Have you booked a trip? As the date draws near, one of your first chores to prep for the trip is to pack. Packing can be pretty boring and stressful, as you don’t want to accidentally leave something important at home. This is where I come in! I’ve got a whole decade of travel under my belt, and I’ve pretty much mastered the art of packing. Here’s my list of men’s travel essentials you won’t want to forget in order to make the most of your trip!

Let’s get packing!

P.S. If you’re a woman, don’t worry; we’ve got a list of travel essentials for women as well!

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Travel Essentials for Men

Travel Essentials for Men

Basic Travel Essentials for Men

Travel Essentials

There are quite a few different things you may need to bring with you on your trip, but here are the absolute essential travel essentials you cannot live without.

1. Passport

Unless you are traveling domestically, you’ll need your passport. If you don’t have a valid (unexpired) passport already, make sure to apply for one several months ahead of time, as they can take quite some time to process.

2. Documents

Depending on the country you are traveling to, you’ll also want to bring some other documents with you on your trip. This can include visas, proof of accommodation (hotel bookings), outbound flight confirmations, etc. I always travel with a photocopy of my passport as well, as some hotels and tour companies may ask for one.

3. Travel Debit/Credit Cards

It’s no secret that some normal bank cards charge pretty hefty fees for overseas transactions. To avoid markup fees on exchange rates, you should get a travel credit or debit card. Some travel credit cards also allow you to earn travel points on your purchases and may come with some other rewards. Here are a few of the travel cards I use:

  • Capital One Venture X: Credit card, costs $395 per year; includes a lounge pass, a $300 travel credit, 10x points on hotels and rental cars, 5x points on flights, and 2x points on all other purchases.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Credit card, costs $95 per year; includes a $50 hotel credit, 5x points on travel booked through Chase, 3x points on dining, 2x points on non-Chase travel, and 1x points on everything else.
  • Charles Schwab Investor Checking: A free checking account that has zero foreign transaction fees and offers an ATM rebate for any fees ATMs charge your card.

4. Water Bottle/Filter

We are huge advocates for sustainable travel practices, and one way we do this is by minimizing the amount of single-use plastics we use while we travel. I always travel with my reusable water bottle and if I am going to a country where you can’t drink tap water, I also come equipped with a water filter. I drink a lot of water, so I travel with a 24 oz Hydro Flask.

5. Travel Insurance

One of the most commonly forgotten travel essentials for men is travel insurance. While it is easy to skip out on the expense and say, “Meh, I’ll probably never need it”, you really shouldn’t snooze on travel health insurance for your trip.

The bottom line is that you can never predict the future, so even if you are healthy as a horse, you should insurance for the worst case scenario.

My preferred travel insurance is SafetyWing. SafetyWing is super affordable, very easy to make a claim, and covers all of my basic needs.

6. eSIM

One of my recent discoveries as a travel essential for both men and women is an eSIM. An eSIM really changes the game when it comes to travel, as you don’t have to pay hideous amounts of money for data roaming. Or if you are more budget-savvy, there’s no more need to spend the entire day hunting for a local SIM card. Instead, you’re connected immediately!

My preferred eSIM is Airalo, which can connect you to over 200 countries at a pretty affordable price.

Luggage and Travel Organization for Men

Osprey Farpoint 55L Review

Got the basics covered? Now let’s move on to some organizational essentials. This section will cover travel luggage, storage, and organization for men.

7. Suitcase

A suitcase is a must-have no matter where you go, as this will make up the base of your packing. Since you’ll be checking this suitcase, don’t put any valuables in this bag!

8. Carry-On

On top of a suitcase, a carry-on can help simplify the packing process. I personally use a carry-on backpack. I’ve been using the Osprey Farpoint 55L for years! Check out my Osprey Farpoint review. If you’re not really a backpack guy, you can opt for a roller carry-on suitcase instead.

Check out our post on the best travel backpacks for some more recommendations!

9. Daypack

What I love about my Osprey Farpoint 55L is that it comes with a detachable daypack. If your carry-on bag of choice doesn’t come with one, don’t fret. You can simply bring any comfortable backpack where you can place your valuables and that you can carry around with your for any daytime activities.

10. Crossbody Bag

All of your absolute essentials should go in your crossbody bag. That’ll be your passport, boarding passes, wallet, and other essentials you’ll need during your flight, such as any necessary medication.

11. Toiletries Bag

Don’t simply stuff thing into your bags. It’s important to keep things organized so that you’re not spending your whole trip digging through your bags, looking for specific products. Get yourself a toiletries bag large enough to hold all of your essentials.

12. Shoe Bags

If you want to simply stuff your shoes in your suitcase and backpack, that’s fine. But if you want to keep your nice vacation clothes clean, it’s best to have a few shoe bags ready to put your shoes in.

13. Watch and Jewelry Holder

Nowadays, I don’t travel anywhere without a handy watch and jewelry holder. I bought this watch travel case from Amazon, and it fits all of my essential jewelry and two watches, which is perfect, as I can rotate three watches at any given time.

14. Electronics Organizer

Instead of having your chargers getting tangled up in your backpack, keep it all organized in an electronics organizer. I purchased this travel electronics organizer about a year ago, and it’s held up well. While it is on the smaller side, I have found that it’s perfect for my travel needs.

15. Packing Cubes

Packing cubes have really changed the game for me over the past couple of years. While I used to loosely pack my clothes in my backpack, nowadays, I keep things neat and organized with the help of packing cubes.

Electronics

electronics-mens travel essentials

No one travels without electronics nowadays. Here are my absolute mens travel essentials when it comes to electronics!

16. Phone

First things first, don’t forget to pack your phone! Your phone will be your lifeline during your travels, as this is where you’ll pull up bookings, translate, find your way around, and look for recommendations. Don’t forget to bring your phone charger as well!

17. Power Bank

You’ll be out and about for hours at a time when traveling, so a power bank is essential. You’ll be using your phone more than usual, so your phone may run out of battery halfway through the day. This is where the power bank will come in handy.

I personally don’t go anywhere without my Anker 20,000mAH travel power bank.

18. Travel Adapter

Not all countries use the same plugs! You’ll need to bring a travel adaptor with you to ensure you can charge all your devices. A universal travel adaptor is my pick as I travel often and to multiple countries, but if you’re only heading to one country or region, you can even buy a travel adaptor for that country when you arrive.

19. Laptop

A laptop is a must-have for any digital nomad. But it also comes in useful if you are planning a longer trip abroad. With a laptop on hand, you can use the bigger screen to book accommodation and plan your next destination.

20. Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise canceling headphones are great not only for listening to music but also for their ability to block outside noise. They’ll especially come in handy if you’re a solo traveler staying in a hostel, as you never know if you’ll have a loud snorer in the room! They’re great even for long travel days when all you want to do is relax in your seat on the train/bus/plane without being disturbed.

I love by pair of Sennheiser HD 450s. They are pretty affordable, sound great, and can withstand the wear and tear of travel.

21. Kindle or eReader

You may not always have a lot of downtime on your hands when traveling, but when you do, a Kindle (like my trusty Kindle Paperwhite) will be your best friend. It’s a great way to wind down during a quiet night or to give you something to do while laying out in the sun at a beach destination.

Toiletries

Toiletries-mens travel essentials

Not sure what toiletries to pack? I’ve got you covered! But before we dive in, a quick disclaimer: not everything on here may be applicable to you, so feel free to adjust this list as you see fit, according to your own needs and what you actually use.

22. Beard Trimmer

For me and many men out there, a beard trimmer is an essential travel item. My first time traveling, I simply grew out my beard or an entire month, but I can’t imagine doing that anymore! A bit of self-care never hurt anybody.

I am a pretty hairy person, and I’ve broken a lot of beard trimmers in the past. But the Philips Multi Groom is still going strong more than a year later. I highly recommend this for a heavy-duty beard (and body) trimmer.

Of course, if you don’t have a beard and prefer to stay shaven, you won’t need a beard trimmer.

23. Shaving Kit

Besides a beard trimmer, you’ll also need a shaving kit to stay groomed. This includes your razor, shaving cream, aftershave, and other products you use to shave. A must-have essential in any man’s travel toiletries bag!

24. Toothbrush Kit

Oral health is important, so don’t forget it even when you’re living it up abroad. Pack your toothbrush and toothpaste. And don’t forget the floss!

25. Deodorant

A deodorant is a must-have essential for any man! Travel days can be pretty sweaty days. Lugging your suitcase and backpack around all day is not going to make you smell good. Plus, those days you spend sightseeing in the sun call for some deodorant, that’s for sure!

26. Cologne

I always pack at least two different types of cologne to keep me smelling fresh throughout the day. Travel can be pretty taxing on the body, and a few spritzes of cologne can make you feel much more confident.

27. Men’s Skincare Products

Pack whatever skincare products you need to take care of your skin during your travels. This can include the following, depending on your skincare routine:

  • Moisturzier
  • Face wash
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm

28. Microfiber Travel Towel

A microfiber towel can come in handy for many reasons. If you’re a hostel traveler, hostels don’t always provide you with a towel, so you can use this towel instead of renting one. Or if your accommodation does already provide you with a towel, it doubles as a great beach towel!

I’ve been using the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel for years now, and I love it, as it folds up real small and takes up barely any space in my luggage.

Clothes

Clothing-Travel Essentials for men

Probably one of the first things you’ll pack for a trip is your clothes. Of course, what clothes you pack is going to highly depend on your destination, but below is a great basic list to get you started so that you don’t forget anything important.

29. Comfortable Travel Shoes

When traveling, I’ve walked to up to 35,000 steps a day, so you don’t to skimp on footwear. Here’s a list of some of my favorite travel shoes. Although you can’t bring every pair you own, I recommend bringing at least two pairs, one of which is great for some serious walking.

On top of a pair of comfortable shoes, consider bringing a pair of running shoes and/or hiking shoes, according to the activities you’ll be doing at your destination. I love my New Balance Hierro X Hierro V7s because they are comfortable, lightweight, and have good grip for hiking or trail running.

30. Quickdry Undies

If you are a sweaty boy like me, you’ll know what I’m talking about! I have a good mix of quickdry undies as well as cotton and bamboo undies, and I am slowly switching out my entire underwear drawer for quickdry undies. They are absolutely IDEAL when traveling. They’re easy to sink-wash, and in areas without a dryer (which, let’s face it, is most places), they’ll dry within a couple of hours.

31. Merino or Synthetic Socks

Since you’ll likely be walking all day, it’s important to invest in some good socks. To prevent your feet from stinking up your accommodation and public spaces, I recommend getting some merino socks, as they are moisture-wicking, quick-dry, and smell-resistant. If you would rather not shell out a pretty penny for merino socks, you can opt for synthetic socks instead.

I love the Merrell merino socks, as they provide arch and ankle support.

32. T-Shirts

A good rule of thumb is to travel with at least a week’s worth of clothes. That way, you can get away with doing laundry once a week, with a couple extra t-shirts to spare. Or if you’re not planning on doing laundry at all, pack enough t-shirts to last you the entire trip.

While most of your travel t-shirts should consist of classics and comfortable shirts, I would recommend packing a couple of dressier shirts for nights out.

33. Shorts

I run a bit hot and generally travel to hotter destinations, so I tend to pack more shorts than long pants. I recommend packing at least 2 to 3 pairs of shorts so that you have enough variety.

34. Pants and Jeans

Even if you’re traveling in the middle of summer, you’re going to want at least one pair of pants. What kind of pants you choose is entirely up to you. Depending on the destination and time of year, I’ll pack any of the following (either all of them or a combination of a couple):

  • Linen pants
  • Chinos
  • Dress pants
  • Jeans

35. Workout Clothes

With all the food you’ll be eating while you travel, you may want to fit in a couple of workout days. Or, if you are going to be walking a lot, your workout clothes can double as travel day clothes. Either way, having some quick-dry clothes can come in handy when traveling. As a general rule, I’ll pack at least two workout outfits.

36. Sweater

Of course, if you’re heading to a warm destination, a sweater is not necessary. But I tend to pack one with me no matter the destination as planes can get pretty cold. A sweater can come in handy during chillier evenings as well.

37. Rain Jacket

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been caught in the rain. A rain jacket is an absolute essential to pack when traveling as a bit of rain is not going to stop you from sightseeing!

38. Warm Jacket

Depending on your destination and the time of year, you’ll want to bring a warm jacket. I have a down jacket that I can easily pack down that I keep in the bottom of my bag.

39. Sunglasses

Your sunglasses are definitely one of the easiest accessories to forget on your trip, but you’ll definitely regret not bringing them! When you travel, you generally spend most of your time outdoors. So, whether you plan to spend time by the ocean, hike in the mountains, or simply walk around a city, your sunglasses will come in handy.

Don’t Forget Your Essentials!

With this men’s travel essentials list, you should be able to pack everything you need for your trip without worrying about forgetting something. And the best part is that once you’re no longer stressing about packing for the trip, you can simply be excited in anticipation of the upcoming trip!

If you are a digital nomad and want some more comprehensive help with packing, head over to our complete digital nomad packing list.

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