Guy Files: 7 Travel Essentials You Don't Want To Leave Home Without

By Sarah Stallmann
In Style

Thank goodness for summer—there is nothing better than longer days, shorts, tank tops and sunglasses. But my favorite part definitely has to be summer vacation. Although I prefer the beach, any destination will do. Whether you choose to party your brains out or relax your cares away, checking the essentials off of your packing list is a must. I have learned my lesson the hard way, forgetting to pack the most important items for a trip.

Learn from my mistakes, and make sure you pack these seven essentials before you hop on your next flight. The best part? They will all fit into your carry-on:

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons,Tommie Hansen

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, Tommie Hansen

1/ A Phone Charger—I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but a phone charger is the single most forgotten travel essential. It’s pretty obvious why you need one, but I’m going to suggest you pack two. Put one in your carry-on, and pack the second in your checked luggage. You will be shocked at how fast Candy Crush or Angry Birds will drain your battery while you’re waiting on your inevitably late flight. Remember that if you are traveling overseas, you might need to invest in an adapter or a charger that’s compatible with foreign outlets. A tip if you still forget: Most hotels stockpile phone chargers. Travelers constantly leave them behind in hotel rooms. Ask the concierge if you need one.

2/ An Auxiliary Cord—I always forget this one. If you have a rental car, you need an auxiliary cord to make listening to your tunes a piece of cake. None of us have time to figure out the Bluetooth technology in our rental (if it even has the technology). Someone  before of you probably messed with the Bluetooth settings anyway. You will find a good number of hotel rooms also have a speaker for your tunes. Some hotels have also neglected to upgrade from the old iPhone 4 charging dock model. Bring a cord to be safe.

3/ Cheap Sunglasses—Trust me on this one. DO NOT pack your Ray-Bans on vacation. If you are going to lose your sunglasses, take it from me, you will lose them in a place where you will never find them again. Vacation spots increase your chances of being in one of these said places. Murphy’s Law literally promises that you will lose them in an ocean or drop them off a cliff. A thief will steal them—something will take them away from you, guaranteed. Do yourself a favor, and buy a cheap pair at H&M. They sell aviators for $5, and aviators literally look great on everyone in every outfit. You’ll thank me later.

4/ Fragrance Atomizer—I used to collect the little fragrance samples from department stores to carry in my dopp kit. Then it occurred to me: There’s a reason I didn’t buy the full size of that sample fragrance. It stinks. Every fragrance does not smell awesome on every man. Fill an atomizer with your favorite fragrance, and actually smell like yourself on vacation. You could pack the full size, but it could leak or break in your bag. Its happened to me. Twice. You can buy atomizers for around $15 at Sephora.

5/ A Good Lip Balm—Traveling on an airplane depletes your skin of moisture. It has something to do with air pressure in the flight cabin combined with the fact you are breathing recycled air without moisture. Your lips are the first place dry skin will surface. Chances are you are planning some romance while away, and so plan ahead for ideal the conditions.

6/Advil—Traveling causes headaches easily. The change in air pressure on a plane can cause headaches at the drop of a dime. So can a screaming baby, or a hangover, or a foreign climate. Always pack over-the-counter pain killers in your bag. They also will help you get over a hangover or make muscle fatigue easier to handle after being on your feet longer than you’re used to.

7/ A Copy of Your ID or Passport—This is the most practical thing to remember, and the easiest. Take a photo of your passport and ID with your phone, then email it to yourself. You’ve just taken the easiest measures to protect yourself if your wallet or passport gets stolen. You can pull up your ID on your phone, and it makes proving your identity a whole lot easier. You can also pull up your email in the business center of most hotels and print a copy if it gets lost.

Happy travels!

Josh Nichols is a 15-year industry veteran who is a nationally recognized expert in hair styling. A St. Louis native, Josh attended Current Trends Academy and went on to become a top revenue stylist at the award-winning American Image Salon in Chesterfield. Josh opened his first salon—Josh Nichols Studio—in 2010. He has since expanded his services, added employees and relocated to Clayton, renaming his salon KINK Salon in 2012. His latest project, Notch, a men’s barbershop concept, opened August of 2014 in The Grove.

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