We’ve all suffered that last-minute scramble at the airport. Sure, you packed your passport, power adapters and a hefty wad of foreign currency just waiting to be spent on overpriced cocktails, but what about your travel toiletries? Worse still, you have might have been one of those unfortunate souls who has made it all the way up to airport security only to realise your suitcase is stuffed full of creams, gels and fragrances that breach the all-important 100ml limit that’s still in effect . If you’re reading this right now, we’re going to assume you’ve been smart enough to prep in advance for your holidays with a suite of travel-size grooming essentials. Because Lord knows that mid-sized Boots on the way to the departure gate won’t do much to help your cause.
Thankfully for both the impeccably organized and those who’ve previously tried to stuff their entire bathroom cabinet into a tiny see-through plastic bag, plenty of major grooming brands will happily cater to your holiday needs. From sun creams and body washes to moisturizerrs and toothpaste, we’ve found the tiny versions of our bathroom favourites. The best part of incorporating these into your carry-on? Because these products are smaller than their usual form, you can use your travels to try out something new and bougie. Because hey, you deserve to look your best in those poolside photos.
1. A classy sunscreen
Look, if you plan on spending a week soaking up the sun’s rays then you don’t need us to tell you the benefits of investing in a decent SPF. Not least because sunscreen is the one thing that’ll separate the color of your tan from Liverpool FC red to Greek godly bronze. While you can trust in the ever-reliable properties of Nivea’s Sun Protect & Moisture To Go, we’d recommend something a little more luxe for those prepping for their beach-lounging in advance. Malin + Goetz’s SPF30 cream will protect skin while avoiding the typical pitfalls of blocked pores and an unseemly greasy residue. Pair it with Aesop’s Protective Lip Balm to truly do your body a kindness.
2. A versatile moisturizerr
A good moisturizerr is the foundation of any man’s grooming arsenal, but there’s a decent chance you might not want to take the truly luxe stuff with you in your wash bag. Thankfully, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel is an old reliable for many a GQ staffer with its vitamin and caffeine enriched formula that’s suitable for all skin types thanks to its non-oily properties. Given the sheer hype behind The Ordinary’s wars in the past year or so – blame TikTok’s skincare influencers for that one – we’re delighted to see its own Natural Moisturizing Factors is available in 30ml form for an absolute steal. And if you’re in need of a moisturizerr and cleanser combo? Malin + Goetz’s Face Essentials Duo kit has your back (or indeed face).
3. A revitalizing body wash
Look, no one loves to hoard hotel-quality toiletries as much as us, but sometimes you simply want to take your at-home shower routine on holiday with you. Worse still, you might have unwittingly booked into a place that’ll only serve you body wash out of a giant pump. Fear not dear reader, the Cowshed’s Travel Set comes with the shower gel, shampoo and conditioner (as well as a delightful body lotion) to see you through such dark days. For those who want to spread their wings beyond a toiletry kit, we’d recommend both a Kiehl’s Face Wash and Aesop Geranium Leaf Hydrating Body Treatment as foundational tools in your morning battle against jetlag.
4. A one-stop shaving kit
While it’s eminently possible to stow away your beard trimmer or electric shaver in your toiletry bag, nothing really beats the feeling of a baby-smooth holiday shave. For exactly that fresh-faced vibe, you can’t really say fairer than Gilette’s Travel Set, which comes with a razor and shaving gel, as well as a toothbrush, toothpaste and a few other essentials. If your travels call for something a little more refined, then Acqua di Parma’s Essential Shaving Kit will happily step up to the plate, while Harry’s Travel Bundle Shave Set serves up an accomplished middle-ground between the two.
5. A fresh fragrance
It’s worth taking the chance to reinvent your signature scent when jet setting off somewhere sunnier, or at the very least you should use your getaway as a means to expand the horizons of your eau de parfum repertoire. Tom Ford’s Private Blend is a prime example of such a decadent opportunity with its woody companion oud blend proving a perfectly sensual for after-hours stumbling around cobbled streets and dimly lit bars. For a similar masculine fragrance that’ll see you through the morning after, Le Labo’s Santal 33 is a fresh and stimulating delight with notes of cardamom, iris and violet. As for Jo Malone London’s Poppy and Barley cologne? It’s been elegantly crafted so that you can take a taste of Blighty with you as you explore warmer climes.
6. A comprehensive travel mini kit
Let’s face it, holiday prep can be stressful enough without you having to itemise the contents of your travel toiletry bag. That’s why several of the most-lauded men’s grooming brands have done the decent thing and shrunk their finest wars into one devilishly handsome package. Our pick of the bunch? Aesop’s Departure Kit, which is absolutely stuffed full of its best-loved products including the Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating masque, Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol, mouthwash and toothpaste. For those who intend to spend more time in the bathtub than under a parasol, Molton Brown’s The Daring Adventurer Mini Travel Bag really is an essential purchase. As for a greatest hits skincare collection? The Malin + Goetz Best Sellers Travel Kit does exactly what it says on the tin.
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