How to find a staycation cottage when availability is low

·3-min read
Photo credit: fotoVoyager
Photo credit: fotoVoyager

Summer 2020 was certainly the summer of staycations, and though we were more optimistic about 2021, many of us have had to cancel holidays abroad and settle for a break in the UK. So, unsurprisingly, searches for holiday properties in the UK have increased by over 300%. In fact, if you've tried to find the perfect staycation property recently then you will likely have already seen that availability is low.

Devon, Cornwall and Cumbria are the three locations witnessing the greatest growth in bookings for summer 2021, but there has been a general rise in demand across England, Scotland and Wales, as millions more Brits choose to forgo foreign holidays in favour of UK breaks.

So, given the frenzy around holiday cottages, how do we ensure that we get the UK holiday we desperately need (and deserve), whether we're booking ASAP or are looking for something further down the line?

To help, we enlisted the expertise of, who boast a collection of over 6,000 properties, to share with us their top tips on how to make sure you find the perfect staycation cottage and make the most of your time off (and out of the house).

From being a little more flexible to opting for lesser-known destinations, here is the insider info we could all benefit from right now.

1.Be flexible with your dates

Consider dates outside the main holiday periods where possible. Most websites have an option that allows you to search for availability either side of date, from one up to 21-days around your first choice of arrival date.

2.Consider lesser-known destinations

Rather than only searching within one area, search the whole of the UK for property availability with specific features on your chosen dates, rather than starting with location.

3.Book ahead, especially for peak periods

October half term, Christmas and New Year may seem a long way off now, but you’ll be glad you secured your first choice property early, rather than waiting until later in the year, when everyone else is trying to book theirs.

4.Choose a break in the countryside

It's no secret that when the weather gets better, it seems as though the entire country flocks to the beach. This means that areas near to the coast book up quickly, not to mention cost more, so why not opt for a stay amongst the UK’s peaks and rivers instead? These locations are likely to have more availability than properties close to the seaside, particularly for summer holidays and other key dates.

5.Think about taking a few short breaks rather than a one or two-week stay

You are more likely to find three to four nights available (possibly mid-week) at properties with a busy bookings calendar. It’s the perfect excuse to explore more of the UK too.

6.Be spontaneous and make the most of last minute special offers

Many websites will have a page, or a filter, showing you their last-minute offers. Properties sometimes reduce their price when the start date nears to attract people to book so, if you haven't managed to bag yourself a property ahead of time, it might be worth waiting until the date nears. For example, showcase all their offers here.

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