A lightweight Turkish towel can be a shawl, beach blanket, neck pillow, and cover-up all in one.

By Kathleen Mulpeter
June 09, 2017

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.

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