Many people don't seem to give any consideration at all, when booking their holiday, to any kind of alternative accommodation to a hotel. Often, if you visit travel agents, 99% of all the holidays you see advertised will include a stay at a hotel. Certainly the luxury of a hotel is enticing, but it is all too easy to imagine that hotels are the be all and end all of a holiday, and that to select any alternative would be to lose out on the holiday experience.
In fact nothing could be farther from the truth. There are plenty of alternatives to staying in a hotel, almost all of which are far cheaper, leaving you more of your hard earned money to enjoy shopping, eating out and having a drink. Many of the alternatives also give you much more of an experience as far as the local culture and opportunities are concerned.
Let's have a look at the types of accommodation on offer, and what they have to add to your holiday experience. The most comfortable alternative as far as traditional hotel-stayers are concerned is the rental of an apartment, either on a timeshare basis or other arrangement. Clearly you will need to do all your own cooking and tidying, but you will also benefit from complete peace and privacy. The whole house will be yours, and very likely you'll have either your own pool and garden, or at least one which is shared by only a very few other people.
If renting or owning a timeshared property is not for you, then consider a self catering opportunity. Self catering cottages and houses come in all shapes and sizes, and there is certainly likely to be one which suits not only your taste, but also your pocket. These are much cheaper than hotels, and again will provide you with privacy, peace and often an outdoor space of your own too. You'll need to do your own cooking and tidying, although the money saved by not going to a hotel will be more than enough to allow you to eat out far more often. This will also give you a greater experience of the local culture and surroundings.
Rather than eating at the hotel each night, you can choose whether to eat at a quaint local pub, or a posh city restaurant, or just curl up at home with your family and have a cozy meal together. The choice will be yours.
If the idea of being responsible for your own meals doesn't appeal, then perhaps a Bed and Breakfast place will be more to your liking. These usually charge on a per night basis, and will be very much cheaper than a hotel, with breakfast included. Although they are advertised as just offering breakfast, very often dinner will be available as an option, and again will be much cheaper than the hotel's food, or eating out. Often the quality is excellent, and the food home cooked.
For a real experience, why not consider a farm stay? Staying at a farm will be a real change of scene for most people, and will give you a real feel for the country. Very often the food provided will be the freshest you'll have come across - nothing can beat having your egg for breakfast and seeing the chicken that laid it that morning strutting past your window!
Finally, it's always worth considering camping, either in a tent, your own caravan, or a rented one. Rented caravans, often called static caravans, are like small cottages and are in no way a rough stay. The advantage of camping is of course the price, with overnight stays being about 10 Pounds. Facilities are usually communal, but the sense of adventure and community spirit have to be experienced at least once to appreciate what you would otherwise be missing!