Holiday cottage

Holiday cottages in converted farm buildings, Gloucestershire, England
Purpose-built holiday cottages near Portrush, Northern Ireland
Seventies architecture in Port Camargue, France

A holiday cottage, holiday home, or vacation property is accommodation used for holiday vacations, corporate travel, and temporary housing often for less than 30 days. Such properties are typically small homes, such as cottages, that travelers can rent and enjoy as if it were their own home for the duration of their stay. The properties may be owned by those using them for a vacation, in which case the term second home applies; or may be rented out to holidaymakers through an agency.

Terminology varies among countries. In the United Kingdom this type of property is usually termed a holiday home or holiday cottage; in Australia, a holiday house/home, or weekender; in New Zealand, a bach or crib.

Characteristics and advantages

A second home or vacation home can be a home owner's asset as renting it could provide additional income. Vacationers are opting for a single family residence that they can rent on a nightly or weekly basis. Vacation type properties are becoming popular not only for existing homes but also for building one.

Holiday cottages are found across the UK, with many destinations from town houses to forests. Many areas in the UK have seen a growth in the Holiday Cottage industry such as the Lake District and Cornwall. There are typically two routes to renting a holiday cottage. Either direct with an owner, or through the auspices of a holiday cottage agency. Several holiday home portals list cottages available direct from the owner, and charge an fee for listing the property.

Today’s global short-term vacation property rental market is estimated to be worth $100 billion[1].The holiday cottage market in both Canada and the UK is highly competitive – and big business.[2] In the UK, this increased competition has led to significant improvements in the quality of properties on offer. This improvement in standards has in turn contributed to the increase in the popularity of holiday cottages for weekend breaks, offering in many cases the same standard of accommodation as an hotel, yet with the increased freedom that a holiday cottage offers.

One other significant development in the UK holiday cottage market is that of Farm Stays, driven partly by the farmers and the returns they get from farming itself, but also by the desire of parents wanting their children to experience rural life first-hand.

The rapid development of the Internet and technologies such as telephony and personal digital assistants that allow people to work from home since circa 1995 has blurred the division between vacation property and a primary residence. Some business people, including the British entrepreneur Richard Branson, use their luxury real estate for both business and leisure purposes.