13 September 2019 by Jessica Boston
Self catering holidays: Tips and tricks to make your holiday stress free!
If you’ve never holidayed self-catering before it may seem like a daunting prospect – what will you need to take? Will it seem like too much hard work for a relaxing break? What do you need to find out before you go?
Enjoy a relaxing home from home
In fact, self-catering in France can be the most chilled out way to holiday as a family; plenty of space for kids to have separate rooms, no need to stick to a hotel schedule for mealtimes, and the chance to enjoy a home-from-home where everyone can relax and enjoy themselves.
Experience the real France
A private or shared pool is the perfect way to entertain children with hours of fun splashing around, and self-catering need not be a chore. Trips to markets and supermarkets in France can be so much fun! You’ll see all sorts of wonderful food and unique local produce, get a chance to taste and try new things, and even try out your French skills too. There really isn’t any need to slave over a hot stove, with ingredients as good as these a picnic spread of bread, cured meats, salad and cheese or a simple meat or seafood BBQ are easy ways to cater for your clan.
We’ve put together our 10 top tips to be prepared for self-catering in style:
- Plan for your first night meal – if you are arriving late after a long drive the last thing you want is to find the local supermarket has closed and you’ve nothing for dinner! Many of our properties offer a delicious ‘Welcome Pack’ of local produce and wine to make sure your holiday starts on the right foot, but it’s worth checking what’s provided in advance, especially if you’ve got fussy children with you. Stop en route to shop for supplies or book groceries or a catered meal to be provided for your arrival.
- Reconnect over card/board games after dinner – holidays are the perfect time to reconnect as a family and even if there is great wi-fi it’s nice to bring a few card or board games for traditional after dinner family fun.
- Treat the kids to new pool toys – if you’ve got a pool at the property you’re staying in, why not bring diving sticks or a new inflatable? There are so many styles to choose from and they pack up small to easily fit in the car – a real treat offering hours of holiday fun.
- Take a handful of dishwasher/washing tablets – save money by packing a few dishwasher and washing tablets so you won’t need to invest in a full box when you go for your holiday supermarket run.
- Bring kitchen essentials – if you are a foodie who loves to cook on holiday you may want to bring some of your favourite utensils or check that kitchen equipment at your self-catering property is up to your standards to avoid frustration.
- Research recipes from the region – research a few recipes from the region you are visiting in advance so you know what ingredients to look out for and can flex your culinary muscles during your stay.
- Food favourites for fussy kids – if your children are keen to try all the local food – fantastic! Moules, snails and delicious crepes are all perfect for little ones and French shops have most of your familiar staples too. However, if your children are very fussy, dial down the stress by bringing a few favourites from home.
- Do your market research! – there are markets in almost every town and village in France, make sure you find out when and where your nearest markets are to avoid missing out during your stay.
- Pre-book main attractions – if there is a certain event or day out you’re keen to attend during your holiday it’s wise to pre-book your tickets ahead of time. Popular attractions like Puy du Fou can book up months in advance so be prepared to avoid disappointment.
- Get bikes delivered – plan some cycle trips to explore your region, Bike Hire Direct have family run franchises operating all over France who will deliver bikes direct to your holiday home. They have all sorts of options for cycling with children too so you can enjoy a family adventure on the Voie Vertes.
There are so many advantages to ferry/drive self-catering breaks where you can bring so much more luggage than when flying; it’s so easy to pack your golf clubs, fishing equipment, paintbrushes or roller skates so you can indulge in your favourite hobby whilst away. We’d love to hear your best self-catering holiday hacks and why you love to rent holiday homes instead of stay in hotels so why not join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share your tips and experiences with us?