10 months, 15 days ago
This is for every dad who looks wistfully out to sea and mourns the passing of the Age of Discoveries. It’s for fathers tamping down their inner Magellan and doing a daily commute instead. And it’s for any man who could make a two twigs and dishcloth tent, light a campfire from the glint in his eye and dig an artesian well with a teaspoon, if only he was given the chance.
Father’s Day is on June 19th and we salute every intrepid one of you. If more solid proof of devotion is required on the big day itself, cast your eye over our travelling dad wish-list and take it away …….
Okay, this one’s a bit more louche executive travel than legendary navigator. But who are we to say Vasco da Gama wouldn’t have swapped the odd Spice Route for a flawless Old Fashioned back in the day? Compliant with international airline rules and in seriously desirable packaging, each tiny tin contains everything you need to mix a cocktail at 30,000ft, from demerara sugar to bitters and a muddler. Never again need your beloved dad suffer the dreaded in-flight-sloppy-pour.
According to people who know absurd stuff: Moleskine notebooks were inspired by Bruce Chatwin’s, The Songlines, and have been a travel journal staple ever since. Picasso doodled in his, Hemingway totted up bar tabs and even Oscar Wilde used a Moleskine to record his best lines. We might have made a little of that history up. But since the spirit of the world’s best known ‘little black book’ is creative freedom, that’s fine. Start with a Classic Notebook and throw in a copy of Death in the Afternoon for good measure.
21 grams is exactly the weight of over 50 cities worldwide on a Crumpled City Street Map. From Berlin to Sydney, they’re practical and precise, packed with information and ideas and the best bit: no folding. Maps are made to scrunch up into a ball and come out flat, only when needed. We can’t describe how much we love this idea and there isn’t a father we know who’ll miss the soul sucking tradition of map origami.
Frugal dads the world over know the pain of excess baggage charges. This fine and handy gadget cuts out the bathroom scale dance before you travel. And, on the way back, means you don’t have to wait until check-in to find out it costs less to buy an Algarve villa than it does to fly hand-crafted Portuguese tiles home.
This one goes out to any man who can’t look at perfectly spaced trees without thinking, ‘hammock time’. This portable piece of beach-snooze-heaven weighs next to nothing, is about the same size as a trashy airport novel and takes less than five minutes to put up, anywhere. It’s also nice looking and, if your dad’s given to sharing, there’s room for two.
Sweet as it is to decant best-loved potions and lotions into dinky, teeny-weeny little travel containers, it’s not really a dad thing, is it? With that in mind, hand over the gift of fuss-free grooming courtesy of Kiehl’s Body Fuel. It’s an all-in-one shampoo, body wash and face cleanser, smells citrusy and minty and comes with a caffeine and Vit C. boost. Plus, the packaging is masterfully understated.
If anti-theft anything sounds too twitchy-traveller for comfort, fear not. This minimalist canvas and leather rucksack isn’t bells and whistles paranoia. It just can’t be opened unless you take it off. because the zip faces your back. Much more urban voyager than nervous tourist, it’s brilliant for crowded summer cities and obviously means it’s best if dad carries absolutely everything for everybody, just to be on the safe side.
Legend has it that Dashiell Hammett was a man known for wandering (amongst other things). He once went out in New York and eventually turned up in Singapore with a three-week beard and no clue as to how he’d got there. We’re thinking most dads aren’t quite as bent on a party as Mr Hammett, but it does no harm to keep an eye on them. A personalised T stamped with important names makes sure any dad who drifts out of sight for even a second can be harmlessly corralled and returned to his rightful owners, fast.
This is not one for hand-baggage, but that’s about the only limit to the Leatherman classic multi-tool. It has everything from tiny tweezers to big, manly pliers in one chunky – yet compact – piece of stainless steel gadget magnificence. Very useful and, most important of all, lets dads enjoy more of those, ‘stand back, everything’s under control’ moments which seem to make their holidays truly magical.
Happy Father’s Day on June 19th and happy travels to all travelling dads, all year round.