Recently I was in the Arctic with a tour group that consisted of travellers from all over the world. Chatting with one of the women, she told me that she had read my 'diaper bag' idea a long time ago and it was the best travel tip she had ever received. I had forgotten about that bit of advice written so long ago; however, it was a very useful tip, so I've decided to resurrect it in this blog post. It goes like this:
Ladies, don't throw away that diaper bag. Yes, the time will come when your babies and toddlers don't require that you carry a supply of items designed to keep them dry, well fed, and happy. It is at that point that you need to clean the bag up, wrap it in tissue, and save it for the time you begin travelling—with or without your offspring. It will become your best friend.
"But," you say, "Why not use a backpack for travelling?"
"Because," I say.
Here's seven reasons why:
1. Wear a backpack and everybody quickly identifies you as a tourist, and that includes the social deviants and pickpockets who are out to get you.
2. On a walk in Paris or Rome or Madrid you want to look stylish in your wraparound dress and matching cardi, don't you? A smart looking diaper bag slung across your chest and resting on your hip looks far better than that rugged backpack you take camping.
3. Unlike a pretty tote bag, the diaper bag lining is often white and allows you to easily identify what you have in the bag.
4. A good diaper bag always has multiple pockets inside and out, so you can organize your stuff.
5. The interior compartments designed to hold baby bottles upright will hold that bottle of water you will need to keep yourself hydrated.
6. An inexperienced tourist wears their camera around their neck. A smart mom traveller keeps it hidden in her diaper bag.
7. Finally, every diaper bag has a plastic change mat in it. With a little spit and polish that mat becomes your seat should you decide to rest anywhere and watch the world go by.
Darn! You already got rid of your bag? No problem! Before your next journey, just make your way to the baby section in any shop and buy yourself a smart-looking bon voyage gift. And, ladies, try to stay away from designs that include rubber duckies or pink elephants. That would be completely inappropriate.
Please pass this tip along to your pals. Tell them it is from a Travellin' YummyMummy Grandma who is Aging Disgracefully.