Scottish Fishing Village

Booking a self catering holiday is a great idea for families with babies or young children as it provides great flexibility. You can arrange your day around your routines and mealtimes and it’s normally a cheaper option than staying in a hotel. Here are a few top tips on what to think about before you book.

Research

Before you book, do your research as self-catering cottages or homes can vary hugely. Ask your family and friends for recommendations and check the small print to see what facilities are available.

Location, location, location

The UK has a thriving industry of holiday accommodation with many cottages either near beaches or in beautiful rural locations. You might want to find out if there are any particular events happening close to the holiday property whilst you are there. For instance in Scotland in the summer, there are often highland games on which is a great day out for all the family.

Additionally, if you’ve got children as well as a baby, ask yourself if you would rather be in a village, such as the beautiful Cotswolds, that has some facilities such as a park or a duck pond, or perhaps a beautiful beach in Cornwall, than a very rural location in the middle of nowhere?

Standards of Accommodation

Holiday accommodation can vary enormously in terms of facilities available so it is important to search for the most appropriate for you and your family’s needs. Many holiday cottages nowadays have dishwashers, TVs with satellite channels and good quality furniture. Some of the more basic accommodation may mean that you have simple cooking facilities and the furniture isn’t very grand but it can still provide an ideal base for a holiday. Should you opt for the cheapest option, you are possibly going to get what you pay for.

Some properties may be part of a larger complex which has the advantage of games rooms or swimming pools that are shared with the other holiday cottages. These other activities can come in very handy if there is a spate of bad weather and then at least there is another form of entertainment.

How child-friendly is the accommodation?

Often it is possible to pre-book some baby facilities such as a high chair or travel cot. As whichcottage.com allows you to talk direct to the owners, it is easy to check before arrival. Bear in mind, that some holiday homes can be old, even listed buildings so not all are child friendly, with steep stairs or ponds in the garden. You might want to consider taking your own stair gate if you have toddlers.

Space

It is important to think about the amount of space you will have and what you need. Do you really want your baby or toddler to share with you or would you rather they had their own room?
Not every cottage will have a separate kitchen and living room, and not every bathroom will have a bath.

Pets

The additional of holiday lets like this is that you can often take pets to your cottage. Some allow dogs but often charge a small extra fee.

Groceries

Some of the more luxurious, self-catering holiday properties offer little extras, such as groceries in the fridge on arrival which can really make your life much easier when turning up at your destination. Alternatively you could do some supermarket shopping online and schedule it to arrive after you have made it to your holiday let.

 Enjoy the chance of discovering another part of the UK by booking a self-catering cottage and have fun!

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Responses to “Top Tips For Self-Catering Holidays”

  1. As a holiday cottage owner I am always grateful to guests for their feedback so that we can improve on our facilities where reasonably possible. I am particularly aware of all the paraphernalia parents have to cram into their car when they have a baby or young children. Now, in addition to a high chair and a cot we offer a change mat, sterilising kits, socket covers and sofa throws and in one cottage even a baby bath. We want our guests to be able to relax and feel at home.

    Children are usually very adaptable and we are willing to squeeze in the occasional camp bed for an extra little person, but parents need a good night’s sleep if they are given half the chance. So our beds are comfortable, made up with hotel quality white cotton sheets and duvet covers, at least 2 pillows per guests and not a saggy mattress or squeaky bed in sight.

    One of our cottages has a pool which is popular in good weather, but of course for some parents that adds to their required levels of vigilance, so we have provided an enclosed garden where toddlers and dogs are safe . In the other cottage we have fitted out a large stone barn as a games room with table tennis, a gym for the adults and a safe area for children to play. We provide DVDs, CDs, games and books and freeview TV and wireless broadband.

    One of our cottages is even equipped with a shower chair that can be set up in the wetroom. This was bought following feedback from one of our guests who said that her husband hadn’t enjoyed a proper bath or shower for ages until he stayed at Carsebuie. They were delighted with the wet room facilities where they could access a WC washbasin and a shower without any step or enclosure to negotiate. And we don’t have to spoil the look of the cottage for others to provide these little extras. All guests have to do is give us a call when they book to discuss any special requirements and we do everything we reasonably can to make their holiday as comfortable and stress free as possible.

    You can enjoy all of these facilities in the beautiful unspoilt corner of Scotland that is Galloway, where the climate is mild, not too hot and not too cold, thanks to the Gulf Stream. At Carsebuie overlooking the Galloway Hills you can make as much noise as you like and not have to worry about disturbing anyone and at night the stars are out of this world. And at Pavilion Cottage you have the shelter of the walled garden but you only need to walk five minutes to an expansive sandy beach. And because everyone else is heading for the Highlands and the Islands you hardly ever have to queue, even for the famous 7Stanes mountain bike trails. Well maybe occasionally in the award winning local Ravenstone deli.

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