Villa Holidays; planning ahead for next year

Living as an expat has meant that we’ve made friends who have become like family to us.  Ones we share the highs, the lows, the normals and the excitings with.  And later this week we head off on holiday with some of our closest friends.

Holidaying with friends, something we’ve done before, and had a marvellous time in Ras al Khaimah with friends last year.  The kids all entertained each other and surprisingly I didn’t hear the sound “I’m bored” once.

So we decided to do it again

Two weeks in the South of France, with the food, the space, the pool and the wine.  Except it hasn’t quite gone to plan.

When we started our booking journey we were three families, with eight kids between us.  Three pregnancies later and things have changed a little.

Yep you read that right, three families, three pregnancies.  So things have shaken up a little bit.

On Friday I’ll set off to the airport to pick up my husband ready to drive down to France.  En route with me will be my friend who will also head to the airport to pick up her husband from the same flight.  And from there we will set off for the Channel Tunnel.  Two families, four kids and a newborn.  Yep that first pregnancy is now a 6 week old bouncing baby boy.

Pregnancy number two is due smack bang in the middle of our holiday resulting in us waving farewell to our friends as we board the train, eagerly awaiting news of their bouncing baby.  We’ll be sipping wine, and they’ll be up to their eyes in newborn nappies.

And pregnancy number three, well that’s me.  My plans for pate, wine and brie have gone out of the window.  So ok, I won’t be sipping wine, more like slipping on my new maternity cossie and going to bed early.

Apparently that’s what happens when you plan ahead with your holidays.  Things derail you, they don’t always go to plan and when you add in other people you have even more chance of things changing.

Not that I’ll ever let that stop me…

Looking ahead to next year

Given that our friends won’t be joining us, as one of them will be busy pushing out a baby, my thoughts turned to next year.  And how we can do it all again.

Musing about possibilities as they miss out on the fun of this year, and the ease that a villa holiday is providing us.  Considering ways we can potentially do it all again.  In a different location, one which is just a short flight from us in the Middle East, what about Asia?  Do they even have villas in Asia?!

And I stumbled across the most comprehensive villa finder for Asia.  Whilst we had the pick of a variety of sites for our villa holiday in Europe I had never considered it for any holidays we’ve undertaken in the Far East.

We’ve been at friends houses in Malaysia, hotel resorts in Phuket and driven around Sri Lanka.  But never had we thought about a villa holiday.

Sundowners in Thailand

To be honest, I just hadn’t realised that it was the done thing.

Guess what?  It is!

With each villa being inspected before they are listed online. Then being frequently reinspected to make sure that they are well maintained and the level of service is consistent, means that you have peace of mind that what you see on the site is what you’ll get when you land.

With the personal touch often being lost in a time of internet, bookings and email.  Simply picking out a villa you think is best suited you’ll then receive a call to go through your requirements.  Travelling with children – needing stairgates for example – a lesson we learnt the hard way when on a villa holiday in Portugal with our makeshift baby gate to stop our then three year old attempting to walk up the stairs in the middle of the night.

The makeshift baby gate

It might be that another villa would be more suitable for you – one which is more child friendly.  One from the hundreds of villas listed for Sri Lanka, one like this gem…

With babysitting available at extra cost, breakfast included, a pool, and a fully kitted out villa for your own use.

I mean, what’s not to love about that?

I’m quite agreeable to booking in advance again… and I’m quite sure that this time is my last pregnancy so there will be wine on the table when we land.

Just a few extra children with us this time…

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