Have Kids, Will Travel


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IMG-4157My sweet-little-hunk of love and laughter Malachi, is eight months now. Unlike his older brother Levi, we have yet to take a family trip or getaway with him.

On one hand, I’m thankful, it can be exhausting traveling with a little one. On the other hand, traveling as a family is so rewarding, you’re making memories and having wonderful experiences. So that pesky mama guilt sets in as I flashback to the experiences we gave Levi during his first year.

At four months Levi took his first international trip back home (well, Mama & Baba’s home) USA. By eight months, Levi had traveled to Cyprus, at ten months he’d been to Oman, and by one year he was back to the USA again; enjoying a cross-country road trip from Ohio to California with a little detour: we celebrated his first birthday in Nashville, Tennessee! Over the past 6 years this kid has received more passport stamps than most adult members of my family.

This year my husband and I decided 2018 is the year of NO TRAVEL! We’ll spend our first Summer in Hong Kong this year. We’ve traveled every year since moving abroad in 2009. So for 2018 we said we would do a little adulting and sit still, save money, and enjoy a few local stay-cations. As we’re halfway through the year we’ve been tempted numerous times to book a flight and go! The itch to travel is strong. So far, we’ve stuck to our guns…then enters Villa-Finder.com. I received an email introducing the company and service to our 852 Mamas community thus enticing me once again, to book a flight and go!

Villa-Finder launched in 2012 and has over 1,000 reviewed and inspected villas in their database. From Bali, to Phuket, Koh Samui, Sri Lanka and Mauritius! Taking a look through their website, the villas are beautiful and picturesque! Villa-Finder’s villas are frequently reinspected to ensure they are well maintained and consistent in their level of service.

Villa-Finder’s customers are usually families, which makes sense why they reached out to 852 Mamas! As Mamas, we know that family needs are significantly different to those traveling without kids. Thinking back to our pre-kids backpacking trip through Europe in 2010, we wouldn’t dare to try that at this stage, we’ll wait until they’re a bit older!

As a parent, our concerns and considerations regarding accommodation include things like pool fences, car seats, convenient transportation, safety, etc.

Depending on your specific concerns, Villa-Finder’s Travel Consultants fits the needs of the family with the villas that best fit their specific requirements.

IMG_9055Their Guest Relation team can arrange everything for your stay including: airport pick-up, special dinners, day tours, in-villa massage, and so on. This is not just a platform where customers book and pay. Villa-Finder has a team to make sure your needs are met. Villa-Finder’s Guest Relation’s team works on your behalf free of charge. 

Villa-Finder is also planting a tree in Sumatra, Indonesia for every booking made. Allowing families to contribute to the environment in a passive but sustainable way!

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I’ve personally stayed in a villa twice since having kids, the Zighy Bay Resort in Oman and Kau Suar Bali Luxury Villas in Bali, we usually choose hotels. Now that our family has grown, the benefits of a private villa are quite attractive, I’ve listed 4 key benefits below:

  1. Privacy: this goes without saying, when you have kids, privacy is key to a stress free family experience. You’re not worrying about who can hear your baby crying in the middle of the night, or the lovely sounds of your two year old refusing to take a bath. In a villa, it’s pretty much the same privacy as our crazy family life at home but with a little luxury!
  2. Space: from personal experience, this is all too true. It’s so helpful to have space when you have kids, they can play and everyone isn’t cramped in a hotel suite. It also helps to have more than one bathroom!
  3. Service: from pool toys, to couples massage, to private chefs there is usually nothing off limits in terms of requesting services.
  4. Value: the price of a villa and a hotel is relatively comparable depending on your family budget, yet when all is said and done, you will likely save more money from food and beverage bills and avoiding those pesky service charges.
I’d like to make an honorary mention of a private kitchen! Because when you have kids, snacks and meals are a big deal.
No matter where you choose to stay as you prepare to venture out this Summer, I’ll be stalking Instagram vacationing in my own little way! You never know, we may give in and try out Villa-Finder for ourselves this Summer, we shall see!

 Written for 852 Mamas

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