Stuff for YOU on the Road

I could have called this ‘Mummy Treats’ or some such nonsense, but frankly I think there are times when it is great to not consider yourself a mum, and just think about the things you want to make you feel good. After all, it’s all very well if your little darling is all set for a day at the beach but it’s far less fun if you feel like your hair is a fuzzy monstrosity and your skin resembles some of the leathery lizards you encounter in your tropical travels. So, let’s ditch the mum label and just think about things that we want to take with us to have a more enjoyable trip.

In Japan it got pretty chilly…cold weather needs moisturiser!

Your Body

I have very dry skin. There was nowhere the bio oil did not go during the pregnancy, and before that it was generous lashings of whatever body butter was on special offer. Thankfully, there is a brilliant oil-based solution: Burt’s Bees Nourishing Body Oil. Not only does it smell lovely but you only have to use a bit to feel all soft (and it doesn’t make you feel like a greasy chip) which means it doesn’t take up too much space.

Sometimes there are super-scaly bits that basic moisturiser just can’t handle. For that, this little pot of stuff is brilliant: Trilogy Everything Balm. Bung it on your scabby elbows, flaky feet or any other place that has taken a bashing from the sun.

And in Oz it was toasty warm…

Your Face

It is beyond me how I end up with so many bottles for such a small part of my body. Day cleanser, night cleanser, day cream, night cream and eye cream, and that’s just the basics. One of the best products I’ve found is Moringa’s Amazing Face. Mostly because it takes out a few of the bottles. It’s a lovely creamy oil-based cleanser which doubles up as a night moisturiser, so you basically just need a tub of it and a flannel. Admittedly the packaging it comes in is hardly travelling-friendly, but you can always decant it into something else. Yes, I know, it’s ridiculously expensive, but it lasts such a long time it actually worked out cheaper for me than buying other cheaper stuff that ran out quicker.

Wind is adding to the skin issues in New Zealand

If you want something separate for the day, then I discovered this while googling ways to look after unpleasant pregnancy skin. Not for me the glowing skin of pregnancy, despite being promised it in all the books and blogs. No, I got some scabby red marks that were somehow greasy and flaky at the same time. Unfortunately they didn’t magically disappear after having the baby, and sun exposure doesn’t help much. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is great as it’s soap free, so it’s really gentle on your skin. I bought a tub of it when I was about 2 months pregnant and it’s still half full, so it really lasts a long time. You can double up on your flannel, so again a space saver for packing.

And in Australia, lots of rain.

Day moisturiser is a must for me, especially in places like Oz where I can increase my wrinkles by an extra 25% because of the high UV. Ouch. This Antirougers is great, as it’s nice and light, has a SPF of 25 and has a pale green colour which for me helps to balance out the persistent ‘glow’ that didn’t really go away.

Your Hair

Shampoo and conditioner. I’ll leave that one up to you.

And back to snow in New Zealand…all those temperature changes take their toll!

Your Period

Yes, your period. Not ‘feminine hygiene,’ or ‘the time of the month,’ or any other pseudo references to the fact that blood drips out of your vagina once a month. It’s about time we stopped faffing about with this and just acknowledged what half the population go through.

Of course, if you do have a small baby then the odds are yours are a bit erratic, especially if you’re breastfeeding, but it’s still something you’ll need to think about. For me, a cup was by far the easiest, cheapest and most economical while on the road. I have a Femmecup, mostly because that’s all my local pharmacy had when I was in a fit of ecological pique, but feel free to try other brands. Yes, it takes a bit of getting used to. There were several leaks, the folding technique took a while, and sometimes it hurt a bit when putting it in/taking it out. But I persevered. Partly because I was sick of spending so much money every month, but also because it just seemed like a massive waste of cotton wool. It also felt like a bit of an ‘up yours’ to the bloody government for taxing my ‘luxury’ items every month.

There are occasional leaks. Not very often, and it’s usually only in that very early few days when it feels like your insides are melting and you have the constant fear of leaking onto your clothes. In which case, invest in a pair or two of THINX. Personally I find the sensation of wearing pads (even the winged/super slim/chic/designer ones) makes me waddle about like a duck, and they always end up finding their way into some crevice or another. With these pants, they have an inbuilt absorbent panel so you literally just wear them all day and then rinse them out at night. Bloody genius. They look pretty nice too.

So there you have it. A few items to splash out on for your own suitcase, which you can hopefully tuck in between the mountain of muslins/clothes/assorted crap that someone about the tenth of your size needs.

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I'm a writer, teacher and drummer based in London. Short fiction and reviews are my main staples, along with some dabbling in novel writing.

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