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Self-catering holidays are terrific for families, a group of friends or even as a couple’s retreat. It may result in more cooking and cleaning, but the flexibility is very beneficial. You can always choose what and when to eat as well as have separate living and bedroom areas.

Self-catering can also often work out cheaper than using hotels, especially for big families or if you’re going away with friends or family.

Here are some tips to follow when planning your self-catering getaway.

1.Facilities

Facilities will vary hugely so it’s important to check what’s available before you book. Some places will have washing machines, televisions, properly stocked kitchens etc. while more basic accommodation types may not. More luxury settings may include children DVD’s, children’s toys, garden tools and equipment and even swimming facilities.

The more facilities they offer, the less you have to pack. So if there’s a washing machine available you may not feel the need to pack as much as you’ll have the opportunity to do washing whilst you’re away.

2. Supplies

Think about the supplies you may have to bring with you. Some accommodation types supply everything from bedding and toilet roll to a welcome hamper, whereas at others you may have to provide everything yourself. Create a checklist before you depart so you don’t forget any vital bits. Some examples of bits to bring are foldable freezer bags, dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid, herbs and condiments.

3. Baby equipment

Be sure to ask about any baby equipment you may need such as a cot or highchair. Do you need a stair gate or black out blinds as well? Is it included in the price or do you have to pay extra?

4. Food shopping

Make a note of where the nearest food shop will be. Is there a local or farm shop nearby or is there a large supermarket? You can often arrange for an online supermarket shop to deliver to your accommodation on the day you arrive. Just make sure you take into account any delays like traffic so you are guaranteed to get your goods. Maybe bring a recipe book with you if you’re unsure about what to make or want to try something new.

5. Location

Unsurprisingly, location is key; would you rather be situated nearby to all the action of towns and cities or would you prefer a more private, rural location? The type of location you choose will also determine the type of accommodation you choose, from a rural cottage to a townhouse. There are some great holiday cottages in Suffolk that are renewable and brilliant for the family.

6. Garden fun

It’s always good to have a garden or outside space available if you’re staying in self-catering accommodation. If it does, make sure its child friendly and is enclosed. Are there any garden toys or equipment like swings, trampolines and slides included?

7. Friends and family

If you’re going away with friends or family, think about what type of holiday you want. Will you be doing everything together or having some time apart? Do you want to choose an accommodation that is big enough for everyone or would you prefer separate but neighbouring accommodation?

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