Choose The Correct Holiday Home in Scotland
Travellers are increasingly planning and arranging their own holidays to Scotland and many will opt to rent a house or apartment instead of staying in a hotel. There are many advantages to a home from home but not if you choose the wrong one! There are plenty of sites offering an array of properties but the listings can be vague or deceiving and it is easy to be seduced into something that does not fulfil your requirements. Here are the best ways to avoid making a mistake.
Make A List
Before you look at properties make a list of the most important issues to you and don’t be tempted to choose a property that doesn’t tick the right boxes just because it looks nice. If you want something on the coast then don’t get succored into an inland location because the house has a nice garden. Location, number of bedrooms, cooking facilities, a washing machine, hot-tub or access to amenities could all be crucial to the success of your trip so don’t settle for somewhere that doesn’t meet your criteria.
Consider Your requirements
Before you finalise your list of requirements think carefully about every aspect of your trip. Your priority may be location but remember that if you are travelling by car you will need access to parking and if you are skiing it would help to have somewhere to store your equipment.
Property owners can be very lazy about their listings so if something you want is not mentioned that doesn’t mean it isn’t at the property. Ask the owners for further information and you might find that the place has everything you need after all.
Work out what you can afford and try to stick to it. That amazing apartment overlooking the sea might look wonderful but it won’t improve your holiday if you run out of cash. Don’t take the prices listed as cast in stone. Property owners will often be prepared to negotiate and it is well worth asking the question before you reject somewhere on the basis of price. Tell them what you can afford to pay and see if they can help you. Whatever price you are offered compare this to other properties in the area to ensure that it is a favourable one.
It is a great advantage if you can be flexible on dates. Peak periods will vary from location to location and even from property to property so you could find that moving the date of your trip by just a week or two will yield huge savings.
The descriptions of property locations can be vague or downright deceptive. Use Google Maps and Google Earth to check out where the property really is, what it looks like and the nature of the general area. You may get a nasty surprise or you could find that a property which looked unpromising is much better than you thought. You can also use Google Maps to check out how long it takes to travel from the property to the locations you wish to visit during your stay.
Always read reviews of the property you are looking at. These will give you a good idea of how other visitors have found the property and reveal any shortcomings that are not explained in the listing or which you may not have considered to be an issue. Always remember that some people will complain about anything and that a property must be considered in the light of what you are paying for it. You can’t expect a budget apartment to have a private pool but you can expect it to be clean and safe.
If something doesn’t sit right or you have suspicions that something is wrong about a property then listen to your inner voice and look for somewhere else. There are scams out there and they are not always easy to spot but if you check every detail of a listing you can often uncover anomalies that are clues that you should move on. For extra peace of mind contact the owners and get a dialogue going and you may be able to sense trouble before it is too late.
By doing your homework, asking the right questions and sticking to your priorities you can land yourself the perfect home from home at a price that you can afford. Don’t be tempted to rent a house in the country if you want to be close to the beach and if you are a skier don’t choose a lodge in the mountains that has nowhere to store your outdoor clothing and equipment. The perfect place is out there somewhere you just have to find it!
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing, running her shop and travelling.