Booking Assistant imgHow to find the best country cottage, apartment, holiday cottage, villa, log cabin or any other type of self catering accommodation.

- How to go about renting that cottage

1. Decide on your preferred location

cottage brochure UK

Some people trawl through hundreds of cottage listings until they are almost cross-eyed and are still unable to decide on a cottage. It is far better to decide what you want to see and do during your self catering break, then look for a cottage in that location. The accommodation is not as important as destination.

2. Prioritise cottage requirements

cottage brochures

Assuming that you have a definite list of people going on holiday with you, it is time to sort out the essential factors such as the number of bedrooms required and bed arrangements. Make a list of any other points that you feel are essential such as a dishwasher and prioritise them.

3. Use Search engines

online cottage brochures

The Search engines such as Google and Bing help you find the type of cottage that you want, for example 'country cottages sleeping 2 in the Cotswolds', or farm holidays in Wales. Then use any Search or Sort facility on the site to enter your requirements such as dishwasher.

4. Call the Booking Agent

Phone number Booking agent

Before placing a form booking which will constitute a formal and binding contract between yourself and the cottage agency or owner, have a quick discussion about the accommodation and things to do locally. This is especially important if you have special requirements such as pet friendly holiday cottages. You may discover things during that conversation that may change your mind or confirm your decision.

5. Double check the beds available

booking arrangements

It is important to get the bed arrangement right so that no one ends up sleeping with an unsuitable bed buddy or apart when they want to be together in romantic cottages. If you have a baby, you can also request a cot. You may also then want to steer searches towards family friendly self catering which will provide additional facilities for babies and young children. Essentially you need to double check the details before booking.

6. Read the terms and Conditions

cottage booking terms and conditions

The terms and conditions are binding after completing a cottage booking. The terms and conditions state what percentage of the rental price you lose on cancellation. You may be able to opt in for cancellation insurance at the time of booking or purchase some separately. Most travel insurance does not cover the cost of accommodation cancellation in the UK, only medical expenses. Read the details.

7. Complete the Booking Form

cottage booking form

Booking forms may be online or in hard copy. Both will be binding contracts. It is usual to pay a deposit, then the balance at a later date before arrival. Or, for last minute bookings, the full rental price is paid. Cottage owners are likely to accept payment by cheque, BACS or PayPal which allows people to pay using a credit card.

Make sure that you receive a receipt at every stage of payment for bookings.

8. Wait for Confirmation

confirmation of booking

If your cottage booking is performed online then expect to receive confirmation and receipts by email. You are within your rights to request all documents by post if you prefer.

Store all receipts away carefully so that you have a record of what balance and damage deposit you will need to pay. Often you will have a date to pay the balance of your self catering holiday by without any reminder.

9. Check the cottage details

cottage brochure details

Make sure that you receive all the following details:

  • Confirmation of booking
  • Full address of the cottage with postcode for GPS
  • Local map, especially if the cottage is down a country lane
  • Time of entry and departure
  • Contact number for the key.