Self-catering holiday cottage

Booking a holiday cottage

When looking to book a cottage holiday you are very often faced with the decision as to whether to book via an agency or whether to book with cottage owners direct.

Some people prefer to book with agencies as you can search for ABTA registered agencies which is an assurance which appeals to some and agencies may help you find accommodation upon hearing your requirements. However, agencies of course make a commission from any bookings taken and this may well be reflected in the price that you pay. Therefore some people prefer to book direct with independent cottage owners where they can negotiate on price and deal direct with any queries or requirements they may have. Some worry though about booking direct or booking over the internet, pay by credit card where possible to allay fears, via PayPal or if you do pay by BACs verify theat the accommocation exists with the site it is featured on.

Verfification of genuine holiday lettings

Country Cottages Online runs a tiered scheme which identifies holiday cottages by the duration of advertising. Holidaymakers can see for themselves which holiday homes have been known to the site for a number of years and can therefore book and even pay by bank transfer without any qualms. Holidaymakers can also phone the company to ask any pertinent questions about any advertised property that they may be interested in.

If you would like to book directly but haven’t done it before remember to bear some things in mind: always be clear with cottage owners about your requirements, if possible email enquiries where you can have a record of correspondence for reference purposes. Where you are using websites to find self catering accommodation, look up when the website was established, is it a Ltd company for example, can you find details of the registered company address on their website?

Make sure that you only use those websites that you feel comfortable with. The top results in Google can usually be used with a pretty high degree of confidence.

When using websites look for dates of when the cottage started advertising on the site, if it does not state get in touch with the website and ask. A cottage that has just been added may be fine but one that has been advertising for a number of years adds a higher degree of confidence. Where cottages are newly added to a website do a Google search and see what information you can find on that cottage on the internet. Although running a few checks may sound a little onerous if it manages to save you money and gives you confidence in your booking, it will be time well spent. If all that sounds like hard work and budget is not such an option, a cottage agency may be a choice for you, some agencies offer better value for money than others.

Hidden Fees

It is wise to check booking fees prior to trawling through accommodation listings. With some websites, the booking fee is not shown until the very end of the booking process, by which time some people decide that they will just pay the additional amount because they have reached the end of their patience. This booking fee may be a precentage of the rental cost and could amount to several hundreds of pounds. Save yourself this annoyance and look the fees up first.

Cottage brochures provide photographs of holiday cottages to help you make a decision although you will find a greater number of phootgraphs of individual rooms of each cottage using a web brochure rather thna a printed one.


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