I don’t know about you, but after 15 years of frequent travel, the perfect toiletkit eludes me. Both things are a continuous journey – what products I like best, and in what sort of bag should I pack them. So after a lot of trial and error, let me tell you what I do today.
What is in my Travel ToiletKit
For my shave
This is a morning ritual I enjoy. Makes me feel like superman.
For years I used shaving foam, but one day walking down Park Avenue I stumbled across The Art of Shaving. I decided to use shaving cream and have never gone back since. It really adds to the ritual and also helps with a closer shave as my growth is rough.
1. I bought a beautiful razor stand, shaving brush but don’t carry the stand for short trips as its a bit heavy. When shaving, use warm water to wet the brush as it helps.
2. My razor is the latest from Gillette. Starting with the Mach, Gillette has done a superb job of convincing millions of men worldwide to junk their perfect existing razors and get the new one. That also involves buying newer blades that are more expensive. I fall for it each time! The latest is the Fusion Proglide.
3. My newest find is this wonderful shaving cream from India by Old Spice, now owned by P&G. Strangely their website doesn’t list it, but you can get it for U$3 on amazon.
4. I loved the zing of splashing on after shaving lotion but found the product disappearing. So I switched to balm. Now I use the Armani Gio from the Qatar Airways business amenities kit. You can ask for more kits when flying and I have several.
5. I must not forget the simple Johnsons baby oil I use to smoothen my face before starting the shave.
For my teeth, face, hair & body
6. For some years I used an Oral-B electric toothbrush. But now I have a nicely contoured one from the Qatar Airways business class lavatory which are well stocked. I have to keep on flying Qatar to keep my teeth healthy (Mr Al-Bakar, I am sure this isn’t one of the flyer objectives you had thought of!)
7. Oral-B dental floss.
My hair is dry and to moisturise it, I use the same Johnsons baby oil for my pre-shave. A nice dual use.
8. My trusty hair brush tames my thick hair. Combs don’t work for me.
9. I relish the feel of a grainy face wash wiping away the grime of a day spent outdoors. My favourite is from Truefitandhill.
10. Deo. I can’t stand rollons and need sprays. I find Axe (Unilever) most refreshing. The trouble is, the most common size is 150ML. For many years the only sub 100ML I found was 50MLs in Thailand so I would stock up when I went there. Recently I found 35MLs in London and finally, a 100ML in India.
11. Eau the Toilette. I use these tiny Armani Gio 25MLs, my 3rd item I from Qatar Business.
What I carry but do not use daily, but vital if needed
12. Aspirin in case I catch a cold/flu
13. Vicks Vaporub for headaches. Most people use this for colds, but applying it on my temple and scalp works wonders for headaches. They also have it in this great small travel size.
14 and 15. I don’t travel to cold places often, so carry lip balm and face cream in case I forget.
16 17 18. Hair cream for when my hair grows long and needs to styling, nail clippers in case I have forgotten to tame my nails on time, and a spare AA battery for my razor.
19. A pair of cufflinks
20. Last but not least, extra razor blades. Its horrible to be stuck with a razor thats lost its edge.
Things I would like to, but don’t end up carrying
My thick hair needs a good cleansing shampoo, and I love a nice smelling fresh body wash. But I don’t carry these and depend on what I find at hotels. Molton Brown has some great travel kits with this stuff.
Do the liquids, aerosols and gels fit into a the zip lock bag at airports?
All put together they look like this (less the hair & face creams, face wash, batteries & aspirin that I have run out of).
All of these don’t need to go into the zip lock, but even for the rest its a tight squeeze. Most airports I use do not require this, so I manage.
As I often forget to pack stuff, I keep a pre-packed set with travel sizes. I only need to add my hair brush and shaving brush, and am ready to go. An important part of this, is checking upon your return if you need to replenish anything, else you end up carrying an empty tube on your next trip!
Now for what I carry all this in
For some years I used to pack everything into one big bag. I used an over priced Mont Blanc bag that after good use started fraying. Then I decided to use 2 smaller ones to snuggle them into nooks and corners of my luggage. I use airline amenity kits. The Singapore Airlines First one is longer and slimmer. The Qatar Business case (the 4th item from Qatar Business I use) is wider, so I can fit things accordingly.
However there is a a nice big brown bag I have wanted.
An example from foter.com and venezia
Some wonderful shops to go to for mens grooming.
There are loads in London. My favourite is Trufit and Hill (established in 1805, the oldest continuously running barber shop in the world, with a Royal Warrant from the Duke Of Edinburgh and outlets in London, Singapore, Malaysia). In New York, go to The Art of Shaving on Park Avenue.
Tell me your stories, and happy shaving and packing!