As families head into summer, a mild panic starts to set in as we finalize travel planning and seasonal activities with our kids. Of course, all the upcoming fun is a great excuse to shop!
Here’s our summer travel retail therapy “like” and “want” list. I love that these ideas from moms living on both coasts in the US and across the Atlantic are varied, yet all help make travel easier and more enjoyable. What’s on your list?
Being forced to pare down travel accessories and clothing means everything I bring on a trip has to be fantastic and useable. Here is what caught my eye this season:
Backpack: Thank goodness they are back in style! You can carry all the things you need while have your hands free to help your kids. Check out Tory Burch’s version. The black is practical, but the orange/pink combo is downright fun!
New Suitcase: Mine has logged to many miles and needs to be replaced. For international travel, carry-ons can only be 20” high. Given that I can’t give up any extra space, I’m going with the wide body option with spinners. The spinners allow you to not only rest a bag on it, but also slide sideways down the airplane aisle. Briggs & Riley (not the prettiest but looks like the biggest and has a terrific warranty). Rimowas hardbodies also have fun color choices and are very durable.
Tote: I love totes! They carry a ton and many purposes. I always have the same small purse that I toss into my big totes. I’ve been eyeing the classic monogram Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM Tote ($750-$1300)
Travel Wallet: I want something pretty that holds my passport and my travel documents, so they don’t get lost in my big travel tote. I love the Smythson Travel Clutch, but that’s a bit too pricey for me ($780). This beauty does double duty, remove the inner document folder and you can use it as a clutch. They also have a zipped currency case that Oprah recommends.
Aspinal Travel Wallet
For now, this little red patent leather travel wallet from Aspinal is going to be the one for me. They have a huge selection of fine leather travel accessories.
Camera Accessories: The Tamron 18-275 Lense for my Nikon illiminates the need to swap from my short lense to my long zoom lense. These are few and far between because of the earthquake. The newer ones are much lighter than the previous model — phew.
To glam up and soften up my camera strap, I found Mod Straps. With many color options, they have one to go with each mood!
Cannon Powershot D10
I’m a wanderer. When I visit someplace new, I tend to wander with my girls to help us get the lay of the land and that inevitably leads to shopping. That said, I don’t typically spend much money buying things before a trip. It’s a budget practice, so when I find that must have, like that fabulous purse in Sevilla, Spain, I have no guilt.
Camera: But I am only human, and when we were getting ready for our Spring Break Adventure to Costa Rica, I decided I had to have the Canon PowerShot D10 waterproof and shockproof camera to catch the kids above and below the waves. Did I really need it? No, but I’m thrilled I’ve got it.
Brush-on Sunscreen: Since we spend so much time in the water, it can feel like I spend hours of the day applying and reapplying sunscreen, especially on the girls’ faces. I really want to try brush on sunscreen. Coolibar and Sephora: Bare Escentuals both look like winners. Ever tried them? Let me know. Summer vacation is coming.
Fairy Princess Palace Book
I don’t seem to approach packing for my family the same way that most of my girlfriends do. I don’t lay clothes and toys and stuff on a spare bed weeks before takeoff. I don’t spend hours shopping in preparation and I don’t pack tonnes of stuff to keep my kids occupied en-route and on arrival.
Kids’ Suitcase: Our ride-on kiddie suitcase Trunki, however, has become invaluable in the airport. You can whizz your kids around the airport on these and they are much more practical than a pushchair.
Travel Toys: My kids can play for hours with their Fairy Princess Palace book, it’s a book that pops up into a dolls house style castle complete with paper doll fairies, secret passages, opening doors and even a bathroom with pop up toilet seat. It also has a story with it so can double up as a bed time story too and packs up flat just like a standard book.
Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Treatment
Airline luggage fees have made me rethink how I pack for vacation. We now often travel with carry-on luggage only and I am tired of hoisting up heavy bags into the overhead compartments.
Luggage: The eBags Mother Lode eTech Mini 21″ Wheeled Duffel is light, has several packing compartments and a very convenient outside zipper pouch for the liquid carry-ons. My 5 year old will use this bag for our upcoming trip to France.
Sandals: Fit Flops were love at first try. For the first time in my life, I have a pair of sandals that I can walk in all day and never have sore feet – my arches are singing me love songs in these! I have three pair and they range from beach casual to black patent going out casual. They are very light so I always include them in my packing list.
Lip Gloss: You’re either a lip gloss or a lipstick fan and for me it’s lip gloss all the way. Jo Malone makes a thick, rich lip treatment that is perfect for colder weather or the dry air on airplanes. It has a light scent like vitamin E or honey and has SPF 15. And the best part – shipping is free and you get a couple of samples with your order.
Bingle Privo by Clarks Walking Shoes
Nothing screams “I’m a tourist” like tennis or running shoes worn while not exercising in Europe. That said, walking is a big part of travel and you need something comfortable for all terrain conditions.
Walking Shoes: Privo by Clarks is a fantastic middle ground. I have the Bingle style — they are “sporty” but not gym shoes. They are slip-on (ideal for flying) with textured “bumps” inside that make them oh so comfortable.
My other travel luxury these days comes from carrying 1-2 Eminence Organics face masks with me. This organic skincare line smells divine and they have an array of treatments that are rejuvenating after long travel or sightseeing days when your skin feels dehydrated and dirty.
My favorites include the Blueberry Soy Repair Masque and the Stone Crop Masque … but the entire list will have you drooling. Can’t decide? Buy one and ask for samples.