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Gaynor Reid from Accor shares her family travel tips

Born in South Africa to Scottish parents, travel has always been in Gaynor Reid’s blood. She’s worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years in both Australia and Asia, most recently based in Singapore in her role as VP of communications and corporate social responsibility for hotel group Accor Asia Pacific. She loves travelling with her husband Andrew and 16-year-old daughter Kiara.

Gaynor and her family on a gondola ride in Italy
Gaynor and her family on a gondola ride in Italy

My ideal family holiday is…

My husband would be happy to flop and drop at a beach resort, but I like to be able to explore new places and pack as much as possible into a trip, so we usually try to combine a bit of both. We also look for places that are close to theme parks or attractions that are suitable for our daughter, so that we can plan some days around what she wants.

My fondest family holiday memory is…

A trip we took about ten years ago with my parents, my aunt and uncle and our little family of three. We went to Venice, Rome, the Amalfi Coast and the Greek Islands. It was just before my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. We had so many laughs and magical moments that, now he is gone, I still smile remembering that trip.

Gaynor and her family during an intergenerational family holiday in Rome
Gaynor and her family during an intergenerational family holiday in Rome

Family travellers may not be aware that…

Many hotels and resorts will offer a second room cheaper for families who need more space, and that bigger hotels can provide things like bottle warmers, strollers and cots. For example, at Novotel hotels, families can get their second room for 50 per cent off and children under 12 eat and stay for free if sharing their parents’ room.

Every family should experience…

An intergenerational trip where parents, grandparents and kids travel together. It’s a great way to strengthen family bonds and create new traditions. One of the most incredible places to travel as an extended family is Uluru – there is so much that you can do for all ages, and it’s an incredible destination to learn more about Australia’s Indigenous history and culture.

Gaynor with Kiara and Andrew at their favourite resort Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua
Gaynor with Kiara and Andrew at their favourite resort Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua

My top tip for travelling with kids is…

Make sure to involve them in the planning so that they feel they are not just being dragged around to do what their parents want to do. Now that our daughter is a teenager, we tend to invite one of her friends along on many of our trips so that she is not bored. We also make sure, every day, to carve out some downtime, as children are often just as happy in the pool at the hotel as they are at the local theme park or traipsing around a new city. On holidays the simple things are often the best, and the promise of an ice-cream can work wonders in getting them to walk further than they think they can!

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