Travel advice from Jackie Chicken, Sales Specialist and mother of Imogen, 20 months
What’s your recipe for the perfect family holiday?The key is research, making sure you visit your desired destination at the right time. It is also important to have spacious enough accommodation to be able to relax, with a ‘parent area’ and a ‘kids area’ being the ideal. Other children or teenagers to play with and plenty of fun activities in a safe environment make for happy kids and when the children, especially the teenagers, are content, parents are happy too.
What’s your favourite childhood holiday memory? The one that I remember the clearest is the hugely popular snoopy disco. Every evening on holiday in Tenerife, all the kids would go up on stage and perform the dance moves to the pre-recorded snoopy disco. By day five, my sister and I had all the moves memorized; by day 14, we were pros! They gave us a cassette of the songs to take home from holiday and we performed it in our front garden with all the kids on our road every evening for the rest of the summer holidays!
What’s W&O Travel’s philosophy? We offer worldwide family holidays, with first class service, gourmet dining and warm, genuine hospitality making every family member feel welcome. All our hotels are family-friendly and have been designed with children in mind, from infants right through to teenagers. We know that travelling with children can be difficult, so we’ve made it our mission to make your family’s journey goes as smooth as possible, by helping you to find not only the right destination and hotel, but also arrange the little extras that make your holiday enjoyable for everyone.
Pick the perfect W&O “hero” holiday for the following:
* Family with a baby The Porto Sani Village, Greece, is a luxurious all-suite spa hotel located at the heart of the Sani Resort, a 1,000-acre family owned ecological reserve with evergreen landscapes, pine forests, olive groves, turquoise waters and white sandy. There’s a crèche for babies from 4 months, as well as clubs for children and teenagers, baby equipement and the inspired Babe Watch babysitting on the beach! beaches.
* Family beach holiday The newly opened Martinhal, Algarve, Portugal, is already billed as ‘the finest luxury family resort in Europe.’ Separated in to three distinct areas – the hotel, village and villas, there’s a great children’s clubs, gourment dining and plenty of family fun.
* Family adventure holiday The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana is ideal for families looking to experience the ‘true West’ without sacrificing true comfort. Located on over 10 square miles of lush meadows and rolling foothills, set off by distant snow-capped peaks, you can take a horseback ride through scenic trails, enjoy a spot of fly fishing at Blue Ribbon Creek, or relish the peace and quiet with an afternoon of wildlife watching. Hiking, mountain biking, sporting clays, archery, paintball, rafting, and photo safaris are also popular pursuits.
Any tips for travelling with children? Pre-order as much as you can in resort (e.g. swim nappies, potties, baby wipes) to cut down on luggage and make life as easy as possible. Make sure infant/booster seats are included in transfers and hire cars as they are not a legal requirement in all countries. If travelling with an infant on Easyjet, always put them in the middle seat of three when passengers are boarding the plane. If the flight is not full, nine times out of 10, you will end up with the three seats. It makes such a difference!
What’s the secret of a successful family holiday? Use a family specialist operator to help you choose the best property to suit your needs. This should be done on a range of criteria including facilities, accommodation needs, activities, board and budget. The more detail you give, the better placed the consultant will be to help you make the right decisions. A successful holiday is one that lives up to or exceeds your expectations. At W&O, we can help you achieve this.
What three things you should always pack for a family holiday?
1. Your child’s favourite toy or teddy.
2. A very large beach bag (it needs to be a bottomless pit).
3. A camera to capture all those priceless memories.
What’s your perfect family holiday song? “We’re all going on a summer holiday” by Cliff Richard.
Perfect holiday reading matter for parents? Something light and entertaining that is not about parenting.
Perfect holiday reading matter for children? Anything with hidden characters or lifting flaps that will keep them occupied for at least 20 minutes on the flight.
Worst holiday nightmare? Misplacing your child. My parents lost my sister in Menorca when she was three for about five hours. The ensuing drama will stay with me forever.