To celebrate the launch of our exciting new Scott Dunn Explorers children’s clubs, we’re invited our favorite Mumpreneurs, bloggers and journalists to share their happiest family vacation memories with us – from their childhood and as a parent.
Amanda Morison, family travel journalist and blogger
Amanda Morison lives with her husband and four sons, aged between one and seven, in London. She writes the blog for angels & urchins magazine and website, London’s go-to guide for everything to do with families.
My father was a teacher, which meant lots of family vacations. Some I was less keen on (seemingly endless visits to churches in Brittany) others were fantastic, especially when we moved to Swaziland for three years. We’d load up our Land Rover and spend weeks at a time exploring neighboring countries, including South Africa and Lesotho. There were plenty of beaches where we learned to bodysurf down dunes, went on lots of safaris and wallowed in natural hot pools. I once even sat on an ostrich, bribed by my mother, who wanted a picture for the family album, by the promise of a stick of rock.
We love traveling with the children. We’ve taken one or all of them to Marrakech, Tunisia, France, Italy, Skye and the Italian Lakes. Our longest trip was to New Zealand via Hong Kong. We aren’t complete masochists – our youngest was five months old at the time, and who wants to take young children that far? – but my brother was getting married in Christchurch and we wanted to be there. The best bit was 10 days on Waiheke Island just off Auckland. Our easiest vacation was to Pine Cliffs in the Algarve. We went with three other families with similar aged children and each hired an apartment. Lots of space to retreat to when someone had a tantrum!
Our dream vacation is a ski trip. We haven’t yet ventured on to the slopes with the children, but once the youngest is four or so we will book them into ski school and head off to clear our heads in the best possible way. When you’re skiing you have to concentrate or you’ll fall over, and it sounds an unimaginable luxury to just be us for a few mornings, with nothing but the snow for company. We’ll then meet the children for lunch and do a few runs with them in the afternoon before heading back to the chalet. No cooking for a week would be the icing on the cake!
Laura Dixon, travel journalist and blogger
Laura Dixon is a mum of one, Olivia, aged 20 months, and lives in Bristol. She has been a travel journalist for over ten years and has written over 20 travel guides and contributed to top magazines and newspapers from Stylist to the Guardian and www.coolplaces.co.uk. She blogs at www.foodforfriendsyeah.co.uk
When my twin brother and I were about 10, our next-door-neighbors invited us on vacation to St Tropez, where their grandparents lived. It was amazing! We stayed in this beautiful villa with an outdoor pool and were looked after by two very cool nannies. There were geckos everywhere. I remember Rachel’s grandad teaching me to eat spaghetti with a spoon and a fork – which felt very cultured – and my hair turning green from the minerals in the pool. Up to this point, we always used to vacation at our grandparents by the sea in the UK, so this changed everything.
I only have a few examples to draw on, but my most recent trip, to New York with my husband and our daughter was incredible. We wanted to fly long haul before she turned 2 and would have to be paid for, and just love the city. We played in some of the most beautiful playgrounds, including Teardrop Park in Battery Park, where there’s an architectural screen of bamboo and zen-like rocks hiding a rad metal slide. Cycling round Central Park was great too – she loves being on my bike at home – and we took her to Central Park Zoo, setting for Madagascar too, which was fun.
I’d absolutely love to visit Soneva Kiri in Thailand. I’m a real hotel buff, and love what they’re doing there: dining pods suspended from trees, outdoor cinemas and an inspirational den for children. I’ve never been to Thailand – the closest I’ve got is Malaysia – but I know that Thai people love children and it’s a great destination for them, as long as you remember to bulk buy suncream. I particularly like the way the hotel brings out the childlike wonder in me, let alone anyone else!