Staycations have come into their own since Covid-19 and show every sign of, well, staying. Even without international travel restrictions, renting a holiday cottage in the UK remains popular. There’s more choice of accommodation than ever before and domestic travel has developed a sense of kudos, plus a generally improved reputation.
If you’re thinking of booking a holiday cottage this year, read our do’s and don’ts to ensure your holiday goes smoothly from the moment you click ‘Book now’ to when you get into your car to go home.
Do’s and don’ts when booking a holiday cottage
First things first and possibly the most important aspects too…
Don’t leave it too late
Book as far ahead as you can, especially if you’re renting a holiday cottage in a sought-after destination like Camber Sands. Or, if you can only go on holiday during certain dates such as the school holidays. Remember that many self-catering homes are booked up months in advance.
Do choose a reputable company or owner to book through
Preferably choose a holiday cottage that can demonstrate a credible offering. This could be the length of time it’s been running, the number of reviews it has already secured, or a strongly established online presence – any of all of which lead you to trust that they know their stuff and have experience in the industry. It’s also a good idea to book through a company or owner who’s on site and contactable during your stay. You never know when you might need to call on them for help.
Don’t forget to check out the industry recognition
Take a look at what the holiday let industry and wider travel industry thinks of the company or owner:
- Have they been acknowledged in the press?
- Do they have trusted service awards from entities such as Feefo?
- Has Airbnb recognised them as a Superhost?
- Have they won any other kinds of awards or recognition?
Do read the reviews
Always read reviews with a pinch of salt – if the majority of reviews are 5-star, the odd bad one has probably been posted by an uncooperative guest. But do sit up and take notice if reviews consistently mention a negative point such as cleanliness or lack of facilities.
Don’t forget the special offers
Whether you’re renting a holiday cottage last minute or booking months in advance, check out the special offers. They may be advertised directly on the booking site, but the best way to hear about them first is to sign up to a newsletter.
Do double-check the cancellation terms
Only book if the holiday cottage cancellation policy suit you and your circumstances. Read those regarding Covid especially carefully and, if possible, book with a company or owner who offers refunds rather than date changes or vouchers.
Do’s and don’ts when choosing your holiday cottage
Once you’ve chosen your destination and company to book through, it’s time to choose where you stay.
Do choose a big enough property
Especially if there are lots of you. Make sure each guest has a proper bed – sleeping on a sofa bed might be fine for a couple of nights, but a whole holiday of it could be uncomfortable. And make sure the living space has enough room for everyone – you’ll need it on those rainy days.
Don’t assume you can take the dog
Lots of holiday cottages welcome pets nowadays, but not all. Before you commit to a rental, double-check pets are allowed in the house, and make yourself aware of the etiquette expected of four legged guests in the cottages (where they’re allowed in the house and what’s provided for them, for example), and any pet fees. And then do follow the rules concerning dogs in the house during your stay.
Do find out what baby equipment is provided
Many holiday let owners are happy to provide a cot, high-climb and stairgate but you’ll need to ask for it. They might be able to leave other equipment in the house too such as a bottle warmer and children’s toys.
Don’t forget to pay deposits and the balance on time
Failure to pay within the required time could lead to your holiday rental being cancelled. Set up an alert on your phone, write it in your diary or ask the owner to send a reminder email (most do).
Do’s and don’ts when staying in a holiday cottage
Once you’ve arrived, it’s time to relax and enjoy your stay but first, don’t forget these do’s and don’ts of staying in a holiday let. They’re vital to successfully renting a holiday cottage (and being allowed back again!).
Do keep your time
Holiday let owners set check-in and check-out times for a reason – they need time to clean and check the cottage thoroughly between stays. Make sure you know when you can arrive and by when you need to leave. The owner may well be able to bring forward the check-in time or move back the check-out time depending on other bookings, but don’t assume they will without asking and then receiving confirmation.
Don’t disobey the rules
All holiday cottages have a few house rules such as no smoking on the premises or over 14s only in the hot tub. But whether there are lots of rules or hardly any, do follow them all. And ensure everyone in your party does too. They’re not designed to be restrictive, largely to look after the property and its contents as well as the safety of guests.
Do remember it’s someone else’s house
Bottom line? If you wouldn’t do it in your house, don’t do it in your holiday cottage!
Don’t leave everything switched on
Especially when you aren’t in the cottage. Be energy-efficient guests at all times even if it’s just for the planet’s sake.
Do tap into the owner’s or manager’s local knowledge
One of the advantages of renting a holiday cottage instead of a hotel, for example, is that you have access to local tips. Most owners are huge fans of the area and more than happy to share their knowledge with you. Take a deep dive into the digital guest welcome book they provide (all our properties come with a Touch Stay digital guidebook) that includes tips and insider secrets on where to eat, what to see and where to go.
Book your coastal holiday cottage now
Now you have the information and know the etiquette for renting a holiday cottage, it’s time to book yours. We have a select choice of properties in Camber Sands, all ready and waiting for you to enjoy. All you have to do is take a look and then bag yours. Start your search here
See you soon!
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