Welcome to today’s guest article where I have some great tips on how to find that all important holiday home. If you’re tired of washed out furnishings and out of date decor when you travel, these top tips are exactly what you need to find something better for your next trip. Enjoy!
In a world in which more and more communication takes place online, it has become easier than ever before to find and book the perfect holiday home for your break. At the touch of a screen or the click of a mouse, we can see high definition photographs, area maps, customer reviews and much more.
On the other hand, the amount of information and the sheer number of options available can make planning a holiday rather daunting. To help you make your way through the maze, here are five tips for finding the perfect holiday home for your needs.
Caption: A little research will help you find the ideal holiday home for your specific needs.
If in doubt, call and ask
Most of us like to book our holidays online in the most streamlined way possible. This has led to many agencies putting more and more information on their websites, thus reducing the need for personal interaction. Nevertheless, the staff at these agencies can be a treasure trove of information. Team members at local agencies are likely to have visited the properties, heard what previous guests have said about them, and have good knowledge of the surrounding area. If you have specific issues, for example about access to the property or the availability of parking, etc., don’t be afraid to go ‘old school’ and make a quick call. It could make a huge difference to your holiday.
Caption: For further details on a property, such as the views or location, do not hesitate to make a call.
Summer starts early for savvy holidaymakers
To prepare for the summer season, many holiday homes become hives of frenzied activity: worn-out items are shipped out and replaced, walls are repainted and deep cleans are undertaken in preparation for the seasonal tide of tourists about to descend. Not every property sees such radical annual upgrades of course, and many will see continual improvements throughout the year. However, if you can be flexible about when you book your holiday home, late spring/early summer could be your best chance to see a property at its very best.
Caption: To experience the most sumptuous properties at their pristine best, book an early summer holiday to beat the peak-season rush.
There are other advantages of an early summer holiday too. In the UK, May and June usually experience less rainfall than July and August, while the crowds are much reduced and the prices for accommodation are generally much lower.
A five-star tip
In all walks of life, certain words are used so broadly and commonly that they begin to lose some of their meaning. Take the word ‘luxury’ for example, which can mean very different things to different people. One way to remove some of the guesswork is to look out for objective frameworks such as the VisitEngland star ratings. We’re all familiar with star ratings when it comes to grading hotels, but perhaps less so for holiday homes.
Strict criteria are provided by VisitEngland for the assessment of holiday homes, which cover cleanliness, layout, design, kitchen equipment and appliances, and a great deal more. 5-star and Gold-awarded properties are those which perform best according to the criteria.
Caption: Everything is included in a VisitEngland assessment, from the cleanliness to the ease-of-use of the appliances.
If a property has been awarded a rating, it is likely to be displayed prominently on the relevant webpage, so make sure to look out for this.
A little flexibility goes a long way
Approaching your holiday with an open mind can help you secure a good deal on a more sumptuous holiday home than you’d otherwise consider. A little flexibility with dates alongside a phone call may help you uncover a real bargain. When, for example, a holiday home is let for a non-standard period or an owner wants to stay in their property over a three-day weekend, irregular gaps can remain in its availability. These gaps of, say, five, six, or even twelve days, can be a challenge to fill during some times of the year – so owners and agents often offer discounts, especially at late notice. On the other hand, leaving it to the last minute can be a high-risk strategy and you could end up missing out altogether.
Caption: taking advantage of any flexibility in your schedule can help you save money on luxury properties.
Do the reading
Most importantly, make use of all the information you find online. This means reading what’s available in full rather than simply skim-reading headlines and bullet points. For example, the information you’ll find in the ‘full details’ tab on the Coast and Country Cottages website will include whether a property has Wi-Fi as well as clarity on the parking situation – two areas which customers routinely mention as being crucially important to their stay.
Coast & Country Cottages offers around 400 holiday homes in the beautiful South Devon region, with properties perfect for all party sizes, tastes and requirements. Their locally-based teams in Salcombe and Dartmouth will be happy to advise you on the little details that will make your self-catering UK break one you’ll never forget. Call today on 01548 843773.
The images in this article are of Woodwell, a VisitEngland Five-Star Gold awarded property located in Salcombe. Boasting stunning estuary views, it is in a central location within a few minutes pleasant walk of Salcombe’s boutique shops, restaurants and picturesque waterfront. Holidays at Woodwell are available exclusively with Coast and Country Cottages.