Co-founder Sassy Mama Dubai - The go-to guide for modern mamas.
- First up, what’s your favourite beach?
OMG this is the hardest question. So many favourite beaches - the beach at Misali Island off Pemba Island, Tanzania - seriously Robinson Crusoe-esque, in the UK we love Daymer Bay in Cornwall, surrounded by sand-dunes and with rock-pools for the kids to play in, a sun-faded shack that serves the best homemade ice-cream and rents out everything from deck-chairs to buckets & spades plus a gorgeous clifftop walk away from Watergate Bay or Polzeath. And in Dubai it's Kite Beach, a huge golden stretch of sand with turquoise water and some of the city's cutest little cafes. But there are SO many more!
- What makes the perfect getaway for your family?
For us it's all about nature and the outdoors - the kids are happiest when they have space to roam, insects to discover and water to play in.
- Where is the most kid-friendly destination you’ve visited?
We recently stayed at Niyama in the Maldives which ticked every single holiday box when travelling with kids - the Scott Dunn managed kids club was fabulous (we couldn't get our 3 out!), the relaxed vibe, completely stunning beaches, lizards, fruit-bats and hermit crabs plus incredible fish for the little ones to get excited about - and getting around by bike or by foot - it was heavenly.
- Which 3 words best describe your holiday style?
Relaxed, natural, fun
- Any tips for keeping kids happy on the plane?
Stay calm (sometimes easier said than done!). If you're stressed then they will be too. Take a lot of snacks and invest in kiddie headphones for watching the on-flight movies and child-sized neck pillows to keep their heads propped up if they doze off.
- What small things would you be lost without on holiday?
My camera - or more specifically iPhone - I get very snap happy on holiday and love playing with filters on instagram. My glasses/contact lenses without which I'd be literally lost as am blind as a bat and my diary for scribbling editorial ideas and long to-do lists.
- What’s on your holiday reading list?
For me holiday reading needs to be easy - I don't want to have to concentrate too hard! I've been researching books to buy recently and The Girls In The Garden by Lisa Jewell - about the mysteries that surround a London communal garden square sounds like the perfect page-turner.
- What are your beach bag must-haves?
Sun cream (am a big fan of Shiseido's Wet Force factor 50 - great for the whole family), hats for everyone, sunglasses, snacks (my children area ALWAYS hungry), wipes, water and camera.
- Bucket list destinations – go!
Cape-Town, Vietnam, Bali, Philippines, Cuba, Stockholm, Rio, Argentina, Nantucket, California, Cyprus - and the list goes on. If we had all the money and time in the world, we would spend it on travel and nothing else.
Which holiday sticks in your mind as truly special?
pre-kids it was a very magical trip to Italy that combined Venice with skiing in the dolomites - completely incredible. We stayed at the Bauer Hotel in Venice and did all of the touristy stuff before jumping in a hire-car and driving up into the mountains where a chalet-style hotel with fluffy duvets and cow-hides plus Michelin Starred food awaited. Dreamy. And post-kids it would have to be the Maldives - perfect in every way.
Finally, when you get home, what are the signs you’ve been on a successful trip?
Hundreds of photos, excited chatter about all of the memories around the kitchen table and that feeling of wanting to book our next trip based on how great the last one was.