Holidays are meant to be fun for all the family, but a trip abroad can sometimes feel like a daunting prospect. The key to success is in the planning, says mum-of-three Jessica Sutton, Overseas Manager for luxury holiday company Simpson Travel, who has many years of experience helping families make the most of their time away. Here’s Jessica’s own top tips for a hassle-free trip…

Enjoy the build-up

Show nervous children pictures of where they’ll be staying and get them excited about the places they’re going to see. Tour operator web sites often have destination videos, or you could read a story set in the place you are visiting. If your toddlers are nervous about flying, try watching ‘Peppa Pig: The Holiday’ and reading ‘The Noisy Airplane Ride’ to help them know what to expect when the engines start to roar. To encourage children to be adventurous with their food, why not research local specialties before you leave, and perhaps have a go at making some at home?

The right villa

Choose your accommodation carefully. Companies such as Simpson Travel can make life easy with facilities like gated pools or small complexes where your little ones can make friends, and they have first-hand knowledge all their properties. For a real treat, book yourselves to somewhere with a creche or children’s club such as Mousses Villas or Periyali Villas so as parents can enjoy a little downtime too: there’s currently a complimentary childcare offer at Mousses Creche and Children’s club for early September too.

Pack smart

Sun protection is essential and while you can usually get high factor sunscreen at your destination, it’s smart to invest in some good quality UV-protective swim and beachwear to take with you. Sunuva have one of the widest ranges available, all in trendy shapes and colours that children will love to wear. UV rash vests are ideal for water babies who can’t stay out of the sea, and jelly shoes are great for pebbles and hot sand. Don’t forget your hat.

It also helps to bring a first-aid kit, Calpol and pull-ups. Long journeys, unfamiliar beds and new places can be a little overwhelming for even potty-trained children. Some tour companies can provide starter packs to help cut down on the baggage.

On your way

Find the children’s play areas at the airport and burn energy before boarding! Keep them entertained on the flight with books and sticker albums. Wrap a few activities and reveal in stages.

If you have a small baby screaming on the plane, try placing warm, wet tea bags in a plastic cup and covering your baby’s ears – might sound strange, but it works!  Travel can mess up mealtimes, so remember to take a few small snacks to compensate if necessary.

And relax!

Part of the fun of holidays is an escape from routine, which often means late nights. Keep days leisurely and avoid unnecessary stress with a daily siesta. If your toddler thinks they’re too old for naps, bring some films or books from home and enjoy some calm, down-time together.

Last, but definitely not least, make sure you enjoy yourself – you deserve it. It might take a little more planning when you are travelling with children, but the good memories always eclipse the odd moment of madness!

Win a £200 voucher to spend at Sunuva

September and October are perfect months for travel with young children – the sea is still warm but the summer crowds have gone, the temperatures are more mellow and the pace is really relaxed. Even better, if you book a Simpson Travel holiday* at Mousses Villas or Periyali Villas, you’ll automatically be entered into a draw to win £200 to spend on Sunuva kids swim and beachwear. 020 3740 7682

*Departing in September or October 2018, book before 17 August 2018.