Away with the Kids founder, loyal ELLE Decoration fan and full-time Mum Taxi Jo Elliott is the kind of woman who doesn’t let a knackered bank card get in the way of her dream. Instead, she rang up her husband, asked him to pay six quid for a domain name and got right on with the business of setting up the UK’s most trusted family holiday directory - and Away with the Kids was born.
It was 2008, and Jo had realised that there was very little in the way of trustworthy family staycation reviews online. She complained to her friend Helen, who agreed: websites seemed to either use paid-for marketing to extol the virtues of grubby-looking holiday lets, or featured palatial stays that were way out of a spontaneous ‘shall we take the kids away this weekend?’ kind of budget. They’d spotted a gap in the family holiday market.
Jo knew the kind of places she wanted on her list. Places that were spotlessly clean with good beds and good linen. Places where child-friendly equipment came as standard so that parents didn’t have to pack their heavily-laden Ford with even more stuff. Places where the owners smiled with their eyes as well as their mouths when frazzled adults and screaming children pitched up at their door. Places where they understood that holidays are precious, and family holidays even more so.
Fast-forward to 2018 and we’ve found over 400 of those magical places and we average 21,000 unique visitors searching for their perfect holiday each week. All of our listings, whether UK or abroad, are evaluated on their own merits, but they’re united by the fact that they’re all completely family-friendly, with reliable reviews from our AwtK team to back up their credentials.
This team - small but perfectly formed - have got AwtK to where it is today. We’re a small band of brothers (well sisters, actually, and friends, plus a husband and wife) working remotely from home in the margins that present themselves around our families; a way of working which sums up the Away with the Kids ‘family first’ ethos pretty perfectly.