Travel itself, whether by plane, train or bus, has now become a big experience and many airlines and travel companies go to great lengths to ensure optimum comfort and luxury for passengers – think lush seats, deluxe meals and state-of-the-art aircon.
However, if you’re a gentleman with a beard, things aren't always so simple on your journey to your dream destination. Cramped and stuffy cabins, low humidity, different time zones and odd sleeping patterns can leave even the best-groomed men looking a bit weary – not ideal.
If you haven't yet travelled since you've grown a beard, you may be wondering what the ups and downs are. Whether you are a frequent flyer, have to travel for business now and then or simply planning an overseas holiday once a year, having a beard while travelling by plane can get somewhat tricky.
Though, with the right products and grooming routine, you can maintain a clean and professional, but comfortable look while flying. Let's look at a few pros and cons of travelling with a beard and some clever tips on how you can make the most of it.
What are the pros and cons of travelling with a beard?
Besides adding points to your attractiveness and blocking out 95% of UV rays, there is another major benefit of having a beard while travelling: You don't have to worry about stubble.
That's right, you won't look ragged while travelling because you have a well-groomed beard. Bonus!
Unfortunately, though, beards can be somewhat of a divider: People either love it or don't. Sadly, if you land up sitting next to someone from the latter group on your flight, it can get a little tricky.
Certain cultures and countries may also have somewhat of a stigma attached to men with facial hair. The good news, however, is that no one can discriminate against you for having a beard. As long as your beard is well-groomed, you have nothing to worry about.
It may get a little trickier at certain airports. Studies have found that beards can make it hard to identify people, and some facial recognition technology, such as ePassport terminals and Smart Gates, cannot pick up new facial changes. This can lead to long delays and increases the possibility of you and other individuals missing flights.
Your mood and physical condition can also play a role in this. Therefore, it is always advisable to look clean and professional and to stay calm during the entire duration of your trip. Experts also advise that individuals who look even slightly different than their passport photos, should check in at the usual border control desks. This will ensure smooth processes and on time boarding.
Cramped cabins, lack of fresh air and poor sleeping patterns can also wreak havoc on your system – a major con! Furthermore, the temperature and the number of people in the cabin can lead to excessive bacterial growth.
Unfortunately, this will inevitably get stuck to your skin and hair. No one man wants to worry about unknown microorganisms in their beard and, therefore, proper grooming is of utmost importance.
Let's look at a few ways you can take care of your beard while travelling by plane.
Go for a beard trim before you travel
If you have time before your travels, go for a proper beard trim. This will ensure that you look and feel your best for the duration of your flight. You must remember, though, you still have to take care of your skin and hair on your journey!
Travelling with a beard kit
We all know that the bathrooms on planes are particularly small and not exactly the best place to be when you're 7 miles up in the sky! Yet, if you have a long flight, it is wise to pack a beard kit in your hand luggage.
Having this with you, you can quickly sneak into one of these tiny cubicles to groom your beard. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes and you'll feel refreshed when you're done – so worth it.
A quick online search for 'Beard grooming kit South Africa' will result in numerous products available. However, it is important to consider which products you require before you buy.
Luckily, most beard grooming kits usually contain beard wash, beard conditioner, beard oil and wax, which are the most important products to have with you. If you struggle with dry puckers, remember to pack a small lip balm too!
Tip: It is also vital to drink lots of water when flying to ensure your skin and hair are hydrated from the inside out. This is often ignored, and many men are left with dry, cracked skin and brittle hair after a long journey. So, make sure you get your dose of H2O.
Proper beard grooming when travelling
When travelling by plane, the cabin can get quite hot and stuffy which can lead to sweat and stickiness. To keep your beard soft and shiny, do not skip your grooming routine.
On a long flight, wash your beard and seal in moisture with beard oil or beard balm. Remember that you don't want to strip your beard from its natural oils, therefore, you have to opt for beard shampoo, beard softener and a handcrafted oil, such as The Gentleman’s Beard Oil, designed to keep your beard in tip-top condition. A quick wash, dry and treatment can do wonders!
Investing in quality South African beard products
Caring for your beard should be a priority every day – not only when you're travelling! Investing in quality products should be first on your list when it comes to proper beard care. It’s also wise to buy local. Our South African beard products are handcrafted and made from the finest ingredients.
The best way to keep your beard in excellent condition while travelling is to invest in a beard care grooming kit from The Gentleman's Beard Club. This starter kit comes in a vintage wooden treasure chest but can be packed into a soft toiletry bag should you have limited space.
If you're looking for single products, be sure to include a quality travel-sized beard wash, a travel-sized beard softener and a beard oil. These 30 ml containers are the ideal size to keep with you while you're flying.
Having a beard shouldn't make you miss out on anything in life, especially not something as exciting as travelling! Maintaining a clean and professional look during air travel can be tough, but with the right products in your hand luggage, it shouldn't be.
Make sure you're prepared and become the frequent flyer (with a beard) you've always wanted to be.