Self Catering holiday is a term that might make some people uneasy. On the one hand you are thinking about a holiday, a vacation – a time when you’re free from all the burden of your daily life and work, free from stress and worries. But then, “Self Catering”? Many people think, “no, I want to be waited on hand and foot when I’m on holiday”. And that’s ok! Everyone deserves to be treated like royalty every now and then. But we’re here to tell you why a Self Catering holiday might be just what you and your family need, especially in Italy!
It Saves money
The most obvious and known reason for choosing a self-catering holiday is of course the budget. For most travelers and holidaymakers a self catering holiday means a cheaper vacation or a vacation on a budget. Hotels are not cheap and in Europe many of them do not offer a complimentary breakfast. This means you have to pay extra for your breakfast, which mostly includes coffee, bread, jam and some yogurt and cereal (remember this list – we’ll get back to it later!).
A holiday apartment, equipped with a working kitchen will usually cost you less than a hotel room, you get more space and you can cook your own meals…throughout the day (not just breakfast). You can also prepare picnic lunches to take with you on your day trips and that saves you money on eating out during the day too!
Space and Privacy
Whether you’re travelling alone or with your family, you could use more space. Hotel rooms are usually small and cramped (unless you can afford the presidential suit!). Many families also settle for just one hotel room and sleep with the kids in the same room to save money. This makes the room even more cramped and often the kids have to sleep on fold out beds which are not very comfortable.
If you get a whole apartment for the price of a single hotel room (or even cheaper than that), you’d be a fool not to take that, right?
And then there is the privacy…
Sure enough if you’re travelling with your kids you can forget about complete privacy but you can still enjoy the intimacy of your family without hearing the footsteps of the neighbors in the room next to you or the maids walking in the corridors… after all, hotel rooms have shared walls and sometimes shared doors and there is only so much that can be done to soundproof each room.
Health and Well Being
That argument might strike you as strange at first, but let us explain.
Remember the typical European breakfast you’ll get at a hotel? Let’s review it again: Bread, Jam, butter, yogurt (usually full fat with sugar), pastries and possibly cereal…
By any standards, this is far from being a healthy or a sustaining breakfast. Especially in Italy, with its abundance of cheese, cold cuts and meats, specialty breads, organic free range eggs, fruit and vegetables, you’d be crazy not to enjoy all these amazing foods that you can get at the weekly farmers’ market in town or at any supermarket.
A self catering holiday in a good, well equipped vacation rental, allows you to enjoy tastier and healthier foods. You can enjoy a vacation without gaining weight or feeling bad and without compromising on the quality of your food.
Flexibility and rest
OK, now you must be thinking “I get rest in a hotel too!” – but are you really?
With breakfast served between 7 and 9 (or 10 in some cases) can you really get up whenever you want to? Or do you need to make sure you’re in time for the meal otherwise you start your day without it?
With check-in and check-out times set in stone (usually 14:00 – 20:00 for check in and 10:00 – 12:00 for check out) can you really plan your flights and other travel arrangements freely? what happens if your incoming flight is delayed? or your fight out? Can you stay another hour? or another day – without paying extra?
A holiday apartment is yours by dates and if something happens, the owners are usually flexible and able to let you stay a bit longer, at no extra cost.
A taste of the real Italian life
A holiday apartment allows you to get into character, and for a short while become a local. There is something magical, especially in small Italian towns, in shopping with the locals, having your morning cappuccino with them on the waterfront, going out to drink with them at the local bar, shopping at the market on Saturday and taking a walk on the boardwalk, being greeted by elderly couples walking by.
A hotel may provide a sense of luxury, but a holiday apartment lets you experience the real thing, just like the rich and famous who own a summer home there.
Location Location Location!
Sometimes, the most beautiful places on earth simply have no hotels… Most hotels are in the larger cities and where most tourist attractions are, and that is a good thing in itself.
However, if you want to experience something different, more peaceful, more authentic – you’ll want to go off the beaten track, but you might find yourself with no hotels where you want to visit. Smaller towns and villages often offer only B&B’s and self catering holiday apartments, but no hotels.
This is actually an advantage! If you opt for a self-catering holiday, you can find hidden gems like Porlezza and its surroundings (although Porlezza does have one hotel :-))
What are you waiting for? Book a holiday apartment now 🙂