A lightweight Turkish towel can be a shawl, beach blanket, neck pillow, and cover-up all in one.
A few years ago, I received a pink Turkish towel for Christmas. While I immediately knew it was a lovely gift, I underestimated just how much use I would get out of it. Turkish towels are made of supersoft, lightweight Turkish cotton and usually have knotted fringe trim. And they're ultra-absorbant, making them perfect for the beach or pool. Ever since that Christmas, I never travel without my trusty Turkish towel—it's accompanied me on five vacations so far, and has been equally handy on the beaches of Italy and Australia as Cape Cod.
Why they're so amazing: Turkish towels are compact enough to squeeze into a tote bag or carry-on suitcase. During a flight, they make a perfect shawl if the plane's AC is too strong (and I'm always skeptical about how clean those airplane blankets are), or you can roll them up into a tight ball to create a DIY neck pillow. When I want to get some shut-eye, I drape mine over my head to block out light (and try to forget that I'm six inches away from a total stranger). At your destination, wear them as a scarf on chillier days, tie around your body as a cover-up (mine works well as either a long skirt or shorter dress), or use as a lightweight beach blanket. And because Turkish towels are so fast-drying, you don't need to worry about getting them wet or sandy—they'll air-dry within a few hours on a towel rack in your hotel room. Here, six soft, stylish Turkish towels to pack for your next getaway.
Turkish-T Recycle Beach Towel
This 68-inch Turkish towel from Turkish-T is available in three summery hues that will match everything in your closet. Bonus: It's made of recycled cotton, so you can feel even better about the purchase.
Cacala 100% Cotton Pestemal Turkish Towel
What's not to love? This 100% cotton, 70-inch Turkish towel is available in 20 different color options and rings in under $25.
Diamond Weave Pestemal Turkish Cotton Beach Towels
With an unexpected diamond weave pattern and large stripe accent, this 64-inch Turkish towel makes a bright, bold statement. In other words, we can guarantee your towel will never be confused for someone else's at the beach.
Kassatex Sonia Beach Towel
Add preppy flair to your travel wardrobe with this exclusive-to-Bloomingdale's 70-inch Turkish towel from Kassatex.
Cabana Stripe Turkish Cotton Beach Towel
Although the stylish striped print looks luxe, this towel is a steal at just $20. The reverse is made of moisture-wicking terry, perfect for toweling off after a swim.
Serena & Lily Fouta Beach Towels
This especially large Turkish towel (it's 70 inches long and 40 inches wide) also has a terry reverse, making it the perfect oversized beach blanket. In addition to the red, white, and blue pattern, it also comes in bark and aqua.