Our First Family Holiday… Decisions Decisions
Up until now, the prospect of going on holiday with two young children has filled me somewhat with dread. In 2017, I didn’t feel quite ready to tackle travelling with Mike and the girls, whether it be by plane, boat or car, and the prospect of being far away from home if something went wrong was enough to bring me out in a cold sweat.
In 2018, we are hoping to bite the bullet and take our first family holiday abroad, with Europe being our destination of choice. We are also considering a trip where my Dad can come along too. He would love to see his Grandchildren enjoying the sunshine, and since my Mum passed away in 2014, he has only braved one holiday himself. A well earned break is long overdue.
After deciding on either France, Spain or Belgium as a location, we’ve considered a variety of boarding options, including Southern France Vacation Rentals, apartments and even camping, but at the moment, the idea of a rented villa is definitely the most appealing. Here’s why I think this type of holiday will suit us best.
No Fixed Agenda – Unlike staying in a hotel or apartment complex, staying in a rented villa you are completely free to plan your day around you and your family. Want to have an early tea or late lunch? – No issue! – There is no requirement to fit into set mealtimes or being restricted to eat at a particular restaurant every single night.
Access to a pool – Many of the villa rentals we have looked at come with their own either private or shared pool (shared with a limited number of guests), making access to the water much easier and much quieter than in a traditional hotel complex. Erin LOVES the water, and is on the verge of swimming without armbands or a swimvest. Swimming every day on holiday could see Erin take leaps and bounds in her confidence, and I am sure Neve would love a bit of a splash around too! I love the idea of having an early morning swim whilst the girls are having breakfast with their Dad, and having a calm and peaceful moment to myself to relax and unwind.
Peace and quiet – As much as my Dad loves to be around the grandchildren, he is also quite a traditional man at heart. He tends to struggle a bit when there are a LOT of children around, and for that reason I am sure he would appreciate some of the peace and quiet that comes with a villa with just our girls to contend with! 🙂 We wouldn’t have to worry about noisy neighbours, annoying holiday reps trying to drag him to take part in water aerobics, or other peoples children splashing him whilst he’s trying to read his book! 🙂
Home from Home – My Dad loves to cook, and so will often find the four walls of an apartment room quite restrictive, with only tea and coffee making facilities or a very basic kitchen to content with. Villas often offer a home from home mentality, which can be a lot more relaxing and familiar, both for him and for my children. I love the idea of Dad making himself at home in a fully equipped kitchen, and us all sitting around the table and enjoying a meal together.
Equipped to cope with young children – Many rented villas include a wealth of child friendly amenities to support young visitors and make your stay more comfortable, including high chairs, cots and stair gates. Reducing the amount of stuff we need to take with us not only saves money in baggage costs, but allows more room for duty free on the way back! 🙂
No rushing for the sun lounges– possibly the most annoying part of any European hotel holiday is the mad rush to secure a lounger in the morning! With a villa, you can be confident you will be able to secure the best spot in the house, and that you may even get to lie on it and catch some rays whilst the children nap!
I asked some of my fellow bloggers why they choose to stay in a Villa as opposed to an apartment, and they too had some great advice!
“As a family of five, staying in a hotel would need two separate rooms and would therefore need to have one adult in each room. A villa means we can put the kids to bed and stay up ourselves rather than all having to go to bed at the same time. It means flexibility and comfort” – We’re Going on an Adventure
“Villas are great for groups of friends as you socialise with each other much more. Chill out time can be together rather than having to go off to your own room. They’re also great for families with little ones as you can put one to bed for a nap whilst the others play in the pool” – The Crazy Kitchen
“We found a villa to be a perfect option, especially if you have a young baby or toddler. When it’s nap time, it’s much easier to transport them to their air conditioned bedroom rather than have to all return to the hotel room and tiptoe about!” – Flying with a Baby
“Choosing a villa is a lot more relaxed – everyone has the benefit of staying together yet has their own rooms and privacy” – Scandimummy
“With a 1 year old and 3 year old who are fussy eaters, a villa gave us the flexibility to make our own meals” – TippyTupps
“In a villa you’re much more at home – its great to have access to amenities such as washing machines and a kitchen sink – and you can bring all clean clothes home if you wash them before you leave!” – Babies and Beauty
“We LOVE the freedom – our kids love that if they want to swim at midnight they can – or 6am if they prefer!!” – Hello Cuppies
Have you ever stayed in a villa? Why did it work for you?
*This is a collaborative post*