Planning successful family holidays often comes down to how well you choose your accommodation, and when it comes to holidays in the southernmost part of the continent, choosing the right South African villas makes all the difference.
While honeymooners, couples, singles and travel groups may consider factors such as proximity to bars, centrality, lock up and go convenience, romantic features or modern style or other surface highlights when choosing somewhere to stay, families have very different criteria. Child-friendly villas and apartments need to be safe, practical, spacious and suitable. A gleaming Camps Bay gem with polished marble floors may be ideal for a couple who appreciate the finer things in life. This type of place may not seem so ideal for those travelling with small children who could easily slip and fall on all of that shiny marble, however.
How do you look for child-friendly South African villas for your holiday, and what else should you keep in mind when travelling with little ones?
Looking for South African Villas for Your Family Holiday? Here’s What You Should Know
If you’re planning an upcoming family holiday to coincide with school being out on a nice long break, getting away to a sunny, enriching destination such as South Africa is highly recommended. Even if you are a local wanting to holiday in Cape Town, or you simply want to plan a family weekend near the beach, the following tips will help you find just the right place to stay.
- Always ask upfront about child policies. Not all villas accept children of all ages, so you want to make sure of how things stand before you even start to consider any property. Many will advertise their child-friendly accommodation clearly, which makes things a lot simpler. If you are unsure, send an enquiry to find out what the process is for guests in your child or children’s age group.
- Check to see whether the villa is suitable for young guests. A villa may accept guests of all ages (including the very little ones), but that won’t help if there is no fencing around the swimming pool, no lawn or outdoor space for kids to play, no entertainment system or television and no suitable facilities such as cots, cribs and high-chairs on hand. If you cannot easily see from the photos, enquire to see whether facilities can be made available (and if these come at added cost).
- Aim for accommodation that is central but still private. A compact city apartment may be fine if you’re travelling without kids, but when there are adults as well as small children sharing a very small space that lacks outdoor space or privacy, you will soon start feeling stressed. Properties that are based near beaches, museums and other attractions while still having space to let loose are ideal. Try villas such as Villa Cascades in Camps Bay, which has a large pool as well as a garden, with accommodation spread out over levels rather than squashed up into one tiny venue.
- Remember that you are ultimately responsible for child supervision. If your chosen accommodation does not have fencing, child proofing or non-slip floors, you will need to keep an eye on the kids to make sure that they stay safe. Always make sure that at least one adult is there to supervise pool time, set clear rules for running in the house and make sure that you know where your kids are at all times.
- Make a list of all the family friendly activities and attractions are found nearby. As every parent knows, keeping the younger ones busy is key to a stress-free holiday. Do your homework before you leave to make sure that you know where all the good places of interest are located, and print out this list to keep on hand once you arrive at your chosen villa. This will make it far easier to plan each day, giving you a wide range of ideas that you can choose from on the fly. If you are visiting Cape Town, we recommend starting with the V&A Waterfront (home to the Two Oceans Aquarium and Mineral World Scratch Patch), Simons Town (home to the Toy Museum, Boulders Beach Penguin Colony and the SA Navy Museum) and the City Centre (home to the SA National Museum and Planetarium) for starters.
With a fair bit of planning, enjoying a hassle-free, relaxing family holiday is entirely possible… especially once you have found just the right choice of South African villas for your stay.