Families Traveling Together - Tips for Renting a Villa with Another Family
Villas are an ideal accommodation choice for multiple families traveling together that want more privacy and space than a traditional hotel or resort typically offers. In many cases, villas are more economical than paying for individual rooms.
Before diving into sharing a villa on vacation, there are some important things to consider. Just because you are great friends at home or at work doesn't necessarily mean you are a good match to share a rental for an extended length of time. Going on holiday with a family and staying in adjacent hotel rooms is very different than sharing a home. The latter scenario means you are in close proximity to one another and travel preferences play a huge role in how things go.
Five Questions to Ask Your Group
Things to think about before committing to sharing a rental home with another family.
1. What are your respective travel personalities? Are you active and like to be sightseeing 24/7 or are you happier relaxing at the pool?
If one family prefers to lounge while on vacation and the other is very active, the key is to be clear up front - you would love to stay somewhere together, but your family will most likely be on your own during the day.
2. How strict are you with meal and bedtime schedules at home? Do you keep to those schedules while on vacation?
People that keep to regimented meal and bedtime schedules at home may not while on vacation. It is important to have an honest conversation around your mutual approach on this topic.Bedtime can be a tough one - if other kids are staying up late, it's guaranteed yours won't want to go to bed before the others do. This might be a deal breaker.
3. Are you a clean freak or are you a little disorganized?
People that are very messy at home are not suddenly clean while on vacation, or vice versa. If you know it's going to drive you crazy that the rental is messy for a week and/or will feel the need to clean up after everyone, this is a big red flag.
4.What is your travel budget? Do you like luxury accommodations and gourmet restaurants or do you prefer more simple things on the road? This may be very different from how you live at home!
Travel budgets vary greatly between families, and even people that live grandly at home may prefer more simple accommodations and meals when on vacation or vice versa. Assuming you can agree to accommodations that work for both groups, this is an issue you can work around with setting clear expectations and finding middle ground venues.
5. How old are your kids? Will they have anything in common with the kids of the other family?
The reality is that kids that are friends at home will more than likely get along while on vacation.Differences in age can play a role in what your families plan to do each day. A discussion of general activity plans will ensure that every family spends time doing whatever works for them.
Decide if the Group Will Travel Well Together
Just because the answers to these questions may be very different, it doesn't necessarily mean that you should opt out of a trip with friends. However, the less you and your friends have in common around these travel preferences, the more work you will need to do at the front end with clear expectation setting to ensure the vacation goes smoothly.
If you conclude that separate living spaces is the best way to go, there is a growing number of rural estates in Europe with apartment-style accommodations and shared amenities.
One of the reasons we love Italy so much for families is the vast array of excellent properties that are available in this category. See Family Travel in Tuscany – Agriturismo Living for an introduction to this option. These accommodations are our specialty at Ciao Bambino - use our Advanced Search and select the country of interest and "resort" under Accommodation Category for our list of recommended properties.
Amie O'Shaughnessy is the Editor of Ciao Bambino. Written by and for parents, we publish comprehensive reviews of the best family-friendly accommodations. The Ciao Bambino Blog features tips and advice around all things related to traveling with kids - where, how, when, why, and what makes travel with kids of all ages fun and easy.