Our 2018 holiday was a big one – we threw caution to the wind and decided to chance a cruise with two small children and my mum to help out. We had some brilliant highs – but we also missed out on so much of what was on offer. Essentially, we paid for a helluva lot of entertainment that we were unable to enjoy. Which is so wasteful, and thinking too much about the cost of that family break makes me feel a little bit nauseous; partly because we then ended up moving home (great timing for such an expense – oops), but also because *whispers* it wasn’t worth it.

So for 2019 we’ve had a chat and made a decision that doesn’t sit well with our aspirations, but absolutely fits our needs: we’re going to have a cheap package holiday abroad in the sun, one of those identikit resorts where you could be anywhere in the world. It’s actually not what either of us really want to do, but of course we’re fortunate to be in a position to afford any break. And it’s what will allow the girls to have a nice holiday and be entertained constantly, which at their ages is vital to the happiness of us all!

Should You Choose a Villa Or Hotel For Your Family Holiday?

That said, what I really like the idea of is a beautiful villa somewhere a little more exotic. That’s what we’d actually like to do. But I fear for our very young family – with limited attention span and low boredom threshold – we’d live to regret it in much the same way as we did our cruise…with one caveat.

If we can persuade friends or family to join us then we’re totally going for the villa option!

Should you choose a villa or a hotel for your your next family holiday abroad? Here are some pros and cons of each option.

Why We’d Love to Book a Villa Somewhere Exotic

Who doesn’t want exotic? I relish the sunshine, he soaks up the culture, and we both love admiring native architecture. Probably less exciting for the kids, but if we’re at the right villa they’ll have plenty to occupy them; and if we’ve executed our plan correctly, we’ll have childcare for a day or two…

I love the idea of being at a home from home, somewhere we can all relax and give some proper one on one, quality time and attention to the girls. But of course it’s important to acknowledge and accept that holidaying as a family is not exactly holidaying in the traditional sense: you don’t get a vacation from parenting, after all. Which is why the extra space afforded by a villa is so important.

I also like the idea of introducing Pixie and Elfin to new places, but in a non-threatening way, without overwhelming them. Staying at a villa somewhere remote would allow us to go for walks and explore locally, whilst staying close to our comfortable base. This, for me, is an idyllic family break.

Choosing a Destination

I’m thinking maybe a family villa in Sri Lanka, Bali, or Mauritius – any of these would be incredible locations. I’d love to visit somewhere beautiful and unspoilt, with exotic wildlife and warm sunshine. Somewhere that allows for stunning photography and precious memories we’ll cherish. I suppose what I really want is a touch of luxury! A holiday that feels special because it’s not only a break from the norm, but also because we’re really looked after. Bliss.

Villa or Hotel for a Family Holiday

And I’ve found just the ticket: a firm that will help you find your perfect location and villa, tailored to your individual needs – and remain a point of contact throughout your trip, acting as concierge and allowing you to get the most out of your trip.

For every booking of one of their Sri Lankan villas, Villa-Finder plant a tree in Sumatra, Indonesia. Not the reason to book with them perhaps, but a little bonus to make you feel like you’re doing something positive for the environment rather than contributing to its problems.

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Choosing a Villa

One of the aspects of holidaying I find most stressful is researching and making all the arrangements. With Villa-Finder this responsibility is lifted – they take care of it all for you, based around the criteria you provide to them. They’ll research and book excursions, transfers, and even organise a special dinner or in-house masseuse – whatever you need, they’ll make the arrangements. Which allows me to get excited long before I ordinarily would, ie. when every last detail of the holiday has been researched, checked, and booked. I find it exhausting, so this sounds perfect for me. And it’s merely a part of the service, with no costs attached!

Having done big family breaks to Center Parcs in the past, I’m already looking forward to the idea of getting everyone together abroad. And taking the girls on a plane for the first time!

Now all I have to do is purchase a classy new swimsuit, and convince my brothers to bring their families too! If I fail then I’ll definitely be revisiting this idea in a couple of years when the girls are a little easier to entertain.

This is a commissioned post.


Fun and Adventures

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

1 Comment

  1. We took several villa holdiays when our kids were younger and they were all enjoyable. The key was that each time we went with friends with similar aged children, and so the kids had playmates and more or less entertained themselves. Also, we adults took turns doing things with the 4 children, so for example my friend & I took all the children to a zoo, while our husbands did something else. Then on another day the 2 dads took the kids to a waterpark while my friend & I went shopping. That way everyone still got to do things they liked and everyone got some respite from full-time child care.

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