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How to Care for a Hat While on Vacation

Couple On Vacation Riding Bikes

Hats are an essential part of vacation packing for the adventurous and on-the-go traveler. But spending its time protecting you from harsh elements, being stuffed into bags and packs, and having to serve a lot of different uses all take their toll on your hat. 

How can you protect and better enjoy your protective headgear while enjoying your time off? Here are a few travel tips for any hat. 

1. Get the Right Hat

To begin with, choose the right hat for your particular vacation plans. Packing the wrong hat will be frustrating and may even be damaging to the hat or your own health. 

Think about where you're going and what your activities will be. Will you be spending a lot of time in the sun? A brimmed Panama hat with ventilation in the crown can keep you cool and shaded. Are you planning to hike through the rain forest or up the side of a mountain? Opt for a sturdy fabric hat rather than straw. Are you going out in the evenings for dinner or drinks? Choose a slightly more versatile style, such as a fedora or cowboy hat.

2. Add Waterproofing

You may be able to add additional protection against rain and debris. For example, you may be able to use a commercially available waterproofing spray. Be sure the hat is thoroughly clean and dry before spraying, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Alternatively, some people like to pre-wash their hats in alum powder for a waterproof coating. Don't attempt any waterproofing measures without checking with your hat manufacturer or specialty seller. 

3. Keep the Hat Clean

Keeping the hat clean not only helps it look more presentable as your trip wears on, but it also protects the hat. Check with the hat manufacturer to determine the best way to clean up a hat while on the road, and pack a few products to help out.

Start by dusting off the hat daily with a clean rag. Straw and canvas hats can generally be washed with warm soapy water, which is easy to do in hotel sinks after a long day. Fabrics, ribbons, or bands may benefit from a handwashing with warm water and a travel pack of detergent. Does the hat have fur on it? Pack a little baby powder for spot cleaning. 

4. Pack Your Hat Thoughtfully

Packing a hat properly into your bags serves two purposes. First, it protects the hat itself from becoming crushed or misshapen. Secondly, it reduces the space your hat will take up. If you're traveling light, this is a big concern. 

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to pack a hat is to fill the crown with soft and small clothing - such as socks, undergarments, or bathing suit parts. Then, place the filled hat right-side up on the bottom of your suitcase and pack soft clothing carefully around it. 

5. Don't Leave Your Hat Behind

The worst way to damage your hat is to leave it behind while out on vacation. Hats are easily lost when on tours, hanging out on the beach, or getting on and off buses, trains, and cars.

Avoid this problem by using something that keeps the hat attached to your person. A simple string around your neck allows you to remove the hat when necessary and not set it down. You can also use hat clips to make an easy storage spot for the hat on the outside of your backpack or purse. 

At Paris Hatters, we have a wide variety of hat styles and materials so that you can find the perfect headwear for any vacation. Our hat experts can also offer you advice on how to protect and use your hat to make the most of your time away. Browse our inventory today to learn more. 

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