Guest Post: 7 Reasons Your Next Holiday Should Be A Self-Catering Holiday

Guest blogger, Glen Moyer gives us his insight into why self-catering holidays are a great option when choosing your break.

You love to travel. You might even travel more often if it didn’t mean leaving the comforts of home behind. What if I told you there is a way to travel AND enjoy the comforts of home? Consider the self-catering holiday!

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Hotels and B&Bs have their place, but if you’ve not considered a self-catering stay, you may have missed the key to unlocking the perfect holiday. In the past year I’ve spent 7 weeks traveling around Scotland and most of that time in self-catering accommodations – yet I HATE to cook. So don’t turn up your nose because you think a “self-catering holiday” means you’ll be spending all of your time in the kitchen, far from it! Here are a few of the many advantages I’ve found to a self-catering holiday…

Variety – Like Scotland itself, there is something for everyone. From the ultra-chic to country-cozy, there are literally thousands of self-catering properties across Scotland. Whether you are raveling solo or as a couple looking for a romantic getaway, with family or a group of friends, you’ll find properties to suit every need. Cottage, chalet, villa, castle or city flat – Scotland offers them all.

Location (location, location) – Self-catering accommodations can be found virtually everywhere, from city centre to the seaside to a Highland or Island retreat. Oh the places you can go!

Economy – self-catering properties are generally a less expensive option because the let price is determined by the size of the property and its amenities, regardless of the number of people staying.

Interior, Coillabus, IslayFlexibility – At a hotel or B&B you often find yourself restricted to certain meal times (breakfast 7-10am), Lunch (11am-2pm) and so on. Likewise the menu may be limited. Your favorite beverage may not be stocked, or the kids’ special cereal unavailable. When self-catering you can fill the fridge and pantry with all your favorites and plan menus according to your preferences (and times), not the chef’s. Of course you always have the option of popping down to the local pub, going out to a fancy restaurant, or grabbing a takeaway without everyone in the hotel lobby staring as you walk to your room with pizza and curry in tow. Enjoying that late night snack requires just a short walk to the fridge instead of a call to room service, if available.

After a late night at the pub, on the town, or at the theatre, maybe you’d prefer to sleep in. There’s no worry of housekeeping rapping at the door just when you decide to get that extra 40 winks. Go ahead, enjoy a lie in!

Sandford House, Country Cottages, FifeComfort – Regardless of budget I never feel as comfortable and relaxed anywhere as in my own home. However, the self-catering cottages I’ve let, in locations as diverse as Glasgow, the Highlands, and the Isle of Skye, have come close. I spent the last week of my most recent visit to Scotland at the same cottage I used on my first visit to the country. Despite a gap of almost 10 months between visits, it was as if I’d never left. Home away from Home, it’s a comfort level unique to self-catering that can’t be matched by any hotel or B&B.

Privacy – This can’t be overstated. Unlike at a hotel there are no noisy neighbors in the room next door, no kids running down the hallways at all hours of the night, doors slamming or elevators chiming. Likewise there’s no worry you’ll miss Eastenders because another guest has the telly occupied. And you don’t have to dress to go to breakfast, or dinner for that matter. Hang out in your jammies and bunny slippers and no one will be the wiser.

Even if traveling with family or friends, most everyone will have their own bedroom or private space where they can get away, while you enjoy the convenience of all being under one roof – not down the hall or one or two floors up.
Versatility – Traveling by hire car? Many self-catering properties will offer convenient parking (for no extra fee). Looking for a special amenity – a pool, hot tub, game room, easy access to public transport, pet friendly – again it requires just a bit of research. I have bad knees and prefer single level accommodations – easily found with a bit of time on the Internet.
In short, self-catering accommodation allows you to live life at your own pace and isn’t that the way you want to travel?So how do you get started? You’re self-reliant right? Where else? The Internet. A simple Google search for something as generic as “Self-Catering Scotland” will get you started. You can narrow that search to, say, “self-catering Glasgow” or “self-catering pet friendly” and so on.
www.embracescotland.co.uk is run by the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers. Established in 1978, its members own and manage over 3,000 self-catering properties of all types – from rural cottages, city flats, Highland retreats and even castles. The membership sets, and complies with, universal quality standards that can be reassuring.
Finally don’t worry about having to pack essentials. Most self-catering properties are fully equipped. You’ll find cookware and dishes, towels and linens, even cleaning supplies and logs for the wood burner if so equipped. Likewise you’ll generally find laundry facilities, freeview TV packages, assorted DVDs, books, games and more for entertainment. Often they’ll be stocked with brochures and maps to help you plan visits to area attractions. You may even be greeted with a hamper of basic staples to get you started and perhaps a welcoming bottle of wine or whisky.
In a word, to quote William Wallace, self-catering accommodations offer FREEDOM! So before your next holiday, check out the self-catering options and unlock the perfect holiday.
Glen Moyer writes about his travels in Scotland as well as creating his ‘all things Scottish’ podcast Under The Tartan Sky. Find him on Twitter.
Why not take a look at our late availability section and plan your next self-catering break?

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