Vacationing with kids especially young kids abroad can be tricky if you are lucky then you have kids that adapt easily to what ever life throws at them, eat anything that they encounter and can adjust to fit other people's routines. We're not lucky like that at all in fact both J and T don't deal well with change in any form, they are picky/fussy/difficult eaters at the best of times and the way that we know that is best to help them adjust to change and minimise the worry, stress and outburst from them both is to keep to their known patterns and rhythm of the days. So finding a way to do it whilst getting to vacation together abroad and see the real parts of the country has been something that we have searched for and for the past two years we've found the perfect way to get the holiday experience we want as a family and I had to share it with you, we've been staying in Villa's in Mallorca (a place that we wanted to explore in more depth) with the company James Villas Holidays.
Last year we stayed in a Villa on the outskirts of the town of Pollensa - Villa Biel a 3 bedroom one floor family villa owned by locals with it's own pool and this year in Can Vobis another 3 bedroom one floor villa owned by another local family but further away from the town of Pollensa in the middle of a nature reserve away about 8 minutes drive from the start of the beach of Porto Pollensa.
Each villa came equipped with a FREE car hire (although travelling as a party of 6 to give us some freedom we hired 2 cars instead of 1) which meant discovering Mallorca was possible and a lot cheaper than if we had stayed in a resort and gone on organised trips to the places we choose to visit from our guide books.
Secruity is a big thing especially the kids health and safety, being on a busy road, unsecured accomodation or feeling vunerable is something that we take into account booking holidays, when holidaying in a holiday resort we could have booked a baby sitter and enjoyed time together in the evening but it another expense to add, having your own villa means that you can enjoy time together on an evening outside whilst the kids are asleep just like at home, especially when the property comes with a fence all around, a single gate to enter the villa which is locked and you have the key to. During the day the villas we've stayed in have had shutters, lockable windows and also a safe which we've used to keep the house secure, plus the lockable gate.
With two kids that love the water a pool is a neccesity for the holiday - a few years ago now we vacationed in a holiday village with lots of pools around the resort but they were crowded, full of older kids that splashed our two little ones, too shallow for them to swim in or too deep to feel safe for them to play in. Both villas we've chosen thave had steps into the pool a shallow end and then a deeper end - and what is nice about the booking process with James Villas Holiday's is that steps is one of the options that you can choose to narrow down your choices.
Although I can't deny that having someone else cook meals for you is a lovely experience but with kids that have 3 meals that they will happily eat and even those can be pushed aside if they are in a mood having your own kitchen and a supermarket makes a huge difference to meal times, we were able to stock up on everything that the kids are known to eat, throw in a few different things for them to try and they ate. The villas have a barbeque so foood preparation became a family affair, my husband took over BBQ duties, the kids helped lay the table and me and my mum prepared fresh salads for most meals. With everything that you could need for making meals that you want to eat it's easy to try new foods from the supermarket, head out for a meal if you want or eat at home and at the times you want to eat there is no breakfast will be at 7 to 9.
One of the extra's that you can have whilst booking the trip is a Welome pack - not something that we have booked before but after speaking with the booking staff over the phone and hearing about what was included we added it onto our holiday package. Our flights got in at 11:30pm and after a drive to the villa we really didn't want to rush around the next morning dashing to the supermarket to get essentials for breakfast, coffee, tea, bread etc... instead a welcome pack contained it all and perfect for 4 adults and 2 children to make that first morning easier.
Travelling light is something that I've always tried to do and from years of backpacking I can pretty much fit everything I need for 3+ months away from home into a medium size backpack however once kids are added into the equation the packing can mount up, as the villas come with a washing machine we were able to pack light, which also helped when arriving in the middle of the night and leaving in the middle of the night as we were able to carry kids and pull bags away.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram whilst we were on Vacation you will have seen pictures shared and updates of our time away because the villas had free wifi, that meant we were able to stream movies to watch, download ebooks and share updates of our vacation with family and friends whilst we were away. Not only did we have wifi but there was also a DVD player, TV and Satalite however, I couldn't tell you what channels there were as we were outside all the time.
If you are thinking about booking a vacation with your kids for next year or even later this year I really recommend James Villas Holidays, it's not just us that recommends them - my parents who have joined up on our last two vacations have booked and holidayed previously, both my aunts and uncles as well have all booked holidays with them this year and enjoyed the relaxation of having a home base that is comfortable, relaxing and your own.
I have NOT been paid to write ths, I just love their holidays so wanted to share.