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Safety and security when booking your cottage holiday

The Information available on this site:

Country Cottages Online features ads from both individual cottage owners and also agencies.  We do not get involved in bookings and do not take a commission on bookings.  All bookings made via our site are contractually between the holidaymaker and the owner or agency (depending on whether you book with an owner or agency).

The vast majority of owners and agencies on this website have been advertising on Country Cottages Online for a number of years.  We will shortly be introducing a feature on our site to show the date that the cottage owner or agency started advertising with us so that it will be clear to potential holidaymakers whether an ad is established and has been on our site for a number of years or whether it is a new ad. 

Phone Numbers for owners or agencies can be found on their ads:

When it comes to finding a suitable property to rent for a self catering holiday it pays to do your research.  Any questions, concerns or queries do ask the owner or agency.  Via our site you can email or call them on the number given on their ad.  Once you are seriously thinking about booking a cottage we would recommend that you call the cottage owner or agency in any event.  Speaking to them can be a good way of establishing a basic mutual understanding and is a good way to get the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Asking for essential information at the outset helps avoids misunderstandings and problems so do ask for whatever information you need if it is not immediately available to you.  Remember if anything is unclear just ask.  Owners and agencies are there to help and will have the local knowledge to answer your queries.  As an advertising portal please do not telephone us with availability or price enquiries as we don’t have that up to date information available to help you. 

Payment options when booking cottages:

When it comes to paying for your cottage holiday as a general rule making payment by credit card offers you the highest degree of protection.  The assistance you receive in the event of any problem though may depend on your individual bank and whether you are making a purchase within the UK or abroad. 

Many agencies accept payment by credit card.  Some cottage owners also accept payment by credit card but some owners, particularly those with one property or a small cottage, won’t necessarily have the facilities to accept payment by credit card.  Therefore depending on which property you are looking to book, it may or may not be an option to make payment by credit card.  

For information on payment protection associated with credit cards do look up Moneysavingexpert.com and find out more.  In a nutshell with section 75 there is in theory protection for those paying with credit cards for items over £100 in value where there is a breach of contract.  There is some controversy as to whether this protection applies with transactions with those in other foreign countries, for advice we would recommend that you call your credit card company.

Wherever possible do remember that paying by credit card for your cottage holiday (with the caveats mentioned above) as a general rule offers you the most protection.

When it comes to payment, never send cash or travellers cheques through the post.  Such means of payment is obviously insecure and not appropriate for either party. 

If a cottage owner or agency asks you to pay in a way which seems inappropriate or strange please do email us and let us know so that we can investigate.

Take Out Holiday Insurance:

In any event, however you make payment, it is essential when booking a holiday cottage, as with booking any kind of holiday that you take out appropriate insurance cover to meet your own individual needs.  Although we trust that most cottage holidays go without a hitch, things do sometimes go wrong and we strongly recommend that you take out appropriate insurance to cover your cottage holiday.   Ask insurers before taking out insurance whether they are able to offer you the cover you need, and as ever, always read the small print.  Not all holiday insurance will cover incidences such as problems with the property so it is essential that you ask and bottom out whether the cover in question meets your needs before taking it out.

Deposits & Contracts

When you book a cottage it is standard practice for owners and agencies to take a deposit.  Deposits vary.  Some take deposits of 25% for example whereas others take 50%.  When it comes to the outstanding payment, this is usually due for payment 6-8 weeks before the date of your holiday.  Check your contract for details.  Most deposits are non refundable so if you want some kind of payment protection in case you need to cancel your holiday you would need to take out special insurance cover.  Some owners or agencies will also take a damage deposit which is separate to the usual deposit.  Damage deposits are taken to cover any damage to the property, and are usually returned 2 weeks after the holiday where the owner or agency is satisfied that there has been no damage to the property.  Again for exact terms do check your own individual contract.  When you book a cottage you should be supplied with a contract which details the terms and conditions of your booking. 

Last minute deals

When it comes to last minute offers and cottage deals where you make a booking less than 1 week before your holiday date, it is not unusual for cottage owners to accept payment by cash only.  This is for their own protection.  As consumers are concerned with getting the best possible protection, cottage owners also have the same concerns.  Unfortunately certain scams do operate where some people try to scam free holidays and for this reason many owners will accept cash only on last minute breaks.  For your own protection and security, never send cash or travellers cheques through the post.


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