Have Kitchen, Will Travel – to Europe

in Managing Allergies, Travel & Dining
Published: June 30, 2010

Tips on Sharing a Villa

Here are some tips to make sharing a villa with family and friends go smoothly. It’s best if everyone starts with the same expectations.

1. Agree up front on how to divide up costs. We usually charge one share per adult, a half share per child and free for infants sleeping in their parents’ room.
2. Agree on how the bedrooms will be chosen before you get there since some bedrooms will be larger. Our rule is that the person who found the villa gets first choice.
3. Set up a “kitty” at the outset for daily expenses such as food and gas and have everyone contribute an equal share. That way, you don’t have to try to sort out who spent what at the end of the vacation.
4. Agree on what the rules are for allergens in the kitchen. We like to make sure there are no peanuts, nuts or sesame in the villa at all, but you need to plan such rules ahead of the trip.
5. Agree on a plan for the cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping. Take turns so that each family gets some “nights off”.

Be Prepared

We took our first trip to Europe with a child when our oldest, Kieryn, was six months old. We were supposed to fly from Ottawa through Montreal to Paris, overnight at a hotel in Paris and catch a train to the town where we had booked a car to drive to our villa. Unfortunately, our first flight to Montreal was delayed and we instead ended up rerouted to Toronto where we were to catch a morning flight to London. From London, we were to fly on to Bordeaux.

We got to London, only to find that all flights the next day were cancelled because of a computer malfunction. We had to spend another day and night in London.

Thank goodness for my sister-in-law Kendel’s positive attitude: “we’re on vacation and I get to do more shopping in London, woo-hoo”.

Despite the stuttered start, it turned out to be our nicest European vacation to date, but I did learn that, especially when traveling with allergies, you need to both prepare for the trip and prepare food contingencies in case plans go wrong.

We highly recommend reading: Scott’s Rules for Traveling with Food Allergies

See Also:

For Scott’s European Villas on the Web, get Allergic Living’s Summer 2008 issue. It’s available here.

To read the first article in the “Have Kitchen, Will Travel” series, click here.

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