Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the fab ‘Travel Beautifully with Estée Lauder’ event at their spectacular offices in Fitzrovia (they have an open fire in the lobby, for goodness’ sake). I don’t consider myself to be a beauty blogger, but I’m certainly interested in all things travel beauty so I was delighted to attend and find out more about the brands under the Estée Lauder umbrella and pick up some pre-flight pampering tips. I think what many of us don’t know, when we’re browsing the huge area of brands at World Duty Free when we’re travelling, is that many of them offer – and actively encourage you to try – loads of different pre-flight treatments, workshops, walk-in demos, make up lessons and much more!
When you’re packing for holidays, you don’t want to lug your entire beauty routine with you in your case. One: it takes up loads of room and two: it’s a holiday! Time for a pared down, simple beauty routine that gives you more time to have fun. This weekend I’m heading to Walt Disney World Resort Florida with my birthday boy, Charlie, who is 18 tomorrow (I KNOW!) so I thought I’d share my thoughts on beauty essentials for the parks: just enough to keep you looking glowy and gorgeous ready for those selfies with Minnie Mouse (oh, you bet I’ll be stalking her, she’s my fave!).
When you’re planing a holiday, it’s really handy to be able to chat to someone who’s been to that destination before – even better if they can give you a few hints and tips to get the most out of your holiday.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Tenerife, for me, is the stuff of childhood holidays: my first experience of holidays ‘abroad’, warm sunshine, sandy beaches, blue sea and fantastic food. Tenerife is a great place to bring the family as the flight is a manageable length and, whether you want a beach holiday, or want a more active holiday, there is such diversity here, there’s something for everyone. The climate is amazing all year round (it’s known as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’) and even in the winter, you can experience temperatures in the 20s, with very little rain at any time of the year.
What to pack
Packing for a Tenerife holiday is easy as the temperature stays pretty warm during the day. During winter and into the spring, night time temperatures can dip down to 16 degrees, so pack a few extra layers for when you’re out and about during the evening. Tenerife has excellent shopping right across the island, so, especially if you’ve got small children, consider buying some of your essentials, like nappies, when you arrive rather than clogging up your suitcase. Suncream, hats and full-cover swimsuits for the youngsters are a must all year round and especially during the summer and autumn months when temperatures can climb into the high 20s (and have been known to hit the 30s).
Hand luggage helpers
- When travelling with children, pack them a little rucksack of their own with interesting things to do on the journey. It’s also worth packing a few ‘surprise’ items in your own hand luggage to whip out if they start to get bored.
- Make sure you’ve photocopied everyone’s passport, your tickets and any other information, such as travel insurance. Pop it into a different bag, just in case one gets lost.
- Don’t pack enormous hand luggage bags – your fellow passengers (and your family!) won’t thank you when you take ten minutes to squeeze it into the overhead locker, and generally, once it’s there, you won’t want to bother taking it down again. Think about what you’ll really use: iPad, headphones, maybe a book, and leave the rest at home.
Tenerife really is an island of two halves. There are resorts in the very south of the island, and some in the very north. If you want to explore, think about hiring a car (consider arranging it with your travel agent when booking). The main road between the north and south circles the island and is well signposted and easy to navigate. If you’re heading ‘off piste’ be aware that some of the roads may be less well cared for (and marked), especially if you’re heading up towards Teide when there are some mountain roads next to steep drops (worth attempting, though, as the scenery is amazing). Public transport is really good: the bus system is modern and inexpensive, plus you can buy tickets called ‘Bono Bus’ for discounted travel if you’re planning on using the bus system quite a bit.
In the south of the island, don’t miss beautiful Siam Park, a huge Thai-themed water park. For well-priced tickets, try www.attractionticketsdirect.com – also look out for the free double decker buses that run from most of the major southern resorts. Try also to head up to Teide National Park, where the strange lunar landscape has been the backdrop of many a feature film. If you want, you can head up to the summit (well, within 500ft of the summit – you need a permit to go all the way up) in a cable car, but go prepared: wear sturdy shoes and take warm clothing – it’s very cold up there! Also, don’t miss the Botanical Gardens in Puerto de la Cruz, and make time to visit Garachico for a swim in the incredible lava pools.
- Don’t visit Tenerife without trying the lovely salty papas arugadas (literally ‘wrinkled potatoes’) and the delicious accompanying mojo sauces
- Tenerife also produces some stunning wines (mostly exported to the USA, sadly), but you’ll often find small producers selling their wares locally.
- Kids will love another local delicacy called simply ‘flan’. It’s similar to creme caramel and is served in moreish custardy slabs, sometimes with the dark caramel sauce but often just plain.
Like a Local
In Tenerife, locals don’t tend to invite people into their houses, so often you’ll see families and friends congregating in local squares in the evening, chatting and laughing together. They’re incredibly friendly people and will often chat to you – especially If you have small children! It’s worth looking out for where the locals drink as they’re often much cheaper than the tourist bars.
Do remember, especially in the older, less touristy parts of Tenerife, that businesses will close in the afternoon for a siesta, reopening at about 4.30pm for the evening. If you’re buying postcards, ask in the shop for stamps to save you visiting the post office separately.
Tipping in restaurants is about the same as here In the UK – about 10% should be fine. If you’re drinking at a table in a café or bar, the waiter will tend to wait for you to finish before bringing you the whole bill, rather than paying for drinks as you buy them. Rounding up the bill or leaving some loose change is always appreciated.
Phrases you should know
I do recommend that you take an English/Spanish language book with you. Although most locals, especially in tourist areas, speak excellent English, they always appreciate it (and will often help you with pronunciation etc) if you have a go at a few simple phrases like: sí (yes) – it’s just no for no- buenos días (good morning), por favor (please) and gracias (thank you).
So there you have it, these are my top tips. Anything to add?
So recently I was having a chat with a fellow travelling Mum about long-haul plane travel. It turns out that our must-haves are pretty much identical:
- Face wipes
- Moisturiser – face AND hand
- Loads of water (and strictly no booze)
- Lots of thin layers
- A pashmina or wrap
- Plenty of stretches and exercise
- Soft shoes (not strictly a beauty essential but NEVER use a plane loo in bare feet!)
As soon as I get on a plane, it’s off with the ol’ makeup, on with a thick layer of moisturiser. If I shouldn’t be sleeping there I won’t sleep (I reckon it helps with jet lag although some scientist or other would prove me wrong).
I have a make-up bag packed pretty much all the time so I don’t have to chop and change too much. My must-haves are
- Dr Bronner’s liquid soap (you can wash your smalls in it too)
- Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint SPF15 (I’m prone to skin pigmentation so I layer it under MAC Fortified Skin Enhancer SPF35 in ‘Neutralise’, which counteracts redness as well)
- High factor aerosol sun cream (I was introduced to this by Liz on a recent trip – so easy to apply and you don’t have to rub it in)
- Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (I’ve just tried the new fragrance free one too – fabulous for parched lips, sunburned noses, dry elbows, cuticles and so much more – see competition at the bottom of the page!)
I asked some of my fellow travelling mums what their favourite travel beauty tips or must-take beauty essentials are. Here’s what they had to say:
Liz Jarvis (@lizjarvisUK) is a journalist and travel writer and also writes The Mum Blog:
- A good quality suncare spray (much less messy than cream – I like Clinique’s Body Spray SPF 25)
- Moisturing skincare wipes (so much easier than taking bottles, Simple Daily Radiance Cleansing Wipes)
- Chanel bronzer (takes the shine off, and gives sunkissed skin a subtle glow)
- Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Cooling Aloe Vera (in case of sunburn and if you can’t get hold of actual Aloe Vera – lovely and cooling)
Trish Burgess (@mumsgoneto) writes family travel blog Mum’s gone to…I’m pretty hopeless at all the beauty essentials. Moisturising cream, suntan lotion of varying factors and a couple of lippies and I’m done. But, to be honest, there’s not much room in the case after GP husband has filled it with every lotion and potion known to man to cover most medical emergencies. He tells me if he can’t sort us out with his first aid kit then we need to be in hospital.In his large plastic box he will squeeze in antibiotics, antihistamines, painkillers, tablets for when you can’t poo, tablets for when there’s too much poo, worming tablets (!), cream for rashes, cream for thrush, a variety of dressings, steri-strips, medical glue, insulating tape and duct tape.However, whereas some families take handy-sized clear bottles in their see-though plastic bags through airport security, we use urine sample containers into which we decant our shampoo and conditioner. Classy.
Cathy Winston (@mummytravels) is also a travel journalist and soon to be become a new mummy! Her travel blog is: MummyTravels:
- Multitasking products are a godsend. I’m rubbish at packing light, but finding something like a BB cream which will do several things (eg moisturiser, SPF and tint) is great for space saving. My current favourite is Boots No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream.
- If you can’t live without it while you’re away, don’t put it in the hold. I ended up having to track down contact lens solution in Madagascar after Air France decided not to put my case on the same plane – which was not the easiest or cheapest thing to do. Bausch & Lomb do travel size versions that can go in hand luggage.
- Always pack After Sun, even if you’re not going on a beach holiday. No-one ever expects to need it (who thinks, ‘this holiday I shall get sunburn’?) but as I’ve discovered, it’s very easy to burn even on an unseasonably sunny city break. Unless I’m actually guaranteed pouring rain, in goes AfterBurn gel, which is the best I’ve come across.
- Always save those shampoo and conditioner sachets from magazines – they’re perfect for short trips away when you’ll probably only have to wash your hair once. I also hang on to little travel-size bottles, and decant shower gel and hair products to save buying endless mini versions.
- However light you’re packing, there’s some essentials I always keep to hand on the plane, especially lip balm and hand cream as flying sucks all the moisture straight out of my skin. I also keep No7 Shine Free Make-up Base in my hand luggage to counteract plane-induced oil slicks. On longer flights, deodorant and mouthwash to make me feel almost human despite the jetlag.
- No man on security will know what eyelash curlers are, and as the handles look like scissors, they’ll definitely get flagged up if they’re in your hand luggage. Be prepared to demonstrate. And try to explain in sign language that no, they don’t hurt.
Lulu Campbell (@familyaffairs) writes about family life and travel at Family affairs and other matters. Her must-haves are:
- Simple make-up wipes
- Kiehls moisturiser
- Ear plugs
- Preferably a neck support to avoid dribbling on the person next to you and a neck that doesn’t move for days. Failing that a cashmere poncho or pashmina to sleep against
- Cashmere socks always a good idea during the flight – make sure you do your ankle circles and possibly even take half an aspirin to avoid thrombosis
- Vaseline or a good lip balm
- Eye mask in case you’re not towards the front of the plane!
- Riemann’s P20 sun cream – AMAZING product and brilliant for kids too – you only have to apply it once a day – easy to rub in and it stays on and really works.
Jen Howze (@jhowze) is a journalist and also writes expat/parenting/travel blog Jenography:
- My essential product is Cetaphil – it’s a gentle cleanser that you can use on face or body and if you tissue it off instead of washing it off it’s moisturising, so it cuts down on what you have to pack for short trips. On overnight trips it’s one of the only things I pack.
- When you get on a plane, slather your face in moisturiser and hand cream and keep doing it throughout the flight. The next day your skin looks so much better for it. Those little mister bottles that spray a fine mist of scented water are also nice, if you can remember to pack one.
- Just forget about your contact lenses on long-haul flights! It’s not worth wearing them for vanity’s sake and the low humidity is not good for your eyes and will just make them red and scratchy. Not a good look.
- It’s not a beauty tip but it’s always worth dressing with care when travelling. Wear something comfortable but stylish, whether it’s a car journey, train trip or flight. Travel is still an exciting experience, full of promise and adventure. Let your outfit reflect that.
The final word, however, must go to Victoria Wallop (@vwallop), who travelled the world with her children for nine months – you can read her adventures at It’s A Small World After All. Her new blog is Words and Pictures:
Shampoo is very useful for washing knickers and a small bottle of lavender oil is useful for when things get a bit smelly. I’m all class.
So over to you, then: got any fab beauty travel tips that you’d like to share? The best one will win a set containing:
- a full size tube of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant
- a full size tube of the new Fragrance Free version
- A travel size (30ml) tube of the original version
Entries must be received by midnight, Monday 30th April.
The judge’s decision is final. No cash alternative.
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR ENTRIES!
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