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travel

Lifestyle

Travelling with kids: how to survive with your sanity in tact

13th November, 2017

Enjoying our family vacation in Bali

As most parents can probably attest, when it comes to travelling with kids you can’t ever really be too prepared. Expect the unexpected is my motto. You’ll inevitably end up with a curve ball being thrown your way whether it’s a bout of vomiting or losing a beloved toy along the way, and you’ve just got to try and find humour in the situation and take it all in your stride. Whilst you can’t plan for absolutely everything, I do believe in preparing as much as possible to mitigate potential issues. We’ve travelled with the girls in Australia and internationally and it’s taught me a few things about how to handle travel with children in tow. Yes, travel will never be as straightforward as it was pre-kids days but it’s oh-so worth it for the amazing memories you build as a family along the way. If you’re about to embark on a trip with your kids then read on for some of my best tried and tested tips…

Choose flights around sleep times

If you’re flying it pays to try and book flights around sleep times. When I’ve done this, most of the time I’ve been lucky and have been able to get the girls down for a bit of a sleep. Whether it’s 30 minutes or two hours, a napping child is invaluable when you’ve got to kill time on a plane.

Book essentials in advance

I never leave anything to chance when I’m travelling with the girls. For example if we require transfers from the airport to the hotel I always request car seats and confirm prior to departure that everything is locked in. I can’t think of anything worse than getting off a long flight, with two tired kids and having to deal with the fact we can’t get to our accommodation.

Give yourself plenty of time to pack

I like to have all the girls’ things packed well in advance as I know I’ll forget something crucial if I do it at the last minute. I normally make a list of everything the kids will need and then I pack a few days before we leave. This gives me plenty of time to get any last minute things washed or take out things I don’t think they’ll need anymore. I normally like to have outfits and nappies for each day sorted and take a few extras just in case.

Bring lots of entertainment

It is a lot easier to travel with Sophia now because she’s three and most of the time she’s excited to watch movies on the plane. But Grace is at that tricky age of being in between a baby and a toddler and wants to be on the move all the time. This is why I always like to bring plenty of entertainment with me to keep the girls occupied. I bring an assortment of games, toys and books with me and make sure to have a few new books or toys with me as I find it keeps them entertained just that little bit longer. If you don’t want to buy anything new just round up a few of your child’s favourite toys and keep them out of sight for a few days so when you pull them out again they’re excited and interested to play with them. (You can find a few more of my in-flight essentials here).

Come armed with plenty of food

On our recent trip to Bali we had to take into account that we were flying during the girls’ morning tea time to lunch then afternoon tea to dinner. I had to bring all the right amount of food with me as I wasn’t sure what we’d get on the plane. I also packed plenty of snacks just in case we had delays on either side and I needed to give the girls something to eat. Also this came in handy when we were in the hotel room and the girls woke up early and we weren’t able to go anywhere for breakfast yet. I was able to pull out a few snacks from my suitcase to tide them over.

I think with the right preparation you can make a family holiday as close to stress-free as possible. And if a few little things do go awry, just take a few deep breaths and think that one day you’ll be able to laugh about it with your kids!

What are some of your tips for travelling with kids?

 

Fashion, Lifestyle

15 of my favourite things to do in Paris

27th September, 2017

At the beautiful Musee Rodin

There’s no doubt that Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The architecture, the food, the history… all the elements are there for a holiday to remember and a thoroughly enriching cultural experience. I’ve been to Paris a few times (one of them was on my honeymoon so it has a very special place in my heart) and returning a few months ago only served as a reminder of just how much I love it there. There’s so much to see and do, not to mention the insanely good shopping to be done, so Luke and I tried our best to fit everything in but there are some notable standouts that we definitely couldn’t miss…

Outside Le Pavillon de la Reine

1. Stay at the Le Pavillon De La Reine

This is my favourite place to stay in Paris. It’s a gorgeous 17th century building, covered in ivy and looks straight out of a movie. It’s located in the Marais in the 3rd arrondissement which is one of the most picturesque spots in the city.

2. Grab a drink at The Bar Hemingway

A favourite of writers such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald this is the place to grab a drink if you’re after a warm, cosy atmosphere and a killer cocktail.

Lunching at Lou Lou with Luke

3. Lunch at Lou Lou

The beautiful outdoor setting is one of the major drawcards of this restaurant. It’s a lovely spot for a long lunch and is near the Louvré so it’s a great place to eat after a morning spent at the museum.

4. Visit the Hotel Plaza Athénée

Luke and I stayed here for our honeymoon so it’s a special place for us. We just had to visit and have a drink there to reminisce. It’s located on the famous Avenue Montaigne which is heaven for any fashion lover.

The Galeries Lafayette

5. Shop at The Galeries Lafayette

Shopaholics will love this upmarket department store that stocks every designer brand you could think of. If that’s not your thing the building alone is worth a look. I particularly liked this spot for the kids shopping. The range is amazing and extensive (there’s even a Disney store that would put a smile on any child’s face) and it’s hard not to want to buy everything in sight.

6. Visit the Ritz Paris

This exclusive hotel has had a major refurbishment and is absolutely amazing. The big drawcard for any beauty lover would have to be the new Chanel au Ritz Paris. It’s a day spa that has everything you could possibly want in a pampering session such as massages and facials but is given the luxe touch that only those famous interlocking Cs can bring.

 7. Browse Galerie de Valois

It’s a roll call of designer stores at this shopping locale including Acne Studios, Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, Oliver Peoples and Christian Louboutin. If you’re in the mood to stroll combined with a little retail therapy this is the place to go.

Amazing meal at L’Avenue

 8. People watch at L’Avenue

If you want to enjoy some people watching (especially of the famous variety) this is the place to do it. The clientele is always impeccably dressed so as an added bonus it’s great for admiring the often lauded Parisian style as you enjoy lunch. I spotted Anna Wintour there during my trip so you know it gets the tick of approval from the fashion set.

9. Check out Le Bon Marche

This super exclusive department store is owned by luxury giant LVMH so the retail experience is next-level. The space is just so unbelievably chic that simply browsing is a joy in itself.

The Thinker at Musee Rodin

10. Admire the art at Musée Rodin

Home to one of the most famous sculptures in the world, The Thinker, a visit to this place is a must for any art lover. The gardens around the museum are also gorgeous and well worth a look.

11. Eat at La Société

Great ambience and impressive interiors make this one of my top Parisian spots for dinner and drinks. Just be sure to leave enough room for this meal as you’ll be tempted to taste everything.

Dining at Hotel Costes

12.  Dinner at Hotel Costes

We go here for dinner every time we visit Paris. It has great food and is a fashion industry/celebrity favourite so it’s also another excellent spot for people watching.

13. Head to the Brancusi Art Studio

A replica of the atelier of the artist Constantin Brancusi was first produced in 1977 opposite Paris’ cultural centre, Centre Pompidou. It subsequently flooded and closed before being reconstructed in its current incarnation by famed Italian architect Renzo Piano. If you’ve got time, it’s well worth a visit for the immersive museum experience.

14. Splurge on dinner at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée

If you’re celebrating a special occasion such as an anniversary or milestone birthday whilst in Paris I’d highly recommend dinner at this restaurant.  The food and dining room is on another level.

15. A day trip to Versailles

Escape the city and do a day trip to the Palace of Versailles. The architecture is spectacular and everywhere you turn is Insta-worthy.

If you’ve visited Paris what are your favourite spots or things to see and do?

 

 

 

Beauty, Lifestyle

My pre-holiday beauty prep

21st August, 2017

Kate Waterhouse travel pre-holiday beauty prep

When I go on holiday I like to keep it as low key as possible when it comes to beauty maintenance. I prefer to just focus on getting out and about and making the most of each day as opposed to having to spend time grooming my eyebrows or doing my nails so I ensure my pre-holiday beauty prep allows me to do that. I’m sure a lot of you have a similar checklist give or take a few steps but these are the key things I always get done before I even pack my bags

Get a spray tan

A spray tan is always a must for me before I go away on a trip. My favourite place to go is Bronzalicious in Sydney’s Neutral Bay as they always get the colour spot on. I find when you’re bronzed you don’t need to wear much makeup plus you just generally feel more confident with a little bit of a glow, especially if it’s a beach holiday and you’re in bikinis a lot.

To help with maintenance while I’m on holiday I’ll take an exfoliator to get rid of excess colour from my spray tan and a bronzing mousse for top ups.

Get a mani/pedi

I like neat, tidy nails when I’m on vacation so I make sure to squeeze in a manicure and pedicure as part of my pre-holiday beauty prep routine. I usually go sans polish on my fingernails because I hate chipped nails and don’t want to have to worry about getting them done when I’m away from home. On my toes I will get Shellac so it lasts a couple of weeks and will usually either get a light shade such as OPI’s Bubble Bath or a deep burgundy such as OPI’s Malaga Wine.

Have my eyebrows shaped and lashes tinted

A visit to Amy Jean Eye Couture in Sydney’s CBD is a must. I get my eyebrows shaped and eyelashes tinted and curled. I always curl my eyelashes so this way I don’t have to worry about it and I’m set for the day. If my brows and lashes are looking good then I find that I can get away with minimal makeup as it helps me looked polished.

Refresh my hair

I’m usually very good at having a regular cut and colour so I always make a point of booking a session at Valonz in Sydney’s Paddington right before a trip. I get my hair recoloured and cut so it looks fresh for my trip. It’s a bit of running around getting all my beauty prep done before going away but it’s all worth it in the end as I can just focus on enjoying myself and not have to worry about a thing.

What are your pre-holiday beauty prep essentials?

 

Date with Kate, Lifestyle

Date with Kate: Patricia Schultz

2nd July, 2017

Patricia Schultz is a travel author who has been No.1 on the New York Times best-seller list. A travel writer with 25 years’ experience, her books including 1,000 Places To See Before You Die have inspired bucket lists around the world. The New York-based author was in Australia this week and chatted to me about her career, travel tips and how she is overcoming her fear of flying.

What are you doing in Australia?

This year and next I’ve been asked to be the global ambassador for Trafalgar. This year is their 70th anniversary so I’m doing events all around the world … While in Sydney I finally did the Bridge Climb. It’s included in my book so I’ve wanted to do it for a long time.

How did your upbringing influence your choice of career?

My family took us to The [Jersey] Shore [south of New York] every summer and that wasn’t a big outing but it was important to my family as it was special family time. So I understood how important travel was … My first memory ever was when I was four years old and we were going off to The Shore and I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Where did your love of travel come from?

I’m not sure, my parents never travelled, ever! I came from a very modest family – my mother was born in Italy and my father was from an immigrant, modest family. Luxury for them was having dinner on the table and putting me through university without a single student loan. Bless my father, he worked every day of his life, dropped out of school at 11 – imagine for him to travel, it just wasn’t on the radar. And yet when I was 15 I had befriended a girl at school who’s family was from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, which for us in New York State was exotic as it got – when, in fact, it was a five-hour flight away. And my friend said in passing, “Oh you must come and visit”.

Did you go?

Unbeknownst to me, my father took out an extra shift for many months and saved for my ticket and I was 15 and it was my first passport and my first stamp, and that is how supportive they were of whatever gave me joy. I really picked the right parents. It was nothing that they ever inspired for themselves but at 15 they were all about making my life as full as possible.

How did that experience influence you?

So I got on that plane and went to visit this beautiful Caribbean Island … and it just flew open the door and turned my life around. I was immersed for three weeks with this Spanish family, everything about it was totally new for me and it was an eye-opener. And that was kind of the beginning of it.

How did you get into travel journalism?

That really was fluke, it wasn’t planned. I was a fashion stylist and we were in Quay West in Florida and we were doing a fashion shoot for Men’s Vogue Italy and the editor was to interview this very eccentric American man who was a legendary sunken-treasure hunter … But the editor was called back home for a family illness and gave me this assignment and asked if I could do it and I said “sure” because I always said yes to everything, and that was my first interview … And I thought “I think there is a career here”.

How many of the 1000 places from 1,000 Places To See Before You Die have you visited?

My gut feeling is about 80 per cent … I’m still at it, I’m still travelling unashamedly. And I mean I will never stop unless I have to. I am very aware there is only so much time and money and I am aware that I’m no longer 24 years old, so carpe diem, make it happen while you can!

Where is you favourite place to travel?

Antarctica – that probably is my single most astonishing, eye-opening trip. It is not of this earth, in the most positive sense, and yet it’s achievable and attainable. But the place I keep returning to is Italy; I could go back a million times.

Is there any place you haven’t been to that’s on your future travels list?

I’m very embarrassed to admit that I have never been to New Zealand. I’ve been here [in Australia] a dozen times and there is no reason why … but it will happen.

Have you ever been to a travel destination that you haven’t liked?

There are many places I would never return to and there many places that I don’t think “oh I could live here”, but equally there are many places that did not make it into the book, but there was always an experience.

I read that you are scared of flying. How do you overcome that?

I know! I’ve gotten better but I’m not good with turbulence – a small bump and I freeze. But I’m proud enough that I won’t scream or cry out, but inside I’m dying. And I don’t resort to heavy drinking or drugs, but I probably should!

What is your number one travel tip?

It would be to travel! Get off the sofa. The best time to travel is when you finish university and you don’t a care in the world; the kids and the job obligations aren’t there yet. But the next best time is today.

You must have nailed the art of packing. What’s your top tip?

You should pack light. It sounds flippant but are you ever going to see these people again? I repeatedly wear the same thing, I bring a lot of layers, I bring a lot of accessories, and I bring a dozen scarves so they can dress it up in different ways, and only two pairs of shoes, never three! And there is that wonderful expression to lay all your clothes the night before on your bed and “pack half the clothes and twice the money”.

You are constantly on the road. How do you and your husband juggle your travel commitments?

It’s a long story, but I can just summarise it by saying he is beyond supportive and understanding, and that needed to be a given from the moment we met because without that we would have never have lasted.

Does he ever get to travel with you?

Sometimes, not on trips like this, but I am a guest speaker a lot on cruises and many of the opportunities [come with] a plus-one.

BITE SIZE

WE WENT TO Q Dining at the Pullman Quay Grand, Sydney Harbour.

WE ATE Antipasto; Jerusalem artichoke consommé with cocktail onion and nasturtium; Charred octopus and scallop with white miso and ruby grapefruit; Cape grim entrecote with celeriac and sauce bordelaise; Riso nano risotto with pumpkin, washed rind and lemon.

WE DRANK Sparkling mineral water.

photography: Fairfax Media.

Fashion, Lifestyle

Reader Question: What are your tips for travelling light?

22nd March, 2016

flatlay_2

Welcome to my first ever reader Q&A! I tend to be thrown a fashion question or two quite regularly whether it by on social media, at an event or right here on this very blog so I thought I would start featuring my answers here in case it’s something another reader has also been wanting to ask. If you’ve got a question you’ve been dying to know the answer to feel free to post other questions in the comments section, send me a Facebook message or write on my wall, comment on my Instagram or send me a tweet. The more questions the better!

 

Hi Kate,

Any ideas please for packing to travel overseas. I am going to Ireland, Scotland and Denmark in July and would love to get an idea of basic mix and match and practical travel clothes I will wear rather than have excess luggage.

Kind regards, Robyn

 

You’ve come to the right place, Robyn! I’ve become become quite good at taking the bare minimum when I’m travelling. I used to pack so much every time I went away and my thought process would usually go something like this: “Oh I love this dress, I’ve never worn it in Sydney but I might wear it overseas!” and just apply the same logic to pretty much everything in my wardrobe. And let’s face it, the reality is, if I would never wear it in Sydney, why would I wear it overseas? These days I limit myself to one piece of luggage when I’m travelling (even tinier if it’s just a quick trip interstate) and make sure I take a tight edit of clothing. Here’s how I do it:

Bring separates

Packing separates means you can get multiple looks out of each item. Every separate you take you should ensure that not only can you get multiple wears out of it, but that you can also easily dress it up or down. For example I’ll always take a little black skirt that I can dress up at night with a black singlet top or wear casually during the day with a tee or singlet and sneakers. I normally take one little black skirt, maybe a longer skirt whether it’s a midi or maxi skirt and some shorts. I’ll always take white t-shirts, I’ll always take a black singlet top, and even if it’s summer you’ll still need a little cardigan just in case it gets cold. So the cardigan I wear on the plane is the cardigan I’ll wear throughout the trip. Usually I’ll take a cardi in black is it will go with a lot of outfits.

Limit shoes

Fact: shoes are heavy when you have multiple pairs on your hands. Don’t go nuts in the shoe department when you travel. I’ll always take a black pair of heels, they might not be my favourite heels at the time but they’ll go with everything. And usually they’re the only heels I will bring. When I went to Switzerland with my family over Christmas last year it was black tie events each night and I only had one pair of heels with me that I knew I would be able to wear to every single event. Also if you’re heading to Europe you’ll encounter plenty of cobblestoned streets which are quite romantic and lovely to stroll along but are wildly inappropriate for walking on in heels. For this very reason make sure you bring a pair of wedges. I go to Taormina in Italy a lot and I know I wouldn’t be able to survive a trip (and most likely end up with a broken ankle) without wedges.

I always take flats with me like sandals and sneakers. I’ll take sandals for the beach and Adidas sneakers or Nikes that I can wear casually or on a power walk. But I always keep flats to a minimum and make sure that they work with everything that I’m bringing.

Bring a multipurpose bag

I always bring a tiny Chanel cross body bag that I can wear during the day and then at night I can tuck the chain in and use it as a clutch. If you decide to take something with you it should always serve more than one purpose. I’ll often have a bigger bag for the plane which can fit my computer and Sophia’s stuff as well, but I’ll make sure that bag is the bag I’ll use as a beach bag or a baby bag during the trip.  There’s no need to bring a million different bags.

Do laundry

Don’t be one of those people who doesn’t wash clothes during the trip! Just take a small ziploc bag of detergent with you in your suitcase so you can easily wash things like underwear in your hotel room. Don’t bring 100 pairs of socks and underwear because you don’t want to wash. That’s precious suitcase space all those superfluous underpants are taking up!

Make accessories multitask

Take a variety of different accessories as they don’t take up too much room but they’re really great for changing your outfit. One thing I always take is a black sarong because I can wear it as a scarf and also wear it as a cover up at the beach or as a towel if I don’t have one with me. Plus if I’m going sightseeing to places such as a church where I might need to cover up my shoulders or need a scarf around my head, a sarong can always be used for that too.

Be ruthless

You don’t need multiple options for the one type of clothing. You have to decide and choose to bring only one. So for example I always limit myself to one pair of jeans. If I bring a pair of white jeans then I don’t take blue jeans. Just stick to one pair. And only ever take one swimsuit.

Do a trial run

I will lay some clothes out a week before and I will slowly take things away during the week. By the end of the week I’ll have a pretty limited number of outfits but I know they all work together to form a good capsule wardrobe.

Have a two-occasion minimum

While separates are great you can take summer dresses or a playsuit too but just make sure that you can wear it at night with heels or a statement necklace. Or if you bring a maxi dress you can wear it to the beach but also in the evening if you’re going out to dinner. Make sure you look at something and ask yourself how many times can your wear it and in how many different ways? You should always be able to come up with a minimum of two occasions in which you will be able to wear it during your trip.

If you follow the above tips you should be well on your way to being able to pack light so that you’ve got plenty of space to bring home all those holiday mementos. Or just shop a lot.

Photography: Sophia Athas

 

 

 

Lifestyle

My first trip to a health retreat

25th February, 2016

The tranquil surrounds made for prime relaxation conditions

I went to a health retreat for the first time a few weeks ago and I have to admit I’ve always been a bit scared at the prospect of doing so. I’ve often associated health retreats with strict detox diets, waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise and being removed from modern conveniences so for someone who loves coffee, wine, good food, her iPhone and Wi-Fi I wasn’t sure it would be a good fit.

I had heard so much about Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay that Luke and I decided to head up there for a weekend away together to celebrate his birthday.

AA Komala Bath (2)

Inside a villa at Gaia

All my fears were set aside as soon as we arrived. The suite was lovely and had Wi-Fi, a TV and a library of movies we could watch so we weren’t completely removed from technology. Plus the retreat is quite relaxed so you could choose your activities (no exercising early in the morning unless you wanted to) and enjoy coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening.

There was yoga available in the morning and activities throughout the day, but Luke and I were on a mission to chill out and relax so we booked some spa treatments and decided to make it quite a leisurely weekend. The spa is definitely world class and all the products used are organic so I took some home to try it out.

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One of the amazing dishes I had at Gaia

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All the meals we had were Instagram-worthy

One of my great pleasures in life is going out to dinner and eating good food so before we arrived I thought ‘Oh god am I going to be eating salad for the next three days?’ The food however, was incredible. I actually took home a cookbook that’s how good the food was.

While there’s no menu and everyone has the same meals, Gaia do tailor the food to suit your requirements. As I’m pregnant I didn’t have the raw food but everyone else had it. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was a feast. It also enabled me to try dishes that I might not otherwise have ordered if I were to see it on a menu. I had a dish with noodles, pumpkin and tofu (pictured above) that was particularly delicious. I have a huge sweet tooth so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we also got dessert.

Luke and I only managed to get away for a weekend however it was such a relaxing experience that we would definitely consider going back and staying a bit longer next time.

Have you ever been to a health retreat? How did you find the experience?

 

 

 

Fashion, Lifestyle, What I Wore

My tips for a great weekend away

22nd December, 2015

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For me, the lead up to Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year as it’s always buzzing with energy. However, it can also be one of the busiest times with so many social occasions. To help get through this busy time I like to try and escape from Sydney for a quick getaway before the festivities ramp up. If you’re planning a long weekend here are my tips for making the most of some time away:

Pack something special 

I always make sure that I pack something which is easy to wear but also something that makes me feel special. For me, going away is a time to experience new places and do something I wouldn’t usually do at home and this means wearing things I wouldn’t normally get to wear on a day to day basis.

So many times I have splashed out on an amazing dress for a special event and not known when to wear it again. A weekend away, is the perfect opportunity to re-wear these amazing pieces in a different environment.

My TOME shirt and skirt are a perfect set to take away because it is lightweight and easy to travel in for the car trip. Plus as they’re separates it’s easy to mix and match them with other pieces which means less to pack.

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Stick  to neutrals

The classic blue and white makes this outfit a winner to take away because it is easy to accessorise. Accessories are a must for short trips because it lets you change up the outfit depending on how the plans unfold. Switching between flats, heels and even sneakers allows an entirely new look for what I am wearing.

Try before you pack

It is important to try on the outfits before you go away to make sure that you pack a really tight edit of outfits. The more you plan, the less you have to pack as you won’t bring any unnecessary items. I always check that my outfit options will work with accessories such as the sunglasses and hats I pack to make sure I can wear things in multiple ways.

Bring a book

For most of us, time at home doesn’t lend itself to a lot of time spent reading because we’re all so busy. This is why I always pack a good book when I’m going away for the weekend as there is nothing better than lying in the sun with a book and getting lost in the pages.

Do your beauty prep before you go

I always make sure I have my hair done and nails painted if I am going away to ensure I’m beauty-ready for any occasion that may come up. My picks at the moment are OPI’S ‘Lost on Lombard’ and Bobbi Brown lipgloss.

When you get away, it is the perfect time to also indulge and pamper yourself and this includes catching up on beauty treatments. I have been using the KORA organics skin care range, which leaves my skin feeling so refreshed.

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Pick an easy location

Luke, Sophia and I pack the car early in the morning and enjoy an easy ride to our getaway destination. From Sydney, one of my favourite short trips is to the Southern Highlands. It is a perfect way to escape a busy week and have a relaxing weekend.

Luke, Sophia and I love to make the most of weekends by doing something different and creating special memories together.

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Lifestyle

My tips for travelling with kids

15th December, 2015

sophia airport

We’ve always travelled with Sophia a lot but most of our trips were interstate trips. However earlier this year we had to fly to Sweden to attend a relative’s wedding which meant we had to face the daunting prospect of doing a long haul flight with a very active 14 month old! I’m a big routine person but when you’re on a plane generally all rules fly out the window and the aim is just to make the flight as comfortable as possible for you and your child. We’re heading off on a family trip overseas this week and these are some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way that I’ll definitely be using.

Bring entertainment

It goes without saying that you need to come armed with toys and activities to keep your child amused. However schedule the toys so they’re given one new toy at a time and introduce a new toy only once you see boredom start to set in. Toys that can keep them amused such as colouring books and puzzles are great and if you have one at your disposal bring an iPad. I usually load one up with Sophia’s favourites, such as episodes of Peppa Pig and Peek-a-boo farm apps. I also try and bring one of Sophia’s toys (or you could also bring a blanket) to give her something familiar from home during the flight.

Load up on snacks

Airline food can be a bit hit and miss so I bring plenty of snacks for Sophia which keeps her fuelled up.

Time your long haul flights

If you can, try and schedule yourself to fly on an overnight flight to help to fall in line with your child’s sleeping times.

Come with a well stocked baby bag

Arriving to a new, unfamiliar destination and frantically running around trying to find a place to buy nappies does not make for a great start to a trip. This is why it’s important to come armed with all the essentials you’ll need for at least two days to give yourself enough time to acclimatise to your destination without having to factor in replenishing your supplies. I always bring:

  • Nappies
  • Baby wipes
  • A change mat
  • Bottles for milk and a spill-proof sippy cup
  • Snacks
  • A first aid kit with kids’ Panadol, thermometer, band-aids, nappy rash cream, teething gel
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Spare clothes

Accept help

Spending hours on a plane trying to keep a baby or toddler entertained and under control can be exhausting so if someone offers to help, take up their offer. This can be everything from entertaining your child while you quickly eat your meal or even just letting you in front of them in the queue to board the plane.

Board early

Speaking of boarding, be sure to try and board early. This will enable you to have plenty of time to store all your belonging and get your child settled.

Book a bassinet

Sophia is now too big for the bassinet so she sits on our lap but if your baby is young enough definitely get the bassinet if you can, ring the airline well in advance because usually you have to reserve it. If you can, also ask at check in if you can be seated somewhere with a vacant seat next to you as this gives you a bit more room.

Bring plenty of milk

I find Sophia drinks so much more milk on planes so I always pack more than needed as I don’t want to be stuck without. I also give her a bottle during take off and landing to help relieve the pressure in her ears.

Organise a small go-to bag of essentials

It can become quite cumbersome having to lug a baby bag around every time you need change a nappy so pack a zip lock bag with some nappies, wipes and a change mat to help make it easier. Those small toilets are hard enough to navigate without bringing a big baby bag into the mix!

Always bring extra clothes

It goes without saying you’ll need some spare clothes for your child but don’t forget about you too. Accidents happen and you don’t want to spend the rest of your flight in a t-shirt covered in milk because you have nothing else to change into.

Invest in travel specific accessories

We bought a Baby Zen YoYo pram for our last trip and it was great as we were able to take it onto the plane. It’s compact enough to tuck away into the overhead compartment so we didn’t have to go through the hassle of checking it in. Plus it’s great for when you’re in transit. Also if the hotel we’re staying at doesn’t have a cot I bring a Baby Bjorn travel cot. It can be set up and dismantled quite easily so it’s handy to have around plus it’s something Sophia is already familiar with.

What are some of your tips for travelling with kids?

Fashion, Lifestyle

My London travel guide: what to see and where to eat

26th August, 2015
walking the streets of London.

Walking the streets of London. See What I Wore HERE.

Play date in Hyde Park.

Play date in Hyde Park.

London Days. See What I Wore HERE.

London Days. See What I Wore HERE.

High Tea at Claridge's.

High Tea at Claridge’s.

Visiting Buckingham Palace.

Sophia looking for Prince George at Buckingham Palace.

Natural History Museum london.

Natural History Museum, London.

Checking out Notting Hill. See What I Wore HERE.

Checking out Notting Hill. See What I Wore HERE.

Cocktails at the Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel.

Cocktails at the Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel.

I’ve just come back from a family trip to London and had such a great time. You’re definitely spoilt for choice in London as far as things to do and places to eat. We filled up our days taking Sophia to see the sites (she was determined to find Prince George at Buckingham Palace!) and enjoying the endless assortment of restaurants and stores on offer. If you’re planning a trip to London, here are some things I highly recommend you add to your list.

BRUNCH

Granger & Co – For those who love Bill Granger’s restaurant Bills in Sydney, this is his restaurant in London. They do a great scrambled eggs on toast and best of all his famous ricotta pancakes make an appearance on the menu. The food is fresh, tasty and is a nice touch of home.

Jak’s on Walton Street – A lovely chilled out cafe that’s located behind Harrods. If you love food that’s organic and healthy, this is a great place to kick start your day.

Rose Bakery – This place is a great pit stop to recharge for a day of power shopping in Mayfair.

LUNCH:

The Ivy – This cosy restaurant located on King’s Road is a great spot to grab lunch. Definitely try to book a table outside so you can enjoy the lovely courtyard. 

Beast – Just a word of advice: if you go here literally don’t eat anything all day as you are in for a lot of eating. Their specialty is crab and steak, in fact that’s pretty much all they serve. I recommend doing the ‘Beast Experience’. Definitely one for the boys.

C of London – A lovely Italian restaurant located in Mayfair. If you’re in need of refuelling after a big day of shopping definitely stop in.

The Arts Club – For a touch of history check out The Arts Club which was founded in 1863! The brasserie is a great spot to lunch.

DINNER

Chiltern Firehouse – This is a former firehouse that’s been converted into a designer hotel. The lounge is great for drinks, but be sure to stay for a hearty feast. Expect everything from Welsh lamb to fried chicken.

Nopi – Prepare to be spoilt for choice. Upstairs is more formal while downstairs is communal dining.

La Bodega Negra – If you’re in the mood for a Mexican food fix, this is the ideal spot to do it. Lots of great food.

Scott’s – I love this restaurant. They do amazing seafood and there’s a gorgeous oyster and champagne bar worth checking out.

THINGS TO DO

High tea at Claridges – High tea at this gorgeous hotel is such a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Portobello Markets in Notting Hill – This iconic shopping destination is a shopper’s haven. The streets are filled with everything from antiques to clothes and the seemingly endless array of stalls will satisfy your every shopping whim.

Feed the ducks and have lunch in Hyde Park – If you’re travelling with kids this is a great way to spend some time in the great outdoors. Sophia really loved hanging out here. 

Natural History Museum – A gorgeous building and filled with lots of interesting exhibits. Kids will love it.

Dover Street Market – This multilevel department store is great for shopping. They stock a range of different designers and the space is just a little futuristic.

Sloane Street – So much shopping to be done on this street! It has everything from Harrods to Selfridges and Browns.

Have drinks at Artesian Bar at the Langham – Artesian was named the world’s best bar in 2014 so you can imagine the kind of experience that awaits. The cocktails here are incredible and not to be missed.

Have you been to London? What are your fave spots?

Fashion, Lifestyle

Travel Photo Diary: Taormina

24th August, 2015
Mazzarò beach.

Mazzarò beach.

Chilling with my girl.

Chilling with my girl.

Bam Bar - best granita's in town!

Bam Bar – best granitas in town!

Beach days.

Beach days.

Mazzarò beach.

Beachside at Mazzarò beach.

Cruising in culottes.

Cruising in culottes.

Taking Sophia to the church where we were married.

Paying a visit to San Giuseppe Church where Luke and I were married.

Taking Sophia to the church where we were married.

Taking Sophia to the church where we were married.

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Exploring with Sophia.

Cooling down at a water fountain in the public gardens.

Cooling down at a water fountain in the public gardens.

Family time.

Family time by the pool.

Feeding the fish in Taormina's public gardens.

Feeding the fish in Taormina’s public gardens.

Sunset drinks at The Grand Hotel Timeo.

Sunset drinks at The Grand Hotel Timeo.

After recently spending some time in Sweden for a wedding, we decided to take a side trip to one of my favourite places in the world – Taormina in Italy. It’s actually the first time I’ve been back since Luke and I were married there and this time around we had a special guest in tow, Sophia. It was nice to have some quality family time and enjoy the summer sun. It was particularly special having Sophia there with us as we took her to the church where we were married and the gardens where we had our wedding photos taken. I’ve been spending time in Taormina with my family since I was very little, so it was nice to be able to enjoy it with my own family this time around.

See my favourite things to do and see in Taormina HERE.