Jet set, go! Heidi Carter's guide to travelling in style (with kids) |

Jet set, go! Heidi Carter’s guide to travelling in style (with kids)

When it comes to resortwear, it doesn’t get much better than Paddo To Palmy’s effortlessly chic range of dresses, skirts, tops and more (don’t get us started on the dreamy Moroccan homewares that they stock too). They’re the kind of pieces that you can throw on and look “done”...

It’s not surprising that founder Heidi Carter is a mother of two, so understands the need to look fashionable-in-a-flash (“I try to design clothes that you can just throw on and feel instantly comfortable and chic in”). We caught up with the glamorous Sydney-based Carter after her European adventure last year to find out more about travelling with kids, holiday style and her go-to Italian destinations. Images: Courtesy of @paddotopalmy | Go to

What are your fashion travel essentials?

In warmer climates, I live in dresses so lots of light weight dresses that can easily transition from day to night. I live in my Ponza Maxi dress on flights, as it’s so comfy and a little bit glamorous. A cotton quilted jacket over the top keeps the air con plane chills at bay. Sandals from Capri Positano, ballet flats from Chloe and wedges from Castañer espadrilles. Oh and runners which rarely see the light of day! I also take a large straw basket (to carry everyone else’s stuff!), loads of bikinis (I love Lisa Marie Fernandez‘s off the shoulder styles) and one piece swimsuits. My favourite one piece was a black J. Crew style, which I paired with our Nevis skirt. To finish, large shades from Sunday Somewhere and a hardy straw hat that will survive the trip. I love Lack of Colour‘s boaters.

How would you describe your holiday style?

Relaxed yet chic. I don’t like to look too done. I scrape my normally salt encrusted hair back in a bun, pile on the bronzer and throw on a maxi dress. I’ll wear sandals in the day and wedges in the evening. If I am wearing a paired down simple dress, I will add a statement earring to glam it up a little. I feel my best when I am wearing a comfortable, but flattering dress.

What are your packing tips?

I try but I wouldn’t say I am a light packer, when you have your own fashion line it’s really hard to whittle down your selections! I think I am a sensible packer. I have learnt to only pack four pairs (max) of shoes including runners and to do a huge cleanse of the makeup bag before I go. I rely on hotel shampoos and body moisturisers to get the weight down!

What are your go-to beauty products?

I recently discovered Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (hands down the most natural and luminous glow for your skin) and the By Terry Tea to Tan, which you spray onto your face and body then blend in with a brush – the most natural fake tan colour without the terrible smell – it’s only temporary and washes off. I always pack Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel – my face suffers without it – and the trusty Lucas Papaw ointment for dry lips.

When you fly, what do you pack in your handbag? How do you pass the time on the plane?

My girls are finally at an age where they can look after themselves on a plane so gone are the days of lugging half the house with me. Now I try not to pack anything extra apart from a sketchpad, pencils, a good book and a few fashion magazines. I try to watch as many movies as I can and drink as much water as I can so unfortunately for my poor husband (normally sitting in the aisle seat) I am continually getting up to go to the toilet!

Would you describe yourself as an organised traveller?

Not overly, I have found that the best experiences tend to be the most sporadic. I prefer to enjoy the journey rather than planning and scheduling out everything.

What are your tips for travelling with kids? Have you travelled with your girls since they were babies?

Ella was born in Singapore and Gisele in Hong Kong so yes we travelled a lot with the girls from birth. Snacks and more snacks would be my number one tip – not only does it entertain them but it keeps their blood sugar levels on track which equals less mood dips. The odd iPad, sticker book and colouring in book and pencils don’t go astray either!

How does travelling inspire your work?

In new environments you are more observant of how other people live and dress. I tend to design for women who travel a lot, so each trip I take there is new learning about what I feel like wearing and how I want to wear my clothes and I am always looking at people especially those glamorous put together women that seem to nail every outfit. I try to design clothes that you can just throw on and feel instantly comfortable and chic in. When you are travelling, who wants to waste time ironing?!

Do you switch off from work when you’re on holidays?

Never! I am probably in more of a creative space when I am on holidays, so that’s when the sketch pad comes out more but, in terms of servicing the business, it’s 24/7 so yes I do try to limit the admin time to just a few hours a day, first thing in the morning when the girls are still asleep and late in the evening. I find it hard to switch off completely – I have learnt it’s just my personality so I try not to fight it.

What Paddo To Palmy dresses did you pack for this trip?

Our Ponza dresses are always a staple both in the short and maxi lengths. I lived in our Korcula and Positano dresses. For evenings, our Amalfi dress came out a lot as did our Nevis halter top and skirt.

Where was your first stop on this trip and can you tell us more about it?

Our first stop was Italy. We flew into Naples and drove straight to Positano. It’s rare that a destination surpasses your expectations, but Positano was definitely a dream.

The Paddo To Palmy collection is designed for women who love to travel – have you always loved to travel? Where was your very first trip overseas?

From a young age I always yearned to travel to Europe. At the age of nine, we did a huge around the world trip covering most of Europe and the USA. Throughout my teens we mainly travelled throughout Asia and then I moved to Singapore where Europe was just that little bit closer and I rediscovered my love for the region.

Can you list your favourite places?

Le Sirenuse hotel in Positano is a must for anyone venturing to this region, their breakfast buffet is the best buffet experience I have ever had (big call) and Da Adolfo beach club and restaurant were the absolute highlights of the trip. The dessert from Il Riccio in Capri is also a must.