Travel: A Guide to Gentlemen's etiquette

Hurry up and wait, too many people and too little space, slow moving lines while traveling…I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we’ve ALL been there. Unfortunately, these situations can be a true test of patience, stamina and most of all, a test of your ability to handle stressful situations with a bit of decorum.

Here to save the day (or at least make your next trip go a little smoother) is Ole Mason Jar’s Guide to Gentlemen’s Etiquette, Travel Edition. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for whether you are road tripping, flying, or planning your next international trip to help with your trip preparation, along with a few basic wardrobe suggestions.

Road Trip

Travelling by car tends to be a more relaxed, casual environment, but by no means are there no guidelines. Of course, the company you travel with will determine exactly how laid back your trip is to be.

  • Plan ahead. Plan the length of the drive, plan the route and make sure you have your GPS or phone charged to make it the entire ride. Plan for stops, or if you are the “just gotta get there” type person, bring snacks and water to lessen the need for stops. Make sure you keep your travel companions’ preferences in mind as well.
  • Luckily for your wardrobe, cars typically have more space and allow for clothes to hang rather than being folded into a suitcase. Try to leave easily wrinkled clothes on their hangers to prevent having to iron once you arrive. But if you must pack your dress clothes into a suitcase, learn how to do it like the pros here.

Air Travel

Flying generally seems to be the most stressful of all types of travel. Probably because herding hundreds and thousands of people into long lines, down long hallways, to wait at a gate for a long time, to finally sit in tiny seats on an air craft for long periods of time combined with anxiousness to get to their destination can be a combustible combination.

  • Plan to arrive on time. Nothing is worse than the feeling of standing in the security line, tapping your foot with nervousness, and wondering if your plane will depart without you in your seat! That type of stress results in rudeness that is quite unbecoming. Which brings us to our next point…
  • Be respectful of those around you. The phrase, “You catch more flies with honey” is a staple in every Southern momma’s phrasebook. And it’s true. Being courteous to those just doing their jobs can go along way to help someone else’s day be just a little better, and also maintain your perspective.
  • Headphones are your best friend. Make sure to pack a set of headphones to help you avoid a myriad of uncomfortable flight situations. From drowning out the lady telling her whole life story 5 rows up, to the crying baby (remember it’s not the baby’s fault!), to helping you relax if you are a nervous flyer, make sure to keep them handy and accessible! 

International Travel

Planning a trip abroad, especially to a country you have never visited, can be the most exciting, and the most daunting!

  • Before you go– make sure to locate and check the expiration date of your passport. Make sure to do these months, if possible, in advance to prevent any panic at the last minute. Check in with your bank and credit card companies and let them know when and were you are travelling to prevent them from putting holds on your accounts. Also, call your cell phone carrier to find out about overseas rates and restrictions.
  • Pack Lightly. Lugging multiple bags while trying to navigate a new city can be a huge hassle, heck, just trying to get out of the airport with tons of luggage alone could make a person lose their cool! Plan your attire by using pieces that can be arranged in various ways to look like multiple outfits (see the photo below for a sample wardrobe to last a week long business trip). Our CEO, Bradley Rhyne, also suggests non-iron or wrinkle free clothing that will withstand longer travel periods.
(photo credit:
  • Look for Apps to help you during your stay. There are apps to help you translate the language or currency, get you where you need to go, provide help in emergencies, and give you the down low on local foods. Here is a list of useful apps to get you started. Must Have Travel Apps
  • Local Customs. Take the time to look into local customs and etiquette for the country you will be visiting, especially if you are on business. Following and appreciating the indigenous etiquette will also help to enhance your experience and immerse yourself in the culture. 

Basic Travel Suggestions

There are a couple of ideas we have come across during our travels that we think are simply awesome…

  • Solid Cologne. Genius. No worries about whether it will spill in your luggage or how many ounces it is because it is liquid free. Here’s a brand that you can pick up at our favorite store in Charlotte, The Sporting Gent, Fulton and Roark.
  • Plastic Dry Cleaning Bags. Place highly “wrinkle-able” clothing, like suits, in individual plastic bags that you can save when you pick up your dry cleaning, the plastic helps reduce friction and save you from spending your vacation ironing. 

Whether you are traveling throughout the state, throughout the country, or throughout the world, our number one tip is to remember that politeness and chivalry never go out of style!



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Comment 1

John on

Some of the travels tips I have learned over the years.
TSA Security:
=> Don’t waste time tying your laces, wear slip-on shoes
=> Don’t fumble with all your EDC pocket items, put them (and belt) into carry-on. You can take them out later.
=> Preserve your jacket, by keeping in airtight, insulated plastic bag.
=> Try to adjust to a new time zone a few days before your trip. If you arrive in the PM try not to sleep on the latter part of your flight.
=> Learn please and thank you on the local dialect.
=> It’s okay to eat the local cuisine, but – unless your last name is Bourdain -say away from the novelties that regulars also avoid.

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