Renting a holiday apartment has never been easier, with online sites allowing you to browse and book from the comfort of your home. Gone are the days of having to make countless phone calls to holiday rental owners to ask about prices and amenities, as well as available booking dates. In the 21st century, there are endless holiday rental options available with just a few clicks of the mouse.
In this article, discover all you need to know about renting a holiday apartment in the United Kingdom. It covers everything from securing bookings to understanding cancellation properties and being an all-round wonderful guest. You’ll find a wide choice of holiday rentals in the UK at Rentola, which lists properties in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Not only will it save time when searching for the perfect stay but there are no complicated filters to navigate.
The following tips are designed to make your holiday apartment booking process as easy as possible and ensure an unforgettable stay.
Book well in advance
While you can sometimes find great last-minute deals, there’s a high chance that the best properties have already been snapped up. It’s a good idea to book as soon as your holiday dates are confirmed, particularly during stays in July and August or around the Christmas/New Year period.
Read the property description
It’s easy to get swayed by photos alone but be sure to read the property description so you know exactly what you’re getting. It’s here that owners will detail the apartment’s facilities and amenities, as well as any quirks you should be aware of. Some landlords will state who they think the property is ideal for (eg. couples on a romantic weekend away or families with young kids), as well as who it’s not for (eg. party animals or guests with mobility issues).
Peruse the guest reviews
One of the great things about online holiday rental sites is being able to read about the experiences of other guests and use this information to decide whether a property is right for you. While the best properties should have mostly 5-star reviews, don’t be put off by a couple of “negative” ones. Everyone has different tastes and it may just be constructive criticism or feedback with some teething issues when the property first became available.
Understand the booking terms and conditions
As they say, you should always read the fine print and this is true when booking a holiday rental. Ensure you understand exactly what the overnight rate covers and if there are any extra fees, such as cleaning, pool heating or a security deposit. Also, check what the rental’s cancellation policy is in case of any hitches to your holiday plans.
Know what is and isn’t included
In the past, many holiday rentals didn’t offer towels and toilet paper. But thankfully, things have changed for the better. Most short-term holiday stays will include everything you need, including plates and cutlery, saucepans and cleaning supplies. In some cases, you may need to bring beach towels, so always clarify what is and isn’t included. If this isn’t clearly outlined in the description, don’t be afraid to ask the owner.
Be courteous and prompt in your communications
Holiday rental owners are not obliged to accept everyone as guests and the most popular properties have the luxury of being selective about who comes to stay. So it’s important to always be polite when communicating with hosts and reply promptly to messages when securing the booking. Otherwise, someone else might come along and nab your preferred dates while you’re still making a decision.
Always treat the property with respect
Treating someone else’s property with respect is something that should go unsaid. But, unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Damages and breakages do occur and it’s essential that the owner is notified immediately and a reimbursement offered. If you leave a property in a less than favourable condition, the chances of you being accepted as a guest in the future are highly unlikely.
Stay a little longer
Many holiday rental owners will offer a discount for longer stays as it means less cleaning and behind-the-scenes work for them. So if you’re tossing up between six or seven nights, check to see what deals are available. If longer stay discounts aren’t listed on the site, don’t be afraid to ask the owner directly, provided it is done in a respectful manner.
Owners are more likely to offer deals during the off-season or for last-minute bookings. That being said, they are unlikely to go ridiculously low as the overheads associated with having people in a property (heating, cleaning, general wear and tear) will quickly outweigh any profits.
Escapism made easy
Holiday rental sites not only make booking a vacation easy but they offer plenty of inspiration. When you’re in need of a little escapism, simply log on to discover stays in all corners of the UK. You never know, that dream getaway might end up being somewhere completely unexpected.