Lots of people book self catering villas and apartments as opposed to a hotel because they prefer the freedom and space a vacation home affords. Hotels can be restrictive and noisy, and if you are travelling in a large group, very expensive. But whilst a villa or apartment offers a number of advantages, there are a few things to consider before booking your home from home in the sun.
Think carefully about where you want to stay, for a wrong decision at this point in the process could ruin your vacation. Some families like to stay close to all the bars and restaurants. This is great, but bear in mind you might have to put up with a lot of noise late at night. Booking accommodation close to the beach might also seem like a good idea, but again it could be noisy. However, booking a villa many miles from anywhere might lead to a peaceful break, but you will need a car to get around, which is of course an extra expense.
Swimming pools are an extra amenity on offer with many vacation apartments and villas. Smaller apartments and accommodation might only have a splash pool rather than a full sized swimming pool, but when the weather is hot, a splash pool is better than nothing and should be enough to keep the kids amused. If you want to actually swim in your pool, look for accommodation with at least a 15 meter pool or access to a shared full-sized pool. That way you can enjoy some swim time during your vacation.
Always opt for accommodation with air conditioning if you struggle to cope in the heat. Most decent quality apartments and villas will come with air conditioning as standard, but it is worth checking whether or not there is an extra charge for using it. You may also find that some places only have the air conditioning switched on during certain months of the year, and if you travel out of season and there is a spell of unexpectedly hot weather, it could be very uncomfortable.
Do you find it hard to cope with stairs and uneven ground or are you taking a pushchair or baby buggy with you? If so, it is better to look for accommodation with little or no steps to negotiate. This will rule out villas and apartments located on steep mountainsides or at the end of a long, rough track. Read the property description carefully before booking and if in doubt, ask the owner or travel agent for more details.
It is not unusual for vacation properties to count sofa beds or small pull out beds when stating how many people can sleep in the property. If sharing a sofa bed is not ideal, consider paying extra for a larger property with more bedrooms.
Vacation properties are rarely cheap, so spend lots of time investigating the options before you make a firm booking, and if you want to enjoy a comfortable break, make sure you book a property with air conditioning and enough living space for everyone.
The author of this post, Jake Tyler, an employee at Dr. HVAC, a team of commercial HVAC contractors. His hobbies include golf and bowling. Log on to http://www.drhvac.ca/ to know more about his work.
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