As Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Arabia, British-born Louise Nichol has been lucky enough to call the city of Dubai home for the last five years. Here she talks to us about her travel uniform, what she reads at 35,000 feet, and the surprising item she often brings home from her travels.
How often do you travel?
Probably every couple of months for work. Exotic holidays have fallen off the rader since having my daughter a year and a half ago, as we tend to use holiday time to take her home to the UK to visit family. I’m now pregnant with my second child and saving up holiday time for maternity leave.
Number of countries visited?
I have no idea! I can name 25 off the top of my head, but my memory and sense of geography are horrendous, so it’s probably far more!
Aisle or Window?
Window. Especially on an A380.
Dubai International. Seven minutes door-to-door to my house. It’s super efficient.
What brand of luggage do you use?
What brand of carry-on bag do you use?
I love Louis Vuitton’s cavernous Neverfull.
What are your travel essentials?
A cashmere blanket, which was a gift from Van Cleef & Arpels years ago. Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. I used to wear the bulky over-ear version but these have transformed my life as you can wear them while sleeping. A lavender-filled eye mask. A fully loaded Kindle; I rarely watch movies unless I’m travelling with my husband and we can watch together. Cashmere socks. And if I’m travelling with the baby – snacks and books to keep her occupied.
One surprising thing you always pack?
On the way home my suitcase always contains pilfered hotel slippers. So normcore!
Are you an overpacker or underpacker?
Total overpacker. Emirates has a super generous luggage allowance; no wardrobe editing necessary. I always have to ask for extra hangers in the hotel and then end up wearing only about 10% of what I’ve brought.
What’s your travel uniform?
Not very chic I’m afraid; I prioritize comfort. Some variation of Nike FlyKnits, Lululemon leggings, a James Perse tee-shirt and a denim shirt with a snuggly scarf by Vuitton or Dior.
Airplane food or bring your own?
I go through phases of bringing my own— nuts, Roo’bars, the odd homemade sugar-free brownie. When pregnant, all bets are off however!
Water. And English breakfast tea with milk.
In-flight music on your iPod?
‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ soundtrack.
Preferred in-flight entertainment?
Fiction on my Kindle. I’m currently in a Game of Thrones-inspired fantasy phase.
Gadget you can’t leave home without?
It’s cliche, but it has to be my iPhone. I always have an HTC One, which I use for foreign sim cards.
Do you use any travel apps?
My husband travels to Saudi weekly and the flights are notoriously late, so I track his progress on FlightTrack.
How do you deal with jetlag?
I’m pretty good at sleeping, so it’s rarely too much of an issue.
What’s your exercise routine when you’re traveling?
Lacking! I might pack a speed rope but it rarely makes it out of the suitcase.
Best travel advice?
Worst travel experience?
Travelling without the baby while breastfeeding is a challenge. Pumping on the plane, getting expressed bottles of milk through security (who have confiscated at least five ice packs from me)… not fun. I still mourn the four bottles of expressed milk that I accidentally left behind in the minibar of the Moscow Ritz-Carlton.
Where are your favorite places to travel to?
The Maldives–I would kill for a long weekend at the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru this summer. Sadly, the calendar won’t allow.
Where haven’t you been yet that you’d like to visit?
I’d love to visit New Zealand…the long flight is a bit daunting though.
Favorite purchase/souvenir from your travels?
I bought my daughter some one-of-a-kind handmade blush-pink baby cowboy boots when I was in Dallas for the Chanel “Métiers d’Art” show last December. They’re pretty awesome.
Louise Nichol photographed in the Maldives