Top Ten Villa Holidays for 2018


Have you started thinking about next years holidays yet?

I have and I am sure I’m not alone with this!

The second the woolly jumpers come out and the conkers start being gathered my thoughts turn to our next sunshine filled holiday! Our last holiday was a villa holiday to Portugal back in May so it has been a while.

I have been writing recently about my love for villa holidays and the huge benefits they bring with them. My best family holidays have been villa holidays and I feel they really suited to family life.
For a family all that lovely space, privacy and flexibility can make a holiday so much more relaxing.

It can be really tricky to know where to start looking for holidays can’t it, so it is my pleasure to sign post you to this excellent blog post detailing the Top 10 Family Villa Holidays for 2018. I think it is such a useful resource. Not only does it span a variety of destinations across Europe and the UK it also tells you about the area and special things of interest such as food or festivals. Within the  article you will also find out why that destination is so great for kids to visit too.

I have to say Crete sounds just delightful!

Sail on a glass-bottomed boat, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, hike in the mountains, go horse riding in the countryside or cycle through olive groves – it’s all yours for the taking

My kids would love that so much!

Are you planning a villa holiday next year?


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Do you invest in your home? Here are my thoughts on why you should invest in your home in ways that really matter.

In my personal opinion when it comes to the family budget there are fewer more important things we can invest in than our home.

Our home is the place we spend the most time. It is where we eat and sleep and bathe and read and watch TV.

It is where we grow our kids and teach them to read, walk, write, play. It is where we entertain friends and family. It is where we cry and laugh and hide away when the world is tough. It is where we come home to at the end of the day to rest , relax and recuperate. It needs to be our happy place, our sanctuary.

Homes matter hugely and they need to be right – for us, not the style magazines or indeed even the Jones’s.

A happy home is not one that is necessarily full of the latest designer trends or the best vintage furniture. A happy home is one that works well for you and your family and that meets your needs in a psychological, emotional and practical way. These needs are not met by investing in the latest trendy rug or geometric cushions. These needs are not met by paining your walls in the ‘colour of the year’ as decided by an interior design team. These needs are best met by knowing who you are and knowing what you love.

My husband just loves music and so we have converted our teeny conservatory in to a room for his guitars, his piano and all his music and this makes him so happy. It also helps him relax and allows him to indulge a hobby he loves from the comfort of his own home ( which let’s be honest says a fortune on going out to indulge a love of music.)

Why you should invest in your home

For other people a garden makes their house a home and this is the area they invest in, knowing it will being them many hours of pleasure. Perhaps they will put their money in a shed to house their gardening tools, or even buy in a gardener in their later years to keep it looking lovely.

Other people just love to cook and to have a kitchen with a beautiful Aga stove or the latest mixer really will delight them. Beautiful crockery and a dining table they will keep forever and polish daily might just be what they choose to invest in. Maybe they will invest in a good extractor fan as they cook so much?

For me? Well I love relaxing in the tub with a good book and I like my bathrooms to be pristine and minimal with a few beautiful plants. The time and opportunities I get to relax are minimal so making sure I have my beautiful bathroom just right for me is very important to me. When I am older and find bathing tricky I will invest my money in a walk-in bath and continue to make my house work for me.

I think having a home you love and that meets these needs/passions is so much more important than having a stylish, on trend home and a so much better use of money.

Do you agree?


double ended bath


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The benefits of a villa holiday

For the last few years we have been to Portugal on our yearly holiday and stayed in a James Villa’s property. These have been the best holidays we have ever had not just because of the stunning Algarve location and the fabulous beaches ( and oh my gosh they really are fabulous!)



Villas make holidaying so much easier and more comfortable and they are absolutely my preferred holiday accommodation. Next year our hearts are set on The Canary Islands and I have been perusing Villas in Lazarote in eager anticipation. Ah don’t they look wonderful and year round sunshine definitely gets my vote!



So why choose a villa holiday?

Oh I have so many reasons!

I like to be able to come in out of the hot sun with my kids who are both pretty fair. Villa’s make siestas a pleasure in a way that a small apartment or a hotel just don’t , It is a home away form home and perfect for a cool haven to rest  after swimming and sunbathing.

The larger living quarters mean we don’t get cramped, claustrophobic and irritated with each other, instead we properly relax. There is space for all our clothes which is brilliant and you can properly unpack and feel at home. It is also lovely for each of us to have our privacy  and time to ourselves. This makes for such a better holiday in my book.

I also enjoy being able to self cater. We are a family of vegetarians and eating out overseas can be fraught and disappointing. My kids are pretty fussy eaters too and often late risers on holiday. It is so nice to be able to eat what we like, when we like and oh my goodness eating out on holiday can be so expensive!  Having a villa with a kitchen means I can make pack ups when we are heading out and an evening meal and breakfast that everyone enjoys.

There are villas to meet every sort of holiday wish, from those in the countryside to those in the heart of a destination. We like a private pool and to be within walking distance of beaches so we do not have to hire a car. This is ultimately relaxing for us. Some people like to go off exploring whilst on their holidays and choose a villa to suit. There really are a vast array of choices.

No matter how nice a hotel or apartment complex the chances of getting noisy and annoying neighbours are real. This can add a lot of stress to a holiday. When you spend so much on going away the last thing you want is to be disturbed and irritated by other people.

A villa holiday really is a home away from home and as such you can potter outside in your PJ’s, swim at midnight, eat breakfast at lunchtime and basically do as you wish, somewhere very beautiful and sunny.

Doesn’t that just sound perfect?

I am a convert. If you are going to spend your hard earned money and travel for hours you might as well make your holidays just as good as they can be and a villa holiday gives you all you need.


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First Utility’s have released some shocking research about our energy bills here in the UK

It shows that UK households have overspent by £7bn in the last three years on their energy bills.

Let’s just process that figure shall we…7 billion pounds!

Shocking and absurd..really!

The research reveals that: 85% of energy customers are with the Big Six, and of those, 70% are on the most expensive Standard Variable Tariff. What a monopoly they have! and how awful so many are on the most expensive tariff

On top of that 55% of Big Six customers have been stuck on a Big Six ‘Standard Variable Tariff’ for more than three years. Each of these households has overpaid by an average of almost £800 over the last three years meaning around £7bn has been wasted on unnecessarily high tariffs.

The things you can do with £800 !

I’m thinking a holiday, a second hand car, a new three piece suite or perhaps a dining suite and more.

An Ofgem report recently revealed that the Big Six energy reached the highest level of profits on record.

Well that makes sense seeing as the have 7 billion extra pounds of the publics money!

First Utility criticises the Big Six for preying on disengaged customers and not doing much to ensure that customers are not overspending on their bills.

First Utility have put together a UK-wide overspend map which details the regions whose wallets have been hit the most as a result of being stuck on Standard Variable Tariffs for three years.

Take a look…….