After becoming a mom, it only took one overloaded trip to Paris Fashion Week for Nasiba Adilova to overhaul her packing strategy. That, in turn, sparked the idea for The Tot, an e-commerce website selling high end products for moms and babies, which she launched with her friend and co-founder Miroslava Duma in July. During a recent trip to New York, the Dallas-based Adilova shared her secrets for traveling with two kids, her in-flight beauty routine and the one thing she won’t travel without, from her hotel room at The Four Seasons.
“The most essential thing is to pack pajamas.”
For mommies on-the-go, especially for new mommies, it’s a big deal to figure out what to pack. When I had my baby, my first trip was to Paris for fashion week and I packed five suitcases. It was absurd, and half of the stuff I didn’t use – I just didn’t know what to pack! I was frantic and paranoid and just wanted to make sure that I had everything with me. Now I have it down. I learned that I didn’t need 90 percent of the things that I pack with me. Most hotels will provide you with baby cribs, they’ll even sometimes give you diapers and wipes – though I’m very particular about the types of diapers and wipes that I use so I bring my own. You only need one stroller. Also, TSA let’s you check a car seat and they don’t count that as a piece of your luggage, and you can fill that bag with stuff too. In the beginning, I often forgot things like pajamas for some reason. The most essential thing – because your baby is probably going to be spending the most of their time in the room – is to pack pajamas. Now those get packed first, the leisure outfits. Also very very important, because my baby got sick a few times when we were traveling, is to pack medicine. And to always take a thermometer with you on the plane, in case your kid starts running up a temperature, you’ve got one handy and you can use it. I usually put a thing of medicine and a thermometer in his diaper bag.
“I travel with my own detergent, my own dishwashing liquid and dryer sheets.”
I am super eco friendly and very health conscious, so I travel with my own detergent, my own dishwashing liquid and dryer sheets. When the baby is small, up until about a year old, I traveled with that. (Now I don’t mind so much because I don’t really do his laundry in the hotel, I just pack enough for us to last.) When you’re traveling and it’s a long trip and the baby is very small and you need those bottles washed, and towels washed or something, I would give the hotel staff the detergent and they would use it. One that I really love is called Better Life. I usually just get little bottles from CVS, and fill them up and put a sticker on each one to label it, and they go in a Ziplock bag and that comes with me anytime I travel. Easy grab-and-go.
“It’s all about comfortable bottoms, a comfortable top and then you can accessorize or get really great shoes and a really great coat or jacket.”
It’s important to pack a lot of comfortable walking shoes. I always pack a couple of pairs of heels, and the rest are all flats that I can walk in. I have a pair of white Zara sneakers that I got a couple of years ago that are my favorite. I don’t think they even make them anymore, but I love them. I love Golden Goose sneakers, I have them in all different color variations. I also love Yeezy’s, they’re super comfortable, especially for long walks. I love the Gucci slippers with the fur because they’re warm, but also not hot in the summer. So that’s a key, packing comfortable clothes. We sell this brand called Blanqi on The Tot, the make the most comfortable leggings and they go with me everywhere. They don’t have seams, so you put them on and you don’t feel them. They’re especially amazing for pregnancy, but now I wear them everyday. My staple look is jeans, a top, and a really cool coat in the winter, and in the summer it’s flowy dresses. So easy wear, because baby definitely changes the way you dress. You can’t wear structured, very cool-looking outfits – stuff that I really liked before, it’s just impractical, because when you pick the baby up, it’s difficult to hold them. And plus you have to think about their dirty hands or dirty mouth or them spewing on you, so there’s definitely been a change in the way I dress. Now it’s all about comfortable bottoms, a comfortable top and then you can accessorize or get really great shoes and a really great coat or jacket. I have three different coats with me now in New York, for three days! I have one by Color Temperature, the designer is Russian and a friend of mine. Gabriela Hearst is also a good friend – all my winter right now is by Gabriela Hearst. And I love sweaters by Prabal Gurung because they’re amazing and chunky and they still look cool and structured, but they’re not. The Rodarte sweater that I’m wearing is amazing, though not so practical for kids!
Nasiba Adilova travels with the Bigger Carry On in Sand.
“It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the smallest stroller in the world.”
A foldable travel stroller is my go-to now. We actually launched The Tot with The Pockit Stroller. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the smallest stroller in the world. It fits between the aisles, it goes in the overhead compartment, it can fit in the Away Carry On. We just rolled out this amazing collaboration with Mary Katrantzou for a diaper bag, because we felt like there was no diaper bag that was actually really great — one that could fit all the items you need and keep them organized. It has all these different pockets on the inside, and each pocket is for something specific, like diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, hand sanitizers and creams. There’s a pouchette for your travel documents. So everything is organized, and there is a changing mat that is attached to the side. Once your baby is old enough to not need a diaper bag, you just take the changing pad out, and it’s a travel bag.
“I always keep a hand sanitizer close by, and I also travel with this Tesla EMF radiation zapper.”
I always bring a face mister from Dr. Alkaitis, a face oil from Earth Tu Face or Kahina Giving Beauty, Chapstick because your lips go dry, and apricot hand cream by The Organic Pharmacy. We sell a travel basics kit from Kahina Giving Beauty on The Tot with argan oil and facial cleanser and moisturizer. It’s also very important to drink a lot of water. I always keep a hand sanitizer close by, and I also travel with this Tesla EMF radiation zapper. I’m not sure if it works but I like to believe that it does! And little snacks, I usually bring nuts and fruit, like an apple or banana. That’s usually what I pull out when I get to my seat. If I’m really starving I’ll eat the plane food, but I try not to.
“Hot water with lemon, maybe a green juice, and if you’re sleepy maybe some coffee.”
Hot water and lemon as soon as you get to your hotel room, it’s cleansing and it reboots your energy. I try to grab a good, clean protein bar to snack on from the airport on the way to the hotel or whatever I’m going. It’s really good to go to sleep early. My most frequent trip is to London, so when I get there I try to last through the day and get to bed early. Then you can get some sleep and get into the routine. But mainly it’s hot water with lemon, maybe a green juice, and if you’re sleepy maybe some coffee.
“If the hotel has an unpacking and packing service, then one hundred percent I use it.”
I hate unpacking. If the hotel has an unpacking and packing service, then one hundred percent I use it. And if not I just live out of the suitcase. It just drives me crazy – it’s one thing I really don’t like to do. (That and washing dishes!) I don’t feel like a hotel room is my home, I try to spend the least time possible in the hotel room and spend all of my time outside of the hotel room exploring. I do love the Connaught Hotel in London – I can unpack in that one.