L.L Bean Tote Bag, £17.64-£28.25
1. Naomilingerie Cotton Eye Mask, £12.37
2. OMY Set of 4 Pocket Games and Colouring Sets, £18.63
3. John Lewis Cashmere Reversibe Blanket, (was £110.00), £77.00
4. ‘My Very Healthy Snacks’ Box, £5.95
5. Blossom Paris Striped Wash Bag, £34.83
6. Maclaren Volo Black Buggy, £90.00
These are a just a few of our tried-and-tested in-flight travel essentials for mamas. Travelling with little ones in tow is a very different experience from travelling alone (no shit!), but with a few carefully chosen items, you never know, it might not even be that bad… You might even enjoy it!
1. Nicky swears by an the eye mask for Bailey on night flights. As you know, we love anything that’s practical and cute…
2. Mini games to keep the kids amused. Nicky has bought these pocket sized ones in the past and loves them. Small and easy to stash. Perfect!
3. Travel + cashmere (of any size/description) = an overall more pleasant, comfortable journey. Without question. Perfect for kids to snuggle up in when the airline suddenly decide to crank up the AC in the cabin (why do they always do that??). This one is a great price, and size.
4. The mama who travels without a selection of snacks (in various grades of healthiness) is a foolish one. Snacks are ammunition. This cute snack box is easy to find in your tote, looks good, and you can pretend that all your snacks are healthy ones (yeah right).
5. I love a pretty zip-up wash bag that does’t look like a wash bag (anyone who knows me and has travelled with me, knows I like a bag in a bag in a bag…) to keep all those things like wipes, Calpol, plasters etc etc in. We love this striped one.
6. Forget your usual go-to ‘super buggy’ (in my case we threw the money at the iCandy Peach Blossom, in Nicky’s case the Concord Neo Mobility Set), when it comes to travelling, you need a super-lightweight buggy that you can actually lift, collapses in seconds, and you don’t need to re-mortgage to replace (and that you don’t actually care that much about). Leave the ‘Bentley’ in the garage at home. I had two of these Maclaren Volos for the twins and they were just brilliant. Can’t recommend them enough (whether you’re a twins mama or not).
The ultimate ‘chuck it all in’ roomy tote from L.L Bean (top). Don’t worry about the all important things – wallet, passports etc – they are all safe in your (equally chic) cross-body bag (coming on Friday’s Mama Spree post). Today is all about the tote. I have long been a fan of the traditional L.L Bean ‘boat and tote’ canvas bags (they are a bit of a fashion industry off-duty must-have, and much loved by celebs such as Gwyneth, Julia Roberts and Chloe Sevingy…). My favourite is the classic (large) open-top ‘Boat and Tote’ with navy trim and the short handles. And I always like to get mine monogramed (so chic, and cute to get your kids’ names/initials – you need to order from the US website if you want to add monogramming: ). The surprising thing is the price. One of the most affordable stylish totes around. And on holiday they double up as the perfect beach bag too. I use mine ALL the time. Great for chucking in the car too. In fact, great for pretty much anything.
Here are a few more things we’ll be stashing in our totes… cashmere socks (for us obviously); our favourite Tegu magnetic bricks are just brilliant for little ones who like to build (and this set is small and totally portable – Marlow has it); these sweet little drawstring bags to put ‘stuff’ in (I like to separate things out so I can lay my hands on them quickly and easily); these little colouring pencils in a tube; and I have ordered these activity sticker books for Tabs and Marlow for the flight to Italy (admittedly a short and pretty manageable flight, even with no Tom as my wingman) in a couple of weeks (what is it about sticker books anyway??). The rest is up to you. Valium?
Sarah and Nicky xx