Now that the Christmas is behind us, and the New Year has been and gone, my thoughts always turn to travel and where we’d like to go in the coming months.
Perhaps it’s the fact the festivities have died down, the weather is still a bit meh, and for once, I actually don’t have anything concrete in the diary – of course, little one’s arrival in a few weeks has a lot to do with that – but I am really hankering after some sunshine.
And I’m not the only one. Just the other day, Monkey turned to me and asked when we were next going on an aeroplane to somewhere fun and hot, where he could swim all day. It seems great minds think alike – we are both currently in love with the prospect of some R&R abroad and it just so happens that I’ve partnered with Villa Plus to offer some fantastic self-catering inspiration.
As a family we’ve always found self-catering holidays to be a win win. Granted, there are times when being in a hotel can be indulgent, but when you have a young family nothing beats the flexibility of having your own property. Particularly when you have a young baby in tow.
Villa Plus properties such as the gorgeous Villa Athiri House in Corfu or the delightful Villa Judita in Croatia – somewhere the MTM family desperately want to go – offer such a wide choice of facilities for families including pool fences which gives peace of mind for parents of young children, as well as BBQ terraces, plenty of space, in-resort teams, and best of all, privacy!
Here are some reasons why self-catering holidays are great for young families…
Freedom and flexibility
To come and go as you please. There are no set times for meals, or having to worry about grabbing the last sun bed by the pool. Self-catering allows you to cater to your family’s needs on your own schedule – which is imperative when you have babies and toddlers who are in a routine you’d like to try and work around.
Meanwhile, if your kids are fussy eaters, cooking your own food allows you to avoid difficult and exhausting meal times. Sure, you may be confined to the villa at night if the children go to bed, but imagine a romantic BBQ with wine, overlooking the Mediterranean by candlelight – sounds pretty relaxing right?
We always let Monkey stay up a bit later while we’re away and that’s the great thing about self-catering, want to go out for dinner instead? Then go – the food will keep for the following day.
We’ve always found self-catering to be a bit kinder on the wallet, especially if you share the cost with another family. It’s also a great way to exercise cost control. When you stay in a hotel, whether it’s all-inclusive or not, extra costs always add up no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Staying in your own property, buying your own groceries and not dining out daily for all three meals means you can keep a good eye on your spends.
We’ve always tended to budget for one meal out per day, so if we have lunch out – then we’ll stay in for dinner and so on. This works very well for us.
Having your own villa means not only a private pool all to yourselves, but a large communal living room, ensuite bathrooms and bedrooms for each family member. Much more spacious than cramming a family of four into one hotel room with all your belongings.
Putting baby and toddler to bed first, means you can relax downstairs safe in the knowledge they are comfortably asleep and you’re only a moment away if they need you. None of that worry or trying to put them asleep in a pushchair whilst going out to dinner – which we have done on many occasions!
The kids are being rowdy and splashing about in the pool? Or your baby is unsettled and crying a lot? No matter – you’re not disturbing anybody when you’re in a self-catering property. There won’t be any awkward looks – because you have the whole place to yourselves!
For me, I don’t feel as self-conscious around just my family and friends in a swimsuit or bikini – and as much as I like to meet new people, when I want a relaxing holiday it’s nice to be able to not have to join in with superficial conversations and chit chat with other guests or staff.
Sometimes, it’s just great to completely switch off…
Meanwhile, if you still want to see what Villa Plus property looks like, check out this 360 video…
* This post is in collaboration with Villa Plus