Taking your dog to your holiday cottage

We have hundreds of holiday cottages here on holidaycottages.net. Many of them are pet-friendly and will welcome your dog as warmly as they welcome you.

Taking pets on holiday is something that is become more popular by the year. We have always wanted to holiday with our furry friends, but have rarely had the opportunity. As holiday accommodation has woken up to this new requirement, a new market has sprung up for pet-friendly holiday cottages.

If you’re travelling with your dog for the first time, here are some useful tips for you.

Travelling with your dog

Some dogs are more than happy to travel by car. Some not so much. If you have to drive to your holiday cottage, plan on stopping to let your dog go to the toilet and have water on hand for them to drink. Dogs that are anxious get dehydrated very quickly, which compounds the problem.

Where practical, have a window open to provide fresh air. Air conditioning works well too if open windows won’t work. Keep the temperature in the car as cool as you find comfortable to prevent your dog overheating and further dehydrating.

Dogs and trains

If you’re travelling by train, you are legally entitled to take your dog with you as long as it is well behaved, under control and on a lead. It forms part of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage and all railway companies have to comply.

Check with yours before travelling though in case there are any restrictions.

What to pack

Most holiday cottages cater for human visitors only, as that’s what they are geared up for. That means you have to pack for your dog just as you would your children. Items to pack include:

  • Food and water bowl
  • Bedding
  • Toys
  • Lead
  • Poo bags
  • Dog towels
  • Chews

You might also want to add a ground anchor to secure the lead, shampoo and brush if your dog likes to explore and cleaning products to ensure your holiday cottage is left in the same condition you found it.

Routine and dog behaviour

Dogs are like humans in that they are essentially creatures of habit. They can adapt to change, but need a little time and a little reassurance in order to do it. When travelling with your dog, ensure you’re always close by and that they can see you at all times. Keep them company until they are used to the holiday cottage and bring as many of the dog’s things are you can manage.

Bringing the dog’s bedding doesn’t just ensure you don’t dirty the cottage, it also provides a link to the dog’s routine and comfort in something they recognise. Plan on providing more stimulation than usual in the first couple of days to help take their mind off the differences in routine.

Cleaning up behind your dog

A well behaved dog isn’t just a joy to be around, they also prove to the owner of the holiday cottage that allowing pets is a good idea. Cleaning up after your dog is an essential part of that. Not only to continue the goodwill from property owners, but also to prevent any big cleaning bills.

Holiday cottages are businesses after all. If that business has to pay for cleaning after you stay, it’s only right that they pass that charge on to you. Cleaning up after your dog means everyone goes away happy!

Top tips for turning holiday cottage queries into bookings

When you’re marketing a holiday cottage, getting noticed is only the first step in an important chain of events. What you do next will influence the rest of that process so it’s vital that you get it right.

If you’re new to the holiday cottage industry, you have an opportunity to hit the ground running with these tips. They have been learned through experience and are guaranteed to work. It isn’t often we can make such a statement!

So, without further ado, here are our top tips for turning holiday cottage queries into bookings.

Offer multiple ways to contact

In this digital age of instant everything, you need to provide a range of mediums for your potential guests to contact you. Not everyone is going to be comfortable calling, Tweeting or emailing you, so give guests a choice.

Provide a landline number if you can, a mobile number, an email address and/or a contact form on your own website. Add Facebook and Twitter is you’re going to be using them too.

Be responsive

If you offer multiple ways to contact you for holiday cottage bookings, you then have to monitor all those channels. The easiest way to do that is with a smart phone or tablet. While requiring an investment to buy, you can simultaneously monitor all your digital channels at one and can be alerted as soon as someone contacts you.

You can forward landlines to your mobile and use that if you want to cover all bases with one device.

Owning a smart phone or tablet is one thing. Keeping it with you at all times is another. Once you publish your contact details, you then have to make sure you respond to each and every contact.

Be fast

Time is everything in hospitality. When the competition is only ever a click away, you have to be on the ball. Technology can help by funnelling all communication channels to a single device, but you have to be aware and have the will to respond fast.

Speed is everything. You may not think so, but your audience does. You may think a couple of days isn’t a long time to wait for you to get back to them, but it is. Response times are now measured in minutes and hours, not days.

Write a canned response

You will find as you develop your holiday cottage business that most guests ask the same kinds of questions. If you want to make light work of them, spend a little time writing standard responses to these questions and save them as templates.

You can then send the templates in response to those questions. Just remember to address any additional questions not covered in the template and be sure to add their name and personalise where practical. While useful on the business side of the transaction, nobody wants to receive an obviously canned response!

Those are just some ways you can convert holiday cottage booking queries into real bookings. There are lots more ways to increase occupancy, which we will be covering in the coming weeks. Good luck with them!

Embrace spring with a weekend break!

After what seems like an eternity of wind, rain and perpetual greyness, spring has finally sprung. The sun is out, the puddles are gone, floods are receding and the world is righting itself once more.

We had four months of rain, storms, flooding and low pressure. We had a wet Christmas, a damp New Year and a somewhat soggy beginning to 2014. Now all that is over and it’s time to move on. What better time to move on to Spring than taking a break from work?

Holidaycottages.net has a huge selection of high quality holiday cottages across the UK and Ireland that would fit the bill perfectly!

Spring breaks

While spring is a traditionally busy time of year for holiday rentals, there are some vacancies left if you’re in the mood for a change of scenery.

We have a wide range of holiday cottages available, in all areas of the country. Whether it’s a quaint historical cottage, a romantic getaway for two or somewhere for all the family, we’re bound to have something here!

We have cottages by the beach, cottages in the country, pet-friendly cottages, cottages with sea views, cottages near cities and even cottages with their own tennis courts. Whatever kind of property you’re looking for, we’re bound to have it here!

Book ahead for Easter

Once spring is well underway, Easter is only round the corner. If that isn’t a great excuse for a break from everything, we don’t know what is!

Why queue for hours at the airport if you can simply drive to a lovely holiday cottage? Why travel across the world when you can travel a couple of hours for the same effect? Why pay the expense of a foreign holiday when you can holiday at home for less?

With the rules on taking kids out of school during term time, booking your holiday cottage early is more important than ever. More and more people are choosing to holiday at home, meaning more people wanting quality accommodation for a well-deserved break.

So, if you see something on Holidaycottages.net that you like and it’s available, book it! You never know when someone else will have the same idea. Feel free to browse our huge collection of holiday cottages. All offer fantastic value, great accommodation and everything you need to kick off spring in style!

Top tips for advertising a holiday cottage

Here on Holidaycottages.net, we want everyone to find exactly what they are looking for. We want guests to find that perfect holiday cottage and our advertisers to find a simple, cost-effective medium for advertising their properties.

Formatting the advert is an art form that every business could benefit from learning. It is a fundamental part of running a business in any industry. With that in mind, let’s discuss the anatomy of a good holiday cottage advert.

The headline

The headline of any piece of work is vital. It’s probably the most important few words you will write. It needs to describe what you’re offering in an attractive way and intrigue the reader enough to draw them in.

For example: “Holiday cottage in Cornwall for rent” isn’t going to do much for your occupancy rate is it?

However, “Fantastic seaside getaway with ocean view minutes from Fistral Beach” would do much better.

The first paragraph

The first paragraph of your holiday cottage advert has to continue the good work you began with the headline. Here you will need to highlight the main features of your holiday let and make them as compelling and as exciting as possible.

It might help to make a list of the main selling points of your holiday property from a guest perspective and list them in this first paragraph. That way, your strongest pitch is within a couple of seconds reading time where it will have the most impact.


A picture paints a thousand words. A well-used quotation, but for good reason. Even the best headline and description in the world doesn’t come close to making a sale as good images.

Take some great quality pictures of your holiday cottage to really make an impact. Look at your cottage at different times of the day, assess when the light shows it at its best and take the pictures then. Use your list of selling points from your initial paragraph and take an image of each of them to include in your advert.

Take and use as many as your advertising medium will allow. They really are that powerful!

The remainder

The rest of your holiday cottage advert should be used to offer supplementary information and important details. You can expand on your selling features and move on to less important elements of your cottage.

It’s also here that you will add details like availability, seasonal information, local amenities, highlights and anything else you need your guest to know before making a booking.

Writing your holiday cottage advert will take time and effort, but it’s an investment not a cost. The better you make it, the more likely it is to convert readers into guests. Which is what we’re all here for, right?

How to select the right holiday cottage for you

If you’re in the market for a holiday cottage you are now spoiled for choice. There are more self-catering holiday lets in the UK now than ever before. So how do you select the right holiday cottage for you?

The demand for holidays at home and the increased cost and hassle of travelling abroad has allowed our domestic holiday market to expand to fill the gap. With all that variety comes the need to make choices to find the right one for you.

Fortunately, the decision making process for finding the right holiday cottage is the same as deciding on any holiday. It comes down to:

  • Budget
  • Location
  • Needs
  • Property type
  • Amenities


For good or ill, everything comes down to money. Selecting a holiday cottage is like any other financial decision. What you can have depends on how much you can afford.

If you’re looking for a family holiday, you also need to consider entertainment, eating out and daily costs just like you would on a foreign holiday. You will also need to factor in food and drink as this is a self-catering holiday.

The upside is that there are no airport fees, no expensive plane tickets, no need for visas, transfers or other expenses associated with a holiday abroad.


This decision is the same too. Where do you want to go? We are now spoiled for choice with regards good quality holiday cottages. They are everywhere and that’s great news for you!

The other benefit to this is that you don’t need to spend hours getting there. Wherever in the UK you decide to rent a holiday cottage, it’s only ever going to be a few hours driving or train time away.


Your particular needs will influence where you go and what kind of property you go for. Do you need several bedrooms? A dog friendly holiday cottage? Internet access? A property with wheelchair access?

All these requirements will dictate which holiday cottages will be suitable for your holiday and which will not.

Property type

We feature all sorts of cottages from all periods of our history with all sorts of features. Decisions are more often based on location, number of bedrooms and amenities, but property type can also influence a buying decision.

Features such as thatch or red brick and types such as rustic, quaint or sweet cottages have a surprising influence over which rental we go for.


We regard amenities as “would like to have” rather than the needs we listed above. We would typically class holiday cottages with a pool, sauna, tennis court or something like that as one with amenities. This is usually the final deciding factor when choosing a holiday cottage.

All these things would add to the experience, but would otherwise have little influence over your choice compared to the other criteria we have listed.

So now you have all this information, why not use it to your benefit? Browse the site and select a holiday cottage that meets all of these criteria. There are certainly plenty to choose from!

Why Holidaycottages.net works for holiday property owners

Holidaycottages.net is a leading holiday property website designed to offer benefits to both property owner and guest. It is a fast, efficient way for owners to increase occupancy and an easy way for guests to find quality holiday cottages at great prices.

There are a number of advantages to advertising your holiday cottage on Holidaycottages.net, here are just a few.


The more places your holiday rental is featured, the more bookings you should get. If the website that you feature on is also easy to use, cost-effective and simple to manage, it makes running your self-catering business even easier.

You have to agree that Holidaycottages.net is great to look at and offers plenty of opportunity to showcase your holiday cottage. That’s because we know the more your audience can see of your holiday let, the more likely they are to book it!

Fast route to market

If you own a holiday cottage, you want to get the word out about it fast. You don’t want to be waiting weeks for printers or creatives to make your marketing material, or have to schedule your advertising to suit a magazine publication. You want to advertise right here, right now.

All you have to do is email us with your details and we can begin building your advert right away. It’s fast, hassle-free and easy to manage.


Being able to tailor your holiday cottage advert to suit the individual property also has its advantages. Holidaycottages.net enables you to use multiple images to highlight selling points, pinpoint features and benefits so they appear in the selectable criteria.

This allows you to highlight things like being dog friendly, coastal location, indoor pools or saunas for potential guests to select. We have an entire menu on our home page for just those highlights.

Search visibility

As well as those selectable criteria, potential guests can use our own search engine or use our interactive map to select their holiday cottage. We provide four different ways for your audience to search for your holiday let.

By using multiple search methods, we cover all types of guest, those who like to browse, those who like to search and those who are looking for something specific.

Search engines

The Holidaycottages.net website is indexed by Google. This means, not only do you feature on our own search engine results, you can also feature on Google’s too. That extra little publicity can only help your exposure.

Those are just some of the many reasons why you should use Holidaycottages.net to advertise your property. The website is well designed, offers benefits to both advertisers and guests and has been created with you both in mind.

If you have a holiday cottage and would like to feature it on a website designed to maximise visibility, you’re in the right place. Contact us today to to get started!

Why are holiday cottages so popular?

With the world now smaller than ever before, with airlines flying to more places and holiday companies catering to all kinds of traveller, why is staying at home and renting a holiday cottage still so popular?

There are several reasons for this. The price of travel, the hassle of the airport, the length of journey and the desire to see more of the UK. Let’s take a look at each.

The price of foreign travel

There is no doubt that foreign travel is cheaper than ever before, but it can still be quite expensive. Once you factor in transport and parking at the airport, extras like insurance, new clothes, flights, hotels, tips and all the rest, a foreign holiday can be an expensive undertaking.

The airport experience

Since 9/11, foreign travel has been something of a nightmare. We have always had to turn up hours before the flight and wait around for the airline’s convenience, but it’s even worse now.

Now we have to humiliate ourselves by taking our shoes off, have our own property removed from our bags and confiscated, be body searched, ID checked and if you’re travelling to the U.S. it’s even more intrusive.

The airport itself is an expensive business built around maximising profit out of a captive audience. It’s hard to not think the entire hassle of flying anywhere is designed more around making money out of you here than keeping everyone safe.

Whatever the truth of it is, we know renting a holiday cottage in the UK is nowhere near as troublesome or expensive!

Length of journey

We can appreciate there’s nothing quite like visiting a new country and absorbing new cultures, trying new food and taking it all in. We can also appreciate that not everyone’s idea of a holiday is spending 10-14 hours on an aircraft to get there.

Factor in travel time to the airport and to the hotel at the far end and that time mounts up. Even in the worst of British traffic, it won’t take you that long to get to where you’re going!

See more of home

Even with personal mobility being at an all-time high, we don’t get to see as much of our country as we should. Our typical journeys are to work and to the supermarket. We don’t get to see our own country half as much as we should.

That’s where a holiday cottage comes in. Ever wanted to see the highlands? Hike the Lake District? Go mountain biking in Wales? It’s all possible when you can rent a holiday cottage nearby.

The world is a huge and exciting place, but Britain isn’t so bad either. That’s why holiday cottages are so popular!

Great reasons why you should try a holiday cottage

The rise and rise of holidaying in Britain has led to a huge rise in the number of holiday cottage rentals available. What used to be a niche market that was seen as a poor cousin to foreign holidays is now just as, if not more popular than package holidays.

We spoke last week about why you should choose a holiday cottage as your next holiday and we’re going to expand a little on that this week by talking about cottage selection.

It’s all about priorities

In the early days of self-catering cottages, choice wasn’t something we had much of. We had to find a cottage that was available for the dates we wanted and go with it. There wasn’t much choice and there wasn’t much innovation.

Then, when holidaying in Britain became more popular, more holiday cottages came onto the market and now choice is the thing we have in abundance. So much so that we now have to narrow down the sheer choice of holiday cottages just so we can choose between them.

When selecting your holiday cottage, you generally have several priorities.

  • Budget
  • Location
  • Availability
  • Amenities


Budget is the age old battle between what you want and what you can afford. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a holiday, a new home or a car, there is always a mismatch between our ambition and our ability to afford it.

Now, with so many holiday cottage rentals on offer, you stand a much higher chance of getting what you want for the price you can afford.


The sheer diversity of our self-catering properties is amazing. We have holiday cottages in all parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, from Dublin to Dumfries, Essex to Edinburgh and everywhere in-between.

It is now possible to find a great holiday cottage almost anywhere in the country. Wherever you want to travel, whichever parts of the country you want to see, there’s a cottage nearby ready to serve.


The holiday cottage industry is thriving, so booking as early as possible is always a good idea. However, with the sheer number of holiday rentals available, choice isn’t something you’re going to be short of.

With hundreds of cottages all over the country, there is bound to be an ideal location and property available at the time you want.


If you wanted internet access, a pool, maid service or satellite TV, you used to have to stay in a hotel. Now you can have them anywhere, including a holiday cottage. As demand for self-catering holidays grew, so did the standard of properties on offer.

It’s now usual to have internet and satellite TV, while pools and extra services can be optional extras. You can now search for things like pet-friendly cottages, ones designed for families, for couples and for just about any interest you can think of.

Those are just some of the many reasons you should try a holiday cottage this year!