We’re all going on a family holiday

Jo Whiley and family on holiday

Jo Whiley and family on holiday - Credit: Archant

In partnership with American Express® Jo Whiley, radio DJ and mum of four children (ranging from 4-20 years old), is no stranger to the juggling needed for family travel. “It’s important to me that my children see the world and experience different cultures, so we try to travel frequently as a family. The kids have absolutely changed my attitude to travel: last minute trips are off the agenda, you really need to have your act together and plan ahead” says Jo who is also the ambassador for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card¹.





Travel is a shared passion for Brits: not only are our holidays a chance to relax but they are an opportunity to spend more quality time with the family.


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Thankfully this is on the rise as the family holiday is no longer just an annual break, as a third of families in the UK now take a trip twice a year according to new research² into British travel trends by American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card.


As any parent will know, a family trip involves an awful lot of planning but, as a nation, we seem to relish such tasks. In fact, a quarter of Brits enjoy the pre-holiday shop because it adds to the anticipation and excitement². 37% also like to spread out their spending, buying toiletries, clothes and other essentials four weeks ahead of their trip², which is no wonder given the amount we spend: nearly 32% of Brits spend over £100 and one in ten pay out over £200 ahead of their holiday².


The research also found that sunglasses, sun lotion and a camera are the top three holiday essentials for Brits² but Jo claims that her iPad is the saviour on long journeys: “I always download some child-friendly films and apps which keep the kids amused for hours. A recent trip to Thailand involved flying for over 24 hours so my iPad was a real lifesaver.”


Like over two-thirds of Brits², Jo also enjoys holidays in the UK: “The kids absolutely love to surf so Cornwall is a particular favourite of ours and this year we’re hiring a caravan in Polzeath. The kids and my husband will be up at the crack of dawn to hit the waves and I’ll be able to explore some of the beautiful Cornish towns.”


Like caravanning in Cornwall, finding a holiday that suits the whole family is the most important thing for Jo: “With such a big age range between my kids finding something for them all can be tricky. We don’t like to sit on a beach, we’d much rather explore. Last year we went to LA which really did have something for everyone: we surfed, shopped, visited the theme parks and lounged by the villa pool.”


For those with large families, keeping a close eye on budget is essential. “We try to make it as cost effective and pleasurable as possible. We save up for big trips, set ourselves a budget and give the children a certain amount of spending money” says Jo.


We could all be savvy spenders like Jo and make our money go that bit further by joining a travel rewards scheme. Only 20% of Brits are members of such schemes² meaning than 80% are potentially missing out on a huge range of benefits and rewards that can make their holiday more enjoyable¹. With the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card you can collect points through everyday spending such as supermarket shopping or petrol which can be put towards your next holiday³.


Jo adds: “I spend a fortune on the weekly supermarket shop so knowing that I’m collecting points to help make my next holiday extra special is really cool. The points can be spent with huge range of high street retail partners so I can buy things in advance and take the stress out of holiday prep. The Card also offers me a wide choice of hotel, airline and hire car companies so I can treat us to a little bit of luxury while away.”


Search ‘Amex Gold Travel’ for more information


Jo is the ambassador for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card. To hear some of her top travel tips view the video.