Think swanning around in a fancy-pants villa with a beautiful pool, an inflatable unicorn and a rooftop jacuzzi is just something the cast of Made in Chelsea can afford to do? Well, think again! If us Saints can do a villa holiday in Spain, then you can too.
My day job requires me to write content for a wide range of clients, and I was inspired by one of my projects working for a villa rental company in Europe. As I browsed the rustic dream pads with their glorious pools, I couldn’t help but notice that, split between a big enough group, the prices were distinctly affordable. Those rusty old cogs in my head started turning (I’m never happier than when I have a trip to plan!) and before you could say ‘mimosas for breakfast’, I’d assembled the troops and started shopping for our dream villa holiday in Spain. Check out our short video of all the villa-based, tequila-soaked, inflatable-filled action… and read on for a few top tips on how to make it happen for you:
How to do a villa holiday in Spain
1. Gather the core squad
Organisation is key! Get a list of core ‘definites’ who are ready to front the deposit money and will get their pick of bedrooms and set your budget accordingly. Then convince your ‘maybes’ who might be tempted to come out for a few days instead of the whole trip. After all, the more the merrier, and people that make last minute decisions are much more likely to be happy with a blow-up bed.
2. Create a wish-list and scour airbnb and villa rental sites
When it comes to a villa holiday in Spain, you’ve got to remember that there are ‘villas’ and there are ‘OMFG-this-is-freaking-amazing-I’m-never-going-home villas’. To get one that blows your collective mind, get a wish-list from the gang (surprisingly finding one with a rooftop jacuzzi actually helped narrow the search immensely!) then scour rental sites and airbnb using all the filters at your disposal.
Think about how much the destination will cost to fly there – we stuck to Spain as budget flights are uber cheap – as well as the amenities you need nearby. We didn’t want to rely on drivers so needed a place a walkable distance from a supermarket as well as a beach.
If using a rental site, definitely check out any reviews and their social media presence to check they’re legit before parting with a penny of your hard-earned cash.
3. Book early and book out of season for the cheapest deals
Unfortunately, our villa holiday in Spain was tied to peak season as a couple of our besties work in schools. However, by booking far in advance we managed to nab the last week of the summer that our chosen villa was available. Of course, if you’re not tied to specific dates, avoid festive seasons and school holidays like the plague – you’ll find deals are so much sweeter, flights will be too and there’ll be smug smiles all round.
4. Consider thy neighbours
If you want a bit of a party pad, have some consideration and check out the nearest neighbours. We deliberately picked a place that didn’t have any holiday homes over-looking ours. Even though we were all about embracing the day-time pool parties instead of late-night shindigs, it was great to be able to play our music without having to worry we’re being ‘those obnoxious idiots next door’.
5. Plan in some family time
We found with a big bunch of people it could be really tricky to all sit down and eat together or even have a few drinks together as everyone was feeling lively or taking siestas at different times. Without wanting any scheduled fun, it just made sense to pick a couple of days where we’d go out for a group meal or plan a group BBQ or activity (aka segwaying our way around Calpe). That way people were kind of on the same page and knew what to expect. But obviously, remember you’re on holiday! So ultimately, you can do what you want, how you want and throw the itinerary out the window whenever you want.
5. BBQs rule
Best way of feeding a big group where everyone gets involved, hands down. Long live the barbie! Shrimps for all!
6. Inflatables make a pool
A big, deep pool filled with inflatables is a joy to wake up to every day. Every birthday someone received a new one so we literally had the entire Sunnylife store on parade. RIP to that unicorn life. But a word from the wise – don’t forget an electric pump. Oh, and don’t jump on the good ones – they burst.
By the end of our week of fun in the sun, I’d lost my voice, gone deaf in one ear and needed a holiday to recover from my holiday. But it was such a wonderful way to spend some quality time with my favourite people. What do you think – it’s probably time to start planning next summer’s holiday, right?