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Junior Meets: Junior Design Award Highly Commended Family Tour Operator, Smith & Family

Smith & Family were Highly Commended in our category for Best Family Tour Operator. Co-founder Tamara Heber-Percy shares her tips for a memorable trip

Posted: 20 September 2013
by Helen McKay-Ferguson

Tamara Heber-Percy, co-founder of Smith & Family
Martinhal Beach Resort, Portugal
Masseria Torre Coccaro, Italy
St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall

What are your three family holiday hotspots?
You are never too old to learn to surf, and in Portugal the surf beaches tend to be less crowded. I’d recommend Sagres – two of the best family-friendly hotels there are the luxurious Martinhal Beach Resort and the more laid-back Memmo Baleeira. Pine Cliffs Resort on the Algarve is also a brilliant option for holidays with little ones in tow.

Morocco offers plenty of opportunity for desert adventures, and gives children a taste of a different culture… for example, at Jnane Tamsna young guests can try their hands at Arabic calligraphy.

In Italy, the locals have a knack of being fantastically welcoming to children while managing to keep things stylish. Masseria Torre Coccaro in Puglia is as child-focused as it is sophisticated, and has a spa with a rocky plunge pool, a cookery school in a 17th-century chapel and a yacht. Another great choice in Puglia is Borgo Egnazia, and in the north, L’Albereta is a luxurious lakeside stay.

Which children’s activities should not be missed at the resorts you work with?
Some of my favourites are pizza making at Castello di Casole in Tuscany, the surf school at St Moritz Hotel in Cornwall and horse riding at Marbella’s Hotel Puente Romano or Berkshire’s Coworth Park.

What are your must-have items to pack in a when travelling as a family?
I have two young children, so in my hand luggage I always carry an iPad, snacks, baby wipes, tissues, sticker/activity books, pens and crayons, a roll of sellotape (endless fun), sweets for take-off and landing, and an extra layer of clothing for the children (for accidents or in case they get cold).

And, a four-gang plug is my top tip for travel. We have so many gadgets these days that there’s always a fight over who gets to charge their iPad or iPhone, so a four-gang solves that in one easy step. And, it means you don’t have to pack lots of adaptors or keep bending down to the one (invariably hard-to-reach) plug point in the hotel bedroom.

If you had to sum your business up in a sentence, what would it be?
There are lots of hotels that are great for couples and lots of hotels that are great for children, but very few hotels that get it right for everyone; we created Smith & Family to be an easily bookable online collection of parent-approved properties that don’t just tolerate families but actively welcome them.

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