There are a number of excellent reasons to forego the hotel and book yourself a stay in your own private villa on your next trip. Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled family holiday away or planning an escape from the daily grind with a group of friends, renting a villa is an excellent way to spread the cost of accommodation whilst luxuriating in your own space. You and your clan can frolic in the pool, sleep in until noon or rise at the crack of dawn without needing to concern yourselves about fitting into the routine of a hotel’s meal times or bothering other guests.
The rise in popularity of self-catered accommodation means that there is a wide variety of choice for the discerning villa holiday-maker. From budget retreats to extravagant mansions, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy offer a diverse selection of options whilst the US (particularly Florida) is renowned for its thriving villa market. In fact, it's even possible to land some truly exquisite bargains in such exotic destinations as Thailand and Sri Lanka.
If you're considering renting a villa for your next trip, here are a few top tips to help steer you through the process:
Choosing a prime location may carry a higher price tag – why not search for the lesser known alternatives which can offer a similar experience at a lower rate? For example, villas in beautiful Tuscany are highly prized by holiday-makers who want to enjoy a rural retreat with excellent access to Florence and Siena. However, picturesque Lazio offers sumptuous countryside just a stone’s throw away from Rome for a much more wallet-friendly price. Remember to check whether or not a car will be necessary to get around – if the nearest shops, restaurants and bars are a drive away, you’ll have to stay organised to make sure you
Booking with a reputable villa company is a must – villa fraud has become quite a problem in recent years. Always cross-reference properties with other rental sites as well as review sites, and be aware of reviews that sound almost too good to be true – listen to your gut instinct and if something feels a bit ‘off’, choose to take your business elsewhere. It’s always worth checking social media for your rental site of choice too – just to be sure that it actually exists and is trustworthy.
Always a good tip to save some pennies, avoid travelling in peak season when villa prices can soar. Of course, if you are tied to school holidays, there isn’t too much you can do about this issue, but if there is any way you can pick the least popular times of year to travel or even book in shoulder season, you may land a holiday home that’s a little bit special for a fraction of its usual price.
Think with your head as well as your heart when choosing a holiday home and pay close attention to the facilities on offer. If you have children, double check the pool has a depth that is suitable or a safety gate to keep them safe. If you’re hoping to take a break from cooking but have chosen a villa some way out of town, take a look to see if a cooking service is available. The best way to find the holiday home of your dreams if booking with a group is to make a wish-list that everyone can contribute to. That way, your search will be well-informed and everyone should be content with the final choice.
It can be nerve-wracking parting with your hard-earned cash but most properties will require a deposit and at least most of the balance to be paid off before your arrival. In order to keep your finances safe, avoid transfer services such as Western Union, which may well be untraceable. The safest way to pay is with a credit card – most issuers provide fraud protection for just such occasions as this.
A villa holiday with friends or family can be a wonderful experience you will treasure forever, but it always pays to put some forethought into a trip. The same goes for ensuring you and your loved ones are covered against any unfortunate circumstances that might occur. Let Medical Travel Compared help you find the best travel insurance for your trip.