21/06/2012 12:32 BST | Updated 21/08/2012 06:12 BST

Why People Hate Family Holidays (and How to Love Them)

I can see exactly why people hate family holidays. Luckily for me, those people are the rest of my family. I absolutely love family holidays. In fact, at the risk of my family now refusing to take me on any further holidays, I will explain why.

Before I explain my family holidays, I must quickly explain my family. Well, to be more specific, my mother. My mother is the type of woman who swims with her sunglasses on and without ever getting a strand of her hair wet. She wears factor 50 sunscreen every day of the year, and she lives in London. She refuses to walk from the restaurant to the car without the protective shade of an umbrella if there is the hint of damp. My siblings and I spent our childhood drawing lots in a desperate bid to avoid sitting next to her on the plane- because my mother treats whoever sits beside her, whether she knows them or not, as an indentured slave. For a long time, I believed wholeheartedly that adults were not allowed to fetch extra drinks for themselves on planes, and felt desperately sorry for those travelling without children.

My mother is the type of woman who has no need whatsoever to add 'but the villa side' when she tells people she is going to Ibiza. (Not that she would go to Ibiza, what with her fear of the sun and 'young people'.) My mother is the type of person who holidays with Abercrombie & Kent, and does so with such regularity, in fact, that I believe she is largely responsible for them being able to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. 2012-06-21-Screenshot20120621at14.10.29.png

Abercrombie & Kent started out as one of the few travel companies who wouldn't hunt for food. 2012-06-21-Screenshot20120621at14.11.34.png Instead, Geoffrey Kent, their CEO and founder asked an army friend to fix him a truck with refrigeration. Abercrombie & Kent's customers were the first ones to have fresh meat, fruits, vegetables and unlimited ice in the bush. Seeing as my mother genuinely forces 'pre-dinner' G&Ts onto holiday guests because of 'the need for quinine', as if we still lived in a 17th British Empire with no other recourse against malaria, Abercrombie & Kent is a perfect fit. "After all, darling," as my mother would say. "The bush is terribly hot. It's much nicer to have ice."

It is much nicer to have ice, and it's also much nicer to have bespoke, luxurious yet unostentatious exotic holidays. Of course, it's extra nice to go on these holidays as a family, because then someone else can pay.