Why choose a self-catering holiday?

Why would anyone choose a choose a self-catering holiday when just as easily, and often for a similar price, you can go to a full-service hotel where breakfast and dinner (half-board) and often lunch as-well (full board) are included. Maids will clean your room and there will be someone there day and night to take care of your every need.

There has recently been a surge in bookings all over the world for holiday villas, rentals with pools, and serviced holiday apartments - and all those people can't be wrong!

Here are some reasons you may decide to take a self-catering break especially, for a family holiday.

1  Privacy-

Guests and staff live close together in a hotel. If your child throws a tantrum before bed each  night - everyone is going to know about it.

2 Garden or patio.

If you choose a villa or holiday home rental, you are likely to have some private outside space to relax and for children to play. In a hotel you and your family are on display all the time you're not in your bedroom. There's no down-time to just be yourselves.

3 More living space

In self-catering holiday accommodation you will usually have some living space in addition to the bedrooms. Everyone can go to bed when they like, and those who want to stay up still have a living-room to chat, read, watch television or listen to music in.

4 Swimming pool or beach.

In a private holiday rental, if you have access to a pool, you will share with just a handful of other holiday properties You may even have a private pool for your exclusive use. So no more racing down in the morning to grab a sun lounger. As for beaches, you will be more likely located near a quiet beach if you're renting a small holiday cottage than if you're staying in a huge hotel that's part of a long strip of similar ones.

5 Food

You can choose what to eat, when to eat and where. Lunch between 12.30 and 2, and dinner 6 to 8 might not suit you. And if your child wakes at five or demands familiar food 'NOW!' you can stay in your pyjamas, open the fridge, crank up the microwave and then go back to bed. The choice of food in a hotel might also be limited and aimed at a particular market. The buffet may look great and varied the first night, but after a week it begins to look a bit familiar. Whereas if you're staying somewhere known for its good food, there will be a host of good value restaurants to choose from if you self-cater. And introducing children to strange food is easier at your own table than in a posh hotel dining-room. The sight of a five-year old spitting a snail in garlic butter across the patio can be amusing rather than embarrassing as long as there are no other guests at the receiving end! And if the snail came from an aluminium tray that Mum's just taken out of the oven having bought it in the local supermarket, it's a cheaper learning experience.

6 Food Prices

Eating in various restaurants for some or all meals may even be cheaper that your full board package.  But meals eaten 'at home' and all your drinks and snacks will be at supermarket rather than hotel prices. Tasty ready prepared local food may be available in local stores or market and when you self-cater you have the flexibility to change your lunch plans at a moment's notice

7 Location and People

Self catering usually offers a wider choice of location and a better chance to meet the locals. You don't tend to find a seventy bed hotel at the edge of a tiny village with only one shop, and if you did, the locals would either 'act up' for the tourists or do their best to ignore them.

So now it's up to you to choose. But don't forget where self-catering used to mean a damp cottage in the middle of nowhere, now you can rent a brilliantly luxurious mansion or castle where you can even enjoy your own staff!