Are you the kind of person who needs to ask for a third blanket on the airplane or someone who can’t go to the cinema without a winter coat for fear of the dreaded aircon? If so, join the club. Being cold is something I just can’t tolerate, which is why I’ll always opt for the warm destinations when given a choice and why you’ll rarely find me doing winter sports.
For the cold-blooded among us travel can be quite a frustrating experience. Ironically, this can especially be true when visiting warm countries. I know it sounds crazy but it’s often in the places where the sun is the hottest that we suffer the most. That’s because to combat the heat every single building owner seems to overcompensate with excessive fan action or overpowering air conditioning.
So what to do? Well, you could pack warmer clothes but then again if you’re heading for a beach holiday in Southeast Asia common sense says you would be crazy to fill your suitcase with cuddly sweaters and winter coats. Want a better answer? Well I have two of them for you.
Wrap it up
Ladies (and gentlemen), if you haven’t met already then please allow me to introduce you to the queen of the travel accessories – the travel wrap.
What exactly is a travel wrap I hear you say? And no, before you ask it’s not a type of sandwich you can buy at the airport. A travel wrap is the must have accessory for any of you out there who need a little bit of help to keep cozy on the road.
A travel wrap is a blanket term (pun intended), for blankets, ponchos, scarves, pashminas and capes. Basically any material-based thing you can wrap around yourself in a stylish and warming fashion.
The beauty of the travel wrap is in their versatility. I have used mine as a comfy headrest on many a bus journey when I’ve misplaced my trusty travel pillow, as a blanket, as a bedsheet, as a picnic blanket and even as a shield from the midday sun.
The travel wrap also serves a myriad of other purposes. Protection from bitey insects during evening meals a cover-up when visiting a temple, mosque or monastery. They can also magically manage to transform a scruffy travel outfit into something a little more presentable should you find yourself needing to smarten up for that impromptu visit to a fancy restaurant.
The other joy of the travel wrap is that you can find them in almost every country. They are often made from beautiful fabrics, have intricate designs and sometimes their manufacture provides local producers with a much needed source of income. That’s what I call a win, win, win.
I of course never leave home without one, but then I do usually return home with a new one as well. I find they make a great souvenir both for me and as presents for my friends and family.
The A.B.S System
A.B.S doesn’t refer to my washboard stomach, sadly. No, A.B.S represent two of the coping strategies that have made me a more content traveler. A.B.S stands both for ‘always bring snacks’ and ‘always bring socks’.
Always brings snacks because, well…I get hangry!
Always bring socks because, well…my feet get cold!
There is nothing worse to me than having cold feet. It can be the difference between a comfortable bus or plane journey and a miserable one. Having cold feet can also ruin an al-fresco evening meal, sunset cocktails or the following late-night romantic stroll. The day may be sunny and warm but once the sun drops so does the temperature. My answer is to always carry a small pair of socks in my bag that I can slip on during a long journey or after-dark venture.
Laugh if you will at the sock and sandal image. Having toasty feet is much more improtant to me than being a fashionista.
You are probably now wondering ‘What about the snacks? How do they keep you cozy?’ Well, for me, having my favorite snacks on hand when traveling gives me comfort. Especially during a long and boring bus or plane ride where you may have no access to any real food.
Just being able to reach into my carry-on and bring out a bag of nuts and dried fruit or my favorite sweet and chewy caramels satifies my need for something familiar and makes me cozy from the inside out.
So there you have it. My top two tips for staying cozy and content while traveling. What are your tricks and go-tos? Everyone has some!
Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.