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Tips and tricks for holiday accommodation

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Tips and tricks for holiday accommodation

Accommodation can make or break your holiday. And if you find yourself having a staycation and travelling within your home country, you can really make it a wonderful experience. You don’t want to be stuck with cramped rooms, cold showers, restrictive meal times and unfriendly hotel staff as the norm.

So, there are a few tips and tricks you can keep in mind when it comes to finding and making the most of your staycation accommodation situations. Because it really is worth your time and money to spend a holiday in your home country of South Africa.

 

Reviews and recommendations

The internet is an amazing thing. Never before has it been easier to get honest and objective reviews and recommendations on, well, pretty much any place, business or product out there. Really, it’s as easy as updating your status on Facebook with “Looking for recommendations”. 

And you should look into the reviews and recommendations of any accommodation establishment you may be considering because websites tend to only show the beautiful parts of what to expect.

Then again, some people tend to have unnecessarily strong opinions and should be taken with a pinch of salt. Majority rules when it comes to reviews, as do immediate family and close friends for that matter.  

 

Travel along the grapevine

If you don’t want to have to deal with various hotels and accommodation brands along your way around the country, then travel along the accommodation chain grapevine. This means finding an affordable and reputable accommodation chain that can offer you a place to stay in different areas and even provinces.

Country Hotels, for example, can offer you the Kuruman Lodges or Springbok Hotel in different ends of the Northern Cape, or a Plett Lagoon Villa or Clanwilliam Hotel in the Western Cape. This means you can expect a relatively equal quality of hospitality as it’s one brand. Not to mention how convenient it is to have an accommodation chain in even the smaller towns of South Africa where the true gems lie.   

 

Hotels don’t have to be your first choice

Accommodation can get rather expensive. Especially when you’re no longer a newlywed couple, but have a family of four or more trailing behind you. But it is a necessary expense if you don’t have friends or family available in the area or en route to help you out for a night or two.

For that reason, you need to realise that hotels don’t have to be your first choice of accommodation. Lodges, backpackers, inns, camping sites and even Airbnb listings are all options as places for your to settle down.

And be realistic with yourselves, if you’re on a roadtrip and just need a rest stop before hitting the road again, it’s not necessary to stay in a luxury suite when all you need is a shower and a bed. When it comes to staying in one place for longer periods of time, then you can be more fussy about the rooms and facilities.

 

Prepare for self-catering

Self-catering tends to be a great cost-effective option, especially for big family holidays. Plus you also have the luxury of eating food you and the kids will enjoy without arguing in a public hotel dining area.

Just make sure you are prepared. Do an online search for the nearest supermarket and if your accommodation is rather secluded, don’t forget to stop and stock up in the nearest town before you arrive.

Find out from the venue what is and is not included so that you know what to bring from home. This includes towels, toilet paper and even a DSTV decoder if there is a TV and DSTV available.

Read all the fine print on the booking and “rules of stay” form. Here you should also be provided with a list of facilities and items available at the venue and what they expect to find when you leave. Keep tabs on the cutlery and crockery because the inventory list is expected to be checked and completed before you leave and you don't want to be held liable for loss or damages.

 

Remember: you’re on holiday

Yes, you may be staying in a hotel room or self-catering cottage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a few of your favourite things and enjoy an occasional day inside. Being on holiday isn’t always about going around and exploring something new everyday. It’s about taking a time out and away from the realities of work and stress from the year, to relax and enjoy some family or alone time.

Bring your board games, pack in a handful of books on your “to read” list, and don’t forget that bottle of wine you’ve been saving. Create a temporary home away from home in your accommodation venue and enjoy the fact that you won’t be responsible for cleaning up at the end of it all.

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