If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen a few non-Christmasy photos of a dream vacation we took the other week.

Barbados, dream vacation, WIMCO, vacation rentals

That’s the view from our patio. Truthfully, the only photo editing I did was to adjust the exposure and add the text to the bottom corner – it really was this spectacular! What would have made this even better if we found out how much a private jet would have been using a private jet charter cost estimator and taken a private jet out here.

Have you heard of WIMCO (West Indies Management Company)?

It’s a vacation rental company that specializes in luxury villas all over the Caribbean and Southern Europe.

WIMCO represents private villas on St. Barths and on eleven other Caribbean islands and has for over thirty years.

We also represent hundreds of private villas in Southern Europe in celebrated spots such as Tuscany, Umbria, the Amalfi Coast, St Tropez, Provence, and the Greek isles of Mykonos and Santorini. More recently, we expanded our operations to provide villa rentals in Nantucket, Punta Mita and Cabo San Lucas.

I mention this only because I’d never heard of WIMCO before, but after this experience I’m not sure I’ll be able to settle for anything else.

This was the villa we rented for the week with our besties:

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

Every morning we’d wake up to this:

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

30°C (86°F) with a view (and access to) a world-class golf course in Westmoreland, Barbados.

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

This dream vacation included a lovely housekeeper who cleaned and changed bedding and towels every day, and a sweet laundress who made it so I had no laundry to do when I got home. (Thank you SO MUCH Amelia and Tanya!). The whole time I was here, I just kept thinking about how grateful I was to be able to visit a country as beautiful as Barbados. Saying this, if it wasn’t for a friend of mine telling me about how she looked into companies like Villaway to visit her dream destination, I knew that I had to go for it, or I would regret it for a long time! Just like anywhere I visit though, I still had to do some research into aspects like the disadvantages of free insurance, affordable flights and transport. You won’t escape this side of travelling. But it is all worth it.

Seriously, I could have packed 2 bathing suits and 2 outfits and still had clean clothes to wear every single day – tell me that’s not a dream vacation all by itself!

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

Barbados caters primarily to British and Canadian tourists; I don’t think there are many large US hotels there so the island isn’t marketed as heavily to Americans.

Did you know that Barbados is outside of the hurricane belt? They get weather, but don’t suffer the violence and devastation that other Caribbean islands do during hurricane season. In fact, Barbados was one of the few islands that was not affected by hurricane Irma last September.

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

We visited Harrison’s cave and travelled underground to see the “natural wonder” of an active cave complete with limestone stalactites/stalagmites and fresh running water. Everyone (except me because I’m afraid of fish) went on a catamaran tour and snorkeled with wild sea turtles. Maddie even got to pet one as it swam by.

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

Shopping was a bit limited, but the whole island runs duty-free and Holetown has many high-end boutiques like Cartier, Michael Kors, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton etc. A bit out of my price range, but beautiful to visit nonetheless.

The boys received an early Christmas gift and golfed the world-class Royal Westmoreland Golf Course:

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

We were blessed with sunsets like this, and fresh seafood meals.

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

The kids had an AMAZING time.

This was their first time travelling anywhere that wasn’t Disney sponsored, and I think it’s safe to say they preferred this:

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

to waiting in lines for rides.

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

I’m writing this because I’d never heard of WIMCO (or VRBO or any of the other luxury villa rental companies) before this, and I wanted to share our dream vacation find so that you could look into it for yourself. Gotta share a great find when you find one right?

(this is NOT a sponsored post – we found, booked and paid for the trip ourselves and WIMCO does not know that I’m writing this)

Prices range by villa and by season, and there are locations just about everywhere ‘dreamy’ you’d want to go.

As I look out my office window to 2′ (60cm) of gorgeous white snow, I can’t help but miss my morning tea on our bedroom balcony:

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

If you are looking to take your family on a dream vacation and create a lifetime of fond memories, you really need to look into WIMCO and the locations they operate in. My mind was BLOWN!

Barbados offers spectacular weather, gorgeous golf courses, fantastic snorkeling and duty-free shopping. Harrison’s Cave is amazing and the island offers jungles, mountains and beaches on one small footprint. (We only visited one beach, so I can’t speak to beach quality on the island.)

The island has one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean so you don’t have to stay within a compound to feel safe. Everywhere you go you are greeted with a smile and warm, friendly people. (As a sidenote: did you know that Barbados has almost 100% literacy?! I don’t know of any other country in the world that can claim that – including Canada – phenomenal!)

Full disclosure: we preferred Holetown over Bridgetown (the capital).

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

Save this to your “Dream Vacation” board on Pinterest:

Barbados, dream vacation, luxury villas, WIMCO, vacation rentals

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming of snow, ice and cold (I’m not complaining – I LOVE a white Christmas).

Have a great one!