Self Catering Holidays
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Self catering holidays are a great way to enjoy a getaway in 2023 and 2024 without breaking the bank. What makes it better is that there are so many self catering options in loads of fantastic European destinations like Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, as well as at home in the UK like Cornwall, Jersey or the Isle of Wight.
Self catering accommodation is usually either in the form of apartments, villas or caravans, depending on where you go. You'll often find that you can go through tour operators like Jet2, TUI or James Villa Holidays, or you're able to book independently via companies like Airbnb, Booking.com or even with friends and families who own holiday homes or are second property owners. So here is our comprehensive guide and some holiday ideas for your next break.
Top Self Catering Holiday Destinations
Pretty much every destination has some sort of self catering option, whether that's a private residential apartment or a holiday villa through a well known tour operator. Here are a few of our favourite self catering holiday destinations:
Self catering holidays to Tenerife are popular for its year round warm weather and abundance of activities for all types of holidaymakers. A variety of resorts on the island accommodate couples, families and groups of friends, and with both villa and apartment style self catered facilities, your holiday in the sun doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Another cheap holiday destination, Benidorm's budget friendly hotels, bars and restaurants make this one of the best places for a self catering break. Wherever you end up staying, the beach won't be far away, which means the low cost apartments which don't have pools aren't a problem. Meal deals at many restaurants and lots of easy to reach supermarkets make the dining element very easy.
From Lagos to Tavira, the Algarve was made for holidays and there are so many self catering and room only accommodation options here. Many Brits choose the Algarve for their holiday home, so you may even know of someone who has a place to stay here. Villas dotted around the numerous golf courses can be a bit pricier, but there are lots of flats and apartments for rent too, even long term rent if you're lucky enough to be able to do that.
With soft sandy beaches, great night life and some beautiful towns and scenery to enjoy, Kos is a favourite of many holidaymakers. Popular self catering accommodation includes the Fili Apartments near Tigaki Beach in the north, and Aegean Houses near Kos Town.
A firm favourite for those who prefer to staycation, Cornwall has become more and more popular over the years. With top self catering accommodation focused on holiday park caravans and quaint self catering cottages, both of which are ideal for family escapes, Cornwall tops our list of self catering destinations in the UK with it's beautiful scenery and outstanding natural beauty. Just make sure you book early as it can get booked up and busy very quickly, especially for a summer holiday!
It might not be the first place you think of when you think about a self catering getaway, but Barbados is actually an ideal option for those looking to escape in a tropical paradise. Renting a villa or apartment and heading to the local market or store for your food will certainly make you feel more at home and like a local. There's one thing we know for sure, at the end of your holiday, you won't want to come back home.
Self Catering Tour Operators
There are a number of recommended tour operators offering both room only and self catered options. You also could go directly to a privately owned rented home, booking your flights separately, however, be careful with regards to your financial protection when you do this.
One of the UK's best and most well-known tour operators, amongst its offering of far flung holidays and family friendly escapes are the budget friendly options with everyone in mind, whether you've scrimped and saved all year for that one special family break, or you're away with a group of girlfriends to celebrate a special occasion.
Like TUI, Jet2holidays are ABTA and ATOL protected so when you book a package with them, you are financially protected should things not quite go to plan. What's more, when you book a package getaway, you'll often find check-in luggage is included, plus you can pay with a low deposit, allowing you to pay off the rest of the cost over a period of several months.
Another affordable tour operator is easyJet Holidays, particularly as they offer so many flights from UK regional airports like Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow to destinations including the Costa del Sol, Cyprus and Turkey.
If you prefer to book your flight and accommodation separately, this is also possible, although not always advised. Ryanair can offer low cost flights, and with a self catering apartment, you can really cut your costs. Alternatively, you might want to check out the latest places to stay on Booking.com or Airbnb, or even speak to family and friends who may know of somewhere to stay.
Popular Self Catering Accommodation Types
There are a variety of accommodation types to choose from if you're planning a self catering holiday abroad or in the UK. Along with independent cottages, here are some of the main ones to thing about:
Often the cheapest option, especially if it's just you on your own or as a couple, apartments can provide all the comforts you need while often been in the heart of the action, like Benidorm or Palma in Majorca, or even Skegness if staying in the UK. With the growth of travel websites like Airbnb and Booking.com, you've got so much at your fingertips.
Villas can often be a more luxurious way of enjoying a self catered stay. Villas with private pools are regularly on a holidaymakers hit list but they aren't always in the heart of the resort. This is where hiring a car can be an added bonus, although also means an extra cost. Check out companies like Jet2Villas who are likely to include car hire in the cost of your vacation.
If you're staying in the UK, holiday parks and caravan parks can be an excellent option, especially if you've got a number of people in your group. Popular locations like Devon, Cornwall and Norfolk have lots of options to choose from but they can get booked up quite quickly. Check out the likes of Haven Holidays and Park Holidays in the UK or Eurocamp if you're travelling abroad.
Self Catering Holiday Types
For Large Groups
Villas and caravans can be a good option for large groups looking for self catering holiday accommodation. You may also find that multiple apartments in the same block can be a good choice too. Just make sure to read the fine print when booking as some places won't allow certain group sizes, or male only or female only groups.
For Disabled Holidaymakers
There are plenty of options for disabled holidaymakers including specially adapted villas and caravans, taking out the stress of booking somewhere with facilities that accommodate. Try Haven Holidays in the UK or James Villa Holidays in Europe and abroad for disabled friendly stays.
A dog isn't just a pet, it's part of the family, which is why taking them on holiday is so important. In the UK, there are so many pet-friendly holidays available, ranging from caravans to dog friendly holiday cottages. Always check the details when you book as you may be asked to pay an extra fee per pet. Pet friendly places will often have a list of pet friendly restaurants and pubs nearby.
With Hot Tubs
Hot tubs make a staycation that extra bit special. Forest Holidays are a good option here, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors from the warmth and relaxation of your own hot tub.
Now this is luxury. Accommodation with a private swimming pool. And there are plenty of places to stay for this. The Balearic Islands of Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza have loads of villas with pools, as do the greek Islands and Turkey. Depending on when you're planning on visiting, check whether the pool is heated or not, as it may get a bit chilly in the winter months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Self catering holidays are holidays in which your food is not included and your accommodation will often contain some sort of kitchen or kitchenette facilities so that you can cook your own meals.
Yes, self catering holidays are allowed, both in the UK and abroad.
Self Catering Holiday Tips In 2023
Self catering is an easy way to keep the cost of your holiday down, so here are a few of our favourite self catering holiday tips: