Family swimming at a villa

James Villas

How To Give Kids The Best Summer Holiday


When I think back to my childhood holidays, the memories that stand out are those times when my parents went that extra mile to plan something special for us.

It didn’t have to be anything expensive – it could have been something as simple as tasting a new and exciting food for the first time (calamari in the Algarve, looking out from the cliffs over the Atlantic) or going on a family hike. Now I’ve got children of my own, giving my kids the same happy experiences is high on my holiday agenda. That’s why I was delighted when James Villas got in touch with some expert bloggers to get their top tips on making your kids’ villa holiday memorable…

James villa

A James villa is the ideal backdrop for your perfect summer holiday (image courtesy of Honest Mum).

Try to do one stand-out thing, every day

Lauren Bryan Knight of Aspiring Kennedy tries to make sure her kids have had at least one memorable experience each day:

“We are trying to fill up our summer with adventures out for our family – both in London and on holiday. Regardless of if we are at home or away, we want every day to have at least one awesome thing that happens in it. Each night, our daughter lies in bed and says “another big day!” before she goes to sleep. For us, that’s a sign that we spent the day well.”

Family hike

Giving the kids an extraordinary experience is a sure-fire way to make their holiday memorable (image courtesy of Jane Batt of Practically Perfect Mums Ltd and Taking 5 Ltd).

Cook new foods for the kids

Lauren (Aspiring Kennedy) also loves getting the kids to try new and exciting foods:

“Travelling has not only expanded our family’s view of the world, but it has grown our palettes, too. Our daughter has learned to try and eat everything from our time on the road, from salsa covered chile rellenos in Texas, savoury galettes in Normandy, fish and chips on the beaches of Britain or lamb grilled on a snowy grill in the Icelandic countryside, she’s learned that wherever she is, the food is going to be great. I love that she is willing to try anything and from travelling has skipped becoming a picky eater.”

Jane Batt of Practically Perfect Mums explained to us why she likes the dining freedom that a villa holiday provides:

“After a fun-packed day, we like the flexibility of being able to choose whether to sample the local cuisine at a restaurant or just stay in and cook ourselves a relaxed family meal.”

Emma Vanstone of Mummy Mummy Mum highlights the importance of trying new foods when on holiday, and how visiting a new place gives everyone the chance to try something different:

“One of the best things about being on holiday is the chance to try new foods and flavours. We encourage our children to try local cuisines where possible – even if they just try some of ours. Eating out is a great way to try something new as it means you can test a food or flavour before buying in larger quantities and cooking at home.”

Spend time looking for shells and wildlife on the beach

Honest Mum Vicki Psarias knows how much the kids love the beach when on holiday:

“They adore building sandcastles and splashing around in the water (they learnt to swim recently). Playing in the beach showers was a favourite too (!) and watching fish swim by as they did in the Caribbean. We took a glass bottomed boat out on a recent holiday too, and they loved it!”

Boy swimming pool

“The thought of jumping straight into our pool when we returned to the villa was blissful.” (Quote and image courtesy of Jane Batt of Practically Perfect Mums Ltd and Taking 5 Ltd).

Emma from Mummy Mummy Mum knows the importance of getting the kids outdoors and keeping everyone active on the beach:

“My children love most beach activities, but especially sandcastle building and kayaking. We have big plans to build a sand version of Windsor Castle on our next holiday after a recent school trip.”

Emma Vanstone How To Give Kids The Best Summer Holiday

Take your kids out on a boat trip for a really special time at the beach (image courtesy of Emma Vanstone of Mummy Mummy Mum).

Plan a scenic walk with the whole family

Jane of Practically Perfect Mums prefers to keep planning to a minimum, and go with the flow on holiday. She took her kids on a spontaneous walk to admire the local area:

“When we stayed in a James villa in Lanzarote recently, we decided to brave the heat and climb a volcano. After admiring the amazing views from the peak, we climbed down into the crater and the boys followed the local trend of spelling their names in stone. Despite the challenge of the climb and the heat, the boys loved this memorable and inexpensive adventure. My nine year old told me it was an amazing experience.”

Jane Batt How To Give Kids The Best Summer Holiday

“I loved climbing the volcano, looking down and seeing everything for miles around.” (Quote and image courtesy of Jane Batt of Practically Perfect Mums Ltd and Taking 5 Ltd)

Give the kids the freedom to relax

Practically Perfect Mum Jane Batt loves giving everyone the chance to unwind on their family summer holiday – both the kids and the adults:

“For the children, there’s nothing they enjoy more than hours spent messing about in the pool. When they’ve had enough sun, a villa gives them the flexibility to just wander into the shade and read a book, or go inside for a rest or some screen time. At eleven, nine and six they’re quite self-sufficient and because we’re in a self-contained property, we know they’re safe, so there’s plenty of scope for the grown-ups to relax and enjoy the holiday too.”

Vicki Psarias How To Give Kids The Best Summer Holiday

Spending the summer with the whole family gives the kids memories that they can cherish (image courtesy of Honest Mum).

Spend quality time with the family

We asked Honest Mum Vicki Psarias what her most extraordinary holiday moment was, and she told us about the importance of family:

“I think the most touching experience abroad was taking my eldest son, Oliver, to Cyprus when he was 6 months old (I travelled solo as my husband couldn’t take time off work) to meet my beloved Grandma Vikentia who was 92 then (sadly no longer with us). They bonded at first sight, and it was the most memorable holiday of our lives.”

Your holiday should be exactly how you want it to be, and a villa holiday gives you the freedom and flexibility to tailor your perfect break. So if you’re planning a holiday, why not consider one of our great family villas and start creating your very own unforgettable holiday moments.

Planning your summer holiday? With our great selection of family villas, the world is your oyster this summer.


Helen is a Marketing Communications Executive at James Villa Holidays.

I’ve been at James Villas since 2010 and while it’s pretty tortuous sometimes looking...

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See all articles by Helen

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