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I was introduced to villa holidays about 20 years ago. Before that I never knew they existed. First impressions looking at the beautiful photos in a magazine were, I would really love to stay in a place like thatbut I would never be able to afford it.

The truth is when you actualy break down the costs instead of looking at the total. These holidays are very economical. For years travel agents have advertised holidays on a per person basis. When you go to book, especially these days, the price starts to increase with under occupancy suplements and add ons. Confusing for the guests? In my time working for a travel agency in the UK, It was my job to work out a holiday cost, trying to work within the clients budget. When I thought I had found something suitable and the client was in agreement, I then contacted the tour operator and found that the cost would slowly rise with extra supplements in the small print to accommodate the party. Then the fun began with trying to get a breakdown of rooms for the party which could not be guaranteed to the client on arrival.

They say once you have tried a villa holiday you find it difficult to go back to staying in a hotel. I for one agree. I much prefer to get up in the morning at the time I want, with the peolple I want to be with and sit on a terrace overlooking the pool eating breakfast. The thought of getting up and having to look presentable, rushing to make sure you arrive within the allocated time and eating breakfast with 100 other people you dont know, does not feel like a holiday to me.

I think the freedom is the main thing that attracts me to a villa holiday now and that I am able to make choices. I can do what I want when I want. I always feel much better after a villa break.