Vacations are great, and we’re glad that you have big plans.
We’re hoping that your vacation goes swimmingly, and to help with that, we’re going to give you a little advice. After all, that’s what we do.
To plan for your vacation, one of the most important considerations is your Dopp kit. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a little bag you pack with toiletries and hygiene essentials to make it easier to keep track of things like your toothbrush and deodorant.
With that in mind, we’re going to help you understand what you need in your kit, what you might want in your kit, and what you should avoid putting in the kit. To get there, we’re first going to ask you three questions.
Where ya goin?
We’re not just curious about your personal life. We’re not just prying so we can secretly judge you behind your back.
The nature of your vacation will impact what should be in your Dopp kit.
Here’s the easiest example. If you’re going to spend a week on beaches in the Pacific Ocean, you might not need the same set of tools as if you’re trying to climb Mt. Everest. They’re different vacations, and you want to plan accordingly.
Later, we’re going to make a ton of suggestions. Some of them are pretty universal (like taking a toothbrush) and others are more conditional. As you read, keep your specific vacation in mind and filter the ideas accordingly. Also, remember that your Dopp kit will need adjustments for each vacation.
The activities you expect to do on vacation certainly matter. You could combine this question with “Who ya seein?”
Is this a vacation where you want to look your best in every moment, or is it the kind where you’re planning to let yourself go a little? Either answer is acceptable; you just want to pack according to your plan.
We’ll list the primary things you need to look and feel (and smell) your best. We’ll also try to make the list efficient. Then you can choose to leave some stuff at home if it’s the kind of vacation where you can let the beard grow wild, have a little more natural musk, and spend less time keeping yourself pristine.
Where ya stayin?
This one is pretty simple. If you’re staying at a nice hotel, there’s a very high chance that the hotel will provide a lot of things like soap and shampoo. You might have preferences and not want to use hotel products. That’s fine, but it’s okay to leave some things at home if you’re going to lean on hotel amenities.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re going on a backpacking trip into the wild where there's no reliable clean water, you’re going to want to plan for that too. It’s not just about the geographic location and activities planned. The roof over your head (or lack thereof) is the third major thing to consider when you plan your Dopp kit.
Here’s what you need.
That’s enough study and prep work. Let’s get down to brass tacks. A Dopp kit is supposed to help you consolidate hygiene products when you travel. That’s the primary point.
Now this is your kit, so you can do what you want. Nobody from MANSCAPED® is going to track you down and scold you if you have some unique items in it.
The point of the lists below is to help you think about things that you really do want to have with you when you travel and why you specifically want them in the Dopp kit.
With all of that said, let’s talk about the first item for your Dopp kit: the bag.
At MANSCAPED®, we make a bag for this specific purpose, and we call it The Shed. It’s sized for travel, so it will fit in your suitcase or other travel bags, but it’s still big enough to hold an entire suite of items
We made it look attractive, lined it with waterproofing, and made it durable, so it can be your go-to bag for many years of travel.
Now that you know what bag to use, let’s talk about some items that will probably be in your Dopp kit.
The first set of items that you want in your Dopp kit is your toiletries. No matter where you’re going, you should probably take a toothbrush and some toothpaste, and they’ll fit in there just fine.
Toiletries are usually the first set of items in your Dopp kit, but it can hold other essentials too. Beyond brushing your teeth and showering, you probably have other hygiene and care routine elements that you'd like to maintain on your vacation.
This is why you need your face lotion. You might want to pack a razor or a beard trimmer. If you have a styled beard, some beard oil or beard balm will go a long way. You may even want trimming scissors to keep your beard, eyebrows, or other hairy growths under control.
This is also where the original questions matter a lot more. You probably don’t want to include a trimmer and beard oil and extra products if you’re backpacking through the Andes for a week. That’s a lot of extra weight.
On the other hand, if your vacation includes partying in Miami and trying to score some dates while you’re there, then load up on face care so you can look your best.
You get the idea.
The next important item on the list is similar to your face care items, but it’s for the rest of your body. Bring sunblock. This one is actually universal. It doesn’t matter if you’re even planning to be outside very much, sunblock is a good one. Perhaps the only exception is if you’re going to the North Pole or Antarctica during the winter season.
Aside from your sunblock, you probably want your favorite lotion. There’s no need to have dry or ashy skin on vacation.
And, if grooming is worthwhile on your trip, pack The Lawn Mower® 4.0 too. The trimmer is designed for travel in the first place, so take advantage of it.
Another important item on this list is fingernail clippers. As soon as you don’t have them, you’ll need them. Elaborating on that, if you use more specialized nail care products and not just simple clippers, that’s fine. A nail set should be able to fit in your kit without any trouble.
Lastly, you need to consider items that are particular to your vacation.
You’re actually going backpacking through the Andes? You’ll want to bring iodine tablets for clean drinking water (or whatever alternative you choose), and it actually makes sense to put them in the Dopp kit. That way, you won't forget the iodine when you brush your teeth. That’s a mistake that's ruined many vacations over the years.
A few other special items that come up a lot on vacation are band-aids, medications, lip protection, a sewing kit, eye care (like contacts or contact wash), and haircare (like a comb or styling product).
Naturally, if there’s a very specific thing you might need for your trip—like makeup for cosplay at a convention—then you can see if it fits in the kit too.
Things to skip.
That’s a pretty good list of all the things you should consider for your Dopp kit, but there are a few items that we want to warn against putting in there.
The first is a pocketknife. Of course, knives and other tools are great to have on vacation, but it’s not always best to put them in the Dopp kit. This is particularly true if you're flying. You want the Dopp kit in your carry-on luggage, and some tools just aren’t allowed to fly like that, so put them in a spot that won’t create problems for you. This is true for pocketknives, multi-tools, and anything else that might hold you up at a security checkpoint.
Next up is body spray. Again, there are a lot of reasons to bring body spray, but luggage can get tossed around, and if this (or anything else with an extra-potent scent) breaks or leaks in the bag, it’s going to ruin the whole kit. So seal your body spray (or cologne, or whatever) in its own plastic bag and pack it where it can’t leak into things that might go in your mouth or eyes.
Last on this list is liquids. Yeah, we know. This sounds very contradictory since a bunch of things we told you to pack are, in fact, liquid. This is just a reminder that airport/airplane security rules change a lot, and the rules you’ll be up against will depend on where you’re traveling. Obviously, if you aren’t flying, it doesn’t matter.
If you are flying, remember that some countries require your liquids to be within certain volume limits, and you may have to pack them in a clear bag. The easy solution is to put the liquids in something like a Ziplock that can easily go in and out of your Dopp kit as needed.