotting it down in the same notebook that Hemingway et al used. Besides, while Don Draper can get away with jotting things down on a napkin, we’re a tad more forgetful and butterfingered than he is.
While we like the pen and paper for jotting down our poetic thoughts, it's also important to bring a bit of tech, especially if you are travelling for business. Our new favourite tablet is the Samsung Galaxy S Tablet, an incredibly slim piece of kit that has one of, if not the most impressive screen we've ever seen on a portable device. Catch up on all the Netflix you've been neglecting with this bad boy, it really is a pleasure to use.
Once you've got those things in there, you’ll probably need clothes and that type of stuff too, but that’s a whole other article, really. We couldn't possibly go into that here...