10 Simple Travel Tips For Booking Your Villa Holiday
February 1, 2023
Booking your villa holiday should be an enjoyable experience filled with excitement and anticipation. The reality is that, sometimes, it can also be a little stressful trying to navigate your way through various websites and the inevitable family discussions around budget, favoured resort, who gets which bedroom and who the designated driver will be!
To make things easier and, ultimately, less stressful, we’ve put together some simple travel tips to help make planning and booking your villa holiday as seamless as possible…
YOUR WISH LIST
‘Wish – A strong desire or hope for something that probably won’t happen’.
Our aim is to make your holiday wishes come true! We can match you with the perfect villa for you and your travelling companions. You might love a sea view or a lawned garden for the children. Perhaps you need a ground floor suite for guests who can’t manage the stairs or a property with a fabulous al fresco kitchen and dining area. You might want air conditioning, pool heating, a private tennis court or all of the above!
There are many aspects that could really matter to you and, therefore, influence your choice. You can use our website’s useful advanced search facility or you can simply give us a call or send us an email saving you precious time as we do the searching for you. We will send you a list of the villas that fit your criteria and budget and can then answer any questions you may have.
Make your wish list known and ask as many questions as you like so that you can make your final decision with absolute confidence.
CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION
We’ve written some useful guides on each of our destinations to help you decide which country and place might best suit you. From Portugal’s Lisbon Coast to the golden stretches of sandy beach in The Algarve, Spain‘s magical Balearic islands of Mallorca and Ibiza or Croatia‘s dramatic turquoise coastline. Simply click into each destination for some handy tips on ‘What we love’ and ‘Things to be aware of’ in each area.
HOLD A VILLA ON OPTION FOR 48 HOURS
It’s worth remembering that many villas in Portugal, Mallorca, Ibiza and Croatia have fixed arrival days and a 7 night minimum stay while others can be a little more flexible. In peak season, Saturday is usually the preferred arrival and departure day, to avoid leaving odd days in the calendar, with late afternoon check in’s and 10am check-outs. It may be that weekend flights are more expensive from your preferred airport and you find fantastic flights on another day of the week which means you may really struggle to secure a lovely villa with availability to match.
We’re here to simplify things for you as much as we can. We will double check availability across our portfolio and can hold a villa on option with the owner for 48 hours giving you plenty of time to research flight costs and chat things through with your travelling companions.
IF POSSIBLE, BOOK AS FAR IN ADVANCE AS YOU CAN
You might think that leaving your plans to the last minute means you get a cheaper deal but, in fact, the opposite is often true as, typically when booking flights, the closer you are to your travel date, the more you pay. Sign up for airline newsletters so that you’re the first to know when certain flights or routes become available or are on sale.
The good news is that our villa rental prices do not fluctuate constantly as flight prices can. You can often book your dream villa months (or even a year) in advance giving you and your family a sunshine holiday to look forward to during the chilly winter months. If you would like to discuss spreading the cost of your holiday into manageable monthly instalments just let us know.
GO INCOGNITO ON YOUR WEB BROWSER
Begin your online flight search by launching a new ‘private’ or ‘incognito’ window. If you don’t do this your searches are intelligently fed back enabling airlines to see which dates and routes are in demand and subsequently hiking up the price.
Go incognito and stay under the online radar while you mull things over with friends and family. Did you know that you can set flight price alerts? Simply start your search and then opt in for the ‘Track Prices’ or ‘Get Price Alerts’ option. You will receive an email when prices for your flight search go up or down so that you can take advantage of a price drop when it happens. We can also book flights for you and are ATOL protected so you can book with complete confidence. Just chat to us about this when you begin your holiday search.
The majority of travellers search for flights in and out of the airport nearest to their chosen villa but you can sometimes save a fortune on airfares by considering an alternative airport. For example, flights into Portugal’s capital Lisbon or Seville (across the border in Spain) are often much lower than those into Faro itself.
The drive from Lisbon or Seville to The Algarve is approximately 2.5 hours. Why not consider 2 or 3 nights in a boutique hotel before travelling onto your villa – it’s a great way of experiencing another wonderful city and turning a one week holiday into a 10 night stay!
PEACE OF MIND
If you’re not already covered with an annual policy, you and your travelling companions should buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your flights and accommodation. Check with your bank or credit card company to see if you have any cover included as a perk of your account. It really is worth shopping around for good comprehensive travel insurance and if you’re planning more than one holiday a year then an annual policy can make far more sense financially. Don’t forget to declare any medical conditions, consider whether or not you might need cover for activities such as kayaking, cycling or jet skiing and check to see what hire car cover is included so that you don’t end up paying for insurance twice.
To save you searching for hours, you can book through our trusted partners, Travel & General. Click here for competitive prices and comprehensive cover or call 0330 880 3625 and let them know you have booked with The Villa Agency. All holidays booked with The Villa Agency are fully bonded with ATOL or ABTOT so, combined with your personal holiday insurance, you will have complete peace of mind!
CAR HIRE & AIRPORT TRANSFERS
We have a huge selection of villas within walking distance of the beach, restaurants, a town or village centre meaning you can holiday without the need for a car at all. For many, hiring a car provides the freedom to explore further afield, accessing water parks, golf courses, historic cities, landmarks, hidden beaches, markets and more. Our car hire prices all include one main driver but it’s always nice to share the driving so you can add an additional driver when you collect your vehicle for a little extra charge. Just make sure that those wanting to add their name to the contract have their driving licence handy.
Car hire can be added to your booking at any time but we do recommend including it sooner rather than later. Car hire companies will increase weekly rates in peak season when their fleets are running low so you will secure the lowest rates by booking early. For a more leisurely start to your arrival, we can arrange taxi transfers from the airport to your villa and, at many of our properties, your hire car can be delivered to your accommodation, thereby avoiding the chaos and queues at the airport.
We will email your holiday details well in advance so take some time to read and digest the documents sent as there is lots of really useful information included. Just in case the battery dies on your phone or device, we suggest printing a copy to have with you throughout your stay. Start packing a day or two early, that way you can pop things into your suitcase as and when you think of them.
There will be elements of your holiday that are best organised in advance. You might want some foreign currency which can often be arranged at the airport but rates there can be less favourable. Check which of your debit or credit cards are the best to use abroad in order to avoid higher charges and fees. Make sure your passport is valid by checking the Foreign Office website where you can sign up for email alerts for the country of your choice.
…BUT DON’T OVER PLAN
If you’ve written a holiday to-do list longer than the river Nile you might be setting yourself up for disappointment so make sure to factor in some downtime too. The beauty of booking a villa holiday is that it affords you more time to lie back and relax by the pool. We can arrange for the fridge to be filled with some essentials so that you don’t need to dash straight off to the supermarket, instead taking time to settle in and perhaps planning your first meal out or a beach trip – it’s a home from home holiday experience with benefits and we’re here to make it as enjoyable and stress free as possible.