Jane Anderson is the editor of Family Traveller as well as web editor of 101 Honeymoon and travel editor at Prima Magazine She is also the author of a number of guidebooks, including Brittany with Kids and The Brit Guide to Las Vegas. With over 20 years of travel experience, she describes her perfect family holiday. 

 

Where is your favourite beach?

In the UK, it’s probably one of the vast beaches of Northumberland like Bamburgh which is breathtaking, with fabulous sand dunes for kids to run in behind. We also did a seaside safari on Mawgan Porth beach in north Cornwall recently with a marine biologist/ex life guard, which was so much fun. On a good day, this beach looks like somewhere in Australia. It also has a great surf vibe. I also loved the beaches on Belle Ile en Mer, a little island off southern Brittany in France. I’ve travelled to the Caribbean and Indian Ocean extensively and have had my fair share of gob smackingly beautiful tropical beaches. One of the most incredible was on Eluthera in the Bahamas – totally deserted with wild crashing waves.

What's your idea of the perfect holiday?

A perfect family holiday has to mean that everyone is happy, which is quite a feat with different ages, desires and expectations.  I like exploring new places and being active most of the time which sometimes drives my family insane!

Where was your first family holiday with your kids?

I took my first child, Scarlett, now 10, to St Barts in the Caribbean when she was 3 months old. We flew to Antigua then had to catch a six-seater plane for the short flight to the island. It was quite stormy and very noisy and sweaty on board, plus the landing is very hairy as the island is mountainous and the runway practically runs onto the beach. We stayed in a stunning villa in Point Milou.

How do you keep looking chic on holiday?

It’s debatable whether I ever look chic on holiday, but I do love a good holiday wardrobe. I adore sun hats and bikinis (https://www.beachcafe.com/ has a good choice) and of course cool sunglasses. I’m much more comfortable in summer clothes than winter ones. I also make sure I have some descent sun protection and lots of moisturising creams for my face and body.  I have a high pair of silver Hasbeens from Stockholm (Sarah Jessica Parker wears them apparently!) which I love, along with flip-flops of course.

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

My kids are 10 and 7 now, so they are pretty good at reading or playing on an iPad and watching films. They are quite seasoned travellers, but still get excited about taking a flight. I still make sure I take along snacks, colouring books or at least a pencil and paper for some doodling or games, and a pack of cards often comes in handy.

What do you always have in your hand luggage?

iPhone, passport (of course), lip balm, face moisturiser, a soft scarf, various things for the kids (see above), magazines, a good book, notepad and pens. I also take my camera in my hand luggage as I wouldn’t want to lose that if my luggage went astray.

What did you read on your last holiday?

Tracks by Robyn Davidson which is now a film with Mia Wasikowska. It’s about the author’s journey across 1,700 miles of Australian Outback with three camels. I also read Fifty Shades of Grey along time after everyone else as I found it in a hotel library. I was too self-conscious to buy it myself but it was the perfect easy holiday read.

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

I don’t! I’m not that sort of mum. I’d rather be doing things with them like swimming, snorkelling, looking for shells or taking photos of them. I did so much sun bathing in my twenties and early thirties, that I’m not that bothered now. I’m also really paranoid about safety around the sea, so I wouldn’t let them out of my sight yet at the seaside!

What are your beach bag must haves?

Lovely soft towels for us all, plenty of sun cream, sun glasses, water, a delicious picnic, one of those bat and ball sets and of course my camera to take some great shots.