Author Archives: Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Print_Logo_COE2014_en_US2014 is the first year that holiday rental properties have been included in the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awards. And it’s all in recognition of your hard work.

The results are in for the cream of the crop, so congratulations to all of you who won – you’ve provided consistently excellent holiday experiences for guests over the past year. Take a look at our champions.

Winners will see a ‘Certificate of Excellence 2014’ stamp on their TripAdvisor and Holiday Lettings listings. You can see an example on Greenbank’s advert, one of our fantastic Yorkshire winners. Here’s proud owner Linda.

Things to consider when setting your prices

Rowena, Cyprus holiday homeownerWhat do you consider when setting prices for a stay at your holiday rental? Rowena, who owns and runs a holiday home in Cyprus, tells us about how she’s already setting her prices for the 2015 season.

When you factor in the mortgage, maintenance fees, management fees, cleaning and laundry charges, plus electricity and water bills, it can sometimes be difficult to break even and make money from your holiday home. So it’s crucial to set a price that will cover your costs.

Online security checklist

Occurrences of fraud on our website are extremely rare, but it’s important to be aware of the risks. The last thing you want is a fraudster (or ‘hacker’) accessing your email account, posing as you and requesting payment from your guests.

So it’s vital to watch out for warning signs of phishing attacks and put some simple security measures in place. Use our security checklist to keep your online accounts safe.

  1. Find out about phishing
  2. Look for signs of a fake enquiry
  3. Protect your email account
  4. Log in to Holiday Lettings regularly

5 pricing tips for more bookings

Don't miss out on bookings - read our top tips for pricesHow much will it cost? Alongside ‘Where is it?’ it’s the burning question guests ask when they’re booking a holiday.

So do guests get the answer when they click Prices on your ad? If they don’t you’re wasting their time and yours. But most of all, you’re losing out on bookings and revenue.

With online booking guests can query the price by entering their holiday dates and number of guests. However some guests will look at your table of prices if they’re not quite ready to book so it’s still important for the prices to be crystal clear.

French stamp duty increased by 0.71%

French stamp duty increase March 2014Buying a property in France? Then it’s worth being aware that French stamp duty, or taxe de publicité foncière, increased by almost 1% on 1 March. Find out more about the change and which regions have opted out.

The increase of 0.71% is applied to the sale price of all completed purchases (actes authentiques) that take place from 1 March 2014. The rise only affects properties built at least five years ago (a lower rate applies to newer properties, which hasn’t been changed).

A temporary rise?

The extra money generated from the increase will be going to local councils, forming an important part of their budgets and compensating for reduced government grants.

New: book it on your smartphone

Browse Holiday Lettings on your smartphone

Whether you’re out and about or just need to book your holiday in a hurry, you can now do it in super-quick time via your smartphone on holidaylettings.co.uk.

Our newly designed smartphone-friendly site responds to the size of your iPhone or Android device, tablet or computer screen, letting you easily find and book a holiday retreat, whenever and from wherever you are.

Previously, searching via your smartphone would have redirected you to a slimmed-down mobile version of our site. But now you have instant access to all the menus, features and latest updates in a space that works for whatever gadget you’re using.

Stay up to date with your dates

Keep your up to date to avoid disappointing travellersSearching for a holiday can be time-consuming, especially when your plans aren’t flexible and you have specific dates in mind. There’s nothing worse for travellers after finding the right place to stay and requesting to book it, to then discover that it isn’t available.

In fact, out-of-date calendars are a massive time-waster and the number one guest complaint. Plus they’re a sure-fire way of missing out on bookings.

Easy to update

But the good news is it’s really easy to keep your calendar up to date on Holiday Lettings and make sure you maximise your booking opportunities.

Driving in Spain: changes to traffic laws

Car in TenerifeNew traffic rules came into play on 21 April affecting pedestrians, drivers and cyclists in Spain.

If you’re planning on holidaying in Spain, or visiting your Spanish holiday home, it’s worth making a note of the changes so you’re not caught out with a fine.

Driving in Spain

New speed limits

In some urban areas, e.g. around schools, speed limits have been lowered from 50kph (31mph) to 20kph (12mph).

Children in cars

Only children over 1.35m tall (4ft 5in) can travel in the front seat of a car. Children under this height must sit in the back.

School holidays in Wales 2014 & 2015

School holiday dates 2014 & 2015Fancy a family break during the school holidays? If you’re based in Wales, see when the kids are free by taking a look at our up to date list of the Welsh school holidays for 2014 and 2015.

Search Holiday Lettings to discover the best places to stay in family accommodation and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest deals and ideas.

School holidays in Wales 2014

Summer half term Sat 24 May 2014 – Sun 1 June 2014
Summer holidays Tue 22 July 2014 – Sun 31 August 2014

French school holidays 2014 & 2015

School holiday dates 2014 & 2015Booking a family holiday? If you’re based in France, then take a look at the French school holiday dates for 2014 and 2015 to see when the children will be free.

Search Holiday Lettings to discover the best places to stay in family accommodation and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest deals and holiday ideas.

French school holidays 2014

Spring holidays (Easter) Sat 26 April 2014 – Sun 11 May 2014
Long Ascension weekend Thu 28 May 2014 – Sun 1 June 2014
Summer holidays Sat 5 July 2014 – Mon 1 September 2014