The Case for Making Travel BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket), and Why This Lightweight One Is My New Jet-Setting BFF


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Humble brag: I can pack a monthโ€™s worth of necessities in a carry-on, I never leave home without snacks, and I treat airport security like a competitive sport. I have my travel routine down, and I feel right at home when Iโ€™m on the move. And yet, Iโ€™ve never been able to sleepโ€”no, not even that momentary middle-seat head bobโ€”on a plane.

Growing up, I remember my mom boarding every flight with her favorite pillow and an easy-to-pack throw in hand. In other words, sheโ€™s always been team BYO blanket, unfazed by my adolescent eye rolls. I became a mother this year (so sleep is treasure like never before) and, as it goes with *all* things these days, I realize now that my mom was onto something.

Why her insistence on in-air sleep, you wonder? Turns out air travel has some pretty taxing physiological effectsโ€”beyond the stress of packing and schlepping and boarding on timeโ€”on your body. Lower air pressure at altitude means youโ€™re taking in less oxygen every time you inhale, and super-dry circulated air makes you more prone to dehydration, which can increase fatigue. Add in shifting time zones and low physical activity, and your body is practically begging for a nap.

After learning about these effectsโ€”and recently enduring a few especially restless flightsโ€”I finally acquiesced to my mom and decided to give the cozy carry-on a chance. I snagged one of Barefoot Dreamsโ€™ seriously soft knit blanketsย just in time for a weekend trip away, and let’s just say I’m officially here to make the case for traveling BYOB.

Barefoot Dreams 45″x60″ CozyChic Variegated Stripe Blanket โ€” $145.00

  • Lightweight and slightly stretchy, so itโ€™s ideal for on-the-go
  • Extremely soft
  • Warm but not too heavy, so it works for year-round lounging
  • Holds up in the washer and dryer
  • A nice size for curled-up snuggling, but a little small for sharing
  • High price point when itโ€™s not on sale

If you, like me, find your body fidgeting and fighting sleep despite the sometimes snooze-inducing effects of air travel, this blanket can help. And if youโ€™re the type to conk out the second you fasten your seatbelt (I envy you), you can make your airborne dreams even sweeter with this cozy throw.

Imagine floating on a cloud and giving yourself the biggest hugโ€”at the same time. After trying one out, I can attest that the hype surrounding Barefoot Dreams blankets is totally warranted. Wrapping yourself up in one is equal parts physical and emotional comfort, and the signature soft knit induces total relaxation, whether you hit REM or not.

Unlike the thin blanketsโ€”um, hand towels?โ€”the airlines offer, this knit throw is plush and big enough for all your inventive in-flight sleeping positions, but the slightly stretchy fabric is also easy to roll up and super light, so it doesnโ€™t add noticeable weight to your carry-on. And itโ€™s durable enough to withstand wash-and-dry cycles, so you donโ€™t have to worry about lingering plane germs. (Bonus: For a limited time, you can score it for way less.)

Iโ€™ve BYOBed on a few short flights nowโ€”and yes, jet-setting with a cozy blanket that makes you feel right at home is *totally* worth it. I have a transatlantic trip coming up, and I’m eager to put this newfound travel hack to the test for the long haul. But I’m confident (even with an infant in tow) that the middle seat’s got nothing on me. Go ahead, BYOB.


Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.



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