Umbrellas are a frustrating contraption. They can be amazingly pricey and sturdy to cheaply made and faulty. All for something that doesn’t really keep you from getting wet and you’ll lose more often than not.
Which brings us to the travel umbrella, the compact version of the stick that can fit in your bag. It has its place if you so choose like the car or your office, but when it comes to the act of traveling, I say keep it far away from you.
When you’re packing for your trip, you want to conserve space and pack things that are flexible. While I’ve seen pricey travel umbrellas that are about the size of your hand, I doubt the metal parts withstand the jarring it will take in your luggage.
Let me give you a few reasons why not to bring an umbrella:
— Your hotel will have one that you can borrow. You can e-mail or call to check if they do so. If you are going the AirBnb route, ask your host if you can borrow one.
— You will lose it. This is what happens to me. I have an umbrella. I go to bar. I lean it between my legs and below the bar. I forget I have it and leave.
— You’ll walk down the street with one and you’ll poke people in the eye. As any New Yorker will tell you, walking down a street filled with people with umbrellas is a pain in the ass.
— You’ll still get wet. If you’re in a heavy downpour like in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll just want to give up and stay inside until the storm passes.
The solution? A poncho that folds up in its own pouch. They weigh little and can be stuffed into small spaces.