If you love traveling, there’s also the packing to deal with beforehand. Before children, this was part of the fun for me. The anticipation of going away would slowly build up with every list I would make, every item of clothing I would put aside, each travel-sized toiletry I would purchase… Nowadays (having to pack not just for myself but also for my four little favourites), there’s nothing relaxed about preparing for a trip. Packing has become a piece of organisation that I have to dive in with full focus and let me tell you — you better not disturb my concentration when I’m at it! But, over the years, I have learned to become a more essential packer. I know what basics we need, and what really is redundant. If not a more relaxed packer, I have definitely become a more efficient one. ; )
Lo & Sons is a hip US company offering an extensive collection of extremely functional and good-looking travel gear. The business was started by a mother (Helen Lo) and her two sons, and we are so proud that they are partnering with us at our next LA ShopUp event (taking place in 2 weeks time, guys!). Lo & Sons sent me one large and one small version of their cool Catalina Deluxe bags, and asked me to show what I would pack for a weekend away (just the kids and I, sorry Tamar!), and fit it all in their bags. Ok, fun!
The Catalina Deluxe bags are made of a lovely, light-weighed and pre-washed cotton canvas material and come in four pretty colours. I love the designs — they are really cool looking! (They are slightly slouchy and ‘relaxed’, and there’s no ugly branding and such.) The fabric is soft and sturdy and easy to fold or roll, allowing for easy storage. Next to the ‘usual’ features such as two open pockets and a zipped pocket on the inside, the bags have some other handy features like a special padded compartment in the bottom of the bag (perfect, for example, for shoes, dirty laundry, or an overnight stay during your journey), a clever, adjustable back sleeve to slide over suitcase handles and a messenger strap with memory foam on the shoulder pad for comfort.
So… Packing for two nights away in springtime in the Netherlands means that weather-wise, it can go all directions! We’ve had some lovely warm and sunny days recently, but it’s still really chilly (cold even!) in the evenings and in the mornings. (And let’s face it, there is always the chance of rain in Holland.) So I would have to pack clever — some summery things, but definitely a few warm and waterproof layers as well.
Here’s what I selected for the children (for the Catalina Deluxe large):
I was a bit concerned when I started putting everything in the bag as it seemed like a lot all spread out over the bed! But I was surprised to see that I was easily able to fit everything in the bag. (Especially with that extra compartment in the bottom, in which I put the Pac-a-Macs, the flip-flops and the muslin towels.) It is truly impressive to see how much one can fit into that one weekender!
OK, next, my own bag (the Catalina Deluxe Small). Here’s what I put out for myself:
Voila! I put my phone, wallet and keys in the zippered pocket inside, the pouches, my flip-flops, sunscreen and beach towel in the bottom compartment together with the small pouches, and the rest fitted easily in the main part of the bag. (I liked the open side pockets for my underwear — I hate it when I lose them between the bigger things and have to start digging for them!)
Perfect! All packed. I hope I didn’t forget anything… What do you think of my list? What are the essentials you always pack for your kids? And for yourself? I would love to hear!