Last month, my four year old daughter Leila and I spent a month travelling through France and Switzerland with some friends, escaping Aussie winter and soaking up the European sun. It was a fabulous experience, particularly from a language immersion perspective, not to mention eating croissants and brioche for breakfast every morning. Oh and did I mention drinking well priced French champagne every night? Well not every night but you know, more often than not. How else do you survive travelling with kids, right?!
Before I left I made a commitment to only take carry on luggage as a way to keep myself from packing all my 'just in case' items that I normally take and never use. I also knew I would be doing a lot of lifting suitcases on and off French trains or up narrow apartment staircases so it made sense to take a small bag each for both of us. My husband thought it was a great idea too because he knew it meant I wouldn't have much room for shopping....
So it followed that my 'only take what you really need' mantra would flow on to my toiletry bag. I thought I would share with you what products from Natural Supply Co I took for both of us and why.
1. Sun Protection
The obvious first choice going over to summer climes was sunscreen. I took Simple As That SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen for the both of us and it lasted well for a month. Because it is blended with Raspberry Seed Oil it isn't as gluggy as some other natural sunscreens and I liked that it is non-greasy.
Deodorant in summer is also a non-negotiable for me so I chose Lavanila Healthy Deodorant in Sport Luxe Mini in travel size. This also lasted really well and I found it kept me feeling fresh most of the time. A couple of times when I was running to make an airline connection and trying to drag a four year old (who of course wanted to look at all the things in the airport shops) I found I would still sweat but not as much as I would have with nothing on. A caveat here, I also sweat like a racehorse so I never expect a deodorant to stop me sweating altogether. No such thing as 'Ladies glow' for me! It doesn't contain aluminium so you have no worries about what your pores are absorbing.
3. Hand Sanitiser
A must for travelling, especially with kids! I chose Bondi Wash Hand Spray because I am in love with the Tasmanian Pepper and Lavender fragrance and I like that it comes in a metal bottle so it is low on plastic and sturdy enough to handle life in my handbag. I used this all the time, on our hands after public toilet visits, sprayed onto tissues to wipe down the tray tables on the plane, before eating at restaurants when I couldn't face a battle with Leila to wash her hands. So good and naturally anti-bacterial.
I am not normally a purchaser of soap bars. I tend to buy liquid forms but travelling for a month with limited space meant I had to choose what would last longer. I would definitely travel with soap again. Especially when it smells as good as Dr Bronner's Pure Castile Bar Soap in Hemp Rose. It is soft and gentle enough to use on Leila's skin as well as my sensitive skin. I used it on a face washer in the bath for Leila and then I applied it to Face Food's Konjac Charcoal Sponge so I could get a good scrub in the shower. The charcoal draws out the dirt and bacteria and helped keep me pimple-free as it is gentle enough to use on your face. I liked the fact that travelling with soap cut down on my need for liquids in plastic bottles. Handy if you are only taking carry on and have to put your toiletries through airport security.
5. Shampoo and Conditioner
Another new experience was using a solid shampoo for the same reasons I decided to travel with soap. I used Clean Coast Collective's Seaside Shampoo Bar for washing both mine and Leila's hair and was really happy with it. It has a gorgeous fragrance due to the rosemary and nettle ingredients. I have short hair so I don't need to wash it that often but even still the shampoo bar is still going strong two months later. The bar does need to dry out between uses to get the most out of it so I bought a plastic soap carrier with the drainy bits inside it to travel and it was fine. I just used the shampoo bar for Leila 's hair but I found I still needed to condition my hair using O&M's Hydrate & Conquer Conditioner in travel size. The 50ml size lasted the month as I was only using it every couple of washes. We are on the lookout for a solid conditioner bar to stock so if anyone knows any good ones please let me know on email@example.com!
6. Other Hair Products
I took O&M's Know Knott Detangler Spray and Surf Bomb Sea Salt Texture Spray both in mini sizes. Leila has very fine hair that gets knotty so I found the Know Knott spray invaluable for brushing her hair with minimal fuss. Well ok, some tears but not as bad as the screaming when I don't use it. It works well on both dry and wet hair, a quick spray after bathtime shampoo acted as her conditioner and meant it was a lot easier to brush when it dried.
I have been using Surf Bomb spray for years instead of hairspray. Because my hair is so fine, I find hairspray too heavy and sticky but the Surf Bomb gives just enough hold for me to style it without weighing it down. I also love that it smells like you've just been for a dip in the ocean.
7. Dental Care
This was easy. A Comme Co Bamboo toothbrush for me and a Jack and Jill Koala toothbrush for Leila. We both used Jack and Jill Natural Toothpaste in Blackcurrant flavour (Leila's choice). Look I wouldn't say I loved using kids toothpaste but when you have limited space you will resort to desperate measures! It is fluoride and sugar free and vegan friendly so ticks the boxes.
8. Facial Care
This section was the hardest one to pare down to absolute necessities! I decided that I needed to breakdown the necessities - cleanse, moisturise and treat. So cleansing was taken care of with EcoCare Facial Cleansing Wipes with Rose and Chamomile (not shown in flatlay) to easily cleanse without the need for water - good for plane travel and also doubles as emergency baby wipes if needed.
To moisturise I used Madara Tinted Moisturising Fluid in Sunflower Golden Beige in mini size during the day which was my double duty base instead of using foundation. I used Madara Radiant Energy organic facial oil which I am so in love with as my night serum. You only need a couple of drops of this so I didn't have to worry about running out and it nourishes your skin overnight, especially after being in the sun or on a plane. I used this on Leila when she had some little dry skin patches as well.
For treatments I took Grown Alchemist Blemish Treatment Gel just in case I had any time of the month or chocolate croissant-induced breakouts. I probably could have done without this in retrospect but I hate having pimples on holidays and I knew I wasn't taking any makeup/concealer to cover them up. I took Madara SOS Instant Moisture and Hydra Radiance Mask in mini size for two reasons. First to use as a hydrating mask on the plane as it is great for preventing repetitive skin dehydration and is lightweight. Second to mix with the Madara tinted moisturiser to make sure it lasted the distance and if I felt like I needed a touch more hydration that day.
9. Make Up
I was really keen not to take any make up on this trip as I knew I would just be running around with Leila in parks or the beach and not going out to fancy parties and places. I have to say it was liberating and I felt very carefree. My only concessions were mascara and tinted lip balm which I used if I wanted to feel a bit more dressy for the times we took the kids out to dinner. Lash Food Conditioning Volume 3-D Mascara has become my absolute go-to mascara. I love it and it takes a lot for me to love a mascara! The wand is flexible rubber, it doesn't clump up and it has excellent staying power. Luk Beautifood's Lip Nourish in Peach Melon is the perfect blend of lip balm and gloss with just the right hint of summery colour.
The last thing I took was Laundress Wash & Stain Bar and I am so glad I did. Only having a carry on sized suitcase meant I did have to do some washing every few days. Funny how you don't mind washing when you are on holidays. It was great for doing knickers and socks and I often channelled Crocodile Dundee and washed them while I was in the bath or shower.
So there you have it. Everything needed for one mum and one child for a month overseas to stay clean and comfortable.
PS the epilogue to my carry-on overseas trip was that I bought two pairs of beautiful French shoes that I knew I couldn't walk away from and had to buy an overnighter bag to take them home in. Well, I tried!