Many people have not experienced booking a holiday cottage before and may not know how to go about things or even whether it would be a suitable option for them. In this article, we put our experience to good use to provide a guide for first time visitors to booking a holiday cottage. Once this type of holiday is tried; there are usually many return visits as can be seen from the testimonials on our home page.
With travelling abroad becoming more expensive with escalating fuel prices and some budget airlines trying to charge you for every conceivable service (often turning a cheap flight into an expensive one), travelling abroad is not a s cheap or convenient as it once was. Where once it took a couple of hours to get to your destination, modern security checks and endless queues plus limitations on luggage is making a lot of people think twice.
Booking a holiday cottage still takes planning to gain the most and here we suggest the steps you may want to consider.
Holiday cottages are more affordable than you think and there is usually room for a whole family or sometimes two, which makes it very affordable for rental. There are also off peak times of the year for extra value. Decide on a budget for each person when booking a holiday cottage property, including the cost of fuel to drive there.
There are cottages for rent all over the UK, but we are shamelessly biased when it comes to Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds. Conveniently located in the UK, our lovely holiday cottage can be reached without a painstaking, tiring drive from most parts of the country. This is something to bear in mind if travelling with children or elderly relatives. Decide if you want to be in rural isolation, by the sea or in the countryside. Find out from your holiday cottage website where the nearest conveniences are for stocking up on a few groceries. We think we have a great location, peaceful yet not too far away from a village shop or pub.
3. Choose by Property Size
If you are staying longer than a weekend or few days, it may not be the best idea for extra guests to use a sofa bed or guest bed in the main living area, so ensure your choice of cottage will accommodate the number of guests with enough beds and bathrooms. Additional bathroom space is always welcome especially with small children and elderly persons.
Holiday cottages are self-catering and you will find that most have well equipped kitchens that are suited to catering for a family. Some holiday cottage kitchens assume you will be exploring local eating establishments while you are staying and offer fewer facilities. We are proud to say Cooks Green Cottage allows you to cook up a feast for the troops with every utensil you will need. If these facilities are important to you, double check they are available. Make sure you can seat the number of people staying in the cottage at the dining table.
5. Facilities on Offer
Check that the facilities on offer are as they should be. If Wi-Fi and a high tech television are important to you, make sure this is what you are getting. Holiday cottages vary and some may be furnished by the owners cast offs and others will offer facilities for the visitors complete comfort. Cooks Green Cottage offers free Wi-Fi for all guests. Outside furniture should be in good order and be able to cater for all guests and those cottages that boast a swimming pool should offer pool heating as even in the summer an English swim can be chilly! If you wish to take your own sporting equipment such as a boat or Jet Ski, you will want to ensure there is adequate parking and even a lock up garage.
6. Holiday Dates
School holidays tend to book up most quickly along with other holiday periods like Easter and Christmas. Local events can also cause a run on bookings. In our case, the Cheltenham Festival of Horse Racing means bookings are full months in advance, but it is still worth enquiring due to cancellations. Visitors returning after previous stays quickly book up the best holiday cottages. We find we have our regulars who like to come back at the same time each year. If you do not need to book for the school holidays, you will fins better value, less crowds at visitor attractions and still get some good early or late summer weather.
7. Hidden Extras
Always find out if there are any hidden extras to pay as these can push up the price and affect your budget. If paying via PayPal for example, make sure you are not bearing the charges or the price reflects this. Check if cleaning and heating are included and if you are expected to pay for logs and fuel for open fires.
8. Direct Booking
Booking a holiday cottage direct with the cottage owners is usually more economical than booking through a holiday cottage website as you are cutting out the commission charges. Most holiday cottages have websites with up to date photographs and testimonials from visitors for your assurance. At Cooks Green Cottage, we stand by our beautiful cottage, welcome any inspection at any time, and are happy to answer all of your queries. We appreciate that not all visitors want to book directly and there are specialist letting agencies with a wealth of cottages on their books that can arrange visits.
9. Pet Friendly
So many families cannot bear to leave their pet cat or dog at home so if you wish to bring your pet on holiday, make sure the cottage you book is pet friendly and can cater for your four legged friends. Your well-behaved pets are welcome at our cottage and we have a beautiful big garden as a bonus.