Using a safety razor is a lot of fun, but if I’ve found one downside it’s that it can be a bit of a hassle to travel with. Last week was my sister-in-law’s wedding, held out west where the rest of our family lives, and so my wife and I trekked 2,000 miles across the country to support them. Of course, a wedding means there’s going to be ceremony and photos, so that meant I’d need to be shaving.
Unlike a cartridge razor that you can just toss into a backpack or toiletry case, a double-edge razor requires planning ahead. As I discussed in a previous post, the TSA doesn’t like loose razor blades in carry-on luggage so I packed a Feather blade in my wife’s checked baggage when she flew out (she went early to help get things ready for the occasion).
But that still the question of how to lather up. When I traveled for Christmas I simply brought a small travel can of Barbasol. But this time I decided to make it more interesting. First, I needed to get a brush out there without it getting damaged. I came up with two options:
If I needed to I could use an old paper tube (paper towels or toilet paper) to keep the bristles protected. This wasn’t my ideal choice, as the brush could slip and slide around, and the paper (and the brush within) could easily be crushed.
The second option was a prescription bottle. I’d seen it suggested somewhere online (I don’t remember where, else I’d give credit), but I didn’t have any on hand. So I just went down to the local CVS and asked them for one (a request I’m guessing they don’t get often given their confusion at it). I’d planned on paying for them, I figured there might be medicine bottles as a retail item, but they kindly just gave me one for free from the pharmacy. It worked perfectly! The brush was well protected, and it kept the bristles protected throughout the trip (just make sure it’s dry before you put it in).
The next question was whether to bring shaving soap or shaving cream. I decided to go with the shaving soap because it’s lighter, harder, and dryer. This allowed me to just wrap the soap in a paper towel and stow it along with the rest of my toiletries. Since it’s a solid there’s no problem getting it through TSA, and since I enjoy it more than my shaving cream it made the travel shave a bit more enjoyable. The only downside is that after months of faithful use, my soap has finally worn through.
The shaves I got while out there weren’t my best. Traveling throws off my rhythm and I just couldn’t seem to get as close and even a shave as I’m used to. But they were still enjoyable, and perfectly good for pictures and festivities. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception for a great couple, and wonderful weather.
Flying back security x-rayed my bag, then a second time, before finally placing my razor in a bin by itself and x-raying that. Finally satisfied, they let us through and we headed home. A great trip!