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ULTIMATE Travel Essentials for Men 2023

ULTIMATE Travel Essentials for Men 2023

Are you looking for the ULTIMATE travel essentials for men? This men’s travel essentials list covers everything male travellers will need from the best luggage essentials for men, essentials men’s travel clothes as well as must have travel accessories for men.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

ULTIMATE Travel Essentials for Men

In this men’s essentials packing list we will break down our travel essentials for men in 4 distinct categories; luggage and baggage, essentials for a long flight, clothing and must have travel accessories.

First up the most important travel essentials in terms of luggage and packing.

Luggage and Packing Essentials for Men

MAn standing next to red suitcase at airport
ULTIMATE Travel Essentials for Men

As this site is dedicated to packing tips it should come as no surprise that we have strong opinions on the best travel luggage for men. They are:

3 Piece Luggage Set

Although you can get away with buying a 2 piece luggage set, for me 3 pieces of luggage are best. That is because they will cover you for every packing circumstance. The 3 pieces of luggage that we think you should always own are:

  • one standard carry-on suitcase / hand luggage
  • a medium size checked luggage suitcase that can be used on flights where you are limited on weight i.e. those traveling to the Maldives, French Polynesia (Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora), The Seychelles and safaris to name but a few examples. And
  • one large checked piece of luggage.

Where possible, we always try to travel carry on only. As this reduces the risk of luggage loss and reduces time in the airport.

If you struggle to not overpack we recommend using a packing method to focus the mind. Our favorite packing techniques are the sudoku packing method or the 5 4 3 2 1 packing method.

However there are instances where you will need to pack more items which is why we recommend having the above sizes.

When looking at your 3 piece luggage set, you will find the biggest decision you have to make is hard sided vs soft sided luggage. I can personally see the pros and cons of each.

When I am packing for a cruise, Japan or to Europe, I tend to prefer soft sided cases. The reason for this is that they can be stored away more compactly when you are in smaller accommodation.

However hard sided cases can add extra protection when traveling to more fragile items. So it really is personal choice but generally speaking I always opt for soft sided suitcases.

Click here to buy 3 piece luggage sets.

As well as luggage there are a couple of accessories that we also recommend packing to make your luggage more recognisable and traceable in the unfortunate event of lost luggage.


AirTags are a great way to help trace lost luggage. And while there are other brands on the market we think Apple’s Airtags are the best because they have access to the Find My network and Precision Finding technology.

The Find MY network is a really powerful Apple tool as your air tag can speak to the network. The size of this network means you have more chance of finding your luggage.

And the good news is that Airtags are relatively good value costing only 29USD for 1 and 89USD for four.

Click here to shop Apple AirTags.

For more information on how to pack airtags in luggage check out this post.

Luggage Straps

If you have relatively common luggage in traditional colors it can be difficult to pick your luggage out in the crowd. For this reason we recommend adding luggage straps onto your suitcase to make them more identifiable on the luggage carousel.

Click here to shop good value luggage straps.

Suit Bag

If you are traveling with a suit then you really should have a suit bag with you. Suit bags are best for keeping your suit safe and wrinkle free and can be used in both checked luggage and in your hand luggage.

For more information on how to pack a suit for travel check out this post.

Click here to buy suit bags.

Packing Cubes

I have a few different methods when packing my clothes for travel i.e. use the wrapping vs folding method, the all in one method and more.

However one packing method I keep returning to and one item that for me is an absolute essential for any traveler is packing cubes.

Packing cubes are a great way of maximising the luggage space in your suitcase and are a great way of keeping organised either by organising by outfits or types of clothes or even color coding the packing for each member of your travel party.

It is also one of the cheapest travel accessories for men on this list. In fact the Amazon Basics Packing Cubes which are the ones which I have used for years. For 4 packing cubes they cost less than 25USD.

Click here to buy packing cubes.

For more information on how to pack clothes for travel without wrinkles check out these posts:

Travel laundry bags are also very useful for packing and separating out your dirty clothes.

Travel Backpack

A travel backpack is also definitely on my travel essentials for males list. It can be useful for day trips and sightseeing whether you are in cities, beaches or the countryside.

I personally like to have one that has a laptop section as always travel my laptop with me when I travel. And if you plan on doing lots of hiking you may also want to add a waterproof backpack cover to your travel essentials list too.

Click here to shop travel backpacks for men!

Travel Cufflink Box Organizer

If you like to travel with cufflinks because you are going to a restaurant with a smarter dress code, are going to a wedding or traveling for business then you need a way to keep them organised and safe. We recommend buying a travel cufflink organiser to keep them safe on your travels.

Click here to shop travel cufflinks organizer.

And for more information on how to pack jewelry for travel, including cufflinks check out this post.

Optional Travel Bags for Men

Now you know all of our must-have travel essentials in terms of luggage and bags we thought it would also be worth pointing out some other bags that may be useful depending on the type of vacation you are going on, what activities you are doing and what your itinerary is. They are:

  • Tote Baguseful for souvenir shopping in cities.
  • Camera Bagonly an essential for those traveling with large DSLR cameras.
  • Laundry Bag – for storing your dirty laundry during the trip.

Long-haul flight Essentials for Men

Man in sunglasses standing in front of window at airport
ULTIMATE Travel Essentials for Men

So now you know about the travel essentials you need for packing we will turn our attention to travel essentials for long-haul flights for men.

Passport Holder

The most important item when traveling internationally has to be your passport. I always like to keep my passport in a passport holder when traveling as it is easier to find in a bag, keeps it safe and can also hold other important information such as visas, emergency credit cards, boarding passes, insurance and other important documents.

I like to have a leather one like the one above. Ones with RFID blockers is also a good idea to keep your items sage.

I also always keep a pen inside my passport holder as it is very useful for landing declarations etc.

Click here to shop good quality passport holders.

Lip Balm

Although lip balm is also on my women’s travel essentials list, I would also include it on the men’s travel essentials list.

The air on planes especially on long flights can cause chapped lips and lip balm will protect your lips from this. But you don’t have to worry there are plenty of more masculine lip balms on the market.

Click here to shop travel lip balms for men.

Noise-cancelling headphones

I personally find that the earphones that you are given on airplanes are not comfortable or good quality. For this reason I always pack my own noise-cancelling headphones with me.

I find the over ear headphones most comfortable but if you are worried about space then noise-cancelling earbud headphones are a great choice.

Click here to shop noise cancelling headphones.

Compression Socks

As I often travel with someone who has had a blood clot, compression socks are always on my travel essentials list.

Compressions socks are worn on planes and can help reduce the risk of blood clots by improving blood flow when combined with in-flight exercises.

Click here to buy compression socks.

Neck Pillow

If you are doing a red eye flight or plan to try and sleep on a plane then I recommend bringing a travel pillow with you.

Click here to shop neck pillows for travel.

Ear Plugs

Planes can be noisy places. I always have ear plugs with me.

Click here to shop ear plugs.

Note: if you are flying business class you can check if ear plugs or eye masks are provided as part of your amenities kit.

Quart Sized Toiletry Bag

If you want to pack toiletries in your carry on then you will need to have a TSA Approved Quart Sized Toiletry Bag with you.

These bags ensure that you don’t pack liquids that are larger than the TSA allowance and are see through which can help speed up the process of going through airport security.

Click here to shop quart sized toiletry bags.

Reusable Travel Bottles

Although you can buy travel sized toiletries it is better for the environment and means you can use better quality products while traveling.

Instead of buying travel toiletries I recommend using reusable travel bottles and putting your own products in them.

Not only does this mean you get to use the products you like, you also are being better environmentally.

Click here to shop TSA Approved Reusable toiletry bottles.

For more men’s travel toiletries essentials check out this post.

Phone Stand

A cell phone stand for planes is useful if you are only traveling with a phone, not an iPad or Laptop and want to watch your own films or listen to your own music.

Click here to shop phone stands / mounts for plane travel.

USB Cable

Many planes these days, especially newer planes and non-low cost Carriers will have USB charging points fitted into the seats. If you want to charge your phone while you fly be sure to pack a USB cable with you to ensure you have a full battery when you land.

Toiletry Travel Essentials for Men

What toiletries to pack for a cruise / cruise toiletries checklist
What toiletries to pack for a cruise / cruise toiletries checklist

Now we have looked at packing and what to use on flights for men, we will turn our attention to the best toiletries for men for travel.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

I like to keep organised when traveling and one way I like to do this is by using a hanging toiletry bag. This keeps all your toiletries in one place and reduce the space they take up in your suitcase.

Click here to shop hanging toiletry bags for travel.

Shaving Kit / Dopp Kit

If you want to keep yourself looking neat and tidy while traveling a travel shaving kit / dopp kit is an essential.

Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is an essential for those who want to have a wet shave. Click here to shop shaving cream.

Beard Trimmer (optional)

If you have a beard, along with a regular shaving kit you may also want to bring a beard trimmer or electric razor with you too.

Brush / Comb

A good hair brush and a comb is an essential for any man with hair.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Although you may find this in a luxury hotel room or on a cruise ship, it is not necessarily the type most suited to your hair.

For this reason I will usually pack some shampoo and conditioner.

Click here to shop shampoo and conditioner for men.


Goes without saying.

Note: the need to pack toiletries really depends on the location you are traveling to. As this will affect the availability and cost of toiletries.

If you are traveling to a European city such as Rome, London, Amsterdam or Paris you can wait until arrival to buy toiletries. That is because there are plenty of supermarkets and pharmacies at the destination where you can cheaply buy decent brand toiletries.

However if going straight onto a cruise, or destinations that are more remote or where good come at a premium for instance Iceland, The Seychelles or Fiji then I will also pack them with me.

Sun Screen with High SPF

Sun screen is an essential no matter the destination, no just as part of a beach packing list. Our favorite brand, especially for this thinking of doing snorkelling is the reef safe sun bum sun screen.

TSA Approved Aftershave Bottles

If you like to travel with aftershave but don’t like to take a large bottle in your checked bag or your bottle doesn’t meet TSA liquid allowances for carry on we recommend using a TSA approved aftershave bottle / cologne bottle.

You can decant your aftershave into these TSA approved cologne bottles and take them through airport security without issues.

Click here to shop TSA Approved cologne bottles.

Hand sanitizer

This has always been on my essential travel toiletries list but it is especially important since 2020.

Travel First Aid Kit

I never travel anywhere without a travel first aid kit. No one wants to have to use one but it is a comfort to have one with you especially in more remote locations such as when on safari.

Click here to shop travel first aid kits.

Wrinkle Release Spray

If you are going somewhere we a smarter dress code or plan on packing a suit to attend a wedding or on business trip we recommend packing wrinkle release spray. This is especially useful when traveling with linen.

Click here to shop wrinkle release spray.

Travel Clothing Essentials for Men

So now we have looked at luggage and men’s essential toiletries travel we will turn our attention to travel clothing essentials for men whether you are traveling by plane or on road trips.

Comfortable Shoes

No matter where you are traveling comfortable shoes are an absolute essential. And I think the best shoes for travel have to be sneakers, no matter the destination. Great brands for travel are Hoka and All Birds.

Depending on the time of year and destination you are traveling to you may need to buy a pair that has some water resistant qualities or that are light weight to cope with the heat.

However, depending on the activities you are doing you may also need:

  • comfortable hiking shoes. Great brands for travel are Columbia, North Face and Timberlake.
  • comfortable walking sandals. A great walking sandal brand is Teva.

Depending on the length of your trip and if you are traveling with checked luggage or carry on only will depend on how many shoes you will need. I recommend never exceeding more than 3 pairs per trip and trying to stick with 2 where possible.


Unless you are traveling in summer or to a tropical destination then jeans will always be on all of my packing lists.

Quick Dry Shorts (optional)

If you are traveling in summer or to a tropical destination be sure to pack a pair of quick dry shorts. It is hard to dry clothes in high humidity so having shorts that will dry quickly is an essential in humid places. We recommend buying a pair with interior pockets for extra security.

Click here to shop men’s quick dry shorts

Universal Reversible Belt

One multipurpose trouser belt is an essential on any men’s travel packing list. To stop overpacking, my husband recommends packing a reversible belt that has one black side and one brown side that you have a belt that goes with everything.

Click here to shop reversible belts for men.


Even in hot locations layers are an essential in case of a spell of cooler weather. The location and season will depend on how many layers and what weight you will need.

For this reason we always organise our packing lists by season or month. Use our search function at the top of the page and enter your destination and month of travel for specific packing lists.


Eye protection and health is something that everyone should take seriously. For this reason we always travel with sunglasses, even in Winter.

Click here to shop sunglasses.

Best Men’s Travel Accessories

Universal Travel Adapter

Depending on where you are from, and where you are traveling you may need to take a travel adaptor with you to ensure that all your electronic devices will work. 

I personally never travel anywhere without my trusty Universal travel adaptor that works in pretty much all locations. 

Click here to shop universal travel adaptors. 

Battery Pack/ Power Pack

A portable charger (sometimes known as a battery pack or power pack) is another of our men’s travel essentials.

Whether it is because I am taking more photos, constantly checking my phone for google maps, or I’m just struggling to find wifi or 4G, I find my phone’s battery drains quicker than usual when traveling. For this reason I never travel without my travel power pack.

Click here to shop power banks.

Portable wi-fi hotspot

A portable wi-fi hotspot is a usefil addition if you have a cell phone with limited roaming data and you plan to stream lots of films or are traveling international on a business trip.

Click here to shop portable wi-fi hotspots.

Retractable Power Strip

When I am doing longer term travel I always pack a retractable power strip. I always find that hotels are short on sockets so this retractable power strip can help. I personally recommend picking one with usb ports on it so I can charge with a USB cable.

Click here to shop retractable power strips for travel.

Reusable Water Bottle

I always recommend carrying your own reusable water bottle when you travel as it saves money on buying water when out, especially in hot weather destinations, but also is better for the environment.

If you are worried about taking up too much space then a collapsible water bottle is a great addition to your men’s travel essentials list.

Click here to stop reusable water bottles.

Flashlight / Torch

A small flashlight or torch is always on my men’s travel essentials list for use in hotels or when traveling to more remote locations where power outages are more common.

Click here to shop a flashlight for travel.

Waterproof Phone Case

A waterproof phone case is useful if you are traveling to a warm weather destination or plan to spend lots of time in the pool. It protects your phone from the water but also keeps it safe from theft as you can keep it on you at all times.

Click here to shop waterproof phone cases

Pill Box

I always find it harder to keep track of medication while traveling so I use a travel pill box to keep track of medications.

Click here to buy a travel pill box.

Book / Kindle

Useful for reading while traveling whether on a flight or on a road trip and for at your location.

And there you have it our list of travel essentials for men. What do your think? Are there any top travel essentials for men that you think we have missed? Then let us know in the comments below.