If a cheap holiday cottage is your number one priority, where do you look? There are no price comparison web sites and anyway Ė what are you comparing? No two holiday cottages are the same. You need to be a bit of a detective to find the cheapest cottages to rent, but we can at least start you off with six big clues.
- Be Flexible! If you set your heart on a certain place, or a particular week, get ready to pay the price. If you will go where the deal is good, you can find a cheap cottage.
- Donít look in popular places. Think of it like shopping in town. Places you have heard of are the High Street, where you get the best brands. The cheap goods are on the quieter streets. The good news is there are loads of places off the beaten track, where you can still have a great holiday, but cheap.
- Donít go when everyone else goes. If you are tied to school holidays, there is only one where the price doesnít go up Ė February half term. But we once shared a log cabin for that break with another family and had a great time in Devon. Yes we were wearing jackets on the beach, but the kids and the dog even went in the sea. £220 between 7 of us. If you want to be warmer (and who wouldnít?) the Whit bank holiday is the best value for school holidays, and June is generally the best value overall.
- Fill up your cottage. Donít pay for empty beds and armchairs. Find a cottage to rent that sleeps the exact number in your party. Generally, the bigger your party, the less you pay per person.
- Like supermarkets, cottage companies put the profitable stuff right in front of your eyes. Not on shelves, but at the top of their searches. There is often a trick to change the results so you see the cheapest cottages first. Here is an example, with the little box for cheap cottages already ticked for you.
- Leave it late. Owners of holiday cottages naturally want the best possible price for a weekís rent. But as it gets closer to the time, they start getting more flexible. Bear in mind that they still have to pay a cleaner and the electricity bill, so there comes a point where itís cheaper not to let it, but try making some offers. 25% off with 2 weeks to go is about right.
Itís no fun being short of cash, but hopefully these tips will help you find a cheap holiday cottage where you can forget your worries for a week. Good Luck!
Now to the specifics of finding your cheap cottage. You need a search that covers all areas, and allows you to rank the results in price order, with the cheapest cottages first. Not every cottage company allows you to do this. Cottage4You, for example, does not, or at least I couldn't find a way. So here are some of the searches that will help the quest.
is a cottage comparison site that includes lots of smaller companies and individually-owned cottages. Like all such sites, you need to click through to confirm that the information is still current an accurate, but it's a great place to start
Hoseasons and Cottages4you
are part of the same company, but the Hoseasons cottages search is the one that lets you order the cottages with the cheapest ones first.
Farm and Cottage holidays
are one of the best for South West of England and have a good search facility for close to a thousand cottages in Devon and Cornwall, plus Somerset and Dorset.
Another great site if you are planning to visit Devon and Cornwall is Blue Chip holidays
So there you are - We hope your route to a cheap cottage holiday is mapped out.