Travelling with Children? Sophie Devonshire checks-in with littleluxlifestyle
Mother of two, successful entrepreneur, ex-pat and wife of a diplomat, Sophie Devonshire quite rightly tells us where to go…
What luggage do you carry?
A jolly big suitcase that is very light. I don’t even know what make it is, but it manages to fit in a lot of stuff and still be easy to wheel and lift.
And what baggage?
Two girls, Rosie 7 and George 4. Both always excited by holidays and travel and great fun to be with.
Do you travel differently with children?
Yes, not necessarily the place, but the pace. Life ‘BC’ (before children) included holidays with late nights, drinking, dancing, sleeping in and snoozing on the beach, with the occasional bit of sailing when my husband could persuade me. Now there are early mornings, ice creams and beach games. We often use it as a time to catch up with friends and spend proper, focused, fun time with the littlies. This summer we’re going to Cornwall being deliciously British with lots of fish and chips, crabbing… and probably a lot of rain if this month’s at all typical.
Click your fingers, where are you?
Paris. I love it with my 10-year wedding anniversary coming up it’s on the cards for a weekend, or it had better be for a happy harmonious continued married life. We have a holiday house in St Mawes which I love but the schlepp down from London with carsick and chatty children can be a bit wearing.
Jet plane or slow train?
I love trains as an alternative to cars (anywhere where I can read makes me happy), but I choose planes every time. I love airport shopping and people watching. Georgina as a toddler was a terrible flirt and would spend every flight walking up and down the aisles. Back and forth, smile and wave.
What are your packing essentials?
I always pop in our Perfect Palazzos and Wrap and Magic Dress for travelling. They are so comfy, fold up small and never crease. I also love my Anya Hindmarch washbag, Aromatherapy Associates do some mini bath oils, great for sniffing on a plane and making hotel rooms smell lovely.
For the girls, Calpol and a camera – a great distraction for Rosie that produces some interesting results. We always take an old baby changing bag with lots of hidden pockets. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon use it so I can always persuade my husband to carry it.
Your top tips for travelling with children?
I always spend about an hour the day before we fly wrapping up little presents for them. Mini crayons, printed-out colouring-in from the net, juice or raisins and a magazine. By wrapping them, you add about a million layers of excitement and create ‘treatland’ on the plane. It gives them something to look forward to and distracts them. We spend at least one holiday a year with friends with kids the same age. That way you can take it in turns to get up early with the kids, who have each other to play with, plus share babysitting (boys’ night out, girl’s night out, date night).
Hurrah, you have a child-free weekend – where do you go?
A mini-break with maxi-fun with my hard-working husband, taking lots of books for when he’s sleeping. A little bit of pampering for me and a lot of sleep for him. We recently went to the very lovely Montpellier Chapter in Cheltenham.
In Sophie’s little black book…
My Father-in-law treated us to a weekend at Calcot Manor after Rosie was born (without her) but it’s also great for kids
We also love the Hotel Tresanton which is near our place in Cornwall & is very kid-friendly
We stayed with some friends in a lovely gite in France via Tots to travel