Keen to rent a villa with the fam in Bali or Phuket but unsure how to verify that it’s legit? HomeAway by Expedia takes away all the guesswork, mama!
Since having kids I am all about the ease of home for home when it comes to holidays – and villas/houses/vacation rental have everything I’m looking for. Having heard too many bad stories of private lets – I would only ever book through a renowned service provider – and in the past I have tried airbnb and even Tripadvisor, who all offer similar services. Then new kid on the block HomeAway by Expedia caught my eye. We all know and love the services Expedia provide already – almost every holiday starts with an Expedia flight search for me – so this was perfect!
It’s super easy to navigate – search destination, number of guests and stay dates for a topline search, then delve deeper into requirements as and when you wish. You can also explore other options such as amenities and – my personal fave touch – Experience, where you can choose from over 10 options such as Romantic, Luxury (mmmmm), or Beach (perfect!).
I also loved the map option; zooming into the exact location really helped me to pick the perfect villa for our family. Phuket was our destination ( but HomeAway covers the whole world) and there was a lot to choose from, so being able to narrow down to the perfect option saved me so much time!
Our choice was this villa at Layan Beach, which had a lovely big pool and good size bedrooms. We hired a driver, too, and this came in very handy as taxis can be a pain in Phuket. It does have one bedroom separate to the house – but as we were 2 families this wasn’t an issue. Bang Tao Beach nearby was beautiful and has plenty of places to hang out. Nearby Choeng Thale and Boat Avenue had a fab supermarket and shops, as well as a lovely little street market on Friday night. Lovely memories here!
A few hints and tips with villa booking:
- Check if you will need a car or a driver – always better to know this in advance and book online before you go. This way you factor it into your costs and not a surprise!
- Villas in Asia often have split rooms – twice I have been to a villa with 2 bedrooms separate to the main house. This is great if you have grandparents in tow, but not so good if you have young children. Ask your host for a floor plan.
- Check there is a shaded area; often there are areas around pools with no shade at all, so ask your host in advance. Our host actually bought an umbrella for us!
- Click through all the images to get a real feel for the villa – but remember photos are often clever and the reality not always the same. Ask your host if you’re unsure about anything.
- Look for reviews, too – especially those from families. They will be honest about how kid friendly it is!
To create your own amazing vacation memory I would highly recommend using HomeAway – In fact I am already using them for my trip to Italy in May!