What to Remember when Booking Your Self-Catering Accommodation in South Africa


Published: 02/07/2012


Whether you are planning to rent someone’s holiday home, or booking a self-catering chalet in the Bushveld, you need to know what to look out for to ensure that your holiday accommodation is perfectly suited to your requirements. Here are a few tips to enquire on prior to booking your self-catering accommodation.

1.    Space requirements:
Your first priority, is to identify what your specific needs and budget are. If you are a family of four, a two-bedroom unit for three or more nights might be far too small, especially if your children aren’t used to sharing a room. You will know what your family can cope with, should you be in doubt, rather opt for a larger unit.

2.    Location:
As the location of your accommodation will be your base for everything that you wish to do over your holiday period, ensure that you book a house, or apartment, that is ideally located for the duration of your holiday. Don’t just take the owner’s word for it either, do some investigation yourself. Consider using Google Earth or Google Maps' Street View if available, to give you a better idea as well. If you have to drive a few hours to buy food or explore tourist attractions, or if holidaying at the sea and the beach is not in walking distance – it would not be ideal at all.

Take care when booking accommodation, as the name can imply something that it is not, e.g. a Guest House 'on the Bay' may not be located anywhere close to the bay at all.

3.    Nearby Attractions:
Make sure that the area you plan to stay in has nearby attractions, that are alternatives should the weather be a variable. Should it rain for several days straight, a trip to the movies, or aquarium could come in handy should your children become bored of playing board games etc. 

4.    Amenities:
The amenities that the accommodation offers, are of paramount importance, especially with self-catering units. Ensure you know what cutlery, pots, pans and utensils are in your unit, can you request for extra items that you may require, or will you need to take them with you?

Should you be travelling from abroad, all self-catering accommodation will be fitted with the basic requirements, it is however, always a good idea to request a list to check if they meet your needs. Usually self-catering units will have everything you need to make a decent meal, an oven or hot plate and microwave with the basic utensils and crockery. 

5.    Quality:
Just because you may not be making use of a catering or cleaning service whilst on holiday, please do not overlook the quality issue. Your self-catering unit must still adhere to a specific standard and you can check out these national standards on the relevant authority's website. Read a few testimonials from fellow travellers within the last six months, look for photographs that are taken by other travellers.

Happy travelling and enjoy your South African experience of self-catering accommodation!

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