Myleene Klass is a very, very busy woman. Since her days of singing for Hear’Say, we have seen her modelling for Pantene and Marks & Spencer and interviewing movie stars for CNN, designing for Littlewoods and sitting on the Loose Women panel, launching her own nail range and working as a correspondent for Alan Titchmarsh. Klass, literally, doesn’t stop and, on top of it all, she is a mother to two daughters, Ava and Hero. Her range for Mothercare, Baby K, is a huge seller and the latest range, which retains her signature black and white colour palette, is no less gorgeous. With both childrenswear and nursery interiors available, the look of the season is the Dalmatian print two-piece comprising of shorts and a top. New to Baby K is the accessories range consisting of a handbag, headband, floppy hat, cap, black- rimmed glasses and footwear, all created to compliment the clothing collection. We are delighted that Myleene found a few moments to sit down with kodomo to chat travel with her children, the challenges of flying with tots and her latest range for Mothercare.
Q: What is your first childhood memory of travel?
My earliest memory is of the first time I travelled with my parents to the Bahamas. My dad worked as a diver and he and his team used to teach me to swim in the pool. I remember playing with bottles on the beach trying to make a sandcastle and the entire bar singing happy birthday to me! I have always loved to travel and my girls certainly share the same spirit of adventure.
Q: Where have you had your best holiday to date? (This can be before having children!)
Before I had children, I could while away hours reading a trashy novel on a beach, but now, it’s all about exploring and packing in as many adventures as possible into one day. My most epic holiday (so far!) would have to be taking my girls to Mexico. We swam in the cenotes, went kayaking in caves and took a boat to search for dolphins in the wild which, when we finally caught up with some, was completely magical. We spent most evenings around the fire on the beach, toasting giant marshmallows and waiting for shooting stars.
Q: Where was the first place you went with a little one in tow? How did it go?
My girls have always travelled with me as I’m fortunate enough to have a job that takes me round the world. The first place I ever took Ava to was Cape Town in South Africa, where I was filming an advert. She was only a few months old and I remember bringing the most ridiculous amount of paraphernalia. I have learnt to severely downsize on the packing front since then! Barbados was the first place Hero travelled to as a baby and, by that point, I think I had packing down to just some steriliser tablets, nappies and a few babygros. A very different experience indeed.
Q: How do you find the experience of travelling with children?
I love travelling with my girls as they have taught me to live in the moment. Before having them, I couldn’t wait to get out of arrivals and ‘start’ my holiday, but now, even the most mundane of things like waiting for our luggage to appear on the conveyor belt provides it’s own entertainment. I’ve discovered that the adventure begins from the moment you leave your house. Saying that, if one of them is sick on the plane or we loose a toy en route, it can be pretty full on!
Do you ever travel with your children for work?
I try and bring my girls on as many trips abroad as I can. I don’t, however, take them on my trips for Save the Children if I know I will be working with sick and dying children in hospitals that might be hard to reach. The stamina required and the emotional heartache involved is something that I don’t think they would be able to cope with at this young age. I do fully intend to take them on my charity trips when they are a little older though, so that they can learn and see what the world is like for so many and hopefully help them, too.
Q: Where was your best holiday with your child?
We’ve packed in countless adventures so it’s hard to choose, but the experiences that are up there in my top ten include flying in a helicopter over Mexico spotting whales and dolphins, swimming in the Maldives with a gazilion tropical fish, trekking the jungles of Thailand, holding giant spiders whilst jumping in and out of the waterfalls and trying to catch fireflies at dusk on a deserted beach in Jamaica. Riding the sandunes in the Dubai dessert and meeting ‘Victoria’ the camel was also a special moment.
Q: And your worst?
Hero loosing her shoes on a trek of the ruins in Mexico and me having to carry her the entire time whilst she wriggled to get down and be with Ava. It was so hot and she didn’t believe me when I told her she’d cut her feet on the rocks if I let her walk barefoot. It was constant negotiations for four hours and I must have lost a stone in sweat from the heat and holding her.
Q: What is your must-have travel accessory when away with children?
Q: And top tips for travel with kids?
My top travel tip is to go with the flow. Don’t recreate a home away from home. Try different food, get out and meet different people, see new things, and don’t let other’s fears confine you, because it’s not something they would do. Jetlag, mozzie bites and heat rash are all part of it, but not the thing you remember. I enjoy just getting out of the hotel room and seeing the world and watching how my girls approach new things. We once found ourselves on a deserted island in Thailand and built a ‘boat’ from all the bits and bobs that had washed up on the shore and had hours of fun. Also, when we go to the markets abroad, there’s so much to see and try. I check to see what the locals are eating and then get stuck in with them no matter how questionable things might look for a western palette. I don’t know half the things we ate when we wandered around a market in Thailand, and it’s probably best I don’t know what they were, but the girls enjoyed going up to the stalls and eating things on sticks so that was good enough for me!!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved with Mothercare and what we can expect from your next collection?
My collection at Mothercare is like my third child! I have been working with them for nine years now and have become very close to the team as well as garnered a huge understanding of what my customer likes and expects from my range. Its been wonderful to see the Babyk babies growing up and getting to dress them, as well as meeting my new customers.
This collection is as bold and fun as ever before and has everything from casual little joggers and jeans in it to little leather jackets, tutus and cute cord shorts and tees. There are lots of powerful, positive slogans on the shirts too, which my girls and Godsons inspired and the fabrics and the details are so luxurious and special. There a new accessories in the range from glasses to wide brimmed hats and little bags. It’s something i’m very proud of and I hope that everyone loves it as much as we do.