Sorbet friend and recent convert to hammam towels, Sarah, took some of our hammam towels across the world and back. Here’s her take on why hammam towels are the most practical holiday towel for travel with a baby…"Sure, we can take our 10 month-old baby to Australia for a wedding, no problem." Obviously, that’s how the calmer, relaxed more adventurous version of myself would have responded when my husband suggested a jaunt over to the other side of the world for a family wedding. In reality, I was terrified!
So when Sorbet suggested I take a couple of their Turkish hammam towels (or pestemal towels) to review on our travels, I jumped at the chance to pack anything that might make travelling with a baby just a little bit easier. And boy, did those hammam towels come in handy when travelling…
I instantly loved the range of beautiful colours, and simple striped design of Sorbet’s hammam towels. There’s no doubt, they look good, and who wouldn’t want to be seen lounging on the beach a-top of one of these stylish towels.
Being woven from 100% cotton fibres in the traditional Turkish style they’re also incredibly soft, which was another instant win for me. What I didn’t realise, however, was that these practical holiday towels were soon to become the absolute ‘must-not-leave-the-house-without’ travel essential.
Plane travel with a hammam towel
First-up, if you’re planning a long-haul flight (with or without a baby), you need to pack a hammam towel in your hand luggage. If you’re travelling with someone (like my husband) who likes to maintain his regular travel tradition of ‘let’s spill a drink on a plane’, they’re great for cleaning yourself up. Or even if you don’t plan to have a can of coke spilt all over you, they’re useful for freshening-up before you arrive at your destination.
The smaller towels in particular were ideal for this as they take-up next to no room in your hand luggage. However, if you are travelling with little ones, the larger hammam towels still roll up nice and compact, and are infinitely more useful. We used ours as a blanket when the plane air-conditioning was a bit too effective, a play mat for the bubba to crawl around on and as a sort of black out blind to cover the sky-cot when the little one needed to go to sleep (which was never when everyone else wanted to go to sleep). It made a long and exhausting trip that much more doable.
Beach trips with a hammam towel
The versatility of these hammam towels became more apparent as we arrived in Australia, defeated jet lag and started venturing out on daytrips. They quickly became a beach bag essential, as the towels are far more quick drying and absorbent than your traditional beach towel.
After a dip in the sea it didn’t take long for them to dry off in the sun, ready to use again. They also doubled-up as a cover-up, which is ideal for people like me who start to burn at even the slightest mention of sunshine. Because the hammam towel was such a pretty colour (I had Satsuma) and chic design, it didn’t feel like I was wondering around wearing a towel. Wrapped around your waist or chest, it looked and felt more like a sarong. It certainly saved going through that awkward getting-dressed-under-a-towel spectacle before walking back up the hill from the beach to our house.
Hammam towels out and about
But we didn’t just take our hammam towels to the beach. They were so light, and so useful we took them everywhere we went.
For meals out, there was no need to pack all that eating paraphernalia that comes hand-in-hand with having a small child (bibs, wipes etc). We just tied a small hammam towel around our son to act as a bib and to mop up any spills – much like you would with a muslin. And I may be slightly biased, but he looked pretty cute with Sorbet’s ‘blue skies’ small hammam towel tied around him like a napkin.
Picnics could be spontaneous since we already had a hammam towel rolled-up in our backpack to spread out as a picnic blanket. It gave us a nice soft surface to sit on wherever we were, and with a baby who suddenly developed an irrational fear of grass, this was particularly useful.
When bush trekking in the hot sun, we could protect the little one’s legs by tucking a small hammam towel into the edges of the baby carrier to cover any exposed skin. Similarly, naps in the pram could be taken in the shade by draping a hammam towel over the pram. Because they are made of breathable, finely woven cotton they kept the sun out without stopping the air from circulating and causing the pram to overheat.
Hammam towels for every day use
And it didn’t just stop there. We used them as tea towels, bath towels, table cloths and throws to jazz-up some of the more basic accommodation we stayed in… For something that took-up such a small amount of space in our luggage, our hammam towels provided a surprising amount of versatility and plenty of practical holiday solutions.
So whilst I may not look quite so glamorous as Jennifer Anniston or Demi Moore, slinking around on a beach in a stylish hammam towel, I will certainly be taking my Sorbet hammam towels on my future travels (with or without a baby!). They’re such practical holiday towels with all sorts of uses that make travelling across the world that bit more straightforward.