When it comes to picking your summer holiday it can often become a daunting experience with so many choices now available. You regularly begin your search by flicking through glossy brochures or trawling the internet. But this only seems to confuse you more and you begin asking yourself an endless list of questions ‘do I want a hotel?’, ‘do I fancy All Inclusive or Self Catering?’ Decisions, decisions!
After days, or sometimes weeks of searching every source you can think of, you come across a villa in Cyprus but a million and one questions run through your head. But don’t worry as the Holiday Hypermarket’s villa specialist, I have put together these top 11 tips for your first villa holiday. I have used Cyprus as the main example as it’s not only a beautiful destination with so much to do, but it’s also very easy to get out and about as they drive on the same side of the road as us in the UK.
Allocate a Group Leader
This person will be able to take charge of your travel documents and make sure everything is in order before you travel and while you are there.
Will the weather be Warm Enough?
The pool is a very important part of our holiday. Our first villa holiday was to Fuerteventura, which is part of the Canary Islands, and is known for its year-round climate. Although the weather was warm, the pool was freezing! So, this taught us to always check the weather beforehand to make sure that the pool will be warm enough. If not, we always add on pool heating if it’s available.
Check out the Location
Some villas can be located in very remote areas. But the good news is Cyprus drive on the same side of the road as us in the UK, making it a great destination for car hire. Of course, if nobody drives in your party you will need to select a villa that is close to all amenities.
If you decide to opt for car hire you will usually receive a car hire voucher along with your tickets. The tickets will come with a set of instructions and will show you where you need to pick up the hire car keys as well as the route to the villa.
It may be worth hiring a Sat Nav if you struggle with directions. Although the road signs are very easy to understand, I often had to drive around a few times to find the road where the villa was located.
Alternatively, you can always leave it to a local expert and book a taxi transfer. If you are off to Florida car hire is usually included in the price of your villa holiday. Driving in Florida is probably easier than you think, and it makes all the attractions a lot easier to access.
Always make sure that you check the small print of your car hire terms so that you know exactly what’s included. If you are a large group, or you have more luggage than expected, car hire companies can insist you upgrade to a large car.
Where do I Pick up the Villa Keys?
This does vary from villa to villa. An agent may meet you at the airport with the keys, however more often than not, you will be given an access code and will be expected to retrieve your key from a safety box, which is often be placed outside the villa.
Will my Villa be Fully Equipped?
A villa holiday really is a home from home experience, so don’t worry about bringing everything with you because the villa will provide all the main necessities to ensure that your holiday is as care free as possible.
We had a little travel pot which we all contributed to. This money was used to buy non-perishables in plastic bottles including condiments, cereals and biscuits. We then wrapped the bottles in towels and packed them into our suitcases, which saved us a small fortune.
Will it be Expensive to Buy Food?
It is a good idea to do your research before you travel. I found out which supermarket the locals shopped at and made it my local too! Fruit and vegetables were really good value here, plus the butchers in the supermarket always had offers on and were happy to advise us which was the best cut of the day.
You can choose to eat out or even order a takeaway, but for us the highlight of our holiday had to be sitting around the pool with a chilled bottle of wine while the barbecue cooked away, blissful times.
Again, we put money into the travel pot for food and bought in bulk where possible to make the most of our savings. However, we preferred to buy our own drinks as we all had our own preferences.
Save on Your Luggage Allowance
Most villas come equipped with a washing machine, so with this facility in mind we packed less and took advantage of the warm weather by washing all of our clothes before we came home.
What if I have a problem with the villa when I’m away?
Most villas have an appointed agent who is on hand to help with any problems you encounter and for any help or advice you may need.
Some companies will provide a welcome pack of basic groceries, but this service is not always provided so we advise that you check with your holiday supplier before you travel.
Do I Need to Take Travel Adapters?
Electric sockets are the same in Cyprus as they are in the UK, so this is one destination where your travel adapters are not needed.
One thing is for sure, if you decide to book a villa holiday to Cyprus or another destination, you won’t regret it. It really is a great way to unwind and chill with your loved ones, friends or family. It is perfect for larger groups or if you just want to avoid the mad rush on a morning for a decent sunbed.