Cheap Holidays and Breaks

How to get the best value cottage holiday in Britain

So many booking websites, but which is best?

Some have hidden charges added to the rental rate such as

  • A booking fee
  • A charge for pets
  • A cleaning fee
  • Additional charges for electricity, linen hire

It can sometimes be like a confusing budget flight booking where the advertised rate is low andt you wonder how you got to the much higher final price - but it does not have to be that way. The three main ways of booking a British self-catered holiday home are outlined below.

Booking with an agent

Holiday cottage letting agents tend to charge a booking fee for their service. This could be an extra charge of up to 20%. They may also try to sell you travel insurance and other optional extras.

Booking a property with an independent owner

There is no booking fee when booking a property with an independent person who may have one to several holiday properties of their own. The rental rate is usually clearly stated and any possible extras, most commonly a refundable damage deposit and possible charge for dogs is clearly shown. This type of booking is most often ‘all-inclusive’. You may have a welcome pack of local produce or wine and chocolates on arrival and in the case of 5-star luxurious holiday homes, there may be spa slippers and robe, a range of toiletries and fresh flowers.

Booking through a cottage portal

These display adverts from independent owners and agencies. The price structure depends on whether you book a cottage directly from an independent owner (No booking charge), or from an agency (Booking charge). Both are shown. You should be able to make a shortlist of the cottages that you like most and then compare costs. A British portal that pays British taxes is Country Cottages Online.

The difficulty is in calculating the final price and comparing properties that you may have on your shortlist.  The only real way to evaluate good value is to read through the details and decide for yourself.


Paying for a cottage holiday

The general rule when booking self-catered accommodation, a house or pine lodge, in Britain, is that full payment is required if your date of arrival is within six to eight weeks.

For bookings made in advance, a deposit is payable to reserve the property, then a final payment plus any damage deposit is due six to eight weeks prior to the date of your holiday.

Money can be transferred to the agency or independent owner using online banking, PayPal or card payment.