Emilia Fox is an adored English actress, best known for her role in the hit television series, Silent Witness. She is mother to a daughter, Rose and recently became ambassador of The Surrey Hotel in New York.
Q: What is your first childhood memory of travel?
I remember flying to Pisa, Italy with my parents and then travelling south by train in the baking summer heat with my father wearing a tweed suit and overcoat and brogues and smoking a cigar. Mum and I had to move carriages because it made us hot just looking at him!
Q: Where have you had your best holiday to date?
My best holiday before having Rose was on safari in Botswana and Tanzania, staying out in tents at night and then going on the drives and seeing all the animals at dawn and dusk. We travelled on to Zanzibar and then to a small island called Mnemba where we had two weeks on the beach. It was the happiest holiday of my life.
Q: Where was the first place you went with a little one in tow? How did it go?
The first place we went to with Rose when she was just a few weeks old was to The Hague and we attempted to get there in the snow with delayed trains and overcrowded carriages. I just remember attempting to change nappies whilst sitting on our suitcases in the train corridors. Not easy.
Q: How do you find the experience of travelling with children generally?
Packing is definitely stressful and I still haven’t learnt the art of keeping it concise for either Rose or myself. Once we’re on the move though, Rose is a very entertaining travelling companion and makes friends with everyone, so it becomes more fun the closer we get to our destination; I find you tend to keep the friendships you make with people you meet on holiday with children. Everyone looks out for each other.
Q: Where was your best holiday with Rose?
The best holiday with Rose was when she was three months old and we went to stay at Little Good Harbour in Barbados. It was absolute bliss and the perfect place for a relaxed family beach holiday.
Q: And your worst?
That might be yet to come!
Q: What is your must-have travel accessory when away with children?
Zip lock bags are the must-have accessory to pack everything you have for your children into, so you can easily grab whatever you need on each occasion. For example, beach things can all go together in one bag (this can then be used for wet swimming costumes when coming out of the water), or sleep stuff can go in another. This means you’re not struggling when searching for individual pieces amongst the Calpol and toys, and you’re not having to throw everything out of the suitcase to find the one thing your child is asking for and then having to repack the lot. It brings a little bit of order to the chaos of travelling with children!
Q: And top tips for travel with kids?
Most importantly make sure that your destination is child-friendly. Hotels like The Surrey in New York make you feel totally welcome as a family, meaning your holiday is much less stressful. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re unwelcome or being disapproved of for bringing your children with you. The Surrey is not only fun to be in with your family, catering for all needs (which makes packing easier!) but also they help you find fun things to do with your children in New York. I highly recommend New York for a quick and easy get away destination. My top tip when on a long haul flight is to wrap up new things like a colouring book, stickers or little games into pass-the-parcel-type-presents. They then become a sort of lucky dip over the course of the journey and, hopefully, occupy much of the time with the novelty.