I always find January a bit dark and depressing, as I’m sure a lot of people do. All of the excitement of Christmas and New Year is over and done with, and I can feel a bit down with the miserable weather and dull days.
I always find that it helps to have something exciting to look forward to – to help this tough time of year go faster and to remain optimistic that it will all get better as we head towards summer and we make lots of exciting plans!
I’ve been working with Villa Plus on a campaign to help us all feel a bit more optimistic this January by looking ahead to our summer holidays, and get rid of those blues some of us are feeling right now.
Villa Plus have been around for over 30 years, providing a variety of handpicked villas in the very best locations across Europe. Whether it’s a villa close to bars, restaurants and shops, something peaceful in the countryside or within walking distance of a beach, Villa Plus has something for everyone.
They are all about making sure you’ll love your holiday, and they have amazing villas which are especially good for families, as all their villas usually come with loads of facilities like a private pool, wifi, barbeque and even a table tennis table! I love the idea that they have wifi – I find it so hard when you go away and have no access or very expensive access to the internet – especially as a blogger and social media addict – I feel very lost without it! It’s the little touches that really make a difference.
I think Villas are perfect for family holidays – you get the comfort of a home, but with luxuries such as a pool, and lots of outdoor space to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies. Especially if you’re going away with your wider family, it means you can take it in turns to have a break and relax a bit whilst other family members watch the kids, as well as spending some time altogether. But you still have plenty of space so you don’t all get sick of each other!
Children can go to bed at a decent time and the adults can still stay up together, relaxing and enjoying themselves, without having to be completely silent and having to go to separate hotel rooms at the kid’s bedtime.
Kids generally don’t want loads from a holiday – lots of time in pool to play, some time on the beach, ice creams and nice food, so it’s about making it enjoyable for all – and a villa allows that – you can spend lots of time there, enjoying being outside in the sunshine, but also having the comfort of a lovely home to come back to after days out – with space to lounge about, a fridge with food and drink whenever you need it, as opposed to a hotel where that is restricted – perfect with hungry, worn out kids.
Ava and I have filmed a fun little video, chatting about our plans for our summer holidays and what we individually look for in a holiday, if you’d like to see. (Please excuse my awkwardness on camera!)
If you’re thinking of planning a family holiday soon, then here are a few tips that might help:
Tips for planning a holiday with kids
- Think about what the temperature will be like at the place you choose to go at that time of year – you don’t want to choose somewhere that is roasting and your little ones end up being really uncomfortable all the time – that won’t be enjoyable for you or for them.
- Make plans – even if you’re not a big planner usually, it really is a good idea to plan your travel and transfers as well as some days out. You don’t want to end up stuck at an airport with a tired and crying toddler trying to find a taxi big enough to fit all of you and your mountains of stuff in. Also think about how far your villa is from the beach or local shops – will you be hiring a car for days out and trips to the beach, or will they need to be within walking distance? Don’t forget after a day in the sunshine and playing about on the beach, kids will not want to walk very far, and you’ll probably already be carrying lots of bags, towels and blow up accoutrements.
- Spend money in the right places – when you go on holiday with your children, you’re more likely to spend more time at your accommodation, especially in the evenings. So it’s worth choosing somewhere that is comfortable for you all, and has everything you need. You’ll most likely be spending less money on eating out in the evenings, especially with young children, giving you more to spend on great accommodation.
- Plan how to entertain your kids on flights, particularly longer ones. When we flew with Ava when she was a toddler I packed a Trunki (which is the right size for hand luggage with most airlines) with lots of things for her to do – it kept her entertained in the airport and then once she started to get bored on the plane we could get some of the bits out. I bought things like little colouring books, a new book, and those toys in little bags (blind bags) so that it was all new and exciting for her, and kept her entertained and reasonably quiet. It’s a good idea to put some snacks in there too. I also put a couple of films onto the iPad and got some kids headphones for when all else failed or she was really tired.
- Make a detailed list of the things that you need whilst away, and then work out what you need to take and what you can get whilst you are there. You have to take so much more away with you when travelling with kids, especially younger ones, so if there are things you can buy once there or that are available to rent in your holiday accommodation, then make use of it and save the space for things you have to take.
Have you started giving any thought to your summer holiday this year? Or is there anything else that you’re really looking forward to?
This is a collaborative post with Villa Plus.
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