Saturday, November 21, 2009

Self-Catering Rentals

Jenni and I have rented apartments on our last couple of trips. It's a great option if you're bringing your extended family or all the kids. I don't mind staying in hotels, but it's a hotel. An apartment, or even a house, gives you your own living space. The kids can have their own bedrooms, you can make what you want to eat in the kitchen, and having your own yard or a fireplace is pretty cool.

Our apartment in Ireland was a converted stable. We had three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. Downstairs was the living room, kitchen, and half bath. All the pots and pans, plates, blankets, etc were provided. I would walk down the local grocery and buy our food, and we had a family meals in the kitchen just like at home.

The apartment we had in the Cotswolds was one of the nicest places I think we've stayed. We didn't have the kids with us on that trip, but our apartment was cheaper than the hotels and B&B's around us. Broadway Cottage had two bedrooms and bath upstairs, with a large living room and kitchen downstairs. We also had laundry facilities to share with the cottage next door. The luggage was lost during this trip and we used the laundry constantly. Since we were out in the country you could hear the sheep in the fields and the air was full of nice country smells. I always remember the smell of the rosemary they planted around the building. Jenni and I would walk across a field and take a little bridge over the brook to get to the grocery store in Broadway. We'd meet people coming and going and we'd stop and say hello to them.

Just another thing to think about when you're planning your trip. It can be very economical if you're bringing a large group of people with you. And it can certainly make your stay feel more like home. You give up the luxury of people waiting on you and cleaning your room, but you also don't have to eat in restaurants or feel cramped up in a tiny hotel room. It's becoming more of a popular trend, so do a little homework when you're selecting your next destination. You might find this to be the way to go.

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