S Club 7 member, model, singer and presenter Rachel Stevens went on a Tots to Travel holiday earlier this year, with husband Alex Bourne and daughters Minnie and Amelie. Staying at the gorgeous Villa Vista do Oceano in the Algarve, Rachel has written a lovely review of her trip…
“Like everyone, spending time together as a family is really important to us. Our working hours aren’t regular so whether it’s taking a couple of days in the UK or being able to go abroad, switching off as a family is one of our favourite things.
With little ones it always takes a lot of time to find the right place to suit everyone’s needs and I always find the organisation before hand is a bit more time consuming than it used to be when there were just two of us!
You worry about the little details like safety, will the hotel or villa be child friendly, will there be enough for the girls to do, what toys and things should we take with us to occupy them without packing the kitchen sink … I guess you learn as you go, but this year was refreshingly different!
We went to Portugal with Tots To Travel, who personally visit every single one of their properties to ensure that it meets their high standards to provide everything that you could need from toys and books, beach towels and plastic cups and beakers to the baby monitor, steriliser units and insured childcare facilities, including babysitters, which are available for parents!
Just packing our clothes this year (and a couple of the girls favourite teddies!), felt quite strange at first but it was amazing and a real luxury to know that everything else would be taken care of and by taking away the added baggage (literally), when we arrived we were able to settle straight in.
The villa we stayed at was beautiful and modern with a great pool and a lovely garden too with a slide and outdoor toys – something you don’t often get on holiday and we hired a car so that we could drive to the beach and supermarkets and explore the local area, stunning beaches and sample some of the beautiful restaurants.
One night we went for in-villa dining which was great! The chef came over to the villa with all of the equipment and ingredients and prepared us a gorgeous meal, complete with any dietary requirements we gave them.
Tots To Travel had thought of every little detail from making sure that our chosen foods were in the villa before we arrived, to providing everything you can think of that you need as a parent which made us relax so much quicker than normal. Everything we needed was right there and travelling light made such a difference – it was a real treat!”