In a perfect world, we would experience hygge – the Danish concept of coziness – everywhere we go. Although there are definitely places that are so hyggeligt you just want to curl up and settle in for a while, let’s face it: that budget motel your boss makes you stay at and the middle seat you have to sit in to get there don’t even know the meaning of the word.
Take matters into your own hands with these 10 easy-to-pack comfort items that will bring a sense of hygge to even the most un-hyggeligt conditions.
Homesick Candles — Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed Product Lab
Above all, hygge is about light – mainly candlelight. According to The Little Book of Hygge, when Danes are asked what they most associate with hygge, 85% mention candles. These hand-poured ones are made in the USA from all natural soy wax, and each one represents a specific state.
As a former East Coaster now living on the West Coast, I burn the New York candle at home to remind me of the autumn fragrance I deeply miss, and the Southern California candle, with its fresh sea breeze scent, when I’m on business trips. They make me feel less displaced and more rooted.
American Giant Hoodies
American Giant Hoodies — Photo courtesy of American Giant
There’s something about a hoodie – zipping it up, pulling the hood around your head and sticking your hands in your pockets – that is just so comforting, especially when you’re stuck for hours in a narrow plane seat.
American Giant has raised the bar with deliciously-colored hoodies made from a thick, heavyweight cotton. The hoods are double-lined to keep out that gross airplane air and the elbows are reinforced to withstand armrest wrangling. Plus, the tailored fit makes you feel confident when you’re out of your element.
Espro Travel Press
Espro Travel Press — Photo courtesy of Espro
Hot drinks are the number one item Danes associate with hygge, and coffee tops that list. Rather than settle for standard hotel room instant, carry your own Travel Press equipped with a patented double micro-filter, which is 12 times finer than a traditional French press, for a clean, fresh, grit-free cup of your favorite brew.
For the first time, you can take pour-over coffee on road trips, thanks to the optional paper filtration. This game-changer brings the idea of “coffee to go” to a whole new level.
10 places to experience hygge outside of Denmark
10 places to experience hygge outside of Denmark
Laura Ashley Throws
Laura Ashley Velvet Throw — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark
Some hotel beds beg for a different blanket – one that a million other people haven’t already used. These velvet throws from Laura Ashley, the company that could have invented hygge, are lightweight and soft, soft, soft.
Available in half a dozen pretty patterns, they add a homey touch to even the most bare-bones hotel room. Keep it in your carry-on so you can also use it on a chilly flight.
Izola Reflections Toothbrush Set
Izola Reflections Toothbrush Set — Photo courtesy of Izola
Replace the generic plastic travel toothbrush you usually carry with one of these beauties from Izola. Made from sustainable bamboo, the handles have a nice, natural texture that brings a sense of warmth to a sterile hotel bathroom.
Best of all, for the two minutes you brush in the morning and before you go to sleep, you’re reminded to slow down and “reflect” on one of four zen-inspiring words: Contemplate, Meditate, Concentrate, Ruminate. Pack the one that will motivate you the most.
Library of Flowers
Library of Flowers American Small Batch Perfumery — Photo courtesy of Library of Flowers
Imagine walking into your hotel room and getting a whiff of a forest or arboretum rather than antiseptic cleansers. With packaging as beautiful as its name, these stunning products from Library of Flowers turn any space into a delicious-smelling garden.
Leave those little bottles of hotel shampoo and hand cream for the next guest and, instead, surround yourself with these scentsational tubes and tins. Now that someone else will clean the tub, indulge in a bubble bath. Or just take the top off the Perfumed Creme, close your eyes and forget that your room has an up-close-and-personal view of a parking lot.
BackJoy SleepSound Travel Pillow
Backjoy Sleepsound Travel Pillow — Photo courtesy of Backjoy
Hotel pillows are a sore point with travelers – often literally. You never know what to expect; will they be mushy, hard as a rock or just plain uncomfortable? But if you bring along your own crescent-shaped SleepSound Travel Pillow by BackJoy, you won’t ever lose sleep over this again.
Ergonomically designed for back and side sleepers (experts discourage sleeping on your stomach), it self-adjusts to support optimal sleeping posture. A unique construction of layers of down fill and memory foam offer support, softness and sweet dreams. Although SleepSound is an accurate name, just think of it as the Hygge Pillow.
KN Karen Neuburger Socks
KN Karen Neuburger Socks — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark
Treat your feet to these candy-colored socks and you’ll immediately feel cozy and content, even on a cross-country red eye. You won’t believe how soft they are!
KN Karen Neuburger Lounge Socks just may do a better job of keeping your feet warm than that thin hotel blanket. Or opt for the Slipper Socks with grippers on the bottom so you don’t go flying across that wet tile floor. Either way, your feet will thank you.
Makeup Junkie Bags
Makeup Junkie Bags — Photo courtesy of Makeup Junkie
Finally! A makeup bag that holds your toiletries, doesn’t take up excess space and that’s so good-looking, it just makes you smile every time you look at it. Handmade, with a lined interior that’s water-resistant and washable, the bags come in a variety of rich textures and patterns, each with MJ’s signature bright-colored zipper and suede tassel.
These bags miraculously lay flat, so if you use up your products during your trip, you don’t still have an awkward-size bag to fit into your suitcase. On the other hand, you can fill it up if you buy some local goodies. The bags come in three different sizes and, fair warning, you’re likely to become a Makeup Junkie junkie and buy all of them.
Skandinavisk Mini Candles
Skandinavisk Mini Candles — Photo courtesy of Skandinavisk
As the Scandinavian people – who buy more candles than anyone else in the world – know, you can never have too many candles. And, of course, a company called Skandinavisk knows just how those candles should smell to achieve the ultimate sense of hygge. In fact, they even offer one named Hygge, which they refer to as Danish DNA.
Each candle is made from a blend of perfume and vegetable wax, and is hand-poured into an elegant painted glass votive with an engraved beechwood lid. The minis are perfect travel companions, and will kindle a sense of well-being and intimacy, even in the most impersonal airport hotel.
Note: Be aware of smoke detectors and don’t leave candles unattended. Fires that require professionals to put them out are the opposite of hygge.