My secret to traveling light

85470709What makes up most of our luggage during a trip? Clothes. With a toddler who just turned four I am changing him at least twice a day during my travels. When he was little I used to carry blankets, sheets, burp cloths etc. How do we reduce this luggage and make traveling more convenient?

A. Find hotels, B&B’s or rent homes that have washer and dryers available (small hotels in Europe do provide this facility)
B. Carry a clothes detergent
C. Carry clothes that are made from quick drying fabrics. Most active wear clothing are easy to clean, dry quickly even when hung indoors. They are wrinkle free, wicking, offer stretch and are preshrunk. A perfect solution for an action and family packed travel

I finally found a solution for a clothes detergent. Try Method’s travel size Laundry detergent – a 8 load solution. I even used this detergent in the bath tub – just soaked clothes in the detergent, rinsed them in the morning and hung them dry. They smelled great and felt clean.

Method Laundry Detergent

A tiny bottle that is easy to pack and easy to use. Pack it in a ziploc – it did leak in my bag on my way back from my trip. Check out more details about this product on the Method Site.

We were on our way to Lindau, Germany in the super fast RailJet. In the train we met a family on their 2 month trip with their 3 sons (age range 5-12 yrs old) and they were carrying one back pack each. I am no where close to packing so efficiently but they surely inspired me. Check out this blog that provides a lot more information on how to travel light: OneBag

Tag to go

Leap Frog Tag Reader

Age Appropriate: 3 Years & Up

On our Colorado trip we took a new toy – with a bit more educational disposition. The Leap Frog’s – Tag Reader. I was not sure how Devam would react to the tag reader so I bought some tag books with familiar charachters. He fell in love with it. He spent hours reading each book with the tag reader. Ofcourse he started by touching the pages of these specially printed storybooks. He was amazed at the sounds the tag reader made. He giggled and explored all the little areas that could generate a response from the reader. Eventually he realized that he could either listen to the story page by page or listen to it word by word. This toy does promote the look and say teaching method so it might be criticized in favor of phonics-based teaching. I did like the fact that Devam could understand the source of the story – the words and how they connected together to form a statement and the overall story. Overall Devam totally spent hours independently playing and exploring the books. Great product from Leap Frog!

Big story behind fashion for the little ones

KicoKids

KicoKids - Summer Collection @ Playtime NYC

If you were walking through Playtime NYC in August 2011, you would not have missed a large display of eclectic clothing for tots (2 to12 years in age). A vibrant mix of colors and patterns made even the otherwise typical plaid boy clothing look exciting. I decided to research the inspiration behind KicoKids. The story of this globetrotting mom is more interesting than the collection itself. Tia Cibani, the founder, was 19 when she decided to join her elder sister Fiona, then a menswear designer, at a Canadian company called Ports International. The long journey that started in Libya to Vancouver, detoured to Xiamen – China and finally ended up at Seventh Avenue in New York. After spending seven years overseeing Ports brand development in Xiamen, Tia returned to the US in 2003 to launch Ports 1961, she opened stores in New York, LA and London. She stepped down from her creative director at Ports 1961 in mid 2010. I believe this is when she turned her hobby of designing clothes for tots to a serious business in partnership with Shu Pu (a.k.a Kitty) and expanded it into a complete collection of knits and woven, as well as accessories and fun lifestyle products. Tia’s creations at Port 1961 as well as at Kicokids displays her passion of taking inspiration from different cultures mixing up the insights to generate modern clothing.

KicoKids @ Playtime NYC

Colors, prints, styles - unique collection at KicoKids

I love brands with a story behind it and this story is rather inspirational for me and I am sure that if you checked out their collection of clothes for tots – you are going to fall in love with it yourself. For tots on the go, check out fun travel accessories, including artist kits and cool back packs. I also loved their rather light rain jackets (as displayed on mannequin above), the hoodie very conveniently turns into a little tote that can carry the jacket when not in use. Compact, light and convenient – I love it.

A little bit of bohemian spirit

What are you usually thinking when packing clothes for yourself and your tots? Comfort was on my mind till my tot turned 2 years old. And now I am thinking la mode. A vacation is a time to give yourself and your family a break from the usual, making it fun and exciting while keeping comfort in mind. Many designers from all over the world be it mom-based start-ups or fashion houses are embracing this desire.

At Playtime NYC I came across several small-businesses that are focused on bringing tot-comfort fashion to the runways. One such company worth looking at is TiMoun (Timoun meaning a child in Creole). A Haiti based mom –Vanessa Goschinny has crocheted since she was nine years old and dreamed of launching her own brand of hand-made creations for infants and tots. Her simple knitted patterns, modern cuts, flower embellished halters in an innocent palette will brighten up your little chic. Timoun’s laid-back bohemian spirit is ideal for your tot’s summertime needs whether you are visiting the beach or just the country-side.

While I could not identify where one could buy Timoun’s collection they are likely to announce a list of international distributors very soon.