I’ve said before that hygge and coziness have become really important to me.  Maybe because I’m prone to stress and anxiety, or maybe because I just like a cozy blanket, but either way, I’ve taken to bringing coziness and hygge into as many aspects of my life as I can. And one of those is travel

In some ways, travel is one of the most un-hygge things there is.  There is stress, annoyances, uncomfortable accommodation, heavy bags, and tiresome transportation.  But that’s exactly why I think bringing a little bit of hygge or coziness from home is necessary.  If I can feel calm and relaxed at the end of a long day, or have a small convenience that brightens my day in the middle of the struggles, it might make the difference between a trip that was just okay, and a trip that I’ll fondly remember.  

So I put together a shortlist of things I like to bring with me to help me bring the hygge to my travels and have a better trip altogether.  

Read also: Top Hygge Travel Destinations

But first, let’s talk about hygge.

THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO

What is hygge?

Hygge Meaning

In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cozying up with a loved one for a movie – that’s hygge, too. And there’s nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.

Hygge pronunciation

Hard to explain and possibly even harder to pronounce, the Danish word “hygge” is pronounced “hoo-gah” or “hue-gah” depending on who you ask. It’s sort of a strange sound we don’t really have in English. For the best answer, I suggest listening to the audiobook for The Little Book of Hygge. It’s read by the author, a Dane, who knows a thing or two about hygge and definitely knows how to pronounce it properly.

Further Reading: Hygge Gift Ideas

hygge lifestyle

Sweatshirt or Hoodie

You’re probably going to bring a coat/sweatshirt/sweater/whatever, no matter where you’re going.  But instead of picking one just for convenience, choose one that either makes you feel the most comfortable, or is the most hygge, something soft, cozy, and comfy. Never underestimate a great sweatshirt or hoodie. Having a comfortable sweater that reminds you of the comforts of home might just be the ticket after a long travel or stressful travel day.

Here are some comfortable hoodies and sweatshirts:

Sherpa Sweater

Oversized Chunky Knit Sweater

Vintage Alaska Sweater

Bonus Sweatpants

hygge living

Blanket Scarf

I cannot sing the praises of a good blanket scarf enough. Not only do they help keep the cold off the back of your neck, but they can also be a blanket on overnight bus rides or a pillowcase on questionable hostel pillows or something to sit on for a picnic in the park. It can also add a splash of color to an otherwise monochrome capsule travel wardrobe. They are the Swiss Army knife of scarves. 

Blanket Scarf

Winter Scarf

Travel Scarf

Book-themed Scarf

hygge socks

Thick Socks (or Slippers)

A pair of thick wool socks won’t take up a lot of room in your luggage, and they are guaranteed to keep your toes warm on chilly nights. It’s worth having a pair or two of these while traveling. I wear mine just around the house (or hostel or hotel) just as I would wear a pair of slippers. I prefer wool because they can be worn several times before needing a wash but a pair of fleece or fuzzy socks will be just as comfy and warm. You can also grab a small pair of house slippers that can be slipped into the front of your suitcase. Like these Japanese house slippers I’ve grown to love. 

See if you like any of these cozy socks: 

Cashmere Socks

Knit Winter Socks

Merino Wool Socks

Or these cute fuzzy fox slippers.

hygge house

Books

Crack open a book (or pull one up on your Kindle) all about coziness while you get cozy! These hygge and Nordic lifestyle books will help you learn how to incorporate hygge into your travels and everyday life. Buy a hard copy, download it to your Kindle, or check to see if they are available on Kindle Unlimited. 

Some book recommedations are:

Guidebook

Bill Bryson Books

The Little Book of Hygge

See also: My list of books to read before coming to Japan.

hygge cafe

Audiobooks

This isn’t something that you necessarily bring with you, but having some audiobooks downloaded on your phone can be the perfect hygge idea. There is nothing like settling in for a long train ride (aka wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket scarf) with a great story to listen to. The seven books in the Harry Potter series provide over 116 hours of entertainment, and it’s one of the most epic stories of all time. Listen to the first two books for free with Prime Reading (included in your Amazon Prime Membership) and the next five with Kindle Unlimited. You can also borrow audiobooks from your local library using the Libby app. 

If you’d rather own them, get an Audible account.

hygge house

Hygge Travel Playlist

I’ve curated a list of some of my favorite relaxing, sometimes heady, songs. Each one helps me imagine that I’m wrapped in a blanket watching a wood-burning stove in a log cabin somewhere deep in the woods.  You can follow this playlist on Spotify.

Free Custom Google Map of Tokyo
hygge interior

Earbuds

A great pair of earbuds are a necessity for my kind of hygge travel! You’ll need them to listen to your audiobooks and music that I’ve listed above. I pop them in when I get to my seat on the plane to listen to my Hygge Playlist and forget where I am for a little while. I’m basic and like everything Apple so I go for my Airpods.

See Also: Top Hygge Destinations

hygge essentials

Notebooks

The practice of writing or journaling while enjoying a warm cup of tea is very hygge. 

I bring an empty notebook with me to each new place I travel to. In it, I write down everything about where I went, who I met, and the foods I tried. I share every thought and emotion about my adventure – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Practical things such as expenses or addresses are also handily noted inside the notebooks that are always within reach when I travel.

Some notebook options:

Traveler’s Notebooks and Accessories

Moleskine Bullet Journal

Hobonichi Techo

Archer and Olive Bullet Journal

More Reading: Best Bullet Journal Notebooks or Guide to Travelers Notebooks

hygge activities

Games

Hygge is all about gathering with friends and loved ones for a cozy night in. Conjure up some hygge while you’re traveling by gathering a group of hostel goers in the common area for a game night. A deck of cards is all you really need. Or portable versions of your game night favorites might be available. 

Some game ideas:

Uno

Skip-Bo

A good ol’ deck of cards

Bananagrams

The Hygge Game.

hygge candle

Small Scented Candle

In the his hygge book, Meik Wiking dedicates a whole chapter to the right light for hygge. The best solution is candle light, as it is a warm and natural light. I personally prefer to have a small scented candle with me to actually get a more romantic atmosphere combined with some good smells.

I am actually crazy about scented candles. I don’t really recommend these if you’re staying at hotels, but if you’re roadtripping to an AirBNB why not?  Add some warmth to a house that might feel like a model home.

Bookstore Candle

Hygge Soy Candle

Bookish Candles

Jasmine Jar CandleBookish Candles

hygge camping

A Travel Coffee Mug

Coffee-lovers will agree with me on this. A great travel mug is a must for busy travel schedules. I try, but I don’t always have time to sit down at a coffee shop to drink my coffee at my leisure. This one keeps your coffee warm for hours, has a locking mouthpiece, and fits 

I travel a lot during the shoulder and off-seasons, so the weather ranges from chilly to very cold. I always pack a travel coffee mug so I can take my coffee or tea with me on the go. Plus, it cuts back on my single-use plastic waste.

Here are some options:

Simple Modern Travel Mug

Collapsible Travel Mug

Takeya Leak Proof Travel Mug

hygge ideas

Hot Drinks

Speaking of hot drinks, I always bring a stash of my favorite teabags when I travel. Sometimes I even bring a packet or two of hot cocoa, my favorite before-bed treat.

There is almost always a way to get hot water no matter what kind of accommodation you stay at. For instance, most hotels come with an in-room coffee maker these days. Just run the machine without coffee to heat up the water. Or get hot water from a coffee machine in the lobby, restaurant, or bar of a hotel. Hostel kitchens usually come equipped with a kettle or at least a pot to boil water.

These are my favorite portable hot drinks:

Loose leaf tea

English Breakfast Tea Bags

Starbucks Mocha Latte Sticks

Read Also: Guide to Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo

Get that hygge travel feeling I’m talking about by packing some of these things the next time you travel. I promise, once you feel the greatness of hygge travel, you’ll wonder what you’ve been doing without it this whole time.

THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO

BlogHygge Travel Essentials