Our last holiday away was self catering in the UK. We usually do hotels or bed & breakfasts because it’s just N and me. But this time we had the OH with us so opted for a cottage instead. The only holiday with the whole family before was a perfect cottage and good value, although the parking was a bit of an issue with unfriendly neighbours. The recent stay was in a beautiful former farmhouse – but we did realise that we’ve been so used to either camping where you pack everything except the kitchen sink. Or hotels, when al we need is clothes and toys or entertainment.
This latest holiday was in a gorgeous house. Much larger than we needed thanks to booking late and wanting to go to Devon so restricted on choice. Two lovely living rooms, 4 beautiful bedrooms including one in the eaves of the thatch, complete with a nice ensuite with both a shower and a sunken bath. I’d obviously taken for granted what to expect when we arrived. We’re used to quirky countryside things like rubbish phone signal and terrible wifi, but this place was even worse than home. It wasn’t helped by the thick old walls.
We had brought breakfast things with us, towels for the beach and shower, plus washing up liquid and brush but that was it. I’d presumed that basics would be provided. They’d provided towels and washing up liquid, but we didn’t have dishwasher tablets or toilet roll. There was a lovely welcome tray of biuscuits, cake, bread and coffee (most of which we didn’t use), but we’d have prefered to have loo roll. It meant a mad panic 10 minutes before closing time on a bank holiday, and me having to travel 3.5 miles down narrow fern lined rural Devon roads to find a shop to buy some. Next time I’ll know to take some just in case.
So if you’re going on a self catering holiday, however pricy, here’s my tips for before you go. And a list of must takes just in case they’re not available in your holiday home.
Tips before you go away
1, Double check your booking details for what’s provided.
2, Check reviews (hopefully before you book – ahem!) for advice given
3, Make up an emergency self catering pack to take.
Emergency self catering packing checklist
- Toilet roll (a roll per toilet)
- Washing up liquid and brush, tea towel
- Dishwasher tablets x2 (if there’s a dishwasher in the holiday home and depending on how much you’re planning to eat out)
- Breakfast food
- Tea bags, coffee, other drinks of choice
- Bin bag
- Multipurpose or baby wipes
Bring one of each item, you can always buy more if needed.
What have you ever found you needed to take with you that you weren’t expecting to?
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