Monday, October 21, 2013

How to Survive travelling with JED -A Review and Discount Code-

We are vacation whores. We live for vacations. Pre-kids, the way we got from one school term to another was to look forward to the vacation that demarcated a break. We do the same thing now, except we bring JED with us. We still spend quite a bit of time travelling without JED. Travelling with and without them are different experiences and we do both for different reasons.

The first time we travelled with just the twins, we were extremely stressed about everything. We suffered from the Goldilocks syndrome. We worried about the food, the water, whether we brought enough, whether we brought too little or that we had brought too much and were too weighed down. 

We are off for an epic 28 day vacation in less than a month's time and I've had to start thinking about what to pack. With 3 kids, I can't pack the night before anymore. 

People with less than 3 kids ask how we manage such long breaks with them without wanting to drop them off at the orphanage on the way home.

We've had 6 years of doing it and while we haven't gotten it down pat, we've discovered a couple of tricks that actually make things easier.

1. We vacuum seal all their clothes either according to kid or according to location, depending on how far, how long or how complicated the trip is. On shorter trips where space and volume of clothes aren't a concern, I allocate a bag of clothes for each of them. I have to use my JED Packs connections to benefit us when we travel as well.

2. Where ever possible, we stay at serviced apartments or just apartments in general. Airbnb is our best friend because it allows us to book apartments for the entire family at a fraction of the cost of a hotel stay and it's reliable. By doing that, we get to do laundry and we can cook and occasionally even do a barbie.

3. We've also learned to either order online and ship to where ever we are headed, only in the USA or we bring what is needed. While I hate over packing, I hate being stranded even more. So, I spend a great amount of time looking for travel size bottles of whatever I need. Someone said just buy the travel bottles from Watsons and transfer whatever we needed from the big bottles we have at home. We did that once. But until today, I have a couple of travel sized Watson's toiletries bottles sitting on my bathroom counter top with unidentifiable stuff inside likely to give me some sort of rash.

4. I also found that the best place to find the travel sized kid friendly toiletries and essentials I needed was at an expo. Only with my travel list complete do I ever feel that I am ready to travel and can officially be excited about it!

5. To make sure before hand that whatever we are bringing for JED- milk, diapers, vitamins, food, medicine or toiletries- are things that they aren't allergic to. Nothing increases the stress of travelling with kids as much as travelling with sick kids.

6. The last thing I do that helps with the stress is to actually get the older kids to look after themselves where ever possible. The twins are now at the age where they carry their own bags and they actually do like to take ownership of what they have in there. They consciously check that they have an extra set of clothes, toys or books, wipes, plasters, tissue paper and sanitiser.


So, at a recent kid expo that I went to, I spent an inordinate amount of time at one booth. I was riveted by shelves of products from Human Nature.

It was like Christmas come early. Everything on the shelves was organic, naturally scented, they smelt great (the Kids Nature Shampoo smelt of divine tangerine and while I have never really like the smell of pineapple scented products, it made me change my mind) and most importantly, for the reason I was there, most things came in travel sized bottles. Christine, the owner of Human Nature was happy to let me have some of the travel size versions to try out and I chose what I needed for travelling.

The first on my request list was obviously 2 bottles of Kids Nature Shampoo (one in each of the scents, Pineapple Pawikan and Tangerine Tarsier) and 2 bottles of Kids All Natural Spray Sanitiser that were 50 ml bottles so the twins could take them aboard the plane in their trolley bags. When I let the twins pick the ones they wanted, Jordan naturally gravitated towards the pink Candy Cane flavour one and kept wanting to use it. She had over clean hands and the air around her smelt like candy cane. Evan was the opposite. He liked it so much, he refused to use it unless necessary lest it ran out before the trip and what if he needed to sanitise his hands then? (Evan's worry wart nature surfaces at strange times!) 

Since we were going to be away for close to a month and since we had rented apartments with laundry equipment, I also chose 1 bottle of Tough Love 100% Natural Laundry Detergent that was naturally scented with grapefruit and orange and 1 bottle of Tough Love Natural Dishwashing Liquid also scented with grapefruit and orange.

I wondered whether or not to bring the laundry detergent because at 900ml, it was a little bit on the hefty side. But where we were going to be staying for most of the time was an island which meant, anything that was not grown on the island  was priced in the 'daylight robbery' category. Packrat insisted that since we had so much luggage space (5 people meant 10 pieces of luggage weighing 23 kg each!) and the amount of space and weight we save in packing clothes, we could bring the detergent. I was happy to oblige.

The dishwashing liquid, I was most definitely bringing. Muffin still drinks milk from his sippy cup while we are out and I hate the idea of milk going bad and curdling into yogurt in his sipper in my bag. The twins drop their water bottles with unbelievable frequency requiring them to be rinsed out as often so the 250 ml bottle was going into the diaper bag when we got there and it would stay there till it ran out or we came back, whichever happens first.

In accordance to Rule number 5, I've test run both dishwashing liquid and detergent even though we're not leaving for another month as well as the shower gel. Pragmatically, I needed to make sure that JED weren't allergic to it, though unlikely since it was 99.97% natural and 100% free from harmful chemicals. And everything passed with colours. JED loved the shampoo and voted initially to bring both. Eventually, the Mommy's executive decision was to bring the Tangerine but it was a tough decision. There was nary an itch or rash in sight. And when the clothes came out of the machine, they didn't smell cloyingly sweet . They just smelt crisp and clean with a slight whiff of orange with the winds blew right.

All in, I was happy to have gone to the expo and discovered Human Nature. Not only did I find all the travel sized toiletries I needed, I found a new brand that was going to save me money off international shipping. JED are addicted to the shampoos and I'm going to be ordering more for them!


And to give everyone the chance to enjoy the goodness of Human Nature, Human Nature is giving all Diaperbag readers and their friends a storewide discount of 15%. Just use the code HNDB15 by 27 October 2013.


Disclaimer: Some people might roll their eyes at the fact that I'm bringing stuff that I don't really need to. Hotels provide shampoos and bath gels and we can easily buy detergent there. Generally, with kids who have sensitive eczema proned skin, I don't take chances, especially when the climate's markedly different.

I received the Human Nature products for purposes of this review; all opinions are my own.


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