Lonely Planet Writer

76-Second Travel Show: "Should Travel + Time = Beard?"

DARTH VADER'S INSPIRATION: MOUSTACHED HELMETS

Lonely Planet author and KillingBatteries blogger Leif Pettersen is pondering whether or not to grow a beard on the road. He worries about cleaning it and whether it will hurt his beauty appeal. So he asked the "76-Second Travel Show" to help out. We have, by looking at "beards of time" graph, talking with a real travel beard expert Christoph Rehage (the German traveler behind the excellent Longest Way walk around China: see the video) and noting how even Darth Vader wasn't immune to facial hair's enduring appeal when he picked out his helmet.

Plus, as anyone listening to 90% of the bands touted on Pitchfork.com or walking about Williamsburg, Brooklyn knows, beards are in.

From my point of view, travel plus time equals a beard. if you're going to consider a beard, do it right. Keep it wild. Once you trim it, make it cute, or fashion it into 'soul patches,' 'baseball goatees' or the Lincoln low-baller, you might as well shave off the whole thing.

Having a big messy beard benefits (mostly male) travelers in that people will either assume you're some scientific genius, or a freak. Either way, no one will mess with you.

What do you think? Travel beards, yes or no?