The skies are grey, the weather’s windy and I’m dreaming of jetting off to somewhere sunny. I’d like a nice villa with a pool with a bit of local character and an outside eating area. I’d probably choose somewhere a little secluded, preferably with sweeping views down to the sea and just a short walk or drive from a stunning beach. It would be lovely to walk to a local market to pick up some traditional lunch and watch the kids playing the garden well I enjoy a glass of chilled wine. This luxury villa in Sardinina would do me nicely…
I have travelled extensively and we have chosen self catering accommodation over a hotel stay many times. We hired a villa in Cyrpus for our wedding, a house in Texas when visiting family and an apartment on a hill in the south of France with friends.
To me, there are so many advantages of choosing a self catering holiday and here are my top 10:
When you’re staying in a hotel, they tell you when to eat, what room to stay in and when the pool opens. When you stay in self catering accommodation, you get to choose exactly what you do and when you do it. This gives you so much more freedom and is especially good when you have children who make their own routine.
Have you ever tried to get two children to sleep in a hotel room and then sit quietly trying to amuse yourself for the next three hours?! Having separate bedrooms and extra living space make such a difference to the whole holidays experience. It’s also great to have space for them to run around without you having to get dressed and ready each time you want it.
The cost of resort holidays astounds me sometimes.You get so much more for your money by choosing self catering, plus all the other benefits too. This means you can choose to stay for longer, pick a better area, get a bigger property or just save the money to spend on activities and amazing meals while you are away.
What would you prefer – fighting for the best sunlounger at 6am with 100 other guests, or strolling out to your own private pool after a lazy lie in. Yes, silly question I know. Not only is it more convenient to have your own private facilities, it is also more luxurious and you don’t need to abide by anyone else’s rules
I love cooking and experimenting with local ingredients so I have always enjoyed having a kitchen on holidays. With kids though, and especially kids with food allergies, having a kitchen is invaluable. For us, it means we can prepare safe food, serve things my fussy four year old will eat and not worry about searching for snacks in the middle of the afternoon.
Hotels are shiny and impressive but they don’t tell you anything about the way the locals live. I love choosing a place to stay that is more authentic, features interesting architecture, and is located out in an olive grove or quirky backstreet of a city. I enjoy getting to know the local area, talking to people and soaking up the atmosphere.
Choosing self catering accommodation means you can do things at your family’s pace, in your own way and choose somewhere that suits your needs. You can have more say over how accessible a pool is, who sleeps where and what your priorities are. Plus, you can put the kids to bed and still enjoy some couple time without worrying about booking babysistters.
Bigger and better
One thing I love about choosing self catering accommodation is the chance to share it with friends and family. It’s perfect for going on holiday with grandparents or even other couples with children. It means you can all socialise over meals or in the evening while the children sleep, will always get space next to each other at the pool and often can afford to rent somewhere really special.
When your child throws a giant tantrum as they get out the pool or throws all the food on the floor at dinner, it’s nice to share that with everyone! In a hotel or resort you are either confined to your room, or need to share your days with other people. In self catering accommodation you get a lot more privacy and a chance to really relax.
Chance to explore
Holiday resorts can be strange places. You can fly to a foreign country but actually not experience any of the local culture for a week as you are holed up in a false environment. If you are just looking for a relaxing beach break then that’s fine, but I like to explore, whether that’s walking round the local streets where I’m staying or hiring a car to drive up to my villa into the hills.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Clickstay. It also includes affiliate links, so if you purchase a holiday I receive a small commission but the cost to you remains the same.