The Most Underrated Travel Essential


Generally when people give advice about travel essentials, it revolves around things like noise canceling headphones, portable chargers, international adapters, etc. Well, I suppose you don’t realize just how important something is to you on a trip until you forget it at home. I’m dealing with that on my current trip.

I forgot to pack a hoodie or sweatshirt

I’m currently on a review trip, which is taking me to Peru, New Zealand, and more. As usual, I only packed for my trip shortly before leaving home — I hate packing any earlier than that, since Winston senses I’m leaving once my suitcase comes out, and I don’t want him to feel stressed. I try to pull off more of a disappearing act.

My last minute packing is almost never an issue, as I’m hardly a fashionista (Ford, as the more fashion forward person in the relationship, has a different take). It’s really just a function of throwing some underwear and socks in my bag, and deciding which of my athleisure clothes I’m going to take. I could basically pack in my sleep… or so I thought.

I guess I’m a bit rusty with these kinds of trips, because within minutes of arriving at Miami Airport, I realized I didn’t have a hoodie, a sweatshirt, or any sort of long-sleeve top.

Picture from 2019, but my packing situation in a nutshell

Why a hoodie is important for travel

Of course the obvious answer is “it’s good to have warm clothes if you’re going somewhere cold.” I am briefly going to New Zealand, where it’s the tail end of winter, and a bit colder than what I’m used to in Miami.

But when traveling, the use of a hoodie goes so far beyond just being needed in cold climates, at least for me:

  • Airport terminals are often kept ridiculously cold, especially Miami Airport; in summer I feel like it’s a 25+ degree temperature drop when you step inside, and it’s consistently the airport where I feel the coldest
  • Airplanes are often cold as well, and on top of that when you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to feel cold
  • If you’re flying, a hoodie that you can just bunch up makes a great pillow; this is useful if you’re on a flight where pillows aren’t offered, but it’s even useful for extra support if you have a pillow
  • If I’m trying to rest in a non-flat bed airplane seat, I find that having the “hood” up is ideal for sleeping; you can rest your head against the headrest “widget” with your hoodie, and it’s about as comfortable as you’ll get

I can’t count the number of times over the past few days that I’ve thought to myself how nice it would be to have a hoodie. Unfortunately I haven’t really been in an area with any shopping, and I’m even looking in airport terminals for them. Short of a $500+ duty free sweater at a designer shop at LAX, I haven’t come across anything.

I find that while on planes or at airports, I typically spend well over half of my time wearing a hoodie, as it’s always how I’m coziest.

Bottom line

I probably feel more strongly about this than others, but a hoodie, more than anything else, is what I try not to travel without. It doesn’t matter where I’m going, it always comes in handy. If I could only travel with a hoodie or headphones, I’d choose the former.

Am I the only one who is almost always on #TeamHoodie when traveling?


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