Towels: A Traveler’s Best Friend

by adriscoll /
adriscoll's picture
Feb 14, 2013 / 0 comments

As the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy states: “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” Towel day is fast approaching so I decided to reiterate how it's also true for those of us who are limited to our little planet.  Although limited packing space and the increasingly restricting airport weight regulations are encouraging people to reduce as much as possible, a towel is actually one of the best things to have with you. Towels are so useful because they can be used for just about anything in a desperate situation.


Here are a few of the things I’ve used towels for!


1)    Pillow

When you’re locked out of your hostel at three in the morning, and just need to make it to the morning, the towel magically becomes a pillow!

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:


2)    Curtain

Living in a building constantly under construction, with workers peeking in your windows, your towel magically transforms into a curtain!


Towel as curtain

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:


3)    Bag

When you’re squeezing everything that needs to be packed in your carry on and it doesn’t quite fit, you can place the extra stuff in the center of your towel and tie all the corners together for a neat little sack.


4)    Sitting on beach

Requires no explanation. Nobody wants to sit on the burning sand at midday. “…you can lie on [your towel] on …brilliant marble-sanded beaches...”


towels on a beach

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:


5)    Shade


6)    Burn reliever

If you fell asleep on the beach, and neglected to set up a towel as a little fort, merely soak your towel in cold water and apply it to the burnt area.


7) Blanket

Another lifesaver whether you’re sleeping on a train, plane, bus, or floor, when it’s cold and dark outside.


towel as blanket

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:


8)    Last minute costume

Because you always need one of those. Who knows when you’ll have to dress up like Superman!


towel as superman cape

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons:


9)    Wrap equipment with

When you’re out on a rickety mini-raft, bundle up your lenses to keep your camera equipment dry and clean.


10)    Towel

And last but not least, you can actually '...dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.'


And there are a million more uses. Keeping out smoke in a fire, sailing a mini raft down the slow heavy River Moth, wrap it around your head to ward off noxious fumes. The guide has explored all their possible uses, and concluded that “more importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost".” So next time you’re packing, don’t leave out that towel!





Anne Driscoll is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.