Family travel tips from Emma Barnett, Managing Director of Tots Too, and mother of Madeline, five, Eleanor, three and Hannah, two months
What’s your recipe for the perfect family holiday? The most important ingredient is peace of mind. Feeling sure that you are heading somewhere perfect for your family will prevent holiday stress from taking over. Then add blue skies and service with a smile for holiday memories to treasure for a lifetime.
What’s your favourite childhood holiday memory? Going to Disneyland in America, aged six, and discovering the It’s A Small World ride. I remember my dad getting more and more exasperated as my sister and I refused to get off the ride. We ended up going round and round about ten times before finally agreeing to get off when dad offered to get us the It’s a Small World album. I still have it 30 years later.
What’s your company philosophy? We understand that no two families are the same. That's why we take a bespoke approach to recommend the right luxury hotels to suit each client, including the tiny clients too.
Pick the perfect Tots Too “hero” holiday for the following:
* Family with a baby Almyra in Cyprus is ideal as it offers a full range of baby kit for your suite, meaning you can travel light. The creche will welcome babies from six months, allowing you a little breather to enjoy the spa and sports.
* Family beach holiday You can't get closer to the beach than at Diva in the Maldives, where your villa is set on stilts over the blue lagoon. On the beach, you can enjoy shell painting or crab racing, or experience the colourful marine life by snorkelling or scuba diving over the reef.
* Family ski/adventure holiday Chalet Petit Mouflon in Les Gets in France is an Alpine-style chalet at the bottom of a tree-lined blue run. With the nearest lift just a one-minute walk away, you can be off on the pistes in no time. Unwind after a days skiing in the roof top hot tub.
Can you share three tips for traveling with children?
1. Be prepared for all eventualities, including delays.
2. Check what's available at your destination, to save packing everything but the kitchen sink.
3. Pace yourself and your children, don't get all the travel toys and snacks out at once, and try to manage expectations.
What’s the secret of a successful family holiday? Every family member should be considered, no matter how small. Parents can't relax until the needs of the children are met, but equally, the needs of the parents shouldn't be forgotten either.
Three things you should always pack for a family holiday?
1. Things to help kids settle in (a familiar toy or blanket).
2. First Aid kit, including Calpol.
3. A sense of humour.
The perfect family holiday song? A Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins.
Perfect holiday reading matter for parents? Next year's Tots Too holiday brochure.
Perfect holiday reading matter for children? Where's Wally? is great for long journeys.
Worst holiday nightmare? A child getting sick at the start of the holiday is the worst, but also troubles like having essentials confiscated at the airport or leaving a bag behind can also dampen the holiday spirit.