Travel Tips

The Travel Accessory You Never Considered: Cheap, Practical, and Aids Sleep


A true essential

It seems like everyone who travels—be it by car, plane, boat, or train—has something that they just can't travel without. Beyond the obvious necessities like a phone and wallet, I have one item that I consistently bring on my trips that gets overlooked by the myriad blogs posted across the web on the subject of travel must-haves. I stumbled upon the greatness of this particular essential by chance and haven’t looked back since.

Photo by Polina Korennikova

Photo by Polina Korennikova


What is it and what makes it special?

This key item that you will always find me in at the airport is a beanie. Let me break down its genius in a few bullets.

  • They are very cheap (<$10)

  • They can be found in virtually every color

  • They keep you warm in any season (it can still be cold on planes in the summer!)

  • They hardly take up any space in luggage when not in use

I’ve saved the most important point for last.

Whether it’s only for 30 minutes, a few hours, or half the day, I try to get some sleep when traveling. As I’ve gotten older, sleeping has been more difficult to do when it’s bright. There are three accessories that stand out to me when trying to solve this problem: a hat, a sleeping mask, and a beanie. While a hat checks off most of the bullet points above, I’ve found it doesn’t block out light well enough for me, and it can be a bit uncomfortable when I push it down over my face. Sleeping masks do nothing to help the cold and add nothing of value to my outfit. Given those reasons, I consider the beanie to be the strongest candidate of the three. Yes, the beanie might look a bit silly rolled down over your eyes, but few people will actually see you sleeping like that, and you won’t even know when they do. Ignorance is bliss, right?