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Frequent Flyer Premium Travel Kit & EDC (after 15+ Years Of Travel)

Raphael’s Premium Travel Credentials

I travel constantly—for work and pleasure—so what do I consider my premium EDC travel kit that I bring along with me at all times? I’ll share with you my experiences as well as my secrets with the help of Sterling Pacific—the sponsor of today’s post.

Frankly, I caught the travel bug early. My parents always took me on trips. My dad was from Brazil and we were in Germany, so we traveled quite a bit. Living in Europe, I also love to visit craftsmen in different cities, and it is easy to travel all over.

Then, I met Teresa. I lived in Germany. She lived in the US. And we had a long-distance relationship for two and a half years. During this time, we flew a lot. Over the course of my lifetime, I traveled well over a thousand hours.

I used to fly primarily at Delta, so I even made it to a Delta Diamond Medallion. These days, I’m not so airline-focused. I’ll just travel with whatever offers me the best deal.

My Old Bag

Today, I’m combining all the things I’ve learned over the last thirty years into my premium travel kit. Certain things change depending on how long I go and where I go, but these are pretty much the things I bring on every trip.

Brown Oppermann Leather BagBrown Oppermann Leather Bag

Brown oppermann

Leather Bag

First of all, I always have a leather bag that’s quite sizable, where I can put all my tech stuff, my passport holders, jewelry, and so forth. The bag I’ve been using in recent years is from Oppermann. I think they’re now called Carl Friedrik. It was designed to be a case for 25 hours. 

I never really used it as a weekender, but I used it for my 16-in laptop, cameras, and so forth because it fit all the stuff. Frankly, the interior was a bit big, so I used camera gear to kind of separate things and cushion things so they wouldn’t just slide around, but be protected properly. Overall, I’d say that while the bag served me well, it has aged quite poorly.

The leather didn’t develop a nice patina. It just looks worn and old. The edge paint has come off, and you see the orange lining poking through, which doesn’t look very sophisticated. So, I’m on the lookout for a new bag that suits my needs, and maybe, I have to design one myself—I don’t know.

Once I pack this bag, it’s quite heavy, and it would be quite tiring to carry around through long travel journeys and airports, so I always bring a four-wheeled carry-on suitcase, so I can easily maneuver it wherever I go without too much effort.

A carry-on suitcase is easier to lug around.A carry-on suitcase is easier to lug around.
A carry-on suitcase is easier to lug around.

Yes, I always put the heavy bag on my carry-on, and I flap the handles over the telescope mechanism to hold everything in place. When the bag originally came out, they didn’t have these straps that go over the telescope mechanism. I think, these days, a lot more bags offer that, and it’s definitely what I would want in a new bag.

A carry on is just easier to bring plus a bag can sit on top of it without hassleA carry on is just easier to bring plus a bag can sit on top of it without hassle

Why Should you go for

Four wheels?

In my experience, maneuvering something—getting through narrow lines, going left and right—is so much easier if you have four wheels compared to two. Plus, when you have a heavier bag on top, a two-wheeled one makes the whole thing still quite heavy; versus, a four-wheel one—you don’t carry that weight at all times.

There are a lot of people out there who travel exclusively with their carry-on even without a bag. I’m a clotheshorse, and I typically bring a larger checked back as well; sometimes, even more, because I also like to buy things at the places I go to and bring souvenirs back home.

How To Pack A Carry-On Suitcase

Four-Wheel Sterling Pacific Suitcase Review

A while back, Sterling Pacific approached us about the collab, and at that time, they had a two-wheel suitcase and, because I don’t like those, I said, no. So, now, they came back and they said, “Hey, we’re introducing this four-wheel suitcase,” and I was like, “Awesome! Your stuff looks great! Let’s do it!”

So, who’s Sterling Pacific: they’re basically a younger, spec-driven brand that focuses entirely on high-end, aluminum luggage. They design their suitcase with pilots and frequent travelers in mind, which I think is wonderful, because you really want something that stands a test of time and doesn’t have a wheel that breaks off.

Sterling Pacific is most famous for their two-wheel case, but I have a six-year-old and when you have lots of suitcases. It’s really hard to push more than two suitcases by yourself if they just have two wheels. So, when I unbox the Sterling Pacific 40 L Four-wheeled Carry-on, I was quite impressed.

Exceptional full aluminum and metal buildExceptional full aluminum and metal build

Exceptional Full-Aluminum Build Quality

First of all, the packaging was nice. It came with a scratch or dust cover, and it just felt solid right out of the box. The luggage has a full-aluminum design, and you can tell the focus is on aluminum and metal. Pretty much all the parts that are plastic on other aluminum suitcases are metal here. It comes with a two-step, extendable trolley-style handle.

As the name implies, it can hold about 40 L of volume and weighs in at 12 lb or 5 ½ kg. It’s certainly not a small carry-on, but the dimensions are selected carefully so it fits in the overhead bin of airplanes.

The first thing I test on any piece of luggage is the wheels because bad wheels mean you have a higher resistance when walking, and they will die prematurely in a situation when you least expect it. Really, there’s nothing worse than pushing your luggage extra hard on a sidewalk when you’re already jet-lagged and tired from carrying all the stuff.

Sterling Pacific suitcase wheel parts: fender , the metal hop cab, and the treadsSterling Pacific suitcase wheel parts: fender , the metal hop cab, and the treads

Smooth Wheel Performance

So, you can see the wheel is mounted in a metal aluminum corner. Usually, this piece is plastic. Every element—including the fender in the middle, the metal hop cab, and even the treads on the wheel—were all designed so they’re super smooth. I mean, I even pushed it at the airport, showing you how easily and smoothly it rolls.

In my experience, our suitcases often become harder to maneuver when they get heavier, but the Sterling Pacific 40 L case works just fine and remains very maneuverable even when it’s heavy.

Body of the suitcase with aluminum frame and corners held together by rivetsBody of the suitcase with aluminum frame and corners held together by rivets

Outstanding Maneuverability and Durability

The frame is solid and extruded from 6063 aluminum. The body is made from 5000 series aluminum, which is 9-mm thick and that’s a lot thicker than what you usually see. It’s about 130th of an inch thick.

It’s all being held together by over 100 stainless steel rivets, which is good because I’ve definitely had other suitcases with rivets not made of stainless steel that came off before. The corners are really solid. They’re made of 5052 aluminum in a thickness of 1.5 mm.

Really, this is much thicker than other suitcases and you know they’re not going to break easily. This aluminum alloy features magnesium and chromium for greater durability, which is especially important because suitcases and stuff are more easily dropped.

If I think back on all the carry-ons I’ve had. This one feels the most solid—almost like a little tank.

Aluminum trolley handle with leather partsAluminum trolley handle with leather parts

Built to Last, Unlike Other Luggages

I’ve had other aluminum luggage before and Sterling Pacific showed me that they’re not all the same. For example, on other trolleys, things like the trolley handle, the locks, the trolley housing, or the wheel housing are all made of plastic—not so with Sterling Pacific.

The trolley handle retracts into a die-cast aluminum housing. The locks are made of a material called Zamac, and I would have even liked it more if it was brass, but they also have to look at weight because it’s luggage after all.

When you open the locks, you’re greeted with a very satisfying, solid sound. There’s no subtlety here. The same goes for closing the case. You know it’s locked just by hearing it.

Inside the suitcase is an Alcantara-style liningInside the suitcase is an Alcantara-style lining

“Old World, Old Money” Vibes

Visually, the luggage has an old school appearance and, on the inside, you have a nice Alcantara-style lining. The lining is very classic and, with the Italian full grain leather handles, I definitely feel like Howard Hughes is going to come pick me up any minute now. When I used the Sterling Pacific 40 L Carry-on for the first time, I definitely had “old world, old money” vibes.

What does “Old Money” even mean?

If you travel a lot, you know, eventually, things break, and usually you just have to toss out your suitcase and buy a new one. Not so with Sterling Pacific. They have a lifetime warranty, and the case was designed and built in a modular way so parts can be easily replaced, which I think is really, really nice.

So, really, they thought about all the aspects—from the way it functions, the way it’s made, and even what to do if things go wrong.

“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.”

Peter Drucker

What’s Inside?

So, now that we covered the bag and the carry-on, what actually goes inside of it?

1. Apple Macbook Pro 16″

As an entrepreneur, I always need to have my laptop with me. Right now, I’m using an Apple MacBook Pro, 16 inches. It works well, and I wanted the M Chip for the great battery life.

When I travel, I also always use a VPN because it protects my connection, especially with open networks. I know of a lot of people who got hacked and I don’t want that to happen. So, for our business, we use a Perimeter 81. I think they were recently bought. I also have VPNs on the private side, so there’s tons of offerings out there. Just get one that works with your budget. 

VPN dashboard in a mobile phoneVPN dashboard in a mobile phone
Use a VPN on your smartphone when traveling to avoid any potential hacking.

Also, take a look at functionality. For example, I use private internet access. They also have apps for my phone and my iPad, so I can make sure that all devices are actually covered.

2. Apple iPad Pro M4 with Pencil Pro and Keyboard

When I go on business travel, I also bring an iPad Pro. Right now, I have the new one with the M4 Chip and their Apple Pencil Pro, which is really nice to do a drawing or show something that’s harder to do on just a computer.

My wife, Teresa, also prefers to bring a Kindle. I just use the iPad to read because I don’t want to bring yet another device.

I really like Apple’s M products because the battery life is so much longer, and their newer screens are also brighter and better, so you don’t have issues even when it’s really sunny.

Digital & Smart Watches: Timeless or Trend? (G-SHOCK, Apple)

3. Noise-Canceling Headphones

One thing I always bring with me when I travel are noise-canceling headphones. I think they’re essential on long plane journeys, so you can sleep better, you can enjoy your favorite media; but even during your trip, you may use them when things get loud, especially at night. 

Because I’m in the Apple ecosystem, I have an iPhone now, so I bought the AirPods Pro because they’re very convenient to wear.

montblanc mb01 noise cancelling headphonesmontblanc mb01 noise cancelling headphones

Have Big Ears?

So, on the plane itself, I prefer more old-school, larger-style headphones, and right now, I’m using a Montblanc MB 01. Their noise canceling capabilities are not as good as the ones from Bose or Sony or even of the Apple AirPods Max, but what I really like about them—the leather quality and the size of the ear cups. I have big ears, so I hate small ear cups because they make my ears hurt when I have them on for 10, 24 hours at a time.

The Montblanc ones don’t and so I can take a slightly worse noise canceling performance for an increase in overall comfort. I think no other brand uses this same soft lamb leather that Montblanc uses.

Some newer planes allow you to connect via Bluetooth to your headphones. If that’s not the case and you’re annoyed by having extra cables, especially if you get in and out to the restroom and so forth, you can get these little adapters that plug in and create a Bluetooth connection with your headphones, so you can even listen to the plain media wirelessly. We got some options for you in the description below where we also put links to all the other things.

“I would consider myself as somewhat of an audiophile.”

Raphael sven Schneider

So, I also have a pair of the Etymotic ER4XR, which have a bass boost. These are wired headphones. They’re buds, but they’re really nice and, if you enjoy listening to high-quality music, maybe this is something you’d like to add to your collection. They cost around 250 bucks, and it’s a great investment in my opinion. Bear in mind, they have the traditional three-and-a-half mm headphone jack.

4. Sleepbuds

As if that one wasn’t enough, I also like to bring another set of noise-canceling headphones, specifically the Sleepbuds. Why would I do that? Unlike an earplug, they function like an earplug, but they also are a white noise machine and they cancel ambient noise.

Raphael wearing a black sleep mask and a Bose earbudsRaphael wearing a black sleep mask and a Bose earbuds

So, I found them to be a lot more effective than earplugs and you also don’t hear that inner sound of your blood pumping. So, in my opinion, it is a much better thing when you travel and you don’t know what the noise levels are going to be at night.

Also, they’re super soft so you can turn around and sleep on them unlike with, let’s say, AirPods; and again, they wouldn’t only last for 4 hours, so they wouldn’t be good enough.

Also, when traveling for business, oftentimes, I end up in small towns and you’re right next to the main road and they start driving with loud trucks at 4:00 AM at night.

So, it’s essential for me to have a pair of Sleepbuds that enable me to have a good night of sleep.

Originally, we had Bose Sleepbubs II, which were great, but they had some battery issues so they were discontinued and they’re no longer around. It seems like some former employees of the company started to make the Ozlo Sleepbuds, which are now available. We bought into their Kickstarter, bought two of them, and so far, so good. I mean, it comes as a big surprise that they look virtually identical.

5. Bluetooth Speaker

When I travel for personal pleasure and know I’m going to be on the beach, I like to bring a Bluetooth speaker just so I have some music—maybe some Brazilian bossa nova—while I relax it just really adds to the mood when I relax.

Obviously, there are lots of options out there; I decided to support another YouTuber. His name is Oluv’s Gadgets, and he helped develop the EarFun UBOOM L, which I think only cost $79. I think it has deals sometimes, too. It’s a nice, clean sound—you can even get a second one for a stereo sound. It pairs easily with Bluetooth in my phone, and I enjoy it.

6. Toiletry Kit

Of course, I always bring a toiletry kit, and because I’ve never been quite satisfied with the kit itself, I’m working on the design of a new Dopp kit. Obviously, some people like to bring a lot, and others like to bring very little. I always like to bring things like an electric toothbrush, and the Philips Sonicare I have has a little case that plugs in by USB to charge, which is super helpful during longer trips.

If you’re curious about what you should have in your toiletry kit, check out this guide. I’ll also probably film what I will pack for a very specific trip, so stay tuned for that.

Want to ensure you pack the necessary grooming items while saving space?

Outfit Rundown

No matter where I travel, I always put on a nice set of clothes. Because of that, I firmly believe that I’ve sometimes got an upgrade when I otherwise probably wouldn’t have. I’ve enjoyed better service and, once, I flew to the wedding of my best friend, where I was the best man and, of course, the airline lost my luggage. I didn’t get it back for 100 days.

So, what saved me then was that I had nice clothes that I wore on the way there, so I could wear them for the wedding.

So, what I’m wearing today is a typical travel outfit for me. I’m wearing a pair of seersuckers, which don’t wrinkle; and they’re lightweight, and they’re currently a prototype for Fort Belvedere. I’m pairing it with a linen shirt because it’s very hard-wearing and breathable.

Raphael's travel outfitRaphael's travel outfit
Raphael’s typical travel outfit.

I have an interesting blazer. Sometimes, it can be a navy blazer. Today, I’m wearing a green, cashmere-cotton, sport coat from Isaia. I have a pocket square from Fort Belvedere in silk, which is brown, red, green, and blue, which picks up the color of the outfit. A little boutonniere also from Fort Belvedere in blue, which picks up the color of the shirt.

My shoes are loafers because you can always easily remove them, which is important when you go through security. These shoes are technically not loafers. They’re called “lazyman loafers,” and they’re by Gaziano & Girling. They’re also predestined for travel because they look like a classic men’s dress shoe, but they don’t have leather soles, but the rubber soles throughout, which make them almost as comfortable as a sneaker.

My socks are over-the-calf socks from Ford Belvedere in kind of a khaki and red, which tie together the pants and the shoes. I also have a little pinky ring—simply because I like them—and a vintage wrist watch.

Of course, when you travel, you can always miss a flight; it can get really hot and sweaty, so I always make sure to wear some cologne. Today, I’m wearing the Loafer fragrance from Roberto Ugolini.

It’s also great to have certain things that you can bring in your carry-on, such as an electric shaver for example, or cologne samples. Yes, I like to travel with small vaporizers or little samples like our Roberto Ugolini range. It’s just 2 milliliters. You can bring the entire range, it doesn’t really add much weight, and you’ll have everything you’ll need during the time of your trip.

7. Travel Manicure Set

I also always bring a travel manicure set, so I have a little pair of tweezers. I can clip my nails. I can file them. Because, sometimes when you travel, you get a hangnail, and it scratches on your clothes and you want something that you can just file and cut everything off, so you stop that.

8. Passport Holder

When traveling internationally, I always bring a passport holder because it can put your boarding passes in it, you can put luggage receipts and stickers in it, you can put currency in it, cards, and of course, a bunch of different passports.

So, you have everything in one place, which is helpful when you have to get it in and out all the time. It really helps me to stay organized. And so, I always wanted something that was of a really nice quality and, since most of them are edge painted, I wanted something with double-fold edges that had the same quality as our wallets; and so, I just made them.

Saddle Brown Card Carrier in Full-Grain Dumont LeatherSaddle Brown Card Carrier in Full-Grain Dumont Leather

Fort Belvedere

10 Card Saddle Brown Dumont Leather Wallet

Vintage Gold Tan Slim Cardholder Wallet with Cash Pocket in Full-Grain Americana LeatherVintage Gold Tan Slim Cardholder Wallet with Cash Pocket in Full-Grain Americana Leather

Fort Belvedere

10 Card Gold Full-Grain Americana Leather Wallet

photo of Antique Mahogany Slim Card Carrier Wallet with Cash Pocket in Full Grain Montecristo Leatherphoto of Antique Mahogany Slim Card Carrier Wallet with Cash Pocket in Full Grain Montecristo Leather

Fort Belvedere

8 Card Mahogany Montecristo Leather Wallet

9. 4cc Cardholder Wallet

When I travel, I always like to bring a little cardholder wallet because it’s slim so it hides very easily. People can’t see the whole lot and I keep base stuff in my passport holder. And then I take out the currency and the cards that I need that day, put in my card holder, and go about my business.

Typically, I always have some form of debit card or a card that allows me to draw cash from an ATM because, in many countries, cash is still king; and while the pandemic has really helped to allow people pay with cards more frequently, there’s many countries in the world where you get a much better deal if you pay cash than if you pay with card.

Over the years, I found there’s lots of companies that advertise that they don’t charge fees for paying with your cards internationally or withdrawing cash. What they don’t tell you is that they mark up their exchange rate a lot so, sometimes, the card that doesn’t charge any fees actually costs you more than the card that has a small fee but gives you a more favorable exchange rate.

How do you find out which card is truly the least expensive for you? What I did in the past is I took the different cards and I withdrew the same amount at the same ATM in a row and then, at home, I compared the statements to truly see which cards had the most favorable rates. 

The person I know who travels the most is my friend, Jared from thriftytraveler.com, and he swears by the Charles Schwab debit card. It’s a free account, it has no ATM fees worldwide, and he always uses it to withdraw cash as soon as he lands.

In the past, I’ve used my regular US Bank debit card, which has a fee, but the exchange rate was good. I know that Wise typically has better rates than US banks and they also have a debit card, but it’s not available for business in the US, so I just haven’t used it, yet. They also have a personal card, I think, but I haven’t compared their rates.

The Travel Accessory Guide

10. Business Card Case

When I go on a business trip, I typically bring a business card case. So, I can store my own cards, but also accept other cards. It’s always a nice gesture when someone gives you a card and you put it in a nice box and you treat it in a respectful way, rather than just stuffing it into your pocket.

I mean, frankly, in countries like Japan, it’s essential. There’s a whole ceremony of how you actually accept a business card.

11. Pen

One old school thing I always bring on a trip is a pen. It’s really handy to fill out customs forms, immigration forms, and all that stuff, and so I wasn’t surprised that a company like Sterling Pacific would add an aluminum pen into their luggage. Quite thoughtful!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that my interest in classic men’s clothing started with fountain pens, specifically Montblanc fountain pens; and to this day, I still have a Meisterstück 149. And if you want to know whether it’s worth it or not, check out our product review. I typically carry that in a pen case—where it’s a single pen case. For more pens like a ballpoint pen or a roll ball, you can have a larger pen case.

Again, I wanted something that was quality with folded edges in all leather and so we designed that for Fort Belvedere.

Single Pen Case in Saddle Brown Full-Grain Montecristo LeatherSingle Pen Case in Saddle Brown Full-Grain Montecristo Leather

Fort Belvedere

Single Pen Case in Saddle Brown Full-Grain Montecristo Leather

Single Pen Case in Vintage Gold Full-Grain Americana LeatherSingle Pen Case in Vintage Gold Full-Grain Americana Leather

Fort Belvedere

Single Pen Case in Vintage Gold Full-Grain Americana Leather

Single Pen Full-Grain Dumont Leather Case in Saddle BrownSingle Pen Full-Grain Dumont Leather Case in Saddle Brown

Fort Belvedere

Single Pen Full-Grain Dumont Leather Case in Saddle Brown

When you bring a fountain pen in the plane, keep in mind that it may leak. Because of the different atmospheric pressure, you can get ink on your pen. So, when you open it for the first  time, be careful and probably have a little tissue handy.

To prevent any leakage on your fountain pen, I suggest you put it in your pen pouch and make sure that it stays in the overhead compartment, with the nib facing up.

Eb on our team likes to fill up the pen as much as he can because he says it’s the air that expands that causes the leak. But, I found that I’m never able to get all the air out of the inside of a fountain pen, and frankly, you need to have some air in order to get the ink flow going when you write anyways. So, if you’re not attached to fountain pens, I suggest you skip them and go with a rollerball or ballpoint pen. But, if you like fountain pens like me, then, of course, this is how you handle it.

12. Travel Shoe Horn, Sleep Mask, & Measuring Tape

What I really do bring with me is a travel shoe horn, a sleep mask, and measuring tape because, as a clothes horse, you never know when you have to measure something.

13. Water bottle

I’ve had experiences before where I stood on a runway for four hours, and they weren’t allowed to serve drinks because of some weird regulation. So, I always make it a point to bring a water bottle—a reusable, not a plastic one—something of quality, like this Klean Kaanteen here, so you can always take a sip of water.

Klean Kaanteen Insulated Water BottleKlean Kaanteen Insulated Water Bottle

Klean Kaanteen Insulated Water Bottle

Bringing a quality water bottle when traveling ensures you stay hydrated and can save money by avoiding frequent purchases of bottled water. It’s also eco-friendly reducing plastic waste. You can get one online directly from their website.

14. Jewelry Case

If you’re a regular here at GG, you also know that I’m a big fan of pinky rings, jewelry, tie bars, collar clips, and so I always bring a little jewelry case. Back in the day, we even offered one for sale and the one I’m still using is a prototype from back in the day. We stopped making it because we wanted to make a better designed one. We just haven’t gotten around it, yet, so if you want us to start working on that again, let us know in the comments below.

Typically, I have rings in there, cufflinks—whatever it is that is shiny and jewelry—and then it just goes into my b,ag so I have it with ,me and I don’t check it cause I don’t want it to get lost.

15. Watch Case

The same is true for watches. If I bring a watch or more of them, I put it in a watch case. There are a few options out there, but I wanted a really thoughtful one, so stay tuned for some cool watch cases.

Watch CaseWatch Case
A watch case keeps your timepieces secure and organized while traveling, protecting them from damage and scratches.

16. Tech Pouch

I’ve brought along a lot of electronic devices, and so I have a tech pouch that is full of stuff I only use while I’m on trips, and I don’t touch it when I’m at home. So, I know it’s always complete and ready to go.

Frankly, it saves me a lot of time when I pack, and it also has this peace-of-mind factor. So, what exactly is inside of my tech pouch.

Tech PouchTech Pouch
Keep all your gadgets and cables organized and reduce clutter in your bag when traveling.

First of all, I have quality chargers. I’ve personally bought and used chargers from the Anker brand. They’ve always been very dependable, and they’ve never let me down. I prefer the higher wattage ones with the GaN modules, which allow me to have, you know, 140 watts of power, so I can charge my laptop, my iPad, my phone, my watch, my toothbrush, and anything else that has electricity, including my camera. I found the more USB-C plug it has, the better because they also can charge faster.

If you go on international trips, I found this adapter from Lenze really helpful. It still has 120 watts and three USB outputs, and you can just adjust it to the German Schuko outlet, the American or the British one, which pretty much has you covered around the globe. That means you no longer have to carry all these individual adapters, which I still have, of course. But that means you have to think about it and, if you go to a certain country, maybe you can bring some that you don’t need, which adds more bulk. So, having this one-stop-shop solution you don’t have to think about is really valuable.

It also has a plug input, so I bring my Anker and that one so I have enough USB-C outputs. Another thing that I’m very particular about is the quality of my cables. Anker, for example, has these really nice silicone cables that stay straight and smooth, and they’re long enough, so I definitely use those. They have USB-C cables, they have lightning cables, and they’re very good quality.

17. Quality Cables

If I bring a camera or if I know I have to move large amounts of data, I also bring a Thunderbolt 4 cable because they have a much faster transfer speed. I remember, once, I had the wrong cable and it took like three hours to transfer stuff from my camera. With the right cable, it would have taken less than 5 minutes. And no, Anker didn’t pay me to say any of that. I just liked their products.

Anker 641 USB-C to Lightning CableAnker 641 USB-C to Lightning Cable
Anker 641 USB-C to Lightning Cable [Image Credit: Anker]

I definitely bring enough cables just in case something breaks. I hate not being able to charge stuff when I want to charge it or having to charge just one thing at a time, which can be annoying and frustrating with whatever schedule you may have. I just want to be able to start my day ready to roll.

18. Camera

If I bring a camera, I like to bring my Sony A1 because it has a large 50 megapixel sensor for images, so you get a nice resolution, but you can also film 8K videos or 4K with 120 frames uncropped, which is really nice.

Sony Alpha 1 CameraSony Alpha 1 Camera

19. Gimbal

If I know I’m going to be filming a lot, I’ll also bring a gimbal—typically, a DJI gimbal. They’re very good, they’re reliable, and when you use them, you actually work out your forearms a lot. Right now, I use the DJI RS 3 Pro. It’s a good gimbal. I think you can already get the DJI RS4 Pro, but they also pump out new gear all the time. They’re still good even if you get an older version.

Also, I’ve used the gimbal before like a tripod to take a nice family photo. Keep in mind though, carrying your camera on a gimbal is quite heavy, so you have to be really into it in order to want to bring along on your trip.

20. Mic

For mics, I currently use the DJI Mic 2, which have good quality and are easy to use.

21. International Driver’s License

Typically, when I’m abroad, I also drive, but I found I’ve never really needed an international driver’s license. If there is a country you go to where you need one—where I think like Japan—then you have to get that in your home country before you leave. Just keep that in mind. We got a link in the description down below of where you can do that. At least in the US.

22. Pocket Knife

If I know that I’m going hiking and being outdoors, I may even bring a pocket knife, but, of course, not in my carry-on. That has to go into my checked luggage. Last time I was in Switzerland, I bought a Swiss Army Knife, but I have ADHD, and I can’t find it right now. Last but not least, one thing I really enjoy when I travel is to use bikes.

A monogrammed pocket knifeA monogrammed pocket knife
A pocket knife is a versatile tool that’s handy for various tasks when traveling, from opening packages to preparing food.

I find that I really explore a city in a very different way than if I use public transportation. I’m breathing in the air; I’m seeing things; I get a better sense of orientation; and even when I’m not in a city, it’s nice to go out by bike. You see things very quickly and it’s healthy and it’s fun. 

23. Universal Bar Mount

Obviously, I don’t know my way around, so having my phone with offline maps from Google Maps is typically a lifesaver. I have found the phone cases and mount from Peak Design to be really, really good.

I don’t like the material of the phone case, which is why I don’t use it in everyday life, but it’s very easy to mount it to any bike or even a tripod. You can rotate it and keep it in different positions, and it has kind of a physical pair with a magnetic lock mechanism that is easy to undo.

Peak Design Universal Bar MountPeak Design Universal Bar Mount

Peak Design Universal Bar Mount

  • Instantly installs via silicone band—secure connection with easy & quick removal
  • Mount on any handlebar or bar-like substrate: bikes, scooters, strollers, motorcycles, golf carts, and more
  • Holds phone in portrait or landscape mode
  • Mounting head clocks in 32 rotational positions
  • Magnetic locking technology (called SlimLink) is ultra secure and feels like magic

So, if I know that I’ll bike and chances are I will always bike, I always bring the Peak Design universal bar mount paired with the phone case.

Do I bring my bike with me? Absolutely not! You can either go rent a bike, and most cities have these bike services where you can just have a bike, use it for 20 minutes, drop it off—it’s like a rideshare platform and it’s a lot of fun.

What does your travel kit look like? What do you bring on every trip, and what would you consider your premium items? Please share with us in the comments below.

FAQs

What EDC items are essential for a classic style menswear when traveling?  

The essential EDC items for a classic style menswear during travel include a quality leather wallet, a reliable pen, noise-canceling earbuds or headphones, any tech you require, and a pocket-sized grooming kit.

Why is a leather wallet recommended over other materials for travel?  

Leather is recommended for its durability, ageless appeal, and ability to protect your belongings in diverse weather conditions. A good quality leather wallet can withstand the rigors of travel and develop a unique patina over time, reflecting your journey.

Are noise-canceling earbuds better than over-ear headphones for travel?

This is largely a matter of preference. Noise-canceling earbuds are more compact and less obtrusive, which is beneficial for travelers looking to save space. Over-ear headphones generally provide better noise isolation and audio quality but take up more room.

What features should I look for in a power bank for travel purposes?

When selecting a power bank for travel, consider capacity (measured in mAh), number of charging ports, portability, build quality, and whether it supports fast-charging protocols compatible with your devices.

How important is it to have a pocket-sized grooming kit as part of my travel EDC?  

Having a pocket-sized grooming kit is quite important as it allows you to maintain a neat appearance throughout your journey. Look for a kit that includes essentials such as nail clippers, tweezers, a comb, and travel-sized toiletries.

What are some essential items to bring on any trip?

Why not premium EDC items, we recommend that you always travel with toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, deodorant or antiperspirant, soap, a comb, moisturizer, lip balm, sunglasses, and a water bottle; consider a collapsible water bottle to save space.

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