Holidays have been sorely missed during the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, it’s anticipated Britons won’t have to wait much longer to enjoy a domestic holiday. Many will be eager to staycation safely, with renting holiday cottages likely soaring in popularity along with camping and caravanning.
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So what will it be like to stay in a holiday cottage after lockdown under the latest travel advice?
Cleaning will be much more rigorous, with longer cleaning times having to be factored in.
Larger agencies have instructed holiday homeowners in the tough regimes they must follow.
This will mean check-in and check-out times will change.
Holidaymakers will likely only be able to collect keys later in the afternoon.
A number of companies are expected to set 5pm or 6pm as standard for collection.
Travellers may also have to brace themselves for early starts on departure day.
Checking out of the property at 9am may become the norm.
The up-side of this, of course, is that holidaymakers can relax in the knowledge that the home is very clean indeed.
Owners have access to lists of the most effect cleaning products via the Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC) and other similar organisations.
Some of the listed products are the same as those used in hospitals.
A PASC cleaning checklist details extensive lists of the surfaces to be both cleaned and disinfected in every area of the property, from bannisters and light switches, to mirrors and skirting boards.
Guests will likely be asked to air the property during the stay and to strip beds and bag up linen on departure.
PASC also has risk assessment forms for owners to fill out – just some of the extra admin to be dealt with by both owners and guests.
In a bid to keep on top of ‘track and trace’ contact details of every guest staying the property may have to be provided.
Everyone may also have to fill in health questionnaire.
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Anyone who has stayed in a holiday cottage before will be well-used to the helpful folders of information that can be found at the home, explaining about the property as well as the local area.
These will likely now be replaced with an email to guests or access to an app.
Welcome packs of food and drink will also no longer grace rental homes for now.
Instead, holidaymakers might find care packs of hand sanitiser, wipes and face masks.
Another benefit of tougher measures means accommodation may have a more relaxed cancellation policy.
Insurance company Schofields Insurance is advising customers with home insurance policies to consider this.
“You should consider a more relaxed cancellation policy so that travellers feel secure booking a property that allows them to get a full refund, a credit or change their dates due to future coronavirus lockdowns,” Schofields recommends.
“Consider allowing last-minute cancellations for bookings between certain dates, to reassure people that they can book, but change plans if required.”
Staying in a holiday rental is one of the safety ways to vacation after coronavirus.
“Self-catering is the safest option for people looking for holiday accommodation,” Beth Bailey, Chair and Marketing Director of Premier Cottages, told iNews.
“There are no communal areas and effectively you can be in your own social bubble for the entire holiday. You’d be more likely to contract the virus in a supermarket.”
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