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How To Shave When Traveling

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Shaving while traveling is all about compromise. Maybe you can’t take your regular shaving kit because it’s size, or its weight, or it’s cost. But even if you can take your regular kit you still may not get the same results on the road because of environmental changes. Let’s take a look at some shaving products specifically made for travel, along with strategies for getting a good shave when you’re not at home.

Considerations For Traveling

You’re going to need to consider where you are going, how you’re going to get there, and how long you will be away. For example if you are flying by air in the US and you’re only taking enough to fit in a carry-on bag you may have to pack different products than if you were going on a two week ocean cruise with several checked bags. Let’s take a look at some shaving equipment first, then we’ll have a go at shave technique.

Double Edge Razors

Merkur’s travel razor comes in a very small package. The handle comes in two pieces, stored one in the other, and screw together. But the razor head is Merkur’s standard two-piece head found on other models, so if you’re familiar with those razors, this razor will be an easy transition.
Parker’s Travel Razor is a little less expensive than the Merkur and a bit larger, but still plenty easy to tuck into a corner of a suitcase. It also assembles as a two piece handle and also uses Parker’s standard two piece head.
And here is a travel razor I got off a popular internet shopping site. I’ve never heard of the brand name, and the case is large enough to hold a standard size double edge razor, so I’m not sure what you might gain if you’re looking to save space to pack in. But it seems like it’s decent quality.

A Note About DE Blades

Let’s talk about razor blades for a moment. You should be aware that the Transportation Security Administration in the United States–the TSA–does not allow non-cartridge razor blades in carry-on luggage in passenger aircraft in the US. If you have checked luggage it should not be a problem but if you only have carry on luggage you’re going to have to arrange for an alternative. Maybe you could buy your blades at your destination or ship them separately ahead of time.

Shaving Brushes For Traveling

Simpsons travel brush is safely stored securely inside a hard tube shell by screw threads. You unscrew the handle to pop out the brush. You can then either use the brush with it’s small handle or you can screw it back into the tube the opposite way for a more secure grasp. By the way, I got this brush as a gift from Lee at Lee’s Razors (now closed). Thanks Lee!
Unlike the Simpson brush the Parker Travel Shave Brush is full size, which should make lathering easier. The parker brush also screws into the handle for easier use but in this case you kind of have to use it that way because of the very small brush hair base.
Of course, you might be able to take your regular kit if it will fit into your luggage. One way of keeping everything in one place is to put it in a large prescription pill bottle. Just remember to drill a few holes in it for air circulation.

Cartridge Razors

Most of today’s multi-blade cartridge razors are probably small and light enough to take with you for travel. However, there are some specialty travel razors you might want to look at.
For example the EShave 3 Blade Travel Razor comes with its own travel bag and tube. It can be partially disassembled to fit into a smaller area.
An unusual travel razor from Cormia, in addition to being very small, takes inexpensive Trac 2 or Atra cartridges so it is safe for carry-on air travel in the U.S. Using this razor can take a little getting used to, as the razor is pushed across the skin instead pulled like with other razors. But after I got the hang of this little razor I actually got pretty good shaves from it.
Then there is the “Credit Card Mini Portable Pocket Razor you may have seen in airline in-flight catalogs. Don’t…just don’t.  It might work OK if you have very fine, light hair and it’s the only thing available but this razor seems to embody all the stereotypical elements of a poorly designed and manufactured novelty item made in the far east.
One last suggestion for a travel razor. Although it isn’t marketed as one, King Of Shave’s new Hyperglide razor is worth considering. It is a multi-blade cartridge razor that has a special coating around the blades that creates it’s own shave lubricant when it comes in contact with water. I took a Hyperglide on my last vacation, using it with just water. As long as I prepared my skin well and used a lot of water, I got very acceptable shaves. Give it a try if luggage space is at a premium.

Shave Creams and Soaps

Taking your favorite shave cream or soap may not be a problem if it’s container is small enough, but what if you have a large, heavy jar? One solution is to put some in a smaller container. For a cream, consider scooping some into small Craft Paint Pots. Or try a pocket-sized pill case, found at most pharmacies or grocery stores. You should be able to store enough for at least a couple of shaves, with the option of taking more so you have some variety.
Pucks of shaving soap can be put in small, lidded plastic cups, available at most megamarts or department stores.


Perhaps the single most important product for shaving while traveling is the aftershave. Make sure you take a really good, moisturizing aftershave balm, for reasons I’ll get into shortly. Luckily most aftershaves are in fairly small bottles but you can always transfer a little bit to a smaller container if you want to. Check your local megamart to see if they have a sample or trial size bin. You might find a great product in a small size. It’s also worthwhile looking to see if the product has spf rating, particularly if you know you will be out in the sun, like Neutrogena Men Triple Protect Face Lotion With SPF 20.

Shaving Away From Home

Shaving while traveling is pretty much like shaving at home, with one very specific thing to keep in mind. Odds are you will be in very different environmental conditions and you will be much more active than usual. That means you and your skin will probably be dehydrated. So be sure to not only drink water throughout the day but also to keep your skin moisturized. You may even want to apply a little moisturizer before going to bed for a little extra help. And don’t try to go for that “baby’s butt” close shave either. Go for looking presentable and if you are able to get a better shave than that, consider yourself lucky.
Safe travels!
How do you shave when you travel?  Any additional suggestions?  Leave a comment below.
Related Posts:
King of Shave’s Hyperglide Razor
SPF Moisturizers For Men


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

9 thoughts on “How To Shave When Traveling”

  1. I am surprised you did not mention the Simpson Wee Scott rather than the Major. The Major is a larger brush, making the Wee Scott better for travel space. Plus the Wee Scott is substantially less expensive. Wee is a great brush, even if you are not a leprechaun!

    1. Craig, that’s a fair point. I listed a couple brushes that were specifically made as travel brushes but you sure could use a small brush like the Wee Scot too, as long as you had a good container to put it in. An Omega “Mighty Mixed Midget” badger/boar mix would be good too!

  2. I fly 150-200k miles a year, I live on the road. A DE is not an option for me, I never check luggage. My razor of choice is the Feather F2 Neo, oddly enough, made in the Far East. My daily routine involves TOBS avacado, proraso preshave, proraso liquid cream for aftershave, and a kent bk4. The creams go into Go Toobs, the liquid cream is 100ml so it stays in the original container and the brush is a $100 model that gets wrapped in my Salux. If it ends up getting destroyed it’s only a $100.

  3. Good article. Well written.
    When I travel I use a tall pill bottle to carry my Whipped Dog 30/65 Silver Tip brush in. I use a empty Crystal Light container for my Weber 3pc. SS/DE W/ Classic Handle. I use a Glad Food Storage container for my Shaving Soap Puck

  4. Great article, Mark! I’m on the road all the time, and here are a few of my tips for bringing along a compact shaving kit:
    1. I reuse the plastic containers from Gum brand soft-picks. They are in exactly the right shape to hold a single DE blade. This way I can still get four shaves out of my favorite blades after being in transit.
    2. I reuse the glass bottles from Proraso pre-shave cream to store my favorite shaving cream on the road. Someone on w/WickedEdge recommended TOBS creams for consistent lather while encountering different water qualities, and the Proraso bottle does the trick for compact storage. You could also use a cleaned-out miniature jam bottle.

  5. Like Theodore I use an RX bottle to transport my razor (Merkur 1906 or Fat Handled Tech), blade and brush. The pharmacy charged me a quarter for the bottle (or maybe it was $1—I forget). While I had planned to use the Kent Synthetic for travel, I much prefer the Frank Shaving finest badger “defective handle” brush I bought on ebay for $10. A nice shave stick is my go to for the road. I have a homemade Cella stick that is fantastic.
    As a shower shaver, my biggest adjustment when traveling is adapting to a strange bathroom. I bring a travel mirror, but it simply doesn’t work in some showers, so I must adapt to a post or pre shower shave. When away I miss the shaving shelf I keep in the corner.
    But since my travel these days is for vacation, I don’t tend to shave too often while on the road.

  6. Theodore Pettinicchi

    Mark, thanks again for a great article. When I travel, I use a tall pill bottle from the pharmacy to carry my shave brush. Even if you don’t have a prescription, you can simply ask the pharmacist and they will give you one, free.
    If you travel to the same place more than twice (say, a relative’s home) you can likely leave a package of your favorite DE blades there. The package is so small, it won’t take up any room in the guest bathroom. I had ordered blades for my nephew and myself one Christmas and had them delivered to my sister’s home in Phoenix. When I returned home, I left my blades there for my next trip. That way, I can fly without checking a bag.

  7. I use the screw on red plastic discs Pine brother’s cough drops are packaged in. It’s the exact same diameter as many pucks so a sharp knife can be used to take a slice off a puck and slip it right in. Mekur’s 1906 razor, and small tube of cream, and you are set.
    I use a fast drying synthetic brush, and bring some non lathering product like Cremo for my return trip so my brush is at least 24 hours dry.
    Great post, and unlike the previous article I did not need to apply an ice pack to my crotch after reading it!

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