Lifestyle / Travel

How to Pack Hats for Travel

how to pack hats for travel

As someone who cannot go on a vacation without bringing a chic hat along (I once created my own custom hat at Kemo Sabe), I understand the struggle of packing them for travel. However, after many years of traveling, I can confidently confirm that you don’t need to sacrifice sun protection or a cute outfit because you have to leave your hats at home.

Whether you’re trying to squeeze a raffia hat, fedora, Panama hat, or a baseball cap into your suitcase, this post will walk you through exactly how to pack your favorite accessories for travel. If you simply throw your hats into your suitcase, they can be easily crushed and wrinkled by the time you get to your final destination.

Whether you opt for a wide-brimmed floppy hat or a trendy bucket hat, these tips and tricks will help you ensure that your hats stay in tiptop shape throughout your journey.

How to Pack Hats for Travel

As a hat lover, I understand the pain of traveling with a beautiful hat and watching it get crushed and distorted in your luggage. That’s why I’m sharing my top packing tips to help keep your hats in perfect shape while traveling. Here are my tips:

Stuff it

Your hat doesn’t need to take up a ton of room in your suitcase, especially if it’s more on the firm side. You can fill the crown with socks, underwear, bathing suits, and even rolled up tank tops or bodysuits to save room and pack your hat for hands-free travel. Plus, by stuffing your hat with clothing, you’re protecting the crown from bending out of shape. 

Pro tip: When using this method, be sure to avoid overstuffing your suitcase. Instead, ensure your hat is packed in a way that it will not get crushed — more on this below!

Pack it First

After filling the crown of my hat with smaller clothes, I place it face up in the center of my suitcase. This even works if your suitcase has bars running through the bottom. To provide extra protection, I suggest placing some clothing items such as pajamas underneath the hat for added cushioning.

How to Pack Hats for Travel

Fold or Roll Them Up

Not that you need to go shopping, but an oversized straw hat paired with a swimsuit and cover-up makes for the perfect vacation look. You can fold them or roll them up, and since you will be busting that suitcase open as soon as you arrive to your destination, a few hours won’t cause it to crease or lose its shape. If for some reason you find a crease in your hat, put it in the bathroom during a hot shower to steam out those folds. 

Wear it

Nothing is stopping you from rocking a hat with your airport outfit. It is even a great idea to wear your bulkier items, like the lightweight coat you have to bring just in case you get chilly. If you have items that take up more room than you would like in your suitcase, just wear them!

Attach it to Your Carry On

If you have no other option for packing your hat in your suitcase, there are some pretty cute alternatives. For example, this magnetic hat clip has a smart design that allows you to attach your hat securely to your luggage. You don’t just have to use it for your hats or even for traveling — these can be attached to a beach bag and hold scarves and light jackets too.

Another option is the Paris Hat Holder. This harness-style accessory is inspired by the timeless sophistication of Parisian fashion. Made from leather, this hat holder can accommodate one or more hats with brims up to 10cm. It was designed in France and comes with a 100% cotton storage pouch for safekeeping. You can check out a ton more of their styles here.

how to pack hats for travel

5 Best Hat Travel Cases

There are numerous travel hat boxes available, but these can all be carried on the plane and they will fit well in the overhead compartment.

Packing tips for hats
Steamline Luggage Hatbox

A vintage-style hatbox made with navy and gold touches will serve as a charming way to transport your belongings.

This elegant hatbox includes an elasticized pocket for small items. You can carry the hatbox by your side using the detachable shoulder strap or you can attach it to the retractable handle of a wheeled suitcase. When not in use for travel, it can be used as a stylish storage and decor item in your home.

Other Streamline collections to check out are The Entrepreneur, The Sweetheart, and The Sarah Flint.

Steamline Luggage Hatbox
Poppy Travel Hat Box

If you want to own a luxurious hat box, consider purchasing one made of 100% Italian leather. The custom brass hardware accents are gold-plated and the interior features a pretty garden print. This hat box is handmade in Italy by a family-owned factory of luxury handbag artisans. 

It measures 47 x 43 x 19 cm and comes with a detachable crossbody strap, accessory pockets, and a laptop safety strap. This hat box can hold up to four hats and can easily fit in an overhead compartment or under the seat.

Poppy Travel Hat Box
Gigi Pip Leather Hat Carrying Tote

If you’re looking for a hat case that’s both stylish and practical, this hat carrying tote is ideal for you. The “U” strap design securely cradles the crown of your hat while the side straps keep the brim in place.

With dimensions of 36 cm in length (excluding straps), 50 cm in width, and 57 cm in height (including straps), it’s the perfect size for most hats. Inside, you’ll find two pockets — one with a zipper closure and one open pocket.

Gigi Pip Leather Hat Carrying Tote
Travel Fedora Case

There’s nothing I love more than a good Amazon find — and this fedora travel case is one of my best finds yet! In addition to housing fedoras, the case is also suitable for Panama, boater, and straw hats. As always, be sure to measure your hat before purchasing. The dimensions are 6.9″ x 15″ x 6.5.”

Travel Fedora Case
Calpak Trnk Collection

This durable box is made from the same material as Calpak’s hard-sided luggage, making it a reliable addition to your travel collection. You can carry it using the cushioned top handle or the removable and adjustable faux leather shoulder strap. 

The hard-shell is both water-resistant and lightweight, and it can easily fit under your seat during flights. The main compartment has interior pockets to keep your items organized, and the box has a zip-around closure. Another perk? It’s available in three sizes:

  • The small weighs 3.7 lbs and the dimensions are 13.3” x 14” x 7”
  • The medium weighs 5.5 lbs and the dimensions are 16” x 17” x 7.9”
  • The large weighs 6.7 lbs and the dimensions are 19” x 20” x 8.5”
Calpak Trnk Collection
No matter the destination, you can bring your hat along with confidence!

Now that you know my top packing tips for traveling with a hat, it’s time to grab your favorite headwear and hit the road. Remember, packing your hat correctly can save you from a whole world of headaches and bad hair days. 

Whether you’re off on a beach vacation, a weekend with your girlfriends, or a countryside getaway, traveling with a hat is a breeze when you know how to pack it right. So, before you head out, be sure to follow this guide and make your life a whole lot easier. And, if all else fails, don’t forget, there’s always the option to wear your hat on the plane.

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