We are off on holiday soon. The date is ringed in red on the calendar and I am mentally counting down the days. The kids are often found deep in discussion on what they plan to do first, and I catch the other half frequently on the BBC weather page.
We are flying into the south of France on a self-catering holiday for a week. Self catering suits us as it allows us a freedom that we relish on our holidays. We have been half board before, and have tried all inclusive, but we have all agreed as a family, our preference is when we can make our own breakfast and have a choice for of what we want to eat for dinner.
The benefits of self catering include....
Getting to know your location
When you are in a self-catering cottage or hotel, you have a unique opportunity to really explore the area and see how the locals live. You can hunt out local food markets and fill your basket with fruits and vegetables known to the region.
When we go to France, it is the task of the first person up to head out and hunt down freshly made croissants. What a stunning way to start the day, and not be confined by dining times.
Likewise you are not restricted in where you can dine out when self catering. Take recommendations on good local eateries and try native dishes. Encourage the kids to join in so they get a real taste of where they are staying.
A budget option?
Self-catering holidays tend to be a cheaper option when it comes to booking. Then you can set your budget for how much you spend when on holiday. We tend to explore the local supermarkets and stock up on breakfast and lunch items and head out for dinner.
We have found in the past that the kids are more about playing than eating, so we sometimes feed them back in the apartment and then we eat on the beach and watch them play. Economical and everyone is happy.
As a general rule of thumb, a self-catering cottage is typically a larger environment. So if you want space to spread out your vacation stuff then this is an option to consider. We have stayed in mobile homes, villas and apartments. Every time the kids have had their own bedroom and we have had lots of storage space to keep clothes, surf boards, buckets and spades.
It has felt like a home from home – but without feeling the need to hoover and dust!
The volume of choice
When we start planning next year’s holiday we have always found that you have far greater choice with self catering. When we vacation with other families and friends we can always find larger properties to house us all. Likewise, when it is just the five of us, it is easy to source a smaller, more budget friendly option.
Some self-catering holidays will offer unrivalled luxury and others a more rural experience. In our experience, whatever you are looking for can always be found when choosing a self catering option.
Self-catering is all about freedom, you can rise when you like, eat when you like. Buy your own wine and watch the sun set from your balcony. You set your own budget and can eat as expensively or as cheaply as you like.