My Top Self Catering Holiday Tips

My Top Self Catering Holiday Tips

I was gifted some items of clothing from adidas for the purposes of this post. All words and opinions are my own.

It struck me this year that we have got quite good at self catering holidays. For the last 10 years, we have pretty much only holidayed in the UK, either camping or staying in an AirBnB or Center Parcs or similar. This summer we went away with my extended family for a week’s caravan holiday, and had such a great time. 

I felt quite smug that we have got it down to a fine art, although it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise given how much practice we’ve had over the years!

With the increased cost of living these days, foreign holidays are out of reach for many now and so more of us are discovering the joys of a self catering holiday. It’s a great way to explore some interesting parts of the UK (and the world!), as you can get close and really enjoy local life and all it has to offer.

It can be daunting though if you haven’t done a self catering holiday before. There are a few more things to think about. If you’re not sure where to start, here are my top tips for a successful self catering holiday. 


Right from the start you need to be organised on a self catering holiday. We start a couple of weeks before writing lists of everything we will need. I break it up into sections, for example stuff for the kids, beach stuff, food and kitchen equipment etc. This way we know what needs to be done.

Also, when we’re packing I try to keep everything together so it is easy to find things when we arrive. So I keep all the beach stuff together, swimming kit, towels, outdoor kit etc. I find that bags for life come in useful here! I also check if there are laundry facilities, as this dictates whether we pack light or not! I don’t particularly like spending my holiday during laundry, but it’s easier to do a load or two and take fewer clothes. This also means less work we get home.

What to Pack

The lovely British weather means that you are going to have to pack for every eventuality. Waterproof coats and hoodies for the cool evenings are a must, as are lighter clothes for indoor activities or outdoor adventures.

I am a massive fan of items that can be used in a variety of ways, for example one of my favourite items of clothing on our last holiday was an oversized tshirt that I wore all the time. It was great on a walk or popping to the shops, but also really useful around the pool or on the beach as a cover up.

Footwear is also so important and again, anything that suits a variety of purposes is always going to be a winner with me. This summer I have lived in my Adidas walking sandals, they are perfect for beach trips and hikes, but are also smart enough to wear with skirts and dresses for a meal out. I have been wearing them on the school run and am not looking forward to putting them away for winter! Of course adidas has other options for walking shoes for the colder months, which look perfect for a winter adventure.

A good rucksack is vital if you’re planning on enjoying lots of days out, but Luke also swears by his trusty festival bag that has been everywhere with us just lately.

Keep it Simple

On holiday I try to do everything I possibly can to make life easy. I stick to familiar food that I know the kids will eat and we’re a lot more relaxed with our routine.

I do my research beforehand and draw up a list so we can drop in to the nearest supermarket. If I’m super organised I have done click and collect or a delivery which makes life so much easier if you know you’re going to be in at a designated time.

Holiday Essentials

I always check what is included with our accommodation, but even if we are staying somewhere that is well kitted out, there are still a few self catering essentials I take with us. I always take towels, even if they are provided as we like to go swimming and to the beach. I also always take a few cooking utensils, like a couple of sharp knives, our camping mugs (I always find the cups provided are too small!), cling film and foil, plus a few Tupperware containers as they are useful for left overs or if we decide to take lunch with us.

If there’s a freezer I’ll take some freezer blocks, and we always take a cool box or camping fridge with us for days out and taking food home at the end of the holiday.

Have a Plan

When self catering it is vital to do your research beforehand. I always go with a brief outline of where we’d like to visit and things we’d like to do. The plan can change, depending on the weather or how we feel, but we always have plenty of ideas. If we don’t have at least a rough plan, I find we waste time looking things up or trying to make decisions. Nobody wants to be wasting time on holiday-you need to make the most of every minute!

I also check the boring (but vital!) things as well, like shops and petrol stations. Plus I check the traffic situation and I keep an eye on the weather so I know what to expect – and what to pack!

The main thing for a successful self catering holiday is to make your own fun. Unlike other types of holiday where everything is laid on for you, here you have to be proactive and make plans. I personally love the freedom that self catering provides, although I can understand that it seems like hard work.

Hopefully this post has given you a few pointers and has shown that it doesn’t have to be too difficult.

Are you a fan of self catering holidays? What are your top tips?



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