Sophie Bloomfield is Beauty Director at Harper’s Bazaar and lives in West London with her husband and two sons, aged 3 and 5. She takes time out of her very busy schedule (she has recently covered London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks almost back-to-back) to chat through her best and worst travel experiences with little ones.
Q: What is your first childhood memory of travel?
Being at a hotel in Morocco, aged about 6, watching snake charmers with my 4 year old brother who said ‘thank you’ as he took the money out of the cap when it came around after the show!
Q: Where have you had your best holiday to date?
Zanzibar. Yes that was pre-kids! It was magical.
Q: Where was the first place you went with a little one in tow? How did it go?
Spain to a family villa: it was a disaster. Our eldest son was three months old at the time; I just recall a lot of time spent indoors trying to get him to settle for naps, and returned white as a sheet.
Q: How do you find the experience of travelling with children?
The airport is always hell. It goes something like this: usually I am left with both kids at Gatwick, having been up since 4am to get there and check in. They are crying and begging to be carried and I am desperate for coffee and attempting to buy magazines. Meanwhile, husband browses in duty free! All I have to share regarding flights is that Business makes that crucial difference between heaven and hell when flying long haul. When we’re there, it’s all about a great kids club: a balance between some time for us to relax and then having amazing bonding time with the boys.
Do you ever travel with your children for work?
Q: Where was your best holiday with your child?
Mustique. Perfect on every level.
Q: And your worst?
That early trip to Spain. Other than that it’s been great.
Q: What is your must-have travel accessory when away with children? What beauty products would you recommend to keep tired, flight-weary skin looking fresh and clean? And what skincare products do you favour for children, particularly with regards to suncare?
Must have travel accessory when away with kids: colouring pads and iPads!
Beauty products: Alexandra Soveral products (her Moody Skin moisturizer, Super Hero Serum and Eye Balm are genius, and all come in sizes small enough to take on board). And a Caudalie Beauty Elixir spray. I also always take Aromatherapy Associates Breathe essential oil, eco baby wipes and Crème de la Mer Lip Balm.
For kids, I always use Green People suncream (or other natural brands) and then Childs Farm for body wash and shampoo.
Q: And top tips for travel with kids?
I always pack as many snacks as possible for them: cereal bars, organic Goodies crisps, fruit, healthy chocolate bars – the worst thing is a meltdown induced by a sugar low or a sugar high! I’ve never medicated them for a flight – I find the best approach to this is to always remember their favourite sleeping ‘bear’ and a pashmina to wrap them up in, and then set them up with an iPad and wait for them to drift off. I always pack 2 spare t-shirts for each of them on long haul flights: one to change into when they inevitably spill something all over themselves mid-flight and then another fresh one for when we get there.