Top tips when booking a self catering holiday
Many people like booking self catering accommodation when they are on a city break. It provides flexibility and is particularly good value for families or groups of friends holidaying together – our earlier blog article goes into a bit more detail about that. They key thing is to find the right accommodation to suit you.
So, what are the most important things you need to think about?
Tip 1 – Check what’s included in the price of your let
It’s always worth checking out what’s included – that way you’re not in for any surprises when you come to check in. Most self catering providers include pots, pans and cooking utensils as part of the let, that way you can choose to cook your own evening meal if you want to. If you’re not sure what’s included just check with your host before you arrive (if something’s not included you could bring it with you or stock up on the way). The same applies for bed linen and towels (these are usually provided but again definitely worth checking). Most providers will include on their website what’s included – things like a washing machine, tumble drier and dish washer can make a real difference.
Tip 2 – Check accessibility and layout of your accommodation
This is a really important one, especially if you are travelling with young children, or there are guests that may have reduced mobility. Especially within cities it is important to check which floor your apartment will be on. Quite often ground floor apartments suit guests with really young children as it can be hard carrying buggies and pushchairs up several flights of stairs. The layout of the accommodation is also important. You should check the number of beds, as well as the number of bedrooms. Some apartments may only have double beds, whereas others may have single beds or a mixture of both. It’s also worth bearing in mind the number of bathrooms – even a separate toilet can make all the difference if everyone in your group are getting ready to go out at the same time.
Tip 3 – Check the local area, if there’s parking and how easy it is to get around
Parking in cities can be notoriously difficult which is why many visitors choose to arrive to Edinburgh by plane, train or bus and then use public transport to walk about. When choosing accommodation check out the location of your preferred accommodation (Google Maps is great for this) as this will give you an idea of where the property is, but also how close it is to public transport, shops and the attractions. Accommodation providers will usually tell you if there is parking included. If it’s not and you really want to bring your car then the local council website will give you information on parking bays, as well as costs for parking. If you’re coming to Edinburgh the City of Edinburgh Council website has lots of information.
If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about Edinburgh from a local’s perspective then why not sign-up to Marchmont Hidden Gems – a monthly email we are busy creating. As well as telling you about things in the area that only locals know about there will be exclusive offers and accommodation deals.
Tip 4 – Check if WiFi is included in the price
When we’re on holiday we still want to keep in touch with family and friends, whether that’s for a chat or to share pictures and stories and pictures of our trip on social media. Whilst you can use the WiFi connection in local cafes and bars it’s worth checking that your accommodation provides WiFi and if it is included in the price or if it is an extra. Again, the provider’s website should usually tell you.
Tip 5 – Check if you need to tidy up before you leave
Most providers include the cost for cleaning as part of the rental cost, but if you’re unsure what is required then please check with your accommodation. Most of the time, guests are expected to do their own washing up and take the rubbish out when they vacate a property, as well as leave the flat in good condition, clearing away any used utensils and leaving the bathroom clean and tidy.
Finally, it’s usually cheaper to book direct
Another quick tip is always to book direct with the accommodation provider via their own website or by phone. Accommodation listings like Booking.com or Airbnb are great for giving ideas about the local area or what’s on offer but it’s always worth checking out the provider’s own website too. They often reserve the best rates for guests who book direct through them.