I’ve written before about how much I love staying in villas when I travel. They’re just so much fun (so much fun I’m tentatively planning another villa trip for next summer)! I just returned a couple of weeks ago from a trip to Lagos, Portugal where 5 of us stayed in a gorgeous villa. Now that I’ve stayed in villas a few times I feel like I really know what to pack. There are some things I take that are different from staying in a hotel and some things I leave at home. Here are my villa holiday essentials…


I guess this one only counts if you have a villa with a pool, but what’s the fun in a villa without a pool anyway?! I like to get out and about and explore on holiday, but I also like to fit in an hour or so at the pool each afternoon too. A good inflatable for the pool is a must.
packing list for a villa holiday

On our last villa holiday we had (the quintessential) pink flamingo and an amazing inflatable volleyball set. Hours and hours of fun were had!

Portable speaker 

I love listening to a bit of background music at the pool so a portable speaker is a must. Most villas won’t have anything like this in them, so it’s best to take your own. Bonus points if someone in your group puts together a holiday playlist of fab poolside tunes! 

Bonus points if someone in your group puts together a holiday playlist of fab poolside tunes! 

A deck of cards 

I love a good game of cards on holiday, so I always pack a deck in my luggage. It’s great in the afternoon if you want to chill out, or while you have a drink in the evening before heading out for dinner. It’s a fun way to engage with the people you’re with without people being on their phones. Simple, but effective. 

Plastic glasses

packing list for a villa holiday

My plastic poolside glass

I don’t know about you guys, but I love an afternoon tipple by the pool in the sunshine. I don’t feel like I can relax with a glass though. I’m always worried I’ll knock it with my foot when getting up from my sunlounger or something, so I much prefer plastic glasses. These can be tricky to get a hold of (unless you want the little disposable ones) when you’re away so I prefer to buy some and pack them instead. They don’t weigh much in your luggage and you never have to worry about shards of glass ending up in the pool!

Fewer clothes 

If you’re staying in a villa with a barbeque, or great cooking facilities you might find yourself staying in for some meals. This means you end up not needing as many ‘going out clothes’. This is something I really cut down on for our last trip and I still had plenty things to wear. It also meant Thomas and I could share one checked on suitcase between us, saving money for other things.

Do you have anything else to add to my packing list?