Self Catering Travellers Tips

Self Catering Kitchen
Self Catering - © Qeqertaq

There are a range of options for self catering for visitors to the UK, a wide range of accommodation from city apartments to charming countryside cottages is available for hire. There is a view that self catering is for the budget conscious or those after a no frills budget holiday, there are in fact many visitors with varying budgets that prefer self catering due to a range of factors from the added freedom and flexibility it offers to those with strict dietary requirements and others. The self catering travellers tips guide looks further at the range of options open to visitors, the benefits and disadvantages and useful tips for visitors to consider.

Self Catering Accommodation Travellers Tips

Self Catering Accommodation
Self Catering Advantages & Disadvantages
Self Catering Facilities & Cost
Self Catering Tips & Considerations

Self Catering Accommodation

Self catering accommodation in the UK offers visitors with plenty of choice, they can choose from luxury city centre apartments, staying on a farm, seaside properties and wonderful cottages across the countryside. Self catering has always been particularly appealing to families with plenty of properties offering facilities such as gardens, children's play equipment and books. The extra space for children to play can also be of great use to families as is the extra flexibility of being in control of then and what you eat. Self catering also offers the chance for visitors to get to know the area and appreciate the way of life, shopping for food and amenities with bring you in to contact with local shops, markets, farms and the people where visitors can enjoy interaction with other visitors, the locals and gain local knowledge.

Contrary to popular belief self catering accommodation does not necessarily mean you have to do everything yourself, there are serviced apartments and properties available in the UK offering many services you will find in hotels such as room service, housekeeping/maid service, a concierge & internet access. Self catering accommodation can offer visitors a homely environment, on a reasonable budget and make for a great setting from which to further explore the UK.

Search for UK Self Catering Accommodation:

UK Self Catering Accommodation Directory

UK Self Catering Cottages

Self Catering Advantages & Disadvantages

Self Catering Advantages

Generally lower cost than that associated with hotels & guest houses of a similar standard.

Represents good value for money especially for families and larger groups where the economies of scale of self catering can mean a substantial saving when compared to hotels.

Offers more flexibility and freedom on what you eat and when.

You are freed from any confines of package holidays & much more in control of your time and what you do. You do not have to rush in the morning to catch the hotel breakfast before it closes or eat dinner at the hotel by a certain time.

Offers flexibility to prepare food yourself or eat outside at restaurants if you so wish or a combination of the two.

One of the best ways to watch & control diets for those with strict dietary requirements. You prepare the food so you know what is in it.

You do not have to eat what the hotel provides & has prepared, you can eat whatever you feel like eating.

Private cooking facilities available

Self Catering Disadvantages

You are responsible for providing for your own meals.

Preparing the meals, cooking time and cleaning up afterwards all take time. Depending on what you cook & for how many, this can eat in to your holiday time.

May be responsible for housekeeping if you stay in self catering accommodation without housekeeping.

May be more difficult to get short term rentals for short breaks (usually need to book for a week, although some properties especially city centre apartments are available for 3 or 4 days).

Self Catering Facilities & Cost

Self catering facilities available vary widely depending on the location of the property, the price, the location and the landlord. Usually self catering properties in the UK would be expected to provide food preparation facilities i.e. kitchen/diner area with a kitchen and household items such as kitchen utensils and cutlery. There are also plenty of other facilities that may be on offer depending on the property, these include:

Garden area

Children's play equipment & books


Satellite TV

Luggage Storage

Maid/housekeeping service

Room Service


Internet Access

Air conditioning

Safety deposit box

Access to Gym

Access to Beauty Treatments


It should be noted the above services add to the standard cost of self catering however can still be a good option if a particular service is important to you.

Prices of self catering apartments varies from budget accommodations starting at somewhere around £100-120 to per week, mid range properties may be around £250-£400 per week with exclusive luxury properties commanding weekly rents of £500 to several thousand. Please note prices are dependent on a number of factors including the size, quality and location of properties and time of year.

Self Catering Tips & Considerations

Consider which type of self catering accommodation appeals to you, whether that is a slick city centre apartment or a property by the seaside or cottages located in the countryside. Knowing what appeals to you can help you decide where to look & where to consider staying.

Compare the prices of several self accommodation properties in the area to get a better idea of the rental rates in operation. Check to see if there are any special offers, sales, and deals on offer that you & your family could benefit from.

When booking self catering accommodation in the UK consider the transport costs of getting to and from the airport/place you are starting from, you may need to weight up the benefit of either choosing a property that offers cheaper rental rates verses a property higher rental rates but with a better location saving you extra transport costs.

If you are seeking a self catering property/accommodation in peak season such as summer holidays (June to August), bank & public holidays, Easter or Christmas note demand is likely to be high, rental prices also peak at this time. Consider booking in advance to ensure you get the self catering accommodation you are after.

You can lower the cost of self catering accommodation by choosing properties that are just outside the main tourist areas & places of interest with attractions etc. The rental rates are likely to be a lower than those in the centre of the tourist areas. Check that transport is not a problem if you do consider this option.

Travelling off peak or just outside the main peak season means you will be able to benefit from discounted rental rates. Booking in May & from mid September/October means you can stay just outside the peak season with relatively mild weather at reduced rates and enjoy there being less crowds.

When considering booking a self catering property it is worth checking with family, friends and work colleagues for their thoughts and recommendations to gain from their experiences.

Check if there are any other costs and hidden charges you are liable for when booking accommodation.

Research the local area to find the local shops and facilities to make sure you will have good access to the food ingredients to may need & other services you require

If you require a particular facility or service, double check with landlord/agent of the self catering accommodation to make sure they offer such a facility/service and that it is being offered when you wish to stay, to avoid disappointment.

If you have any special requirements i.e. dietary ensure you check that shops and outlets selling the required food & drink are close by.

If you are staying in self catering accommodation in a rural location, check for public & private transport links. If public transport does not serve the area, hiring a car is an option to further explore the area.

Self catering accommodation can be in a range of different buildings and property types across the UK. Some of these are older, historic ones which may not have disabled access & lifts (check for disabled access at newer properties too). If you are disabled, travelling with a disabled person or have mobility problems be sure to check the accommodation can properly offer the facilities you require for your access & mobility.

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