Self-catering is usually cheaper than staying in a hotel and offers more flexibility and freedom. It’s also a great option for those wishing to holiday with grandparents, extended family, or another family or families – you can club together for more space and better facilities than you might afford individually, take turns giving one another a break, and be sure the kids will have playmates. Many self-catering properties are dog-friendly, too. In the UK or Europe, you’ll often go on a self-catering holiday or break by car, which means you can take any equipment you need (although many properties provide baby paraphernalia by request) and avoid the hassle of airports (and baggage restrictions).
Classic family-friendly self-catering options are villas, cottages, gîtes and apartments (particularly for ski holidays). Some are in small complexes or at larger hotels and resorts, so you can enjoy communal amenities. Similarly, apart-hotels combine self-catering with hotel facilities.
Other self-catering options are farm-stays (whether in cottages in converted farm buildings or in pre-erected glamping tents) and camping, holiday parks and holiday villages (in your own tent, in ready set-up yurts, safari tents or the like, or in mobile homes) and home-swaps, where you get to live in someone’s home.
Find inspiration for self-catering family holidays in the UK, Europe, North America and the Caribbean or see our special offers and latest deals with self-catering partners:
• Pierre & Vacances: Self-catering holiday villages and residences, including the French Alps, Europe as a whole, and the Caribbean.
• Cottages.com: Family-friendly rental properties in the UK, France and Italy, with an exclusive discount for our newsletter subscribers (sign up at the bottom of this page).
• Canvas: Long-established camping and holiday park operator with properties around Europe.
• James Villas: Hand-picked family-friendly properties around Europe, the USA and the Caribbean.
• Simpson Holidays: Child-friendly villas in the Mediterranean, some in boutique complexes.
• Center Parcs Europe: Holiday villages in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.