The dawn of modern aviation brought with it the insane possibility of hopping in a metal tube and changing scenery in, at most, a few hours. Travel had been changed forever, and that titanic change brought with it the headache of what to wear where and how to pack it. Needless to say, dressing according to the climate is a bare necessity, but that shouldn’t mean one compromises on their essential style and flair.
Ask any man what he looks forward to the least when traveling abroad, and packing his bags is guaranteed to be at the near top of that list. The constant struggle to fit everything into a little suitcase poses a common problem with a very common solution: pack light and pack smart. The former can be satisfied by taking just what you need. An easy way to do that would be to monitor the rate at which you use clothes during a regular week. For example, if your vacation spans two weeks then take as many clothes as you would normally use during two regular weeks. Alternatively, sit down a few days before your departure date and write down what you think you’ll use. Any “maybe”s are non-essential and should be put aside in case you have space. This might be the only time being classified as a “featherweight” is a good thing.
To maximize the space in your luggage a quick fix is rolling your clothes instead of square-folding them. This takes up less volume, allowing you to fit more. One more indispensable travel bag essential is a travel grooming kit. This will contain all your most important toiletries and manly tools. Make sure you add a little bottle of cologne and that the kit is in your carry-on so as to afford you a freshening up when you land. Finally, a major problem most men face when taking along a pair of good shoes, is that they tend to take up space and lose their form by being crumpled in. Two words: shoe trees; they will be worth their weight in gold. You’re packed and itching to break the dull routine by going somewhere different. Once upon a distant time, flying was considered a privileged commodity and treated as such. Men and women of the age dressed in their finest before boarding, but much has changed since. Thankfully, we now we favor functionality and comfort over glitz and glamour. This trend is a good one. No one wants to sit around waiting for their flight to taxi in a million dollar suit, but certain outfits can grant you class while not abandoning comfort. Go for the ever versatile blue jeans mixed in with a light cotton dress shirt for a rugged look relevant to almost any destination.
The versatility of blue jeans may be unmatched in the world of fashionable wear (similar to the feminine little black dress) because of its inane quality of being used in any setting, whether formal or casual. The more items you can pick to be used with different outfits, the better. Certain shoes can be simultaneously used for long, rugged walks, and matched with different clothes to be deployed in a more serene setting. The upper torso equivalent of a dark pair of jeans is the cotton dress shirt or collared Polo shirt. Matched properly they collectively enable the wearer to blend into any setting on command. The previous outfit might feel a little fashionably conservative but that is in fact a strength. Trying to dress the part of a tourist with excess khaki and gaudy Hawaiian shirts is asking for trouble. The surrounding people will cringe in synchronized unison and the shopkeepers will coincidentally raise their prices tenfold. Try your best not to be the odd one out and you’ll make the best of it.
In terms of non-style advice I would suggest you immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible. Minimize time spent in the hotels as they’re the exact same everywhere. Urban tourism is popular nowadays for a good reason and escaping your comfort zone makes for a great story. That comes with a warning attached as some places might be dangerous for foreigners, not to mention their wallets.
Of course, the best advice is that you attempt to make the best of the actual trip without stressing out over what you did and/or didn’t pack. I’ve yet to come across a holiday destination lacking a good outfit there to save the day with an emergency pair of socks or whatever you might need. A cardinal rule is to make moving around as easy as possible, hence the light packing. An even more paramount law of travel to follow is to enjoy yourself, you earned it.