Cabin Baggage: Children

Preparation for a long-haul flight (without children) was all about self-indulgence. A week before travel I’d stock up on my favourite cosmetics, spend a lunch hour in the book store selecting some choice holiday reads (and a few trashy mags) and look forward to a 24-hour reading and movie bonanza with no telephones ringing. I’d settle down with a nice G&T, a prepared meal and put my feet up.

A date with my hairdresser prior to travel was high on my list of things to do and a full wardrobe review and try on was mandatory. Any wardrobe items that were lacking were added to my shopping list.

Today, as Charlotte and Sophie played hide-and-seek in a large suitcase I had a wicked thought of how much easier this upcoming flight would be if they could both travel in the hold.

I’ve spent the past week collecting various toys for the children’s cabin baggage, which is now just about packed (minus their favourite bears – they’ll have to wait till departure). Books, toys, lollies to suck on landing and take-off, changes of clothes, nappies and wipes all encased in two special bags on wheels (entertainment in themselves). My bag (once one of those special bags on wheels, but without Bob the Builder emblazoned on the side) is now a tiny travel bag that can be safely strapped across my body and contains the bare essentials; purse, passport, tickets, toothbrush and (if I remember) mascara and lip balm for good measure.

As I gathered together an assortment of clothes for my suitcase I spent a moment wondering how good a halter-neck summer dress was really going to look on my milk-bottle white legs and thought wistfully of a spray-tan. After that the rest of my wardrobe was much more practical (including a rain-coat).

I haven’t had a chance to get my hair-cut, so will be going for the delightful hair screwed back style. Perhaps a pair of Paris-Hilton over-sized sunglasses will give me a few percentiles on the style index. More likely they’ll bring a welcome disguise to my sleep-deprived eyes. Oh the days when a bottle of Evian facial spray was an essential!