Choosing the best holiday cottage for you
A self-catering holiday cottage is a fantastic experience. A real home from home, you can visit a different part of the UK every time you want to go away and relax in a property equipped with everything you need for cooking, sleeping and relaxing.
Many holiday cottages are now furnished and equipped to a very high standard as they know that those renting them will want the extra touch of luxury whilst on a break.
Here then are some tips as to what to look for when deciding which holiday cottage to book.
The majority of holiday cottages now have a range of photographs you can view so you know exactly what to expect on arrival. If there are only a few images available, ask the owner for more and if they aren’t forthcoming, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
Furnishings should be of adequate quality and well-maintained. Sofas are a particularly important item looked at when choosing a holiday cottage to check for the number of seats available and also how comfortable they look.
Look at the sleeping arrangements; twin beds are popular in the main bedroom as it can increase occupancy but if you’re travelling as a couple you may want to check the beds can be moved together with a zip system or you may decide you’d prefer a cottage with a double bed.
If the furnishings are clashing in colour, seem very out of date (other than high quality traditional styles), look low quality or items such as towels and linen look old and worn then there’s every possibility little care and attention is paid to the property as a whole.
Choosing the location of your holiday cottage is vital. Consider the following as where you may want to be – or not:
- Vibrant city centre
- Market town
- Small rural village
- Remote and private with access to amenities
- Remote and isolated where amenities are some distance away
Descriptions should ideally let you know where the nearest general facilities are such as shops, petrol stations and perhaps leisure amenities. These will be one of the deciding factors as you’ll need to think about how far you want to travel to shop for food and drink.
Many holiday makers now feel that internet access should be a standard feature of any holiday cottage rental. There may be times where it’s a challenge to offer this – if it’s a very remote location for example – but if it’s important to you and those with you to have online access or a strong signal then check out what is available and if the cost of broadband or wi fi is included in the booking fee.
Check in dates
In the past, the majority of holiday lets were always a Saturday to Saturday. With more flexible working patterns now the lifestyle of many families, there’s every chance that different days of arrival will suit more.
If you don’t want to arrive on a Saturday or want a few days away mid-week rather than a more standard 7-night booking, check this out first before looking into any more details. Finding the perfect getaway destination but then discovering it doesn’t suit your travel plans will be a disappointment.
Ratings and recommendations
There are a number of official ratings and recommendation schemes in the UK for self-catering accommodation.
The most popular ones to check out are Visit England and the AA. They have a range of benchmarks and standards holiday cottages must have to be recommended by them. There’s also information on disabled access and how eco-friendly the property is.
Booking a holiday cottage is an exciting prospect. It means a well-earned rest is on its way and a time to explore cosmopolitan cities or have an adventure in the countryside. Whether you choose a slick apartment or a roses around the door chocolate box thatched home as your way to get away and have some fun, take the time to think about where you’d love to be and the kind of property which you’ll love so much you’ll not want to leave at the end of your time there.