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The One Little Thing: Eye Mask

eye mask

This is a post in an ongoing feature on Her Packing List called “The One Little Thing“. Each week or two, I’ll be interviewing a traveling lady to find out the one little thing she just can’t travel without. This one is brought to you by Michelle Belair.

What one little thing can you not travel without?

My one little thing is my eye mask. I’ve been through a number of eye masks over the years. My current one gives me the option of sleeping with the organic cotton side against my skin or the natural silk side, I love it!

Why has this one item been so important to you?

Travel can be unpredictable. You might be staying in a hotel one night and catching bits of sleep on a train station floor the next. My eye mask helps me to get some sleep in buses, trains, stations, hostels, and even in my own comfortable bed at home. I need absolute darkness to be able to sleep and my eye mask helps to block out all the light that might otherwise keep me awake.

How packable is it? Does it take up much room? Is it heavy?

Eye masks are very packable! They’re small, light-weight, and compact. You can fold it or roll it up and use the strap to keep it in place. It can squeeze into a wallet or your pocket! It is probably my most packable travel item. There is no excuse to leave it behind.

eye mask up close

Why would you recommend this to your travel friends?

Everybody needs sleep, even the people who say they don’t. Eye masks help to make transportation from one place to another a little bit better, particularly long-distance flights or overnight buses and trains. They maximize the amount of rest you get which in turn makes you feel more upbeat and awake for a long day of exploring a new destination. You never know where you’re going to end up at night or at what time of day you’ll need to sleep. This little item is perfect for any situation.

Can you name one incident or situation where you were so happy to have this item with you?

Every night! Haha. One of the times that I was most happy to have this was when I was in a London train station in the middle of the night, waiting to catch the Eurostar to Paris. My friend and I found ourselves in the only open café filled with other travelers awaiting the early morning ride. Having been awake for 24 hours already, I desperately wanted sleep. Although I only caught a little bit of sleep that night, it is more than I would have had without my eye mask!

How did you hear about this item?

I first began wearing an eye mask when I started working at my most recent job, a group home. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get to sleep on the overnight shifts. A co-worker suggested I use an eye mask, and I have been hooked ever since.

What sort of traveler is this item perfect for?

This item is perfect for every traveler! It is inexpensive to begin with, so if you lose yours on your travels it won’t put a huge dent in your budget. Whether you’re staying in a fancy resort or a new friend’s couch, an eye mask can come in handy.

>> Shop for travel eye masks on Amazon

michelle belair

About the Author: Michelle Belair is a twenty something university student from Canada. After embarking on a solo backpacking journey to Europe, she developed the inevitable urge to see the world. She loves too deeply, plans too little, and hopes to visit all seven continents by the time she’s thirty. She has a passion for writing, travel, human and animal rights and hopes that one day she can combine all of her loves to do something important in the world. You can follow her journey at Whirlwind Travel, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm planning adventures or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Travel Resources

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Creative Ways to Minimize Your Toiletry & Beauty Kit – Practical tips alongside DIY recipes designed to help you pack lighter, smaller & with fewer liquids. (Also included as a bonus to Handbag Packing Masterclass.)

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Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe. – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Roni Faida says

    I have an eye mask I bought from Claire’s, it was very cheap and it works great! I love eye masks and always carry them with me. I am at work and I have one in my backpack in case I was able to get a few minutes of sleep! I NEVER travel without mine.

    • Michelle says

      I’m glad you agree. They are so essential, not only traveling but in my daily life as well! If I’m ever staying somewhere that is not my own place, I have a little moment of panic whenever I forget my eye mask at home.

  2. Annabel Vita says

    I love my eye mask and also pack ear plugs. I love that I don’t have to rely on anyone else to make my sleeping environment quiet and dark (but obviously only use the ear plugs when I feel safe to do so).

    • Michelle says

      Ear plugs are a good idea! I like to put my headphones in my ears and fall asleep listening to calm music when I travel. But agreed, only when I feel safe to do so.


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