Self-catering is a form of luxury holiday in which you hire a holiday home (typically villa or cottage) for the entire duration of your holiday. Compared to other types of accommodation, mainly residing in a hotel room you would often pay slightly more so it makes sense to tick all the right boxes when booking your holiday.
When to book – Unlike hotels, a particular villa can only be booked once at any given time. Wait too long and you would be disappointed when another party books the villa. Booking well ahead will secure your holiday home and help you ease the winter months in anticipation for the summer.
How to book – There are two means to find and book your holiday home. Each has its share of pros and cons. The traditional way was to find and book the villa directly from the owner. On the one hand prices are often lower, but on the other, your deposit and booking may be hanging in the mind as you are dealing with a private individual. Another method is to use a 3rd party company that acts as the middleman between yourself and the owner. On the one hand prices may be dearer, however if the company is ATOL and ABTA protected your booking including the deposit you paid are protected. Whichever means you decide on, you should read reviews and customer feedback about the service and the property. If none were found, that would be uncommon.
Deposit – When making your booking by either of the two means, a deposit will be required. This is due in part to the nature of the property in that only one party can use it at a given time and the popular season is often short. Expect to pay around 30% as the deposit from the total price. When booking using a 3rd party company, government schemes such as ATOL and ABTA will protect your monies. When booking directly from the owner, you can secure your deposit by negotiating the lowest possible sum. No government protection schemes are often the downside of booking from the owner.
Included vs. not included – The level of modern cons and overall interior specification between properties will vary. The biggest mistake self-catering holidaymakers make is not looking at the inventory list prior to heading out. You should ask for a list of modern cons (for example, wi-fi, TV, phone etc) as well as a list of what comes with the property (for example, towels, furnished kitchen etc) prior and compare it against your needs. Either negotiate adding the missing items with the owners, bring your own when possible or look for another holiday home. Planning and attention to detail will help ensure a satisfactory holiday.
Winter tips when booking a self-catering holiday by affair travel, UK based travel agents offering villas in France, Croatia, Corsica and Portugal. ABTA and ATOL protected, its range of villas often include on-site swimming pools adding to a luxurious holiday.