Packing Pro Tip: Electric Blanket

When you travel, you have your adapter set to handle any little appliances you take along like an electric toothbrush, a hair dryer, an electric shaver, and the like. When you travel a lot as I do, little conveniences start to mean a lot and you get tired of roughing it and making do. You get small size everything and put it all in one zippered bag next to the voltage converter. There are universal plugs in the standard traveler’s kit that suit most foreign lands, unless maybe you go to the North Pole. I don’t like to forget this essential grouping because I have something else that I tote along with my baggage: a good electric blanket. Believe it or not I call it an essential item.

Let me tell you that this winter cover has been a godsend. I am here to give you a packing pro tip. Take one along unless you want to freeze to death in the winter. Many budget hotels do not provide adequate heating by many people’s standards, and they turn it off at night! There aren’t a lot of people there anyway. They come in a twin size that fits in most overnight bags or small suitcases. You can put it at the bottom as a kind of liner for your clothes and it hardly adds any weight. You will never regret it. I remember one horribly cold night in Madrid in January….

A regular blanket just doesn’t cut it if the temperature dips considerably. Don’t count on even the best hotel to provide a thick one. Most people don’t travel off season for good reason. They don’t want to encounter thin bedding at even a decent hotel. What is also nice about having one near at hand in your luggage is that if, by chance, you are privy to another one in the room, you won’t be able to read the directions and use it. Take my word for it. You should also bring your own pillow for neck pain if you have troubles with sleeping on rough beds. You never want to ruin the next day from a bad night’s sleep.

I could give you other packing tips like covering shoes to prevent dirty soles from soiling underwear and making sure your umbrella is shut tight. I could remind you to place shoes in the corners of a suitcase and to place soft folded clothes at the bottom, odds shapes on top. I might also mention to take plastic bags to store used things that need washing and to protect toiletries from leakage. But I will leave it this time to the electric blanket as the main topic at hand.

I know you think it is ridiculous to want to be toasty warm while you are on the go. You can’t use it on a plane or train, even at night. They don’t come with batteries as far as I know. But there are times when an electric blanket will save your life. Did I say I was in Madrid in January with ice on the windows, and in the room! The more experienced travelers know of what I speak. Novices will think big, bulky suitcase fillers and balk at the thought, but once you travel in the winter, you will never want to go without.