Last time we talked about what to think about when planning and researching a cottage holiday and what you might expect to pay for. This time we will look at what to expect whilst you are actually on your break and afterwards.
Travelling and what to bring with You
Clothing and footwear
You’ll definitely need to bring clothes and footwear appropriate for the activities you think you’ll be doing, and the time of year where you will be going. You may need to be prepared for slightly different weather from what you experience at home.
Lots of people also bring their food for the period. If you don’t want the hassle, see if you can have a supermarket delivery early on in your stay, check whether there is a store in the area or discover the local restaurants and pubs. Please remember that the nearest supermarket may be quite a distance, may not stock all of your favourite items and may not have the long opening hours of your own local store. You will probably find it is useful to think about the first couple of meals as a minimum.
Bed linen and towels etc
Check with the cottage before you bring bed linen and towels, quite often they will be provided. Sometimes toiletries are provided, sometimes not. We started to provide soap at some of our cottages following several requests. If in doubt, please do check.
Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture some wonderful holiday memories (and all the different charging leads you may need!)
If you have a young child you may be able to borrow cot, high chair and a stair gate.
Cottage owners will typically ask you to arrive no earlier than a certain time in the afternoon and to depart no later than a particular time in the morning. This is to allow for thorough cleaning before the next guests and resolution of any housekeeping issues. Different arrival and departure times (or the ability to drop luggage off slightly earlier) may be accommodated but please do discuss these with your cottage owner.
Make sure that you have instructions on how to get there. By their nature holiday cottages are unlikely to be signposted as well as hotels and consequently be harder to find. After a long journey the last thing you want is to struggle to find the property you have rented
What to do whilst you are away
Most cottages will have local tourist information brochures. In addition, most locations have a tourist authority web site where you can browse and get some ideas before your break. Here’s the site for the Peak District. Do also ask the cottage owner for ideas if you are interested in something in particular.
What if something goes wrong?
Breakages happen! That’s life! Most cottages will have some form of housekeeping book, which you can jot things down on. This is useful, as it saves time for the cleaning staff.
If the issue is urgent or requires a bit more than replacing a broken mug then do get in contact with the cottage owner. It might give them time to put things right for you or, if not, at least for the next guest. There should be a way of contacting the owner noted in the cottage
What about afterwards?
What if you love you cottage holiday
Please give your holiday cottage a positive review on TripAdvisor, Google or other review site they are listed on – more on reviews another day!
What if you hate it?
Please don’t wait until after your holiday – please tell the owner and give them a chance to rectify matters there and then.
Cottage holidays are a great way to unwind in a way that suits you. They will give you the experience of actually living in a place rather than just “staying”. Expect to be self reliant to a certain extent but do ask for help if you need it. Have a great time whatever you choose to do.