Book cottages directly

This item appears on page 14 of the April 2011 issue.
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It had been a few years since my husband and I (now 70) booked a cottage in England, so what we discovered when planning our fall 2011 trip to the Cotswolds was a big disappointment: some of our favorite websites that we’ve used in the past are now using a booking agent, such as Cottages4u.com or Travelbuddi.com.

On top of the weekly rental, these agencies add £30 (near $49) as a booking fee and charge £27.50 for insurance. This adds almost $100 on top of the rental price. Sometimes the booking fee is included in the rental price.

If you’re looking for a cottage, you can keep checking and go directly to the rental site. Often, the owner will book directly with you without the added cost. It takes a little more work to find what you are looking for, but the savings can be worth the effort.

With prices direct from the owners, not through booking agents, here’s where we’re staying this fall (no insurance costs, and we paid deposits via PayPal):

Homestead Apartment (Woodlands Farm, Taits Hill Road, Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire GL11 6PR, U.K.; phone 01453 544446). One bedroom, but it sleeps four people. $480 for one week, including linens.

Plum Tree Cottage (Mrs. J. Williams, Daisyfield Cottage, 38 Latton, N. Wilts SN6 6DS, U.K.; phone 01793-72540). Two bedrooms. $520 for one week.

Over the Arches (M’Dina Courtyard, Chipping Campden; phone 01386 841752).

A one-bedroom apartment on the second floor of an estate. $560 for one week.

BETSY BAZANY
Las Vegas, NV

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

It had been a few years since my husband and I (now 70) booked a cottage in England, so what we discovered when planning our fall 2011 trip to the Cotswolds was a big disappointment: some of our favorite websites that we’ve used in the past are now using a booking agent, such as Cottages4u.com or Travelbuddi.com.

On top of the weekly rental, these agencies add £30 (near $49) as a booking fee and charge £27.50 for insurance. This adds almost $100 on top of the rental price. Sometimes the booking fee is included in the rental price.

If you’re looking for a cottage, you can keep checking and go directly to the rental site. Often, the owner will book directly with you without the added cost. It takes a little more work to find what you are looking for, but the savings can be worth the effort.

With prices direct from the owners, not through booking agents, here’s where we’re staying this fall (no insurance costs, and we paid deposits via PayPal):

Homestead Apartment (Woodlands Farm, Taits Hill Road, Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire GL11 6PR, U.K.; phone 01453 544446). One bedroom, but it sleeps four people. $480 for one week, including linens.

Plum Tree Cottage (Mrs. J. Williams, Daisyfield Cottage, 38 Latton, N. Wilts SN6 6DS, U.K.; phone 01793-72540). Two bedrooms. $520 for one week.

Over the Arches (M’Dina Courtyard, Chipping Campden; phone 01386 841752).

A one-bedroom apartment on the second floor of an estate. $560 for one week.

BETSY BAZANY
Las Vegas, NV