Choosing a Self Catering Holiday Cottage

So you are thinking about choosing a self catering holiday cottage for your next holiday ?, what sort of things might you want to consider when making such a choice?. We will take a look at the factors that you might want to consider when making a choice.

Location – this might seem obvious but there are several other things to consider other than just the area or specific location that you want to take your holiday in. So you may know exactly where you want to stay in terms of the broad geography but what about the detailed location ?. For example you may want to check that the self catering holiday cottage you are considering is within walking distance of local facilities such as shops, cafes, pubs and other facilities. How close is it to local tourist attractions and places of interest ?. You may also want to consider the immediate location of the property – is it surrounded by other properties ?, Is there a busy road nearby ?, is there an industrial estate round the back ? – a good way to answer these questions is to look the property up on Google Maps and then use the “satellite view” layer and  have a good look around the surrounding area. This might also prove to be particularly useful for getting a better feel for what sort of view the property has – a good view can help make a good holiday.

Capacity – Again capacity might seem like another factor that you don’t really have to consider e.g. there are 6 in the party and the description says sleeps 6 so that will be fine won’t it ?. Well it could be but what if two of these beds are pull out beds in the living room – that maybe ok for a couple of nights or for children but for two adults for a week ?. What configuration are the bedrooms e.g. double, twin , bunks etc

Facilities – when choosing a self catering holiday cottage what are you looking for to help make your stay more enjoyable ?. You may want to make sure that you have the essentials ticked off – Wifi, Dishwasher, washing machine etc. After you have satisfied yourself that you have ticked off the basics you may want to look at the extras – Is Netflix or an equivalent included, does the property have a garden, does it have games / books / DVDs to help while away the indoor hours ?. a very popular extra is a log burning stove – would this make a difference to you ?.

Local area – what is available locally (this strongly links to the first factor we listed – Location) – whilst you may want to spend your days in splendid isolation it is usually nice to have some local facilities easy to hand. Dog owners may want to consider access to local walks so that your best friend can enjoy the holiday as much as you – is there a beach or open countryside nearby ?

Reviews – whilst you need to make up your own mind when choosing a self catering holiday cottage it is also very useful to see what other people think about your potential holiday venue. There are several helpful sites such as TripAdvisor, Google reviews etc that can help provide some useful information in this area.

Safety – whilst not wanting to suck the romance and excitement out of your holiday choice it is vital to ensure that the self catering holiday cottage where you plan to stay is safe and up to date with modern standards. The type of things to look out for here include gas safety certificates, chimney sweep certificates (for wood burning stoves), electrical certificates, fire risk assessments rtc

Pets – if you want to take the family pet along it is always best to double check that the property accepts pets ( and how many and if there is an additional charge for bringing them ?). As mentioned earlier it is also worth looking at what facilities there are for pets – access to walks, secure garden etc

Disabled access and facilities – might you require / prefer a property that is all on one level ?, might it be easier if there was parking immediately outside the property ?, do you need any special adaptations etc

Price – again not wanting to state the obvious but price will probably be a factor but it is important not only to consider the headline price (i.e. the big flashing number on the website) but also are there any potential extras – booking fees, cleaning fees, utility fees (it is not unheard of for properties to have pay as you go gas or electric supplies). What are the cancellation fees if the worst case materialises and the trip has to be cancelled?. Are there extra charges for Wifi, pets, additional guests etc. As with most things it is important to read the small print when it comes to pricing to make sure there are no nasty surprises when you come to pay the final bill !.

Whilst this is not an exhaustive guide hopefully we have covered a good range of topics for you to consider and helped with choosing a self catering holiday cottage.