Whether it’s a one-day conference or a longer, much boozier ‘working holiday’ that doesn’t involve a single spreadsheet, plenty of blokes worldwide are getting out of the office and onto the plane, their work tucked under their arm.
In the US alone, more than 1.3 million business trips happen on a daily basis, and the distance between major business centres in Australia means that guys down under realise they need to get comfortable with choosing between business and economy.
However, gearing up for air travel rarely features on someone’s favourite list of hobbies. Our careful selection of travel essentials for men – luggage, clothes, and accessories – will help you set yourself up for the grand voyage, and trick your business partners into thinking you’re finally getting it together.
Travel Tailored Suit
Premium suiting and air travel shouldn’t go together, but Burberry’s 100% virgin wool travel suit is happy to buck the trend in ideal travel essentials for men. Despite the number on the swing tag, this isn’t a delicate number that you whip out once or twice a year and hope it’ll live to see another day.
It’s sturdy qualities – canvas interlining and natural stretch properties – leave no doubts that it’ll survive both the rough and tumble tedium of travel, and your daily corporate battles. It’s a versatile modern fit: tapered in the right places, but not so svelte that you should start thinking about ordering salads for lunch again.
Give it a bi-annual dry clean and a brush after each wear, and you’ll be flogging this in the office or the airport boozer for years to come.
Leather Carry All
Smythson have over a century of luxury craftsmanship experience behind them, and have serviced the needs of influential high-society clients including European royalty, Sir Winston Churchill, and icons of the silver screen.
This ‘Greenwich’ holdall is moderately sized; perfect for business weekenders. It boasts two external zips, detachable straps, and internal storage options for your weekend getaway necessities.
It’s made in Italy from lacquered cotton, offering a good midpoint between durability and weight. Although this bag could pay for a boozy tour of Bali and then some, it’s the sort of item you’ll only need to buy once.
Aluminium Clamshell Suitcase
If you need a bit of extra firepower, German luggage authorities Rimowa are your best mates. Since 1898, Rimowa have specialized in heavy-duty luggage for times when you don’t quite trust the bloke tossing your gear into the plane.
The distinctive Topas model comes in varying dimensions, ranging from a compact 11L to a whopping 100L. Their linking features are indestructible, parallel-grooved aluminium casing and a nifty external locking system. If an embarrassing airport collision is still fresh on your mind, you can relax knowing the Topas has a neat multi-wheel system in place to stop you from steering your way into a spilt latte.
These require a bit of depth in your bank account, but will see you through decades of air travel (and make you look boss in the process).
The best weekend away is one spent with a luxe Valentino backpack. In a black-charcoal finish, Valentino have opted for an understated camouflage pattern with leather trimmings and generous separate compartments.
With an approximate capacity of 18L and an internal pouch, you should be able to accommodate the small necessities of a weekend trip without the need to check in additional luggage.
And yeah, you could fly first class instead of buying this, but Valentino kit is infinitely more baller than a free glass of champagne and genuine eye contact from flight attendants right?
Not everything in business has gone digital. Whether it’s your first run at a grown-up office job or your last roll of the dice before retirement, you probably still require a briefcase to keep your shit in one folio.
This organic cotton briefcase is by design duo Want Less Essentiels, a pair who craft luxury essentials to service the needs of both commuters and frequent fliers. With modest, slim dimensions, you can tuck this under the seat and not cop an extra luggage fee.
It has room for a laptop (because you tell yourself that flying is no excuse to skip work) and storage options for your phone, documents, and other corporate accoutrements. There’s also a detachable shoulder strap, leaving your hands free for important obligations like reading Shut Up and Take My Money Vol 1.
Wearing your old-man New Balances for your 5am dash to the boarding area is still uncool (and it always will be). A pair of Common Projects is the one essential for avoiding the haggard middle-aged travelling businessman schtick that plagues Western men in airports globally.
New York-based Common Projects do clean, understated, and unpretentious like few others. These work with casual suits, shorts in summer, and will smarten up whatever you wear to the airport. Common Projects aren’t cheap as far as sneakers go, so they deserve more TLC than your average pair of stompers.
But if you’re worried about the spunky flight attendant judging you on your footwear as you board, then Common Projects isn’t a bad place to start.
Luxe Sweats For Changing (Long Haul Flights Only)
Even though we talk a big game about looking tidy for the check in, we’re also pragmatic. Between the guy snoring on your left, shit food, and a long-haul expedition that seems like it’ll never end, a mid-air change into some comfortable sweats can make all the difference.
Our picks are Thom Browne or Loro Piana – crafted from natural fibres, tapered, and nothing like the dodgy sweats stinking up the bottom of your gym bag. Most of these bad boys are on the slimmer end, so you won’t look like you’ve just smashed a bit of F45 and forgot to change.
A plain white tee, bomber jacket, and white sneakers will tie this together without making you look like your first stop post-flight is the treadmill.
Initialled Leather Travel Wallet
Everyone’s has a panic moment where your passport won’t turn up or your boarding pass ended up in the bin. This TDE travel accessory is the final destination for your accumulated travel documentation, boasting space for your boarding pass, passport, foreign cash, and six card slits.
With long-term use in mind, TDE have constructed this from 100% saffiano leather – a diagonally-textured, weather-resistant material prized for its durability.
The passport compartment is detachable, if keeping everything in one spot is a little too sketchy for your liking. If you have a thing for personalised gear or want a neat gift option, you can monogram basic initials in various colours free of charge (but keep nods to Pulp Fiction to a minimum).