Seven Secrets to a Successful Cottage Holiday

Thinking about ditching the day-long layovers and lost luggage for a relaxing Easter break at home? Well lucky for you, Beth Bailey, Chairwoman of Premier Cottages (a collection of independent holiday home owners with more luxury lets than any other UK website!) and owner of Kernock Cottages, lets you in on her secrets to ensuring your stay-cation is a hit. And, as a little extra, enter our competition for a chance to win up to £250 worth of vouchers to splash on Premier Cottages boutique retreats and another £250 to treat yourself at the Secret Linen Store so you can bring five-star luxury home.

Book Ahead

The sooner you book the more choice you will have. The properties that sell out fastest are the coastal properties in places like Devon and Cornwall. Also, holiday homes with onsite facilities including swimming pools, spas, play areas etc are always snapped up early for peak weeks of the year. Of course, there are deals to be had last minute, but the earlier you book the more likely it is that you will secure a property that ticks all your boxes.

Get Organised

There is no need to leave for your holiday with a boot full to the brim. A little careful planning and research can reduce the amount of kit to you need to take with you. For example, if you are travelling with a young baby choose a cottage where most of the essentials are provided.

Premier’s baby-friendly collection includes all those small baby must-haves from cots, highchairs and stair-gates to sterilisers, bath mats, monitors, potties, play areas and more.

Also, rather than take all your food supplies with you, order from the local supermarket and get it delivered to your cottage. Better still shop in farmers’ markets and local shops once you have arrived. It’s fun to explore the local shops, and supporting small local businesses is really important for keep these communities vibrant.


Many large holiday rental websites add booking fees to the price of your holiday, which can hike up the price considerably. By booking with a company like Premier you can save 15% or even 25% compared to some well-known large booking sites, as our prices are “all inclusive” with no hidden charges, booking fees, cleaning fees or service costs. In peak holiday periods this can result in savings of hundreds of pounds. With Premier Cottages you book direct with the cottage owner rather than through a central reservations number and all properties have been inspected and rated 4* or 5* annually by the national tourist board.

Also, be sure to check in advance what is included in your stay. Premier Cottages’ members welcome guests with a welcome pack, which may include home-made cakes, tea and coffee, a cream tea or a hamper of local goodies (this will vary from property to property). And they also include all the essentials needed to make your stay comfortable such as bath and hand towels, toilet rolls, bin liners, tin foil, cling film, dishwasher tablets and washing powder. Not all other cottage companies do this, which can add considerably to what looked at first glance like a good price. (There may be an additional charge for things like dogs, spa treatments etc, and things like swimming towels are not always included).

Multi-Generational Breaks

Multiple generation holidays are a great way of sharing costs and childcare, but they require careful planning if they are to be stress-free. Most importantly, agree in advance who is paying for the holiday. Is it going to be split between the families or is one person picking up the tab? Also, how will the family pay for meals out and supermarket shops?

Bedrooms - not everyone has an open-door policy; if you want people to respect your privacy, then say so.


The beauty of a self-catering holiday is that you can do everything at your own pace. Unlike hotel stays, with a cottage stay you aren’t restricted to designated meal times However, be prepared to be flexible. If you are travelling with another family or extended family members they might have a different schedule. Be prepared to adjust children’s routines, eat at different times and try new things as they could make for very special memories.

Also, older members of the party might not take kindly to a 6am wake-up call from an excited toddler. While photos are great for seeing if you like the style of the property, they can flatter a space, and don’t generally show where one room is in relation to another. It’s really useful to look at a 3D tour or a floor plan or a before booking, to ensure that the layout works for your party.


If any members of your party have mobility issues, make sure the cottage you choose caters for them. Some cottage companies like Premier feature an accessible collection designed for those with different access requirements.

Requirements can vary widely, so Premier Cottages uses the National Accessible Scheme to identify different levels of accessibility. We also have over 400 cottages which have at least one bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, for those who find stairs difficult to manage. Our Search facility enables you to easily identify which property is suitable for your requirements.

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