Travelling with a baby/toddler!

By Mini Latif 29 Jun 2017 2:44:19 PM
Travelling with a baby
I must had Googled a hundred times “how to travel with a 16 month old?” - “what you can pack when flying with a baby?” - “how much milk or liquids can you bring when flying with a baby?" etc etc. The amount of conflicting information that l found was so disheartening and what l was left with was going on my first international trip with my baby with 5 suitcases and no knowledge what so ever.
It was hideous l tell you, just hideous. 
What l can tell you now is that l have all the answers to those questions about getting through security with a baby, because l can assure you l asked every security guard both here and in Fiji the same questions and the answers were all the same. So ladies and gents, if you are lucky enough to be prepping for a trip that requires a plane and a little bubba under the age of 3 - here is all you need to know!
PS: once you know the rules, travelling with a kid under 3 means VIP service BABY! I am going to miss it when she turns 4!
Read on, you’ll see why! 
Skylar Sarkissian
Question: How much liquids can l take on the plane when travelling with a baby or toddler?
The simple rule is ‘UNLIMITED’ as long as your kid is under 3. The security guard said to me, that if you do get any push back from someone about your water supply, you just tell them that they water is ‘distilled’ for your baby. As you know you cannot make formula in advance, so l needed to bring my perfectly tempered water to mix with my formula on the plane. l would have to say this was the biggest stress leading up to this trip as l would have died if l was forced to lose my thermal water bottle.
When leaving Fiji at their airport l purchased a bottle of none other than Fiji Water and the guy at the counter said to me to make sure l drink it whilst we were at the gate as there’s another round of security before getting on the plane. However, l knew that now l had found this miracle travel partner, my ‘baby’, that l could bring the water on board with me for her ‘formula’. And l did and when they went to check my bags just before walking on the plane, l said l had water for my baby and they didnt even bother opening my bag.
Question: Can l bring homemade food for my baby or toddler on the plane?
YES you can! No special sealed packaging is required as long as it is for your kid under 3! Bring on home cooking!
Question: How do l get through airport security with a Baby or Toddler?
Now this is when the Gods started to smile when we got to the airport. As soon as we hit that silver sliding door at Tullamarine airport to get through to security, the guard looked at my little baby and said “Y’all can go left”, whilst everyone else was going right. This is when l discovered the VIP line for familias! I could not believe it. You all know what it’s like going through security when the guy in front of you has a back pack and bumbag and they ever so slowly empty the contents of their bags and pockets and locate their laptops and you are thinking “for the love of God, could you not speed this up, l have a plane to catch?”. Now imagine that guy is 2 parents and a baby with a pram, 3 over head luggages that are filled with liquids and food. Mate l was already feeling sorry for the poor people that would be waiting impatiently behind us. But this never happened. We had our own guard, our own security line and an endless amount of owwwing and ahhhing from the staff at my cute kid. I thought, this was too good to be true, wait till we get to the Immigration line!
Question: How do l get through Immigration at the airport with a Baby or Toddler?
You guessed it - we got our own Family Line!!!!!!!! After 20 odd years of international travel on my own, l never knew this VIP service existed when traveling with babies. Guess what - it gets better. 
So now we are at the gate early and l am trying to tire my 16 month old out, so she passes out on the plane. And as soon as the airline staff arrived at the gate, they came up to me and let us in front of the queue so we would be the first on the plane. No queues here either!
Skylar Sarkissian
So a couple of tools of the trade when flying:
Try the Mountain Buggy Bag rider - it does not hold much inside as only one side is available for storage, but boy oh boy will your kid love riding on this thing in the airport. Also, it will immediately make you one of the cool kids, as you will hear a hundred “OMG look at this kids ride!!”
If travelling with a second adult, try booking the aisle and window seat and pray that no one books your middle seat. We were lucky on both legs that the middle seat didn't get taken and it was a god send. 
If you airlines has it, try upgrading to economy X or +. For an extra $59 we got the additional leg room with Virgin Airlines and this allowed our kid to play around our feet for a couple of hours. In fact on the way home, we had the wall in front of us and l made up a bed for her. These things all add up to a manageable international travel experience.   
Happy travels peeps. Let me know how you go!
Mini - BabyTravelWhisperer

Cyprus, My Island Dream

By Mini Latif 5 Jun 2014 10:48:34 AM

Cyprus Wedding

Here comes the Bride | Korineum Golf & Beach Resort 


Where onions come from... Not Woolies | Angolem, Cyprus

wedding location

Wedding location | Korineum Golf & Beach resort


Parking next to the boarder. Prettiest Boarder l have ever seen | Nicosia, Cyprus

wedding favours

Wedding favours, Harup trees | Lefkosa, Cyprus 

Ezic Restaurant Mini Latif

Ezic Restaurant | Girne, Cyprus


Homemade mandarine cordial with a sprinkle of Jasmin flowers | Angolem Cyprus

Whilst in California last month, the young lady who was doing my 'Blow Out' (AKA: 'Blow Wave' Australian's!) asked me where my accent was from. I replied with 'Australian' of course and proceeded to tell her l was from Melbourne, just in case she was still interested in me before the tip was required. She responded with "O.M.G - my FRIEND.... her BOYFRIENDDDDD just came from D.U.B.A.I !!!!!!!!!".

That conversation was a few weeks ago and l am still trying to figure out the relationship there, but meanwhile l can assure you that later conversations of where my parents were born came with even further perplexing responses of "Cyprus! Where is that???".

Cyprus is a gorgeous little island country in the Eastern Mediterranean sea, just south of Turkey. It is occupied by what feels like my entire extended family. I walk into homes of cousins and friends and see what can only be described as extension of who l am. Such love lives here for my family in Australia and for that l make the effort to visit every couple of years or when one of my uncanny familiar cousins decide to take the plunge into marriage. Hey, a little wedding celebration can always bring an abroad trip to the next level.

So as l spent my previous weekend at Korenium Golf & Country Club celebrating the joyous occasion, l felt deep love for a land that feels like a second home. Many conversations followed about transferring my Melbourne wedding next year to Cyprus. For a moment l considered this fabulous concept to be more than a jovial idea - but the reality is, l am an Australian, born an another island that has blessed me with so many gifts. One of which is my beginning with my Fiancé. So the wedding remains in Melbourne and the destination wedding l dreamt about growing up is still a reality, the only difference is the destination location is for all those that will be coming from their own islands.

Mini Latif xoBLxo

xo Beauty Lover xo

Istanbul I love you and scared of you in equal portions!

By Mini Latif 19 May 2014 3:57:09 PM

Tourist Selfie | The Blue Mosque

Amazing shopping and architecture | The Grand Bazaar

Inspiration around every corner | Istanbul, Turkey

Latif Jewelry | Istanbul, Turkey

Dessert 'Kunefe' | Hafiz Mustafa. Istanbul, Turkey


To try and describe the beauty of this place is really futile. What l can do is tell you how it makes me feel.

When l was 7 years old, my parents took me here and as we walked through Dolmabache Palace l fell head over heels in love with the pure opulence of the look and feel of it ALL. I told myself that when l grew up l would start my own business one day and it would look just like that palace!

Fast forward 25 years and l did open that business, l also did it with the artistic influences of the Ottoman times and often l never smell the roses and remember that at minimum l have achieved that goal. Coming back this weekend alone, it has been a time for deep reflection on what has been and gone and what is in store for the future.

This is one city walking through alone as a woman can bring a lot of anxiety. The overall pressure of learning to ignore the heckles and men signing to you "Seni Seviyorummmmmm" (I Love Youuuuuu) can be challenging. The main reason for this attention really is to get you to buy one of whatever they are selling, but it still can give you a sense of panic. Today alone at The Grand Bazaar Market, l must have said "No thanks" over 100 times.

A good sense of humour definitely is important and know that you are not in physical danger, just financial danger, because your wallet WILL get a work out! Though l must say, in these markets l haven't felt that yucky aggressiveness. Knowing a bit of Turkish helps and l often keep that to myself as it really does come in handy. I stopped in a rather remote part of the market to have a coffee, l think they were surprised l would walk in alone and l first asked how much for coffee and she replied in english "3". I said ok, paid for the coffee and went and sat on the table, whilst the other man working there said to her in Turkish "You know you should have charged her 4", to which she replied "I said 3 and 3 it will be - stay out of my business". I had a little chuckle to myself, l actually didn't know that coffee prices were negotiated too, but good to know a warm smile may get you a dollar off!

I have spent the weekend talking with different vendors to bring to you an Ottoman3 product like nothing l have done before. But the concept is so beautiful to me and it is about going back to the roots of my brand and giving you the opportunity to experience where it all began 25 years ago. I hope to have it for you in the next few months and l am sure it will be something that will delight your soul, even for a moment.

Till then, l am going back to the streets of Istanbul as there is a little dessert here l discovered today called 'Kunefe' and it is awaiting me.... Afiyet Olsen xo

Mini Latif xoBLxo

xo Beauty Lover xo

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