Monthly Archives: January 2020

flying to a villa holiday destination

Tips On Being An Environmentally Responsible Holidaymaker

As we move into 2020, it’s impossible to escape news about global warming and its effect on our planet.

If cancelling your holiday plans and staying home simply isn’t an option but you still want to do ‘the right thing’ wherever possible to reduce your impact, what steps can you take?

Here’ we’ve put together a list of a few of actions you can take. Whilst you are unlikely to change the world on your own, if everyone committed to these small things, the change would be very significant.

Fly Direct

Fly direct wherever possible instead of connecting indirect services which is far less efficient. Although it is rarely the least expensive way to do things, Flying direct reduces your impact in many ways.

Choose Your Airline Carefully

Make your choice of airline a deliberate and considered one. A little online research will give you a very good idea which ones are leading the way in environmentally sustainable travel.

Travel Light

When flying, more weight means more fuel. So the lighter you travel, the more you reduce your carbon footprint.

Drink Without Plastic

When you are travelling, grabbing a quick coffee or even a drink of water lead to a plastic cup, bottle or straw. Check first and make a clear choice to use the café that uses real cups or sells glass bottles.  And always say no to straws, if they are plastic.

Drink the local beer on your villa holiday

Choose A Beer From Near

This one is so easily overlooked but the impact is significant. Buy beer or other drinks at the bar that are brewed or distilled as locally as possible.

It’s so easy to automatically go for the brands we know and recognize, even if they have been shipped in form the other side of the world. When you think about it, sitting on a beach in the Caribbean drinking beer that was brewed in Belgium just can’t make any environmental sense.

Reusable Water Bottles

When you go out to the beach or on any other trip or adventure, take reusable water bottles.
Steel Bottles are increasingly easy to find and are both light and durable.

Providing the tap water is drinkable, fill them up and leave them in the fridge overnight before you leave and you’ll enjoy ice cold water.

Shop Smart

Buy locally grown produce wherever you can, you’ll be keeping the carbon footprint low and supporting the local economy. When you visit the local shop or supermarket, carefully select products according to their packaging, steering away from anything cocooned in plastic.

Always take your own bags when you go shopping. Drop a couple of ‘bags for life’ into your suitcase before you leave home and you will be well prepared.

As well as carrying the shopping home, you will find they are very handy for carrying towels, books, snack and toys down to the beach too.

shop locally on your villla holiday

Keep It Local

Aside from buying locally grown food, try to support the local community in any way you can. If you hire a guide or book any activities or adventures, reassure yourself on their connection and commitment to the local community before you commit.

Use public Transport

Think about ditching the hire car and hopping on the bus or train. In most places, public transport is far more reliable and affordable than in the UK. Plus getting on a bus or train with the locals is a great way to get to know the real country and its people.

eat healthy on your villa holiday

Eat More Plants

A vegan diet is high on the list of ways to reduce your personal environmental impact. But changing your diet completely may not be entirely necessary or part of your holiday plans. Shifting the balance of your meals so they have less meat and more fruit and vegetables than unusual, will still make a difference. You could even try the occasional ‘vegan night’.

Who knows?  You may enjoy it so much that you decide to become a full-time vegan.


villa holiday or hotel getaway

The Big Holiday Question: Hotel Or Villa?

One of the burning questions which has to be answered early in the holiday planning process is whether to opt for the lavish decadence of a hotel or the tranquil relaxation of luxury villa. Here, we look at the pros and cons of both options and see how they compare.


A villa holiday can be much more affordable

Choosing to stay in a luxury villa can often be a more affordable option than opting for a hotel which offers the same standard of accommodation/facilities. And the larger the party, the more the overall affordability mounts up.

Also, a villa holiday is usually free from hidden additional costs unlike a hotel bill which, at the end of a busy trip, rarely comes without a list of unexpected additional costs.


A villa will usually prove to be a more flexible option for you and your party.

You will be able to choose when to eat, when to use the pool and when to keep the noise down. When to eat outside and when to eat in.

This flexibility can be particularly appealing when there are children or teenagers in your group. Staying in your own villa, it is much easier to allow children to simply ‘be children’. They can play, run-around, laugh, make noise and all without fear of upsetting other guests.

You can set your own rules on noise, bed times and when it is acceptable to use the pool.

Swimming after sunset, in a pool twinkling with under water lighting is a truly wonderful experience, for both adults and children. But sadly, not an experience you will often be allowed to enjoy in a hotel pool.

Privacy & Tranquillity

a villa can be much more affordable than a hotel

In your own villa, you can be yourself, without worrying what others think. You will find it far easier to find the peace and relaxation you are looking for without having to get up early to lay your towels over a fight for a sunbed or bundle up all the children’s toys and carry them back to your room several times a day.


on a villa holiday you cna eat what YOU like

Okay, it is wonderful to not have to cook, wash up or wait-on for a change, which can be a major draw for certain members of the family/group. However, a villa provides more flexibility than most hotels when it comes to meal times and often even more choice of meals.

Healthier and lighter meals can be easier to access/prepare in your own villa and a finding a mid-afternoon snack or late-night treat for the kids is much more straightforward.

Of course, the burden of cooking and washing up can be reduced on a villa holiday by sharing the workload and by taking advantage of external catering options, particularly for any celebratory meals or events.


on a villa holiday you cna eat what YOU like

It is true, a luxury hotel is likely to give you access to great facilities like a pool, gym, sauna etc. However, if you know precisely what facilities you are looking for, you should be able to find something that suits you and your group perfectly in a carefully chosen villa.

From tennis courts and a gym to a games room and a home-cinema, there are villas available with all kinds of amazing facilities. And of course, when you find the perfect villa, with just the right facilities for you, you won’t have to share them with other guests. So you won’t find yourselves having to book the tennis court in advance or waiting for a turn on the treadmill.

For most of our villas, we have sourced gyms, golf, tennis, sorts training, yoga, sup, surfing which offer even better than the hotels offer.

Often hotel facilities are often small, crowded, badly equipped, poorly maintained or simply worn out due to their high levels of daily usage.

Never underestimate the impact of simple facilities like a washing machine which can significantly contribute to making a villa stand out over a hotel. When holidaying with children, a washing machine is worth its weight in gold and can significantly reduce the amount of clothing you need to pack as well as taking the drama out of any unforeseen spillage or accident.

If you have toddlers or small children in your party, a villa will often provide better facilities. Highchairs, Cots and stair gates. Check out our ‘Baby Comes Too’ offer to find out more about this all-important provision for families.

Internet Access

A villa holiday can be much more affordable

Whether you need Wifi access for work, to stream movies for the children, to keep teenagers in touch with their friends, or just to research each new-day’s adventure whilst you are on your holiday, it’s hard to argue against its importance these days.

There was a time when booking a hotel would guarantee you WiFi, whereas a villa was unlikely to be WiFi enabled. Those days are well and truly gone.

Although it is always important to check carefully before you book, the vast majority of villas have very good WiFi access and, once again, as you won’t have to share it with hundreds of other data-hungry holiday makers, the bandwidth is all yours.


Find out more

If you’ve read that and you’d like explore some options for amazing luxury villas for a large or extended family break, check out our portfolio of family party villas here.

Also, be sure to check out our article ‘Simple Steps to Find the Perfect Luxury Retreat for Friends and Family’ which could help you on your way to your best holiday ever.


Learning a language for your villa holiday

Ten Tips For Learning A Language

  1. Make The Effort

Don’t just talk about it. Take action. You are unlikely to become fluent in any language before your holiday but every tiny bit you learn will help.

You will find that almost every attempt to converse in the local language will be met with a better reception than simply launching into English.

Don’t put it off, start today.

  1. Learn On The Move

You can learn a huge amount from Podcasts, audio books or even CDs. If you are lucky enough to have a long daily commute in the car, sit back and learn with every minute you drive. If you are on your own in the car, you even have the luxury of being able to talk along with the lesson.

If you travel on the train or tram, pop in those headphones and concentrate.

If you run or go to the gym, run along to the sweet sound of your language teacher’s voice.

  1. Create a routine

Try to schedule learning at the same each day/week. This will help you stick to it and commit to learning on a longer-term basis.

  1. Talk to Each Other – But Not In English

Why not learn together before you go on your holiday?  Then try to get all the members of your group together for a few evenings before you go. Insist that everyone is not allowed to speak English for at least one hour. Get the dictionaries and phrase books out and do whatever you can to communicate in the destination language  – without falling back on English.

Throw in some food and drink from the destination of choice and you have a few great nights in together – and a bundle of laughs.

learning a language for your villa holiday

  1. Carry a Dictionary

Take a pocket-sized dictionary/phrase book with you whilst you are out and about on your holiday and use it. It will help you find a way to communicate better and you will be learning more and more as you go.  It’s also really handy to have a dictionary around to quickly translate any specialised words on menus, price lists or even signs.

  1. Prepare Conversations In Advance.

This tip is worth its weight in gold. Before you go anywhere, consider the conversation you will be having and read up on the specific words or phrases you may need. Spend half an hour imagining the questions you will have to ask or answer and say them out loud. Maybe even make a few brief notes.

Whether you go to the doctor, pharmacy, police station, car hire shop, bar or restaurant, you will be much better prepared, relaxed and able to make yourself understood.

  1. Let Yourself Go.

Make a conscious effort to get over one of the biggest barriers of all -‘feeling stupid’.

Forget about what others think, take a deep breath and dive right in. Your confidence will grow with every conversation. You will say lots of funny things and get lots of words wrong but you will always be moving forward.

Learning a language for your villa holiday

  1. Learn The Top 100 Words

Don’t learn random words in an effort to expand your vocabulary. Focus.

Google the top 100 words in the language you need to master and learn very one of those first. The most common 100 words in any language account for 50% of all spoken, so they will provide you with an incredible foundation.

  1. Learn To Ask For Help

Make a point of learning a phrase like “How do you say ………. in [insert your language here]?” Then, whenever you get stuck in a conversation just roll that phrase out, drop in the English word and see how it goes.

Often you will find yourself flicking through the dictionary with your new friend the bartender, waiter, shopkeeper or passer by. Most people really want to help and more often than not, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their response.

  1. Apply A Positive Attitude.

Believe you can do it. Stay positive and keep on learning. Never get bogged down with negative thoughts about how much you don’t know but focus on how much you have learned and how well you are doing.