You actually have no idea how often you will use your sarong. I didn’t.
When I was told to bring a sarong travelling, the first thing I thought of was a 90’s-esque wrap seen on the likes of The Spice Girls and David Beckham. NOT a good look after 1997. And I would never advise wearing one as a fashion statement. But when you’re limited on space, a sarong is your very best friend. Here’s why…
- First of all, you will only be bringing one towel with you, usually one of the nifty little space-saving microfibre towels that pack up real small. So your sarong will act as your beach towel. It’s also handy as a hair towel for after your shower. But if you’re in a hot climate it really isn’t needed.
- It’s also pretty handy if you’re in Southeast Asia as a lot of the temples require you to cover your shoulders as a sign of respect.
- With the intense overland travel you will do, the all-purpose sarong also serves as a lightweight blanket. I would carry mine with me on every flight, train and bus, especially with the crazy amount of aircon they pump into those overnight buses.
- And if it is unexpectedly cold, like my trip to Halong Bay in Vietnam, your sarong will also be a scarf to wrap up in. (Not my most fashionable outfit but it was bloody freezing, ok).
- And if after a day of sugary treats at a theme park you’re completely hyperactive, it can even be a turban… haha. Ok, I’m not advocating this one.
But you get what I’m saying here, it’s a ridiculously versatile item that NEEDS to be in your backpack. Or actually, tied to your cabin baggage. You’re going to be cold in that plane.
So what kind? And where can you get one?
Well, you might notice from my photos, I started out bringing a large gold jacquard scarf I bought in a market. Not necessarily what you would call a sarong, but it does the same job. Although it was heavier and thicker than your standard sarong so I ended up swapping mine for a bright orange tie-dye number I picked up in Thailand. When in Rome and all. But I used that one for the rest of my travels and it was perfect.
So as I’ve mentioned, this can actually be a large lightweight scarf – like the one my friend has in the photos. That one is actually from H&M for £7.99. You can’t really go wrong can you? Other places to try would be Primark and New Look where they tend to have something like this in their offering in high summer. And cheap!
But if you’re making Asia your first stop, you can get one there like I did. Remember the old ‘Make. Some. Room’ philosophy…
Ok, so the moral of this story? Bring a sarong. Seriously.