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Travel Week: A Gentleman’s Guide to Holiday Travel

  • Najib Benouar


It’s a fair bet that you’ll be doing some traveling in the near future (’tis the season). And since time is precious, we’re here to help you navigate the perils of holiday travel—stylishly, of course—in this weeklong series...

Herewith, a near-foolproof game plan for the gentleman traveler this holiday season.

A Carry-On Will Suffice. This time of year is when packing light really pays off—especially if you don’t have the patience for baggage claim (or worse, lost luggage). That means bringing only the jacket on your back—preferably a blazer that’s up to the task of your hectic holiday-party circuit—and a few interchangeable items that pack well. If you must bring home the tux, make sure to have an appropriate garment bag.

Arrive Bearing Gifts. Speaking of packing, make sure to leave room for a few curios to dole out—or stop to pick up a nice bottle of something on your way in.

Socks on a Plane. As we’ve mentioned, going laceless is key to getting through security as swiftly and handsomely as possible, but here’s what you should really be focusing on: the socks. You’ll want something on your feet while your shoes are on the conveyor belt, and it’s nice to have an extra layer of warmth between your toes and the notoriously frigid plane floor. Plus, you don’t want to contribute to the recent epidemic of bare feet on planes.

The In-Flight Menu. Like most things, drinking at high altitudes affects everybody differently—especially when mixed with sleeping aids. You know yourself better than we do, so our advice is simple: you’re not trying to knock yourself out for the entire day; the trick is timing it so you land well-rested, well-hydrated and ready to face the world.

And Finally, a Word on Dressing for the Flight. Sure, air travel has lost a lot of its glamour, but that doesn’t negate the fact that you should always be well-dressed for any occasion. (This is where that blazer you’ve opted to wear instead of pack comes in handy.) And usually that means a hard-and-fast rule against sweatpants... But now that a decent amount of menswear designers with serious cred have been making sweats that look more like your favorite pair of trousers than something an overweight gym teacher would wear, you might just be able to get away with a pair.

We repeat: might.