Little luxuries to make your summer holiday even more enjoyable
M is all about: Travel essentials
The onboard bed in a bag
Nothing makes us dread flying more than the frigid temperature on the airplane. Flaky skin, synthetic blankets and shivering make us just plain uncomfortable. There's not much we can do about the climate, but a good quilt would sure make our flight a lot more enjoyable. The London-based brand Swash is behind this quilt - a silk crêpe de Chine faded zebra print slice of heaven. It comes with a black leather strap so that it's easy to carry while running around in the terminal. And at that price we're going to make the most of it and also use it at home or when crashing at a friend's place.
Approximately Dh3,515, check www.net-a-porter.com for availability
A chic read
"Fashion fades, only style remains the same," said Coco Chanel. Like it or loathe it, it's a universal truth that Frenchwomen have this seemingly innate style that makes them the object of envy by women around the world. Is it their manner, they way they carry themselves or their nonchalance that makes them so alluring? A new book by the Chanel muse Inès de la Fressange, Parisian Chic, tries to get to the bottom of the Frenchwoman's sense of style while exploring the secret side of Paris. She offers specific pointers on how to dress like a Parisian, including how to mix affordable basics with high-fashion touches, and how to accessorise. A must-have holiday read to capture your inner chic Frenchwoman.
Approximately Dh115, available online fromamazon.com
Postcards? Boring. Travel checklists? So passé. What better way to show off your travels than with a scratch map? Pin it on the wall and then scratch off all the places you've visited to reveal a whole new world below, featuring colour and geographical detail. The result is a unique and personalised world map. It also includes facts about certain countries and cities so it's ideal for your next game of Trivial Pursuit.
Dh120, Harvest Home, Jumeirah Centre, 04 342 0225
Art on the move
If, like us, you drool over other people's designer bags at almost every airport check-in, then maybe it's time to invest in a statement piece. Bright and quirky, Tumi's latest luggage collection is embellished with the graffiti-inspired works of the New York artist John Matos, whose output is now in many galleries around the globe. There are four pieces in the Tumi collection, all beautifully lined with lightweight wheels and retractable handles. It's a limited edition (1,000 copies of each model), so snap one up quickly and you'll stand out from the crowd.
Dh2,385, Tumi, Waterfront, Dubai Festival City, 04 262 6500; Dubai Mall, 04 339 8536
Eyes wide shut
One thing we hate about hotel rooms is their unpredictability. Sometimes we're lucky and the room is cosy with black-out curtains, but at other times (usually when we're staying somewhere "ultracool" or "modern") the only thing saving us from the 5am sun is a sheer, purely decorative, so-called curtain. That's where this eye mask saves the day; it's designed by Otis Batterbee for men but we don't see why women shouldn't wear it as well.
Approximately Dh180, check www.gift-library.com for availability
Website of the week
We've always wanted to be one of those people who could look back at a beautifully collated book full of our holiday memories. Instead, we dump everything into a massive metal box, which is then stuffed to the side of the room never to see the light of day again. When we came across this website we were inspired to finally make a real scrapbook, with eye-catching decorative papers and stickers to enhance our photos and mementos. There's a genre for every kind of trip - beach, the great outdoors, the Wild West - so we're sure you'll find something to suit you.