Fly With Me. . .
Toni Wills aka Toni Star
mom of 2, wife, speech pathologist, blogger, fashion extraodinaire
origin: washington, d.c.
My most recent trip was to my home town of Los Angeles! It has become an annual trip for my little family, which is really nice. We usually go around the Memorial Day weekend and plan to stay 4-5 days (this trip was cut a little short due to work schedules) and in the last couple of years, we have worked in a trip within a trip. Last year, we took a drive up the coast to San Francisco and did sightseeing and stayed over for a night. It was a great trip, but not one that we would ever take with a 9 month-old again! We think the poor boy is still traumatized and to this day has a fit if we are in the car for longer than an hour!!!! Meanwhile, our then 3 year-old was a champ—all he needed was his fries, drink, and iPad! What can I say, you live and learn!
long stay favorite?
My long stay favorite would have to be The Four Seasons Nevis ,which is a little island off of St. Kitts in the British West Indies! The husband and I first discovered Nevis on our honeymoon and fell in love with its quaint, friendly, laid back vibe. There isn’t much going on and we have been there 5 times now and we always manage to see something new. But the greatest part of this trip, is that we mostly just do NOTHING but lounge at the beach!
Miami Baby! Easy to get to and always promises a great time! Ocean Drive for the night life and Lincoln Road for family strolls, people watching, shopping , and eating!
Long Stay: Samsonite Red luggage received as a wedding gift. Takes a licking and it’s still flying high! Just a little tip, since everyone on the planet has red luggage, I like to tie a ribbon around the handle so I recognize it right away; I do this with all of our luggage! Also a roomy purse: My LV Neverfull is just that and a must when traveling with the boys in tow!
Quick Jaunts: Gap Floral Weekender- I can fit my kitchen sink in it and it still counts as a carry-on and my new Clare Vivier Fanny Pack! Perfect hands-free, effortless chic accessory! Will be rocking it on the next Girls Getaway for sure! I also love to carry my, what now seems to be vintage (crazy) LV Saint Jacques tote in red EPI leather-it holds a lot and is easy to carry, especially when running through busy airports!
plan in advance or throw it all in?
Plan in advance!
Oh, now I am definitely a girl who plans in advance. I am good for making Packing List! I don’t know how I ever survived traveling before my “lists”. I start making my list for me and my two boys; husband just won’t do it, about a week in advance. Sometimes the clothes come out first and then the list is tailored or vice versa! I find making the list first saves a lot of time and energy and alleviates the dreaded Overpacking! My list is simple. I plan a Day/Night outfit for each day. In between I add accessories to the list (the easy part) and always pack at least 2 undies per day. . .TMI I know, but I learned my lesson having traveled internationally to Egypt in ’06 and thought I had enough of everything and low and behold I was stuck washing things out by hand…Won’t let that happen again! Lesson here: Always overpack the undies; they don’t take up much space and you never know when you will need an extra pair!
iPhone, iPad, Magazines galore, snacks (graham crackers, fruit bars, animal cookies-all for the kids-they are always looking for a little snack on the plane), warm socks, scarf, gum, water, and sunnies-always be movie star fabulous because you never know where the paparazzi may flash their cams!!!
kid travel tip?
Well, I think the husband and I can truly say we have this travel with kids thing down pretty well! Thanks to my handy-dandy list, monogrammed rolling bags (Pottery Barn Kids), Smart Devices, and a must have Double Stroller (Baby jogger City Select), we are all set to zip and zoom through local and international airports!!!
Most important tip: If traveling with your stroller, car seat, or booster, be sure and purchase a carrying bag (Baby jogger carrying case or Gate Check Carrying Bag) these will ensure your child’s accessory stays safe and easy to identify when it comes up from the plane. . .very nasty undercarriage! You should see what our bags look like after one leg of a flight, let alone a roundtrip! Do yourself a huge favor and get a BAG! Oh, and be smart and check it at the gate and not at the curb—you will need it, especially if you need to make a quick dash to catch a flight-Lived it! Learned it!
your travel style?
Easy, layered, chic! I love wearing one pieces when traveling like this or this, simple flats (Tory Burch are a fave) or a pair of cool kicks , especially if it’s a little chilly where I will be landing. A light scarf and jacket (love a safari/military style jacket like this.
Simple studs, my Alex and Ani St. Christopher Bangle, monogrammed necklaces, and a Michael Kors watch! Keep it simple! Plus my husband hates when I get stuck at TSA and its usually because of a piece of jewelry! Minimal bling makes everyone a happy traveler!
Water! Your skin will thank you for keeping hydrated! Save the cocktails for the Sky Lounge!
before you land refresher?
Clear the eyes and dab on a little lip gloss. This is my fave! Which is all I usually have time for when trying to get two littles off the plane too!
tour guide or local fun?
Internationally, say Egypt, Paris or Argentina I like to do a little of both; especially on our first visit. We do a little tourist thing and then set out on foot to explore!
Island getaways, we will usually rent a car and explore the island. See what we can see and hope not to drive over any large ditches because we had no idea where we were going (Nevis) or get caught in torrential rains with a 2 year-old in tow (Jamaica). All fun and exciting, but not so much at the time!
one thing you must do in every place you go?
Eat!!! And shop too! Check out local cuisine! I’m getting better at having an open palate. I can be a little particular about my foods and shopping in Bazaar’s…Ask my husband about my panic attack in the Cairo Bazaar…No bueno!
window or aisle seat?
Would love a window seat, but as of late just call me Mommy-in-the –Middle!
Summer Family Vacay to Nevis or Puerto Rico…I’ll keep ya posted!
It was great traveling with you Toni Star!
all photos by Toni Wills
Fly With Me next month!
Ladybird J. P. Archie
- Packing, Travel Documents, Etc Made Easy (travellikefee.wordpress.com)
- Pack it up, pack it up, you got it! you got it! (marissajulianne.wordpress.com)
- packed and ready to go! the ultimate carry all (passportsandvisa.wordpress.com)