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He Says, She Says: Three Travel Essentials

1Today’s post is brought to you by Alexi Ueltzen, who is a resident gear junkie at NileGuide, a custom travel planning website. An avid traveler, Alexi’s a native of Northern California and grew up rafting the American River, skiing the Sierras and beach camping along the coast.

As you’ve probably noticed, there are boys. And girls. And each of those genders, when it comes to traveling, is a little bit different.

There are three things we believe every good traveler packs: a good multi-tool, a decent travel bag and shoes that can withstand an ambitious sight-seeing itinerary. While the need for these items is universal, the forms they take are not. That’s why we’re here, to help you find the very best products for your gender. To point you in the direction of items that will enrich your travel experience. To make sure you are as prepared as a boy scout and as cheerful as a brownie. To keep you from looking like a total tourist.


He says: A Leatherman

Why? Because a Leatherman is a Swiss army knife with a hefty shot of testosterone. A Leatherman says, “I can already open a can, thanks. What I’d really like to do is go spear my own fish.” Because a Leatherman, whether one opts for the basic Skeletool (coolest multi-tool name ever) or the deluxe Super Tool 300 (Dane Cook’s new nickname), comes with stuff people actually use. Pliers. Screwdrivers. Wire cutters. BOTTLE OPENERS. In short, this is a made-to-last, hardcore, intelligently-designed multi-tool. And no one will snicker when you flick out the blade and pry open that can of caviar.

>>Buy Leatherman 830039 New Wave Multitool with Leather Sheath

She says: A Swiss Army Knife

It’s retro hardware at its very best. These knives-and-then-some have been around for 125 years, and for good reason. Heck, multiple reasons. Let’s list them:

    1. They’re compact – a SAK fits nearly anywhere, from purses to the smallest of jean pockets.
    2. They’re perfect for the traveler – those everyday items you use but somehow always forget to pack (scissors, nail file, tweezers)? All included in one handy little package.
    3. They’re customizable; no more battling it out at the hostel when Hans tries to claim your knife as his own. “See where it says ‘property of Mathilda’? Yeah. That’s me.”

>>Buy Victorinox Swiss Army Champion Plus Pocket Knife

Travel Bag (that doesn’t scream “I’m a tourist!”)

He says: Timbuk2 Messenger bag

Casual like a satchel, but technical like a backpack. And much, much cooler than the padded briefcase you got at that conference in Orlando. Big enough to fit your camera, your water bottle and your map of the movie stars’ homes (it’s okay, we bought one too), the Timbuk2 messenger helps you blend in with the locals but stand out in style.

They’re built to withstand the rigors of travel; bike couriers use them for decades before they wear out, and the bags have even survived train wrecks. Plus, you can design your own or pick from sweet existing designs, and purchase them safe in the knowledge that they’re handmade in San Francisco with sustainable business practices. Because real men love Mother Earth.

>>Buy Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

She says: Hobo bags

They’re a backpack or (heaven help us) a fanny-pack in disguise. Shove all your embarrassing touristy-accessories (you’re right –union jack undies are a great souvenir) deep within their roomy interiors and no one will be the wiser. Get one with a cross-body strap for hands-free travel, or one with exterior pockets for easy camera access. Another great thing about hobo bags is that they’re easy to cram into a suitcase and universally in style (for now, at least). For some unique designs and craftsman-quality bags, check out

>>Or, check out this LeSportsac Classic Hobo


He says: Vans slip-ons

Vans are classic-cool, and they defy age limits; they’re cute on 5 year-olds, charming on 30 year-olds and awesome on 70 year-olds. They’re simple, comfortable and don’t require socks. You can stick your insoles in ‘em. Seriously, could they make a better travel shoe? Be weird and buy an obnoxiously-bright checkered pair.

Channel the 1960s surfer aesthetic and get the navy blue. Go euro and get the all-white model. Ignore our advice and buy those Tevas your dad suggested…but only if you plan to get hassled by every souvenir vendor and street performer you walk past.

>>Buy Vans Classic Slip-On Mens Shoes

She says: Privos

They’re like your favorite pair of ballet flats…with arch support. The perfect union of cute, sporty and durable, Privos are the traveling girls’ best friend. Just like any best friend, Privo has opinions on what you should wear out, whether “out” means climbing the Eiffel tower, dancing your pants off or whitewater rafting. Unlike your best friend, Privo has really good advice. And probably won’t steal your chapstick either.

>>Buy Privo Women’s Kosmo Flat