Born and raised in Los Angeles, Melissa Francis is a journalist for FOX Business Network and is the author of Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter which recounts her life as a child star on soap opera Little House on the Prairie. Now a mother of two boys, she shares her favourite family holiday moments with us and tips on looking sun kissed!

What is your favourite beach?

We spend a ton of time at Albany Bahamas.  They have the most pristine strip of beach with satiny sand and pale blue water.  Nassau is just two and half hours by plane from NYC so we go as often as we can.

What is your idea of the perfect holiday?

I love having all the family together on the beach.  Snorkelling, jet skiing, floating, fishing, kayaking … napping.  Being together in the warm sun, splashing in the turquoise water is what I dream about.

Where was your first family holiday with kids?

When my older son was two months old, we took him to Florida for Christmas to be with our extended family.  He slept like a prince on the plane.  He’s been a fantastic traveller ever since.

How do you keep looking chic on holiday?

No one loves a beach holiday more than I do!  Good cover ups that can get splashed and dry quickly are essential.  And I love a sunscreen with a bit of bronzer in it to look sun-kissed while making sure I don’t get scorched.  I’m partial to bathing suit that stays put.  I don’t want to worry about what’s not supposed to be showing!

What are your top tips for surviving a long haul flight with your kids?

Ipads!  Loaded up with movies and games.  I put kids’ content on my own iPad just in case.  I’ve always got the chargers in my purse, plus some old fashioned books just in case we run out of power.  That plus plenty of snacks, lip balm, and water gets us through.

What did you read on your last holiday?

On my last holiday I read Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless.  Since I wrote my own memoir, Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter, I've been obsessed with other people’s stories of somewhat bizarre childhoods.  Turns out I'm in good company!

How do you keep the kids entertained on the beach when you want to sunbathe?

Easier said than done.  I have two boys, four and seven, years old.  So there’s very little sunbathing that goes on.  I’m mostly building sand castles and collecting shells.  Plus I work all week, so I’m really there to be with them.  My husband and I get alone time at night, we always make sure we’ve got a sitter!

What are your beach bag must haves?

A massive amount of sunscreen for my whole family.  Everyone likes something different so that makes my bag quite heavy!  I always have an iPad, but I don’t get to use it with my active boys on the loose. Sunglasses for everyone and a fresh set of Sunuva trunks and rashguards for my boys in case they want a quick change!