Whether you are going to a posh hotel or living out of a backpack, there is one must-pack item that will come in handy no matter what situation you find yourself in.
This must have, can’t live without, multi-use item is a simple, inexpensive piece of fabric — a sarong.
Many of you might think that I’m crazy — sarongs are for girls to wrap around their waist at the beach right? Well yea, that is one of the uses for them, but if you bear with me, I bet I can convince you that, male or female, rich or poor, a sarong is a fantastic travel investment.
Use it as a blanket, pillow or sheet
Have you ever been cold on a plane, train, bus or car trip?
A sarong makes a great blanket and can even be bunched up and used as a cushy barrier between your head and the cold, glass window.
Have you ever found yourself sleeping in a hostel or cheap hotel with questionable bedding?
Most sarongs are long enough to cover your body, which means that they will be the perfect buffer between you and the less-than-clean duvet cover you find yourself stuck with.
Use it as a towel
There is nothing more disgusting than a backpackers towel. It never gets a chance to dry completely and never gets washed much.
Quick dry towels made specifically to save space and for travellers are better, but they are never big enough to wrap completely around your body and they will often dye your skin the first few times you use them (trust me — I know from personal experience — that nothing makes you stand out more than a blue face).
A sarong is usually made of quick drying fabric and so makes a perfect, large towel to wrap around your body when stepping out of the shower or spending a day at the beach.
Use it for modesty
If touring around churches, temples, or religious sights it is inevitable that there are parts of your body that will need to be covered at some point in time.
The problem is that most of these sights are located in countries that have sweat-inducing weather, and so wearing long sleeves and pants while exploring is not a realistic option.
Throwing a lightweight sarong in your purse or bag gives you an easy way to cover your shoulders, knees or hair when entering a sensitive area.
This is not just for the ladies either, there are attractions where men are required to have their heads and shoulders covered as well.
Use it as a scarf or shawl
Need an extra layer on a chilly day? Want to up your travel fashion game?
Wrap your sarong around your neck and you have a perfect accessory that will keep you warm (and fashionable).
Still not convinced? Here are a few more things to consider:
- A sarong can be folded or stuffed into the smallest corner of your bag, taking up almost no room, and weighs very little.
- Sarong’s are incredibly inexpensive and can be bought in almost any city in the world
- This item is not gender, age, or location specific — use it anywhere!
Got your own ‘must pack’ item? Let me know!