What is self-catering?

Old Mar 11th, 2001, 08:41 AM
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What is self-catering?

I just saw a response to my question about travelling to Southern Ireland and it mentioned trying self catering. What does that refer to?
Old Mar 11th, 2001, 08:47 AM
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An "empty" vacation home, apartment, villa, etc. May or may not provide basic linens. Kitchen and basic necessities for meal preparation virtually always included. Typically no staff. You're there on your own. Almost always rented by the week, typically Saturday to Saturday.

Best wishes,

Old Mar 11th, 2001, 08:56 AM
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Basically it means an apartment, cottage, house that you rent and that there is no maid service (or limited in some instances in apartment ocasionally). You "cater" to yourself so to speak, thus the term self catering. Many are on a week to week rental but many are not, we do this all the time and found that you can usually get as many days as you want altho there is usually a minimum limit (3, 5, 7 depending on the circumstances and location). Frequently you can combine what they call a weekly rental (7 days) with a "short break" rental of 3-5 days givng you, for instance 10 days or whatever you want. National Truyst properties tend to be strictly on a 7 day limit with not much flexability but indivdual places will usually allow it. Typcially linens and towels are provided (altho some places charge for towels or extra towels). The kitchens have pots, pans, dishes, silverware, etc. Depending upon the degree of luxury some have washer/dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, etc. Some places charge a meter fee for electricity and heat, other it is included. You just need to read the descriptions. It is really a great way to travel, you have a real "home" away from home with a lot more room than a hotel. While you do give up daily maid service I think it is worth it in many cases simply for the extra room. I never "cook" on vacation even with a full kitchen, but it is great for snacks, breakfast, etc.
Old Mar 11th, 2001, 11:09 AM
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I'm sorry, should have been more specific when I responded to your post and I see that you have already got responses that explain. I just spent a week in Ireland(Co. Galway)for the first time and we rented a beautiful 200 yr. old house. It was fully equipped(kitchen, laundry, T.V. etc.), 4 bedrooms, 2 sitting rooms, kitchen, 2 bath, dining room, beautifully furnished(not empty as one above stated) on 7 acres of land and it was 280 Irish punts for the week. So for cost it is a great way to go. No rushing around to try to make breakfast by a certain time(I know some people don't mind that and that is fine), you can stock the fridge for that late night snack..... It was just a thought considering the # of people in your party. The Irish Tourist Board has a wonderful book they can send you with over 5,000 properties of different shapes and sizes all over Ireland(except Northern Ireland, that would be British Tourist Authority) that is what we did. Like Lori above said, some come with heat and electricity included some are metered, some have a payphone, some have a phone for incoming calls only. We got around that by using AT&T World Connect and my mom's cell phone. Linens and towels were also provided, again just read carefully. We have been doing self-catering since 97 in the UK and now would not go any other way. I am now trying to plan for Germany in Sept. 2001 and will do the "renting thing" their.
Old Mar 11th, 2001, 04:04 PM
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Sometimes, self-catering is a part of a resort, in cabins or really nice "caravans" (mobile homes, to Americans). I've done self catering a number of times and always enjoyed it. Almost always cheaper than a hotel, especially in resort areas. I then fix our breakfast (easy, even if kitchen is minimal) and pack a picnic lunch. These last two are difficult in a hotel, but money-saving if you can do them. Then we eat dinner out, so we still feel like we are on vacation, get a taste of the local cuisine, and don't have to cook and clean up aterward. In the UK, self-catering, especially outside of larger cities, can be a really nice way to keep within your budget.
Old Mar 12th, 2001, 01:20 AM
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I'd advise anyone visiting Ireland or the UK to go for self catering. You can stay in the traditional old cottage with roses over the door and you meet local people by shopping in the local shops, eating in the pub etc.
Old Mar 12th, 2001, 06:23 PM
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I did self catering in scotland in 1999 with a family of 4 (was going to be 5, but grandfather couldn't make it). If you can confine your travel to day trips (and there is so much to see that that should be easy most places in ireland) then it is a vastly superior way to go, especially if you have more than 2 people.

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