When booking a holiday cottage, you'll need to ensure that you choose something that meets all your holiday needs. Whether it's the first time you've booked or something you've done a hundred times before, our top tips will ensure you're fully prepared for any eventuality...
1. Set a budget
Taking a break in the UK is often thought of as the cheaper option, but with more and more luxury cottages entering the rental market, it's easy to overspend. Also, think about the petrol costs for the journey getting to your destination.
2. Deciding where you want to go
Holiday cottages are available for hire in most parts of the UK, the most popular being Devon, Cornwall, the Lake District and The Cotswolds. Once you have decided on your location start looking at other details such as do you want to be by the sea, in the countryside or near a city? An isolated retreat may seem ideal when you're booking it, but think about the practicalities too - especially if you're with children or a large group - is there a supermarket nearby or a good pub/restaurant?
3. Choose the right sized property
Think about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you'll need and check whether any of the beds are sofa beds. Is it practical for a member of your party to sleep in the lounge?
Be prepared for traffic jams if you're travelling in peak season, get directions to the cottage and don't forget your breakdown cover.
Cottage holidays are generally self-catering. Some cottages are supplied with large, well equipped kitchens while others will have a kitchen corner or kitchenette. You should always have enough pots, pans etc for the maximum amount of people that can occupy the property, but if you are planning on a lot of cooking it is best to enquire about the facilities. The larger the property, the greater your chances of a well-equipped kitchen. Remember to take some basic supplies with you so you don't have to go in search of a supermarket as soon as you arrive.
Some holiday cottages have specific days of the week for check in and check out (usually a Saturday) so ensure this fits in with your plans - if you're looking for a 10 day break at a property that only allows 7 or 14 day bookings, you won't be able to do this. The same goes for weekend breaks - during peak holiday periods these may not be permitted unless it's a last minute booking or a cancellation.
Finally, think about the date of your holiday. The school holidays obviously book up the quickest so be prepared to book in advance to get the accommodation and holiday you want - the best cottages often book up a year in advance by repeat holiday makers. Alternatively, be prepared to be flexible and change your dates.