The 10 Best Travel Blankets
Creature Comforts While On The Road
The more you plan ahead prior to a trip, the more enjoyment you will get from a vacation and the less stress and disruption you will incur from a required business trip. Proper travel planning involves carefully selecting the various outfits and accessories you might need and then carefully packing them in a logical, easy-to-access manner. It also involves double checking schedules and itineraries, and studying the locations you'll be visiting.
Creating a low-stress, enjoyable trip means working to make the actual travel portion of your excursion as pleasant as possible. For visits to far away destinations, for travel that involves multiple legs, or for a shorter trip where the travel process will consume much of the overall time you spend away from home, it's especially important to make sure that your travel experience is a good one.
Take the pressure off yourself (and your traveling companions) by always leaving a surplus of time built into your schedule. It's better to spend time waiting at the gate than it is frantically running through the airport hoping your flight has not yet departed. And make sure to take care of your creature comforts while on the move. Bring a book or load a podcast or two onto your phone for those areas without WiFi or cellular service. Bring a snack or two for that layover, and dress wisely for the journey. While it's always a good idea to look presentable during travel, make sure to choose supportive shoes and wear clothing in which you can be comfortable for hours on end; any unforeseen delays may preclude your getting changed anytime soon.
And whether those unforeseen delays indeed occur, or if you're simply the savvy, prepared traveler, you'll always be happy to have brought along a good travel blanket.
Using A Blanket To Help You Travel In Comfort
First and foremost, a great travel blanket will help you rest while on the move. From mitigating the chill of the cabin of a plane or train to giving you a bit of extra privacy and a sense of security while you sleep, a travel blanket's first and most important function is to keep you covered comfortably. There are many soft, plush travel blankets that offer ample coverage, plenty of warmth, and that can easily be laundered once your journey is at an end; all of those are important factors to be considered when thinking about the right travel blanket.
As many travel blankets are made from polyester fleece or microfiber and offer much the same soft, warm feel as one another, when choosing a travel blanket, you should consider factors beyond the material of the blanket itself. Some come with built in straps that can be used to keep the blanket rolled up and even strapped to the handles of your wheeled luggage, which is quite a convenient feature when you're trundling through the airport, train station, or city street. Many other travel blankets come with handy storage bags that help keep them compressed and out of the way, not to mention clean, when they're not in use.
Still others have attached pillows or a slip-over, poncho style design for the ultimate comfort while you're on the move. Also consider choosing a blanket that can easily be rolled into a pillow, or that can form a tube you wrap around your neck and shoulders to help support your head. Keep in mind, though, that all of the aforementioned considerations are less viable for some kinds of travel, such as backpacking, cycling, trekking, or travel via canoe or kayak.
Traveling In Comfort While Traveling Light
If you're trying to travel light, whether for a backpacking trip across Asia or a hiking trip down the Appalachian trail, the size and weight of your travel blanket matter more than its soft, plush feel. When you're carrying all your gear on your back, slung over your bicycle in pannier bags, or stuffed in a hiking backpack, every once counts. You will have to trade in that thick, luxurious travel blanket for an option that's more compact, more versatile, and more durable.
Fortunately, there are many travel blankets available that are great for this more rugged type of journey. Some variations are so small that they can be folded up and tucked in a pocket, yet can still be laid out to create a spot for sitting or wrapped around you to cut the wind chill and retain a bit of body heat. Other travel blankets are reversible, with one side designed to keep you warm and the other side perfect for repelling water.
When you will be ranging far afield, such as completing an overland hiking and camping trip, you should make sure your travel blanket will always be an asset. A few things to consider are weight, how quickly the blanket will dry out if soaked, and what other potential uses could be. A water-repellent travel blanket that can double as a rain slicker or tarp for a tent is a great idea, for example, while a blanket with a built in pillow might seem warm and welcoming, but will actually just take up precious space in your pack.