When we took our first holiday with our new-born baby three years ago, we pretty much decided that holidays were over for us until he, and any further children, moved out of home!
We stayed in a hotel room which had no fridge and had to keep his milk in an ice bucket we were constantly topping up; we put him to bed at 7pm and sat in the dark and silence until we thought he was asleep and it was safe to put the TV on (with subtitles, because we couldnt risk any volume), and we worried ourselves sick about how we were to find healthy child-friendly meals for him while having to eat out every single meal.
What saved our sanity was discovering the huge benefits of renting (and more recently owning) our very own villa.
The standard of villas for rent in Orlando, Florida is truly outstanding. The villas at Cumbrian Lakes are all equipped to a higher standard than our own home. The kitchens include every appliance you could need, meaning as parents we can shop at the local supermarkets and prepare and store exactly the meals that we know our toddler will eat. Villas range from three bedrooms to six (or even more) so no matter how large your family, the children can go off to a comfortable bed at their usual time, leaving you to enjoy a really relaxed evening, watching a movie, savouring an al fresco barbecue or even lapping up a soak in the spa.
In addition, the vast majority of villas have their own private pools, with child guards and child-proof alarms on the external doors, meaning you have the perfect on-site activity for all the family to enjoy. Many villas include a games room, which is ideal for older children, as well as a collection of DVDs, books and board games. Cumbrian Lakes has its own childrens play area, three lakes which are home to alligators, turtles and numerous sea birds, and nature walks and bike tracks all within a secure gated community.
There are people out there who probably balk at the idea of a holiday where you do your own cooking and washing up, but having discovered the freedom, flexibility and the standard of accommodation this style of holiday affords, we will never go back to hotels not even after the kids leave home!