I absolutely love to travel, it’s a real passion of mine – there is nothing better than escaping with the family.
We’ve got four kids aged between 4-20 years - I’m lucky to have a big family but equally this means that booking, preparing for and even taking a holiday can be challenging! Be this finding something that suits everyone, budgeting accordingly or planning your pre-holiday shopping to ensure you have everything you need. When the kids were much younger, package holidays were a great option as the resorts are very safe and filled with activities. Now our kids are a bit older we like to be quite independent on holiday so finding the right kind of trip can be tricky!
When booking, make sure there’s something for everyone: It’s really important to me that everyone has a great time on holiday but finding something for all ages can be difficult. If you’re struggling with this, I would absolutely recommend LA. Last year we took a trip there and for the first week we rented a house in the Hollywood Hills. It was fantastic and gave us the flexibility to either play by the pool or explore the area. There is so much to do in LA: take a trip to Universal Studios, go surfing at Malibu beach or hit the quirky shops in Abbott Kinney. This year we are hiring a caravan in Polzeath, Cornwall. This is the perfect place for my family; the kids enjoy surfing while I love to explore the beautiful Cornish towns.
Keeping the kids entertained: We’re a really techy family, even my four year old uses the iPad! We often do a lot of driving on holiday so gadgets are a must. A real lifesaver I’ve discovered is a headphone splitter – don’t leave home without one! It sounds strange but it means that the kids can all watch a film together on the same iPad or listen to the same music on the iPod.
Peace of mind: Having the right cover is so important when you’re travelling with family. Knowing that if one of the bags doesn’t make it and you’ve got some help to tide you over makes a real difference- and believe me this has happened to us before! It’s also nice to know that you have somewhere to turn in an emergency so you can just focus on relaxing and having a great time.
Don’t forget to treat yourself: Research by the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card found that for 35% of Brits, pre-holiday shopping is a bit of a chore but it really doesn’t have to be! I usually aim to have everything bought two weeks before we go but there are always little bits that I need to buy closer to holiday time. Before I go on a summer holiday, I like to treat myself to a new bikini and a hat. I know it sounds strange but it’s become such a tradition that it’s not a holiday until I have those!
Keep the holiday spirit alive: The end of the holiday is always sad and although you have some wonderful memories, you can return feeling a bit deflated. For me it’s really important to have something to look forward to so I like to plan my holidays in advance, whether this is actually booking them or simply aspiring to go somewhere! We like to travel on our own terms so next year my eldest daughter and I are going to take an adventure holiday either cycling across India or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. My friend has also moved to Japan and I desperately want to visit her, the different culture makes it sound like another planet and a country that I would love to experience. Jo Whiley is the ambassador for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card, which gives you and your family the freedom to travel on your terms, with its flexible rewards programme. Search ‘Amex Gold Travel’ for more information.
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