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This lightweight and chic sun hat is my new go-to vacation accessory

Plus, it gave me as much sun protection as my sunglasses and sunscreen.
Courtesy Danielle Murphy

Every spring, I embark on a girls trip with my best friends from college. This year, we journeyed to the south for a long weekend on a small island in the Peach State, aka: good ole' Georgia. I had never been, and therefore, didn't know what to expect — but what I did know (and what I was looking forward to the most), was that it was going to be warm and sunny.

Needless to say, I made sure to pack anyone's go-to UV-protection essentials, including sunscreen and multiple pairs of sunglasses. Then, the opportunity arose to pack another item that would both shade me from harmful rays and, coincidentally, raise the bar on my southern charm style. Yes, I was given a cute sun hat to try, and little did I know it would be the star of all my outfits.

Furtalk Foldable Sun Hat

Colorways: 8 | Sizes: Medium-Large & Large-XL| Fabric: 90% paper straw, 10% polyester

I'm generally not a hat person. Other than my many years of softball playing (where a hat was crucial in the outfield), I never considered it as a cute accessory on me. While I was initially cautious about this floppy one, it surprised me with how stylish (and useful) it ended up being. Does that mean I should give the 15+ fun baseball caps I've accumulate over the years a try?

Why I like this sun hat

It's foldable (aka: extremely travel friendly)

I can't help but wax poetic about how flexible this hat is. As a chronic over packer (who recently had to physically sit on her carry-on to actually get it to close), I was quite relieved to find that this straw hat was capable of bending and rolling however I needed it to in order to shove it into my personal bag. Even better, it didn't unfold into an abnormal, broken shape once it was unpacked.

And although I didn't need it, the hat comes with a small instruction packet that shares how to "properly" fold it for packing. Honestly, I don't think you can get that part wrong if you tried. But if you like detailed directions for everything, Furtalk has you covered.

It's lightweight and chic

The sun hat has a few color varieties, but these mostly fall under your preferred ribbon color. I chose the white ribbon and beige base, which I knew would best match the outfits I put together beforehand. Other colorways include coffee brown and black bases, as well as black, white, brown and navy ribbons.

Whenever I see the word "straw" in the name of a fashion item, I immediately run away in fear of getting poked by uncomfortable fabrics. However, I had nothing to worry about with this hat, which felt soft and lightweight. Plus, no matter how long I had it on my head (hours, if you must know), it never flattened my hair underneath.

Finally, and most importantly, the wide brim gave me all the sun protection I needed. Despite loading up on sunscreen, my nose starting to look like Rudolph's by day two after some ill-timed tanning. So I knew the sun hat would be crucial during the remainder of my trip for preventing burns. It shaded my entire face and the upper part of my neck, keeping my tender skin from going full-on lobster shade.

Courtesy Danielle Murphy

What to consider

The hat comes with a strap that I find to be not only useless (the top of the hat is deep enough to stay secured), but also an eyesore compared to the accessory's chic look. The good news is that I was easily able to stuff it into the interior of the cap before putting it on to keep it out of sight.

Discovering that I'm a hat person wasn't on my 2024 bingo card, but it's a fact I'm welcoming with open arms — and into my spring and summer wardrobe. I highly recommend grabbing one of these before you next beach getaway.

More essentials I packed for vacation

Reef Cushion Vista Hi Sandal

I packed several sandal, heel and sneaker options for my four-day trip. Other than my airport walking shoes, I didn't touch any other footwear options other than these Reef sandals. I wore them from the pool to evening dinners — they ended up being my most stylish and comfiest option.

Travel Duffel Bag

I borrowed this tote bag from my mother the night before my flight because I was in desperate need of a personal bag that was spacious but would also fit underneath my plane seat. This was a life-saver. It fit my laptop, Kindle, snacks, toiletry bag and so much more. One of my girlfriends was impressed by it so much, she purchased one in green before even returning home.

Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick

If you have sunburned lips, this lip balm will become your best friend. I kept this in my pocket everywhere I went for instant relief.

Privé Revaux The Chica Sunglasses

Everyone needs a go-to pair of black shades — these are mine. They have a subtle cateye shape that covers the entire eye area, polarized lenses for sun protection and an affordable price you can't beat.

Zodiac Perfumery Perfumette Card

Another product I convinced my girlfriends to purchase is this mini perfume. Although I'm a Sagittarius, the Leo scent is a must-have for a beach vacation. (But if you want to try all the sign scents, there's a perfume palette for that!)