Always travel with a hat.

I’m serious. Always travel with a hat. A decent hat is a traveller’s best friend, in my opinion. And bizarrely enough, I think I’m now qualified to actually say that. There are several very good reasons to carry a hat with you when you travel. You may need to take it off on occasion to pass through security, but that’s a minor inconvenience compared to all the many uses a hat can have!

So, here are a few of my favourite reasons to wear a hat of some description while I’m travelling. Maybe a couple of these tips and tricks could prove useful to you. Depending on your style, of course…

  • Airport security is just a bloody pain. Everyone knows that. Especially if you’re like me and you’re always wearing jewellery, a belt, and have various things in your pockets, like a phone and an iPod. It’s a lot more leisurely when you can take things off while standing in the queue and just put them in your hat. Then you can just put your whole hat, complete with contents, through the scanner. Airport security are perfectly fine with people doing this.
  • Pick the right hat for your destination. A brim can help shield your eyes from bright sun, or from light rain. In colder climates, you may find that your head is one of the parts of your body most sensitive to temperature changes. Wearing a hat can help you feel a little warmer, then, as well as insulating your skin against heat loss the same way the rest of your clothes do.
  • Made famous by mid 20th century cartoons, keeping something small (like a pair of headphones) under your hat can actually work if you’re running out of pocket space. With a little careful modification to the lining or the seams, you could have a convenient place to stash a train ticket, or perhaps even some emergency currency. Because seriously, who steals a hat?
  • Jetlag sucks, and naps are often necessary. But fluorescent lights are awful and garish, and snoozing in the middle of the day isn’t always easy. Have a hat? Drop it down over your face and get some much needed darkness, as well as giving a pretty clear ‘do not disturb’ sign to anyone else nearby.* Just make sure you know where your luggage is.
  • Hats just look cool. Fact. Especially trilbys and fedoras.
  • If you have something you need to remember like a flight number, a train time, a booking reference, a phone number or suchlike, just write it on a sticky label, and stick it to the inside of your hat. It saves digging through your pockets for a crumpled scrap of paper.

I’m sure there are other cunning tricks I’ve forgotten, but these are amongst my favourites. I hope perhaps they might prove useful to someone reading this sometime.

*Note: using a panama, while sitting in the back of a minibus on a bumpy African road, this didn’t work so well…

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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5 Responses to Always travel with a hat.

  1. Anonymous says:

    s/helemt/helmet/ # ;-|

  2. invaderxan says:

    Absolutely! Anyone who’s managed to bring a hat with them must have some idea what they’re doing.
    And yes, the heat loss via the head is a technicality, really. It’s obviously not 45% like they used to say… But then, infrared images of people always show their head as the brightest part purely because the rest of them is covered with clothes. It’s more about insulation, I suppose. I’ve altered my wording accordingly… Thanks.

  3. invaderxan says:


  4. 6_bleen_7 says:

    So the hat is the Terra-specific version of the towel?
    I have one small nit to pick: the idea that a large fraction of body head is lost via one’s head is actually a myth. From personal experience I would have thought otherwise. I don’t wear a hat if I can help it because whenever my head is covered my scalp sweats rivers. Because of this I hate wearing a helmet when I’m bicycling (but still do anyway, on account of the huge numbers of crazies driving three-ton death vehicles). I’d wear a pith helmet if I were spending a lot of time in the desert, though.

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