Let me know if this is surprising in any way, but the limited data from the recent poll (see 3/20 post) confirms a few stereotypes.
Straight guys travel lightest in terms of toiletries, the majority of them needing 5 items or less when they hit the road. Gay guys take an average of 6-10 products. And women (gay or straight) carry the most of all. If the folks at Johnson and Johnson didn't already know this, I'd be shocked.
You can see the contents of my current road kit above. These are the essentials: Toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, and deodorant. Wildcard item: I wear glasses, and in case they get lost or broken, I try to have a set of contacts, just in case. Other than that, I can make do with whatever my hotel or hosts can provide. To stay at 5 items, you simply can't afford to care about brands of soap, shampoo, or anything else. No combs, brushes, or hairdryers either. Just do your best with a towel and your hands.
And, no, there's no shaving cream, either. Modern multi-blade razors are so effective that soap will work just fine once in a while. Honestly, I have no idea what the "Art of Shaving" stores are all about. Shaving has never been better. I suspect that the largest portion of their profit margin is in sales to women desperate to find a classy yet intimate gift for their boyfriend's or husband's birthday. Don't fall for it.
Back on topic... So, I'm not sure how to travel any lighter than that. I'll also fess up that I have no shame about taking hotel toiletries when I check out, so my average spikes on return flights. Stayed someplace really nice last week where they set out a ton of stuff (jackpot!), including a shoehorn(!?!), and no, I didn't take it.
So, Readers, what am I missing? What essentials are on your list? Are you willing to cope with the lame soap/shampoo combo gels if needed? Anyone in the market for a disposable showercap? Or a few? They're starting to pile up.
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