You’ve decided you want to go away on a holiday with the kids but are overwhelmed with the plans and details. We have all been there. The organisation that booking a family holiday requires is huge, and you want to make sure that your trip is a once in a lifetime experience. Well, your second decision (after choosing your destination) is usually the age-old question; where are you going to stay? If you’re like me, hotels and villas both have their appeal. The following provides a list of reasons to choose either a hotel or a villa on your next holiday with the children.
Hotels are the most obvious and traditional choice. The amenities that hotels have to offer are usually boundless, and the service you get is unmatched. Everything is taken care of for you, and all under one roof. If you are truly in it to be waited on hand and foot, a hotel is definitely for you. Depending on the type of hotel you opt to stay in you may well be treated to all-inclusive food, a large pool or bar and often childcare so mum and dad can escape for a few hours during the day. If you’re looking for a holiday where you have to do as little as possible perhaps a hotel is your best choice.
Of course, hotels are not all fun and games. First of all, they are expensive. Usually if something is all-inclusive, you’ve paid for it in other ways (the exorbitant hotel bill). Along with this, some hotels might not be kid friendly and you may feel a little bit uncomfortable with the whole family being there. You also generally have a small amount of room per person, unless you’re able to splash out on a luxury suite. If you’re travelling with very little children or a baby then of course you may struggle with keeping the noise down during the night, which might lead to some unhappy neighbouring guests. If you travel to a country with low living costs like Greece, Croatia or Sicily for example, you may find that the price you paid for an all inclusive is still relatively expensive compared to how much you would be spending on local produce.
We all have an image of paradise and usually it has something to do with your own private villa on the beach, completely relaxed, just you and your wonderful family. The privacy is one of the major draws to villas. Your kids will have a ball, after all, this is their trip too, and they deserve to have fun without the social constraints of a hotel. Along with this, the cost may be more efficient as most villas come self-catered, meaning you will not have to pay for an entire family of four at an expensive restaurant every time someone is hungry. This is particularly good if you’re travelling with children or fussy eaters. The other massive positive that come with staying in a Villa is the amount of space everyone has- often separate rooms along with a lounge area, kitchen and private pool. Villas, like hotel rooms can be found in varying sizes meaning you could choose a huge villa for a Greek family Christmas, or one of Wishsicily’s villas for couples available for those looking for a more romantic trip.
Obviously there is always a downside. The main thing with villas is you need to make sure there are enough people to enjoy it with. If you are only a family of three in a villa meant for six, the cost might not be worth the effort and you should keep looking until you find one more suited to your size and budget. You also might be obligated to have to clean up after yourself, which can take you out of the relaxed holiday mode you’re looking for- there’s no room service in a private villa.
In the end it all depends on the type of holiday you’re looking to have and of course how the rest of your travel group feel. It really just comes down to personal preference, but in my experience thought it might mean a little extra organisation a private villa is the best way to have a truly authentic and unforgettable holiday. Of course, holiday with children requires some extra planning, budgeting and packing- but you can find so much advice from fellow parents from the best destinations to what to pack! The world is your oyster.
In collaboration with Emily Jones.