The Traveler’s Gift Guide


Packing for travel can be a nightmare. You end up taking more clothes and shoes than you need, especially on a tropical vacation. Finding toiletry bottles small enough to pass TSA regulations can be daunting. You pack your toiletries in a cheap plastic bag that ends up breaking and leaking product onto your clean clothes. What a mess. But we at The Manual are here to help you sort through the messy business of traveling. Here are the travel items every man should have.

Buffalo Jackson Elkton Garment Bag

This North Carolina dry goods manufacturer harkens back to a bygone era of rugged men and rugged terrain. Buffalo Jackson crafts sturdy leather goods that are durable and fashionable, never trendy or cheaply made. This full-grain whiskey leather and waxed canvas Elkton garment bag boasts nickel hardware and nylon stitching as well as a canvas interior. The zippers don’t catch and it’s easy to hang. It even has space for your favorite shoes or small gadgets. Keeping your suits pressed never looked so good.

Cicada Leather Dopp Kit/Triumph & Disaster Men’s Grooming Products

Tired of carrying  your toiletries in a cheap plastic bag? Enter the dopp kit. Dopp kits have been around for 75 years but waned in popularity in recent decades. Thanks to a newfound appreciation for all things vintage—as well as an interest in better grooming—the kit has made a comeback. Montana-based Cicada Leather Company crafts a beautiful handmade blond leather dopp kit that gives you plenty of room for your grooming essentials. It fastens easily, with a snap and a buckle, and the hand-stitched strap makes transport a breeze. Monogramming is complimentary. And if you’re looking for something to put inside, look no further than New Zealand–based Triumph & Disaster. Its stash box includes all the grooming essentials: a tube of Old Fashioned Shave Cream, a Badger Hair shave brush, Rock & Roll Suicide Face Scrub and Gameface Moisturizer. Your face—and your girlfriend—will thank you.

Leica M Edition 60 Camera

No trip would be complete without photos of your escapades and while your iPhone or Android camera is great in a pinch, to get truly memorable photos, you need to step up your game. If you’re one of the lucky few to get your hands on a Leica M Edition 60 Camera, your photos will be the envy of millions. Commemorating 60 years of innovation, the Leica M Edition 60 is a back-to-basics type of camera. The top boasts an on/off power switch, a shutter button and speed dial and the back has an ISO setting dial in place of a LCD monitor. That’s it. It may seem unsettling if you’re used to big touch screens and various switches and knobs but the camera empowers rather than limits the photographer. Audi Design crafted the stainless steel body and the camera comes with a leather carrying case for easy transport. German engineering at its finest.

Nike Fuelband

Chances are when you travel, fitness isn’t a priority. But it should be. All those business dinners can pack on the pounds and if your hotel doesn’t have a fitness center, you’ll feel bloated in no time. Fitness monitors are all the rage but not all are built the same. The Nike Fuelband is one of the best on the market. Strapped to your wrist, the band tracks every step you take and energy expended. The band syncs to the Nike phone app and online community so you can track your goals and stay competitive. 

Travel Books

Yes, travel phone apps are convenient and always up to date, but what do you do when you can’t charge your phone overseas or your adapter doesn’t work? That app will be useless. Travel books are still the way go to. From the Hunt Guides to City Secrets to Day Trips From, travel tomes offer a tactile link to the city you’re in and are a great conversation starter. Packed with hundreds of ideas, these books are carefully researched by locals and travel writers—I should know. I wrote two—and offer a wealth of knowledge for anyone stuck in a city or town with nary an idea where to go. Turn off the app and turn the page instead.

The Beverly Hills Hotel Surfboard

Now, we get to the unusual. You’ve packed the essentials but what if you want to get a special souvenir? Hotels around the world boast special gifts during the holiday season, from handmade chocolates to cufflinks to designer scarves, but our favorite is the custom-designed surfboard care of The Beverly Hills Hotel. The durable six-foot board features the hotel’s signature leaf motif and draws every eye on the beach. Hit those waves in style.