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Must Have Travel Accessory

Kantha Travel Shawl: A must have travel accessoryIn my post about Hiking the Narrows with Kids, I listed important items to take with you on the hike. One of the things I mentioned was a sarong and how it just might come in handy when someone needs to use the restroom on the river where there is no privacy to be found!  Following that post, a fellow traveler and blog reader reached out to introduce me to her line of beautiful silk travel wraps made in India. We quickly bonded over our shared history of India and the fact that she couldn’t get the hilarious image of me using my sarong as a bathroom door out of her head! Anyway, I agreed to check out her travel wrap and even take it with me on my next trip, which was to Fiji.

I know what you are thinking. Why would I need a wrap/shawl on a beach holiday. Well I thought the same. I wasn’t sure how much it was going to come in handy while on a beach, but with some trepidation I left my trusty sarong at home and packed my shiny new silk wrap instead.

Kantha Travel Wrap used as a blanket - a must have travel accessory!If you were to guess, what would you say was my most used travel item on my trip to Fiji. Are you thinking swimsuit? Snorkel mask? Underwater camera? If so, you are wrong. I wouldn’t have guessed it myself, but we happened to be in Fiji during the “turn of the season” as the locals refer to it, which brings with it 8 straight days of cool wind and rain. So yep, you got it, the travel wrap ended up being the most used travel item on my beach holiday!! I had plenty of opportunities to test it out since I packed no cool weather clothes and I have to say that I LOVE it!

The Kantha Travel Wrap

Must Have Travel Accessory - The Kantha Travel WrapThe first thing to know about these wraps are that they are made in India using recycled materials. In other words, they are upcycled, which is all the rage these days in trendy US circles. With no aim to cater to this trendy market, upcycling is actually a traditional and often necessary way of life in India. Old clothes and materials are used to create something new and even more beautiful. It is not just these shawls that the Indian method of recycling can be seen. Upcycling can be seen throughout India and in particular with popular tourist items such as hand embroidered wall hangings and purses.

multi_bag_swatch_2_largeThese shawls are not amazing just because they are made using recycled materials, but because they also are created using a traditional method of embroidery known as “kantha”. Kantha is originally from the Bengal region of India and refers to the process of joining two scraps of cloth by embroidering over them in long running stitches. The usage of two (or more) scraps results in a thicker material that is then also reversible. The end result are these exquisite wraps. The fabrics used are hand dyed or printed silk fabric combined beautifully with another color and type of design creating a uniquely Indian look.

In all of my years of living in India, I never came across this type of work or these type of shawls. They are definitely something special that I am certain will be trending in your local Anthropologie very soon!

My Thoughts

Kantha Travel Wrap - a must have travel essentialThere are definitely more pros than cons when thinking about these beautiful, hand embroidered silk shawls. They are huge, but pack small, which means they can be used for so many things. On our trip, my wrap was used as:

  • a blanket for my son when he fell asleep with jetlag at dinner,
  • as a shawl/jacket/coverup for me almost every day when it was windy and cool,
  • as a full body wrap for my son while out hunting crabs on the beach,
  • as a beach blanket and towel when we were dropped off on a private beach forgetting our towels on the boat and
  • as a beautiful shawl that I wore over my basic H&M dress to fancy up my outfit for an unexpectedly nice dinner out.

It proved to an absolutely perfect companion to our trip and has now replaced my 10 yr old sarong as my go-to travel wrap!

Bundled up in the Kantha Travel Wrap - A must have travel accessoryThis wrap is a touch bigger/heavier than my sarong or pashmina that normally goes with me. However, it turned out to be great that it was larger and thicker material than my previous travel wraps since I needed it to keep warm. I also found that it is much more durable than either of those which might mean more at the end of the day than a little bulk in my purse.

The only potential obstacle for some readers might be the price tag. At $45 each, it is not as cheap as a sarong, but on the other hand, it is also not near as expensive as a pashmina. For me, it works out to be pretty reasonable considering how much use one will get out of it. Trust me, you will use it no matter where you go. Whether you are a backpacker or a luxury traveler, it will fit into your travel life.

The Giveaway

kantha travel wrap - a must have travel accessoryNow you can own a Kantha Travel Wrap of your own. To help build up your travel essentials kit, The Stoke LA has graciously offered to provide one of these beauties to one lucky reader.  These make excellent gifts for any travelers in the family or just an awesome winter shawl for yourself. Don’t forget, the holiday season is quickly approaching!

Even if you don’t win, you can still take advantage of an awesome 20% discount by mentioning the code nobackhome at checkout on The Stoke LA’s website. This discount applies to all products, not just the Kantha Travel Wrap. Head over to The Stoke LA to check out these beautiful shawls as well as other items sourced from India that you will also fall in love with!

Enter below to win your very own wrap. Act quickly, the giveaway ends November 18, 2015. You can come back every day to increase your chances of winning! Good Luck!

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A must have travel accessory (+Giveaway) - the Kantha Travel Wrap.

Disclaimer: This product was provided free of charge to me to review, but as always, all opinions are my own. 

 

 

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This post is part of #WeekendWanderlust & #TheWeeklyPostcard.

 

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This Post Has 42 Comments
  1. We’re going to Greece next summer, which i’m really looking forward to, and this would be wonderful addition to my travel wardrobe.

  2. It sounds like the travel wrap came in handy many times!! What a beautiful towel made by such pure resources and people. If I had this towel, it would be used on all my adventures in the beaches of Jupiter, FL, the islands of the Florida Keys, and the mountains and trails of Georgia. Fiji sounds like it was beautiful and I hope to see it one day. Your son is absolutely adorable! And I love your blog!

  3. I’m a big fan of traveling light and I am always on the lookout for clothing/accessories that can be used in multiple ways. This is a beautiful scarf and would make a lovely travel accessory.

  4. I have heard of a Kantha but didn’t actual knew it was a type of stitching. They are very pretty and I can not tell you how many times some sort of wrap has saved my day. Eg., the kids getting wet in the water (because you see any form of water and you have to jump in or splash whether or not you are dressed for it!). Then I just wrap them up and take them back to the hotel.

  5. I love this kind of wraps. As a matter of fact, I used a similar one on my recent trip to Europe. I rolled it into my crossbody bag when I wasn’t using it. It help me a lot with the swinging temperatures and the occasional drizzling. If I win the one presented in here, I will use it in my upcoming trip to the Tucson area.

  6. I love this! I never travel without with my trusty pink and black sarong from Thailand but I’m starting to find I wish I had something that was more… fancy? But still versatile. This silk wrap is perfecto. And so pretty!

  7. My wife would love one, she has been using pareo’s (Tahitian for sarong)for years. Wraps are very versatile but she hasn’t brought one while we travel. I will have to show her the Kantha Travel Wrap.

  8. I usually travel with either a turkish towel or a large silk scarf to use in the ways you describe here. The turkish towel is perfect for the beach, but not great for a night on the town. The silk scarf is the opposite—great for city wear but a little fragile for the beach. This Kantha travel wrap sounds like it could be the perfect solution. If I don’t win, I think I’ll be making a purchase.

  9. shawls are definitively the must have item on the road, it is useful for so many situations and most importantly, in planes when it gets cold. Love these ones, pretty, conscious and filled with culture and heritage

  10. It looks so beautiful! What a great accessory to have during travels. I normally always have a scarf with me, for many of the reasons you have listed above. This wrap is extra special 🙂

  11. LOL…when we were in Colombia this summer, our checked bag was inadvertently taken by missionaries, which meant we spent six days in the jungle with only two changes of clothes. The thing I missed most in my checked bag…my sarong! These wraps look gorgeous and would definitely love to have one handy when travelling, especially when you unexepectedly end up some place nice (e.g. museum, restaurant, symphony, etc.). Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

  12. I always travel with at least one large wrap and possibly one small. I use it for everything from beach towel to blanket, to cover up, especially if the weather changes quickly. I also used it to cover my head when visiting mosques in Malaysia.

  13. Isn’t it amazing how a a piece of fabric can become a necessary travel accessory. We bought sarongs in Bali because they were beautiful and ended up using them as coverups, blankets, beach blankets, to wrap stuff in and more. The wrap you describe seems even more excellent for many uses and is indeed very beautiful.
    Thanks for the informative post. Happy travels, whether in So Cal or elsewhere!

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