My Travel Essentials

January 25, 2017

My friends would say I travel often, but not usually for work. Most years, I take several long weekend trips out of the city with a longer one- to two-week vacation in the back-half of the year. Photos and journal entries from these escapes can be found on this site.

Therefore, I’ve learned to pack for the occasion. Whether it’s two checked bags for an 11-day cruise, or a backpack carry-on for a long weekend in Atlanta, here are the products that always make it into my dopp kit.

Every Man Jack Deodorant

Every Man Jack Deodorant
The first of two products are from this company and musts when I travel, but this is the only full-size product I pack, regardless of bag restrictions. Apply right after a shower and I’m fresh all day. Seriously, even after a workout it’s with me.

Yeah, you’re saying it’s just my preferred stick, and you’d be right, but for good reasons.

  1. My body can’t handle the aluminum in most commercial deodorants. When used as an antiperspirant, they actually make me sweat more because they clog my pores resulting in worse pit stains than if I didn’t use anything. This product was the first and only one that actually prevented perspiration (note, it’s not an antiperspirant) and body odor. Trust me, I tried them all. EMJ is legit.
  2. The product is organic. Not usually high on my list of priorities, but for a product you shove onto your body every day and sticks with you, it’s not a bad call.
  3. The scent. EMJ actually has several scents available, and a travel size of their most common fragrance. While not available in travel size yet, the citrus blend is perfect and complements the other scents from my hygiene, which is important.
$6 a stick

Every Man Jack Citrus ScrubEvery Man Jack Body Wash
The second is from EMJ and probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. I prefer the same scent as the deodorant above, but there are actually a few others unique to their bodywash line.

While not available in a travel size, it does pour easily into my three ounce bottle. The scrubbing effect in the morning, combined with the energizing citrus smell is perfect to wake me up.

My friends know I’ve gone on hunts to find locally, and thankfully Target does carry both this fragrance, and a few others, at my local store. I keep a minimum of four bottles stockpiled, just in case.
~$6 a bottle

Fresh Balls LotionFresh Balls Lotion
Yep, it’s got a NSFW name, and I’m completely okay with it. I initially thought the product was a joke, but after trying, I’ve become a lifelong fan and advocate to my guy friends. They even have a product for women that does the same thing.

I live in Florida. It’s hot. It’s humid. I sweat just walking outside in the summer and when I travel, especially for 12 or more hours, I hate getting what I call, “traveler funk.”

This product not only prevents funk but has a talc powder action that does absorb sweat. It won’t stop moisture during a workout, but for a day walking around a city or attending a sporting event, it’s fantastic. FB will always be a part of my daily routine, at home or away.

Again, no travel size here, but a little goes a long way. I usually purchase two bottles at a time from Amazon, which gives me a little savings and ensures I never completely run out before reordering. A small cosmetic container for an ounce will easily last a week or more.
$12 a tube

Billy Jealousy HydroplaneBilly Jealousy Hydroplane
I don’t like to shave, and I have been known to skip it entirely on vacation. While I did pack a razor and cream on my last 10-day holiday to Scotland, it never made it out of the bag. However, on those business trips or special occasions like weddings or formal parties, my razor and shaving cream are in my bag.

Hydroplane has several qualities going for it, which is why it’s in my travel bag:

  • The texture itself is no surprise, slick, which isn’t like traditional shaving cream and applies easier to my hair.
  • The slickness not only helps in application, but in rinsing the blade. I have thick follicles and after a few days of not shaving, I can easily clog the blades in my razor.
  • The after feeling is great. Not only does my skin feel baby smooth, but actually hydrated and less irritated, especially if it’s been awhile between shaves.
  • The product is available in travel size, but even full size can be easily packed in a checked bag.

Not easily found in retail stores, but a Google search will yield positive results. My last order came from
$6 depending on size.

Jack Black Hand HealerJack Black Hand Healer
As I’ve shared before, I grew up in the Florida Keys on an island and my body and I love humidity. It’s practically in my DNA. Living in landlocked Central Florida means during the winter, the air is much drier, and can be dry wherever I travel. This is compounded by heating in hotels, airports, etc. Therefore, I always travel with a small container of hand lotion and Jack Black Hand Healer is by and large the best.

The scent is appealing, both at initial application and throughout its stay. The texture isn’t greasy, especially after applying. Finally, it works. It actually does heal my skin, even after it’s started to crack.

I’ve purchased the larger bottle which I leave at home and refill a small cosmetic container which I keep in my bag at all times, even at work.
$12-$45 a tube or bottle

Glass WipesEye glass wipes
Seems simple enough, but for the bespectacled among us, these can be a lifesaver. I like the wipes for two reasons; one less lens cloth I need to carry, and second I don’t have to carry cleaning fluid and therefore one less liquid to pack or take out.

Purchasing in bulk helps, and as long as it’s a quality package, they can last for year. I like the Up & Up brand from Target as they’re in a stronger package and are available at a reasonable price.

BONUS: After you clean your glasses, they’re perfect for wiping your laptop, phone, or tablet’s screens clean of fingerprints, dust and whatnot.
$3.99 for a box of 60

Part of my pre-travel, travel, and post travel ritual is an Airborne tablet a day to help boost my immune system. Yeah, I know, the science is mixed. Regardless if they actually prevent or shorten a cold, each tablet does contain vitamins and minerals which serves as a multivitamin at the very least.

I actually don’t mind the generic brand and usually add a sweetener packet to help cut down on some of the acidity.
$6.99 for 10 tablets; cheaper when you purchase two-tube packages.

I hope a few items and words of wisdom help you in your selection of what makes the cut for precious carry-on space.

What’s in your mandatory dopp list? What can’t you travel without?

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Billy Jealousy, Carry on, Essentials, Every Man Jack, Fresh Balls, Jack Black, Luggage, Target, Travel,