Must Have Clothing for Dads on Family Vacations

I’m quickly realizing that a dad’s role during long term travel with the family, besides keeping the bank card handy, is to be the pack mule.

I carry the heaviest and most amount of luggage on travel days. I foist our 4-year-old up on my shoulders when walking about town. And I inevitably hear, “Hey dad, can you hold this for me” about four times a day when we're away from the hotel.

Somehow kids get away with wearing clothes with no pockets but manage to find all types of stuff to be treasured and returned with us back to our guest house. It could be the video game they brought with them, a cool rock they found, or even an injured kitten.

Of course, carrying this item themselves would impede on checking out all of the other cool things that grab their curiosity every five minutes. You can’t very well catch a fish in a random koi pond if you’re clutching a Nintendo DS, now can you?

This is where Dad steps in to save the day. How? By wearing the most important and only travel clothes a father needs: cargo pants.

Literally, the only bottoms I own now are two pair of cargo pants and two pair of cargo shorts (and swim trunks). I got rid of snug fitting jeans while on the road as they proved impractical in the tropical heat, somewhat bulky to lug around, and useless when it came to carrying extra gear.

Besides the fatherly necessity of cargo pants, they're also great for keeping passports handy through airports or border runs when opening a bag to access them is cumbersome.  They're needed when Mom wants to take the camera along but doesn't carry a hand bag -- which seems to be for every joint outing.

Additionally, while traveling on a budget in South East Asia or Central America, the hotels don't quite have the electronic keycard technology yet.  Instead, they usually have over-sized key chains typically carved from a block of wood into the shape of a local animal.  Believe me, they don't fit comfortably in any other pocket than the deep cargo side pocket.

They also secure an iPhone without the need for wearing a clunky cellphone holster on vacation, concealing the workaholic I'm pretending not to be while traveling.

What's more, if you're concerned for your wallet getting pick-pocketed in crowded markets, cargo pants supply several secure locations and typically have pockets that button shut for additional safety. And finally, they just look cool and make dads look younger.

So if you're planning a family vacation, make sure Dad has a good pair of cargo pants or two.  He'll thank you for it, especially the part about making him look cooler.

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