A checklist for the perfect family villa holiday

A checklist for the perfect family villa holiday

It’s not easy creating a checklist for the perfect family holiday. People often say that ‘if the kids are happy, then the parents are happy’. I think it’s a bit more complex than that. Families aren’t one-dimensional; something that pleases the kids, often makes grown-ups happy for completely different reasons.

Here are some ideas, straight from the mouths of the babes.

Kids say: We want to spend some time with Mum and Dad/ Granny and Grandad.

Adults think: I need a break!

As any parent knows, juggling work, home and childcare is a frazzling experience. After a day of labour – whether that’s in the office, at school, or in the laundry room – everyone’s usually too exhausted to kick back and enjoy each other’s company. But that’s precisely what a perfect family holiday’s all about. It’s so much easier to properly enjoy a splash in the pool, a board game or a match of table tennis, without the day-to-day pressures of cleaning, food shopping and DIY. A break from the realities of life is a good chance to get to know each other all over again. That’s especially the case if you’re sharing your holiday with relatives who you don’t see regularly.

CHECKLIST: find out if your villa has a maid or laundry service. Also look into what leisure facilities are there – does it, for instance, have a private pool, a tennis court, or table tennis?

Kids say: We want a barbeque! Sausages and burgers for us, please.

Adults think: How about buying some fresh sardines from the local fish market, and slowly grilling them over the flames….

Barbeques are great crowd-pleasers. They come as standard with a lot of villa holidays, and they’re a chance for everyone to mingle and relax outdoors. There’s usually space on the grill for all types of food, from spicy chicken wings and juicy steaks to halloumi and tender sweetcorn. So even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy their meal, while the gourmands get to tuck into a local grilled delicacy.

sardines

CHECKLIST: if your family likes barbeques, find out if your villa has one.

Kids say: We want time away from the grown-ups

Adults think: I need a break!

Spending more time with your loved ones is all very well – but everyone needs their own space too (this is particularly true of teenagers). Travelling in a larger group often means people split off into smaller units; the children band together, and the adults then have a chance to catch up. Or Grandparents/Aunts and Uncles get to spend some time with the younger members of the family, while parents take a much-needed break. When you’re looking into your villa holiday, have a think about who will be there, and what might help give them freedom.

CHECKLIST: Electronics always help. Does the villa have Wi-fi? Is there a DVD or CD player so the youngsters can occupy themselves during downtime, and the adults have some entertainment for the evenings? Where is the villa – is it central, so that older children can enjoy themselves independently doing activities like water-sports, or hanging out at the beach? Or is it in the countryside, where it’s sometimes safer for children to roam free? How easy is it for parents of younger children to ‘switch off’: is there a pool gate? Or a babysitting service, so that adults can enjoy local bars and restaurants? Can you walk to places, or do you need a car? And is there anywhere to go on daytrips – aquariums, water parks, castles, zoos?

What would you put on your checklist for the perfect family holiday?

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32 Comments

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Thanks!

  1. January 2, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    I would agree with BBQ – We love buying local produce and cooking outdoors on holiday. I also like lots of outdoor space 😀

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 1:29 pm

      Yes, it’s good to be able to run around in the sunshine!

  2. January 2, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    What a fab checklist – and so accurate too! (Wi fi is a definite for teens!)

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 1:30 pm

      Thanks. We’ll be at that stage ourselves, in only a couple of years. I’m bracing myself!

  3. January 2, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    Loads of great points here. We always book a villa with a BBQ as we love eating al fresco on holiday. #mondayescapes

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 2:22 pm

      It always tastes nicer outdoors, doesn’t it?

  4. January 2, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Ooh these photos just make me want to get away somewhere fabulously hot! I haven’t been on a villa holiday in years, I tend to find that just by being somewhere like a villa you get the extra space you need to make sure everyone gets along a bit better.
    Nat.x

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      Yes, and a change of scene works wonders!

  5. January 3, 2017 / 8:32 am

    Thanks for the list. It’s important to really think about what you want in a holiday home – because if you get it wrong it can be dreadful. xx

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      We’ve always been lucky, but I imagine if you’re stuck in bad accommodation, it must be very miserable indeed.

  6. January 3, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    I agree with you on all of these but especially on the last one. My family gets together every other summer for a week and it’s so great that the kids just disappear for hours at a time- the older kids take care of the younger ones by choice!- and the adults get a well-deserved break. A win for everyone! #mondayescapes

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Yes, it’s such a welcome break. And good to know everyone’s happy!

  7. January 3, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    Top of our list would be a swimming pool – mine are all water babies, wifi for the teen and some historical landmarks to explore for me too 🙂

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 2:46 pm

      Oh yes, that’s a good point. Nice to have somewhere interesting to visit!

  8. January 3, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    Great list.
    We’ve not yet taken the kids abroad but I plan to this year or next

    • Nell
      Author
      January 6, 2017 / 2:46 pm

      Great plan x

  9. January 4, 2017 / 10:40 am

    I love a good checklist for a holiday but sometimes I get a bit hung up on them. When we’ve got Grandparents with us we like to be somewhere flat so they can walk out without dealing with slopes.

    • Nell
      Author
      January 7, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      That’s a good point. I guess it would be the same if you had a younger family member with limited mobility.

  10. January 5, 2017 / 10:42 am

    Bbqs and pool gates are something us Aussie mums are obsessed with! I also like a big communal table. I will always insist on shared meals.. even if it is burnt sausages Great list Nell, thanks for joining us on #farawayfiles

    • Nell
      Author
      January 7, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      Even burnt sausages taste good on holiday! x

  11. January 5, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    Striking a balance between what makes all the family happy is a delicate thing – you have great tips. I agree about the BBQ – we loved being able to throw sausages on for the less adventurous and try the local flavor for the more when visiting the island of Korcula, Croatia. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles – great post! Hear’s to a brand new year of adventures! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    • Nell
      Author
      January 7, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      And cheers to you too, Erin!

  12. January 5, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Top of our list is always pool too! However the wifi comes close too doesn’t it! Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

    • Nell
      Author
      January 7, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Thanks for hosting! x

  13. January 6, 2017 / 3:41 am

    Agree – the perfect family holiday is way more complex than just keeping the kids happy. There are so many factors that play a role. Great list – agree with them all! #farwayfiles

    • Nell
      Author
      January 7, 2017 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you! x

  14. January 6, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Some really thoughtful suggestions here, Nell. I agree – there are so many different things to take into consideration when planning and choosing the perfect villa. I particularly like your point about having more family time if you’re not having to do all the domestic jobs that you have to do at home – I don’t want to spend my holiday time cooking, cleaning and washing up or it’s not really a holiday. Thanks for sharing this on #FarawayFiles

    • Nell
      Author
      January 15, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      Yes a holiday’s a good excuse for a bit of luxury, if you can afford it x

  15. May 24, 2017 / 11:31 am

    The BBQ menu is a battle I have with the rest of the family. Sausages are our staple food on holiday 🙁

    • Nell
      Author
      May 25, 2017 / 6:41 pm

      It’s a bit of a trial with us, too. D’s vegetarian, so we usually have to cook three separate meals – one for me, one for him and sausages for the kids!

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