Self-catering accommodation is an increasingly popular form of holiday accommodation involving the practice of renting a villa, cottage or a flat for the duration of your stay. Finding a suitable self-catering accommodation can be done using many private Internet boards or from a number of private villa companies that act as the middleman between yourself and the villa owner. Regardless of our preferred route, there are a number of tips that can help improve your stay.
Obtain property insurance – Not to be mistaken with medical travel insurance, this type of optional insurance refers to possible accidental damage to the property. During your stay, you become the temporary owner of the property and therefore any unintended damage is your responsibility to fix. It is especially important to obtain when kids or pets are part of your party.
Protect your booking – Whether you have decided to book self catering villas privately or commercially you will be required to leave a substantial deposit to secure your stay. There are a few means to secure your booking financially in case the provider has encountered money difficulties. If booking commercially look for companies that are ATOL and ABTA protected. In worst-case scenario you will be protected and your money back by this government initiative. It is more tricky when booking privately, however not totally impossible. First negotiate the lower deposit you can and try to pay by credit card (some property owners are in fact small businesses for tax reasons) as credit card companies often offer a basic level of protection.
Consider car hire – Perhaps one of the biggest attractions about self-accommodation is the location of the property relatively away from the busy more commercial areas. However, it often means that public transport is less favorable in these areas and such car hire should be considered. The benefits of car hire in this type of holiday include:
If you decide to take the route of car hire, the number one mistake holidaymakers make is neglecting to bring their valid UK driving license with. Be sure to carry one should you decide to explore this option.
Research which legal documents you require – It is your responsibility and no one else’s to check the precise legal documents you may require during your stay. If you are traveling to a European country and you are a UK resident you only require a valid passport, however the plot thickens when traveling outside the EU or if one in your group is a non-UK resident. You may check with the property owner or Villa Company, however in addition, make your own checks to avoid disappointment and possible delays. One optional legal document to carry is the medical card EHIC. Should something happen during your holiday, as a EU resident you are entitled for the same medical care as a resident in your holiday destination country across all European Economic Area countries. Called the EHIC or The European Health Insurance Card it is completely free to obtain.
Most important tip of all… – Bring at least one plug adaptor. All your latest electronic gadgets, kids toys and entertainment media are useless if it has no power
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