This is a topic I can honestly say I have a lot of experience with. Working with a Luxury Villa Rental Agency, I have arranged hundreds of villa vacations for families. My partner and I have arranged numerous for our own big families; most recently a family villa holiday in Phuket for 22 of us.
Staying in a Villa allows your family to get together from around the world and spend effortless quality time together. This is easily achievable when staying in a villa rather than hotel rooms. In a recent article How to Survive a Family Vacation Conde Nast Traveller summed this up perfectly – ‘You’re a family, and you want to live like a family’ . Here is a list of tips for ensuring everyone has a great time on their family villa holiday.
1. Book a villa with space for everyone.
The Villas in Bali and Villas in Thailand seem to get this right. A villa designed with separate sleeping pavilions that are away from the living areas mean you can keep to your own sleep schedule. Your early-to-rise toddler wont wake other guests enjoying a sleep in. The twenty-somethings can wander back home at early hours without disturbance. If each couple or family have their own space it means you are not stepping on each other’s toes and most importantly you can retreat to your own quarters whenever you need.
2. Think about age groups
It’s important to think about the ages of your guests before booking. If you have any elderly guests ensure you speak with your travel consultant prior to booking with regards to stair access. If you are travelling with teenagers a games room can help keep them occupied. A grassy area is great for toddlers to play like at Baan Santisuk in Phuket:
3. Think about location
If you are planning on spending plenty of time at the beach, a beachfront villa or villa that is a short walking distance from the beach can be a fantastic option for a big group. Eliminate the need for transportation and head to the beach in your own time so there is need to wait for 9 other people to find their shoes/sunglasses/children.
4. Enjoy stress free dining
Renting a villa makes dining as a big group easy as you can enjoy a big family meal together…without going anywhere, doing any cooking or cleaning up! If you have ever travelled with small children you know how difficult it can be getting them ready- in and out of a car, finding a restaurant with food they will eat etc. It can be a nightmare. Enjoying chef prepared cuisine in the comfort of your villa is a far more enjoyable dining experience. We often find the quality of the food at a villa is as good or better than restaurants.
5. Plan ahead
When travelling with people of different age groups and ideals it’s a good idea to plan a few activities in advance or even have a daily schedule. This takes the stress out of planning and communicating with so many people on the spot. It also means you won’t miss out on opportunities due to time constraints like a yacht charter or reservation at a popular restaurant. In a recent article Traveller pointed out the importance of planning with precision and doing your research prior to departure, we couldn’t agree more.
6. Have time apart
Keeping everyone happy on a family villa holiday means spending some time apart. Whilst you are planning – book in some activities with small groups like an afternoon at the day spa or a round of golf. Don’t like shopping? Don’t go. Seen the Temple already? Give it a miss. Want to do nothing by the pool? Do it. Organise care for the kids and have a night out with your partner. Make sure you do the things you want to so you dont go home feeling disappointed. Getting time away from your group and experiencing different things keeps the dynamic positive and makes for great story telling.
7. Let the staff help you
We are lucky at Villa Getaways to have excellent villa management teams to assist you during your family villa holiday. Your manager or concierge can assist with planning the little on the spot things like arranging an in-house massage or car and driver. This takes the pressure off guests leaving them with more time for fun and relaxation.
8. Make time for doing nothing
There is nothing worse than returning from your vacation feeling like you didn’t have one. Planning is great but don’t overdo it. Keep some days free for relaxing, especially the last day of your trip. Some of our fondest vacation memories were of us poolside at our Villa.
Planning a Family Villa Holiday? Contact us for ideas and inspiration.