How to Pack a Hat in Your Suitcase for Travel

Welcome to the 529th Metamorphosis Monday!

Back in 2015 when I first started traveling, my very first trip was for a safari in Kenya. In reading about what one should pack for a safari, a hat was always right at the top of the list of recommendations, particularly a Tilley hat.

I found one on Amazon that I really liked. The ribbon around the crown of the hat made it feel more feminine than the other safari-style hats I had seen.


I especially loved how the ribbon could be changed out for a different color when wished. It seemed the perfect hat for a safari! (This hat is still available here: Hat.)

I was so proud of my new hat, I didn’t pack it inside my suitcase for fear it would get crushed, that was definitely a newbie mistake. Unfortunately, my brand new hat never made it to Africa. I left it in the overhead bin on an Air France flight after a nice gentleman offered to get my carry-on suitcase down for me. He apparently didn’t see the hat and I forgot it was up there until just before boarding my connecting flight to Kenya.

After losing my brand new hat before I’d ever even had a chance to wear it, I decided the next time I traveled with a hat, it was going inside my suitcase. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again!


Over the years I’ve added a few more hats to my little hat wardrobe.

Straw Hats for Sun Protection, Hat Rack


I found a vintage hat rack on Etsy that was just right for storing and displaying them.


I hung it (and the hats) here in the office above my bucket-list travel map. I purposely hung it down low enough that the hats would just slightly overlap onto the map. Travel and hats just seem to go together in my brain. (Travel map can be found here: Travel Map.)


My favorite hat of all the ones I’ve purchased for travel has been this one. I initially purchased it with a cream bow thinking it would go with any outfit, casual or dressy.


I also really like that it’s made right here in the good ole USA.


Later I purchased it again, but with a navy bow.

Plaid Dress, Sun Hat with Navy Bow, Jack Rogers Sandals, Wicker Handbag


If you saw my post on Saturday, you know they’ve just released it with a pink bow! Gasp! I’m hooked on the color pink right now, so I had to order it with the pink ribbon/bow before they were all gone. I have no doubt they will go quickly. (It’s available in four colors (Black, Cream, Navy and Pink) here: Hat with Bow.)

Sun Hat with Pink Bow


How I Pack a Hat When Traveling

Ever since losing my Tilley hat on that fateful Air France flight, my hat goes INSIDE my suitcase when I travel. Hand-carrying it was never a good idea, we have enough to keep up with when traveling without having to worry about a hat!

Though this hat is super durable and can take a good squishing and bounce back, I’ve found a really good way to pack it that ensures it will make the trip without any damage and can be worn right away upon arrival.

I start by stuffing the crown with socks or underwear. Normally I use underwear since my socks are usually tucked down inside the shoes/boots/sandals I’m taking along to ensure they keep their shape, but for today’s demonstration I’m sparing you underwear views and we’re going with socks. 😉

How to Pack a Hat When Traveling


Once I have the crown of the hat filled up with underwear or socks (a scarf would work, too…really anything works) I turn the hat right side up and place it in the center of my suitcase.

This is the large suitcase I use on my trips, the one that always gets checked. It has a couple of bars running through the bottom, as many suitcases do. If you would like to further protect your hat, you could place your PJs or some other article of clothing in first for a bit of cushioning underneath, then place your hat on top.

How to Pack Hat in Suitcase When Traveling


Once I have my hat in the center of my suitcase, I pack my clothes around it. For this demonstration, I’m using sweaters since that was faster than folding up and packing a bunch of summer shirts/slacks.

So in the end when your suitcase is all filled, your hat takes up virtually no space since you have clothing inside the crown and more clothes all around. You can pack clothes right on top since the crown is filled out and won’t crush down under the clothes.

How to Pack Hat in Suitcase for Vacation Travel or Trip


This hat is so travel-friendly, you could probably just lay it on top of all your clothes once you’ve finished packing, and I think it would still bounce right back to life upon arrival at your destination. But since this method works so well and doesn’t take up any space, it’s my preferred method for taking along a hat whenever I travel.

Hope you find this helpful for your next trip to a sunny destination! Almost time for a beach trip!


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  1. Thank you Susan, and you are such a professional packer! Great tips…

  2. Susan….you surely have the cutest hats and outfits too!!! Thanks for hosting!!! Have a magnificent Monday!

  3. Wanda Bradey says

    Susan, I have the one with the blue ribbon. I took it on the trip to Israel last year. Loved it. You make great suggestions. May I please ask about the travel map you have on the wall? I know you mentioned it in a previous post but I really want to order one. Thanks for the info. Wanda

    • Thanks, Wanda! It is an awesome hat! Funny story: when I was in Morocco, I wore it every single day without fail. It was super sunny there! One day I was wearing it while we were touring all around Marrakesh. It began to get dark and I had not taken it off. Our guide turned, looked at me as we were walking back to our hotel and commented that I really liked my hat or something like that. I had forgotten I had it on, it’s so comfortable. It’s gone with me on so many trips, I find it somewhat comforting to wear…like having an old friend with me when I travel.

      Regarding the bucket list map, it can be purchased here: .

      When you travel, upon your return you scratch off the gray coating to reveal the place you just traveled underneath. I can hardly wait to get back after each trip to see what’s hiding underneath for the place I’ve been. 🙂

      Here’s what was hiding under the section for Kenya. So fitting since I had just visited Giraffe Manor.:)

      I should do an updated post sometime to show what’s underneath all the countries I’ve visited. It’s one of my favorite things to do after each trip, scratch off to see what’s underneath. It’s also a lot of fun watching the map come to life in color.

      I need to visit Russia, Brazil or Canada…that would make a big impact on the map. lol I actually have been eyeing a trip to Canada that Tauck is offering…so there’s my chance to scratch it off. 🙂

  4. Simple Decorating Tips says

    Seriously, so smart! I just got done packing my hat on a trip to Florida and opted for the foldable sun hat because I was concerned with the other getting crushed. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Good tips on packing a hat! One of the stores I managed on St. Thomas sold hats and here’s a tip that may work if yours get smooshed in travel. For a straw hat, mist it with water in a spray bottle but don’t saturate it. Toss it in the dryer on low heat until dry. Might not work all the time but may bring it back to life and it’s worth trying.

  6. Denise at Forest Manor says

    Hi Susan, I LOVE your hats and your hat rack!! I’ve bought a few hats during my travels over the past few years; they’re a lot of fun to collect and wear. 🙂

    Thank you for hosting Met Monday and have a terrific week!



  7. Susan, I so want a hat like this for travel. My only concern is how well it stays on in windy conditions. I don’t think you have addressed this?

    • This particular hat has a way to adjust the size so you can make it fit snug on your head or as loose as you like. It’s hard to describe it, but there’s a ribbon that runs inside the fabric lining inside the bottom edge of the crown. So when you first get it, you just tighten that up and tie the ribbon into a bow and try it on. If it still feels loose, you can tighten it up some more. It’s a very basic way to adjust the sizing but it works…and it stays tied once you tie it. You rarely have to adjust that once you find your fit and tie it.
      The only time I’ve had my hat blow off was while riding a camel on the Giza Plateau around the pyramids and that was because I had it on too loose. Our guide retrieved it for me so I didn’t have to dismount. It never blew off when I was riding a camel in the Sahara Desert in Morroco. The Tilley hat has a strap that you wear under your chin, but I don’t like that look. I just recommend adjusting the tightness if you are going to be in really windy conditions. Or riding a tall camel. 😉

  8. Dear Susan,
    One of these days you will find your perfect hat. It will be a Panama Hat. Unlike your straw hat Panama hats weigh ounces. You will never wear anything else.

    • Those always look so masculine to me. Gina, do you have the link to a Panama hat that has a feminine look? I don’t find this one to be heavy.

  9. This is brilliant idea for packing! Do you have any tips for packing for a car trip? I’m horrible at it. I end up with multiple bags. I have a train case for makeup and toiletries. My hair items won’t fit in it so I need another bag. I have a bag for clothes, one for medicines and items I need easy access to, etc. It is easier to forget something when there are so many bags. I’d never manage packing for a plane trip.

  10. Thanks so much for hosting each week!!

  11. I sure am missing seeing the first name of the person who is leaving a comment. It is hard to know if you are responding or if it is someone else. Would it be possible for just the first initial or first name of the person to appear? Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

    • Hi Barbara, Unfortunately, I can’t control it. Genesis issued an update a few days ago and it broke the comment section of the blog. I emailed them last week when it happened and I finally heard back from them today. Here’s what they said:
      “Hi Susan,
      Our developers are aware of the comments not displaying correctly and are looking into the issue, thank you!”

      I replied back asking if they could give me an approximate estimate on when it would be fixed and she said:

      “Hi Susan,
      Thank you for your reply.
      I do not have a timeline to share on when this will be updated but you may see an update in the next few weeks.
      I am sorry, I can not provide an exact timeline for you.
      Thank you for your patience and have a wonderful week!”

      Barbara, I’m going to see if it will let me change the name of the person manually in the dashboard. I can see the name of the person in the dashboard of the blog, it just doesn’t display correctly on the front end.

      You can see where others are having the same issue here:

    • Well, that didn’t work…there’s nothing I can do to make it read the name correctly. It’s something screwed up in the coding that happeneding during the Genesis update of the theme. 🙁 So not happy about this, but what do you do.

    • I think I’ll write a post about this and ask those leaving comments to sign their comment with their name until the developers of this theme fix the issue.

    • Hi Barbara, Some good news: I just got an email from the developers of the theme I use and they plan on issuing an update in the next few days that should fix the issue with the comments. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works!

  12. Susan,
    I thought it’s Firefox that drives me crazy, as I thought I am the only one who cannot see the names of the users who leave a comment or your name when you reply! 🙁 Love all your hats, especially both the crochet ones?! 🙂

  13. Your packing a hat post turned into more needed information such has keeping the hat on in wind! And, more about bucket list map please…that is interesting as well. (I read comments and replies!)

  14. Merlin Parde says

    CUTE HAT!!! franki

  15. Cyndi Raines says

    Love your hats Susan. I have a small collection as well and enjoy wearing them also. I know what you mean about the excitement of scratching off the most recent adventure, I am the same way with the map of the U. S. Only it is just has different colors for the states underneath, but still fun to do. Looking forward to scratching off a few more states this summer! I need to get a fram for mine. Cyndi Raines.

  16. Cyndi Raines says

    Should be frame. Ha

  17. ZoeAnn Yussman says

    After seeing your post about the hat with pink bow… I immediately ordered one..It arrived today and I LOVE IT! Thank you for the recommendation.

    • That’s awesome, so glad you love it! You got yours faster than I got mine, mine still hasn’t arrived yet. I need to check the tracking and see when it’s due. So glad you love it ZoeAnn! Can’t wait to get mine! 🙂

    • Tracking shows mine should arrive today. Yay! 🙂

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