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Where do you stay when you visit UK?

(40 Posts)
Mummysaysno Tue 29-Jan-13 08:01:14

Just that really...previously we've stayed with my parents, but I find it hard work keeping children quiet, getting them to sleep with time difference, making meals for them etc. This year thinking of renting a short term let in the South East...really interested to know what others do, and any good websites to use!

viktoria Sun 24-Feb-13 09:06:36

ClaudiaSchiffer, we're not very flexible in terms of timings as we can only go away during school holidays, but then there are lots of other families on the guardianhomeexchange website in the same situation.
I found that we needed to be a bit more flexible in terms of location. We have just returned from a week in Italy. I really wanted to go to Venice, but couldn't find a swap there. So instead we stayed in a little town, about 40min by train from Venice - which was great. We got to see Venice, but actually I think a week there would have been a bit too much. Instead, we got to explore other areas nearby which was brilliant. Same as a few years ago, we wanted to go to NY, but couldn't find anybody to swap with, so we had a week house swap in Washington DC (which we wanted to visit too) and then 3 nights in NY in a hotel.
We are also restricted as I have a cat allergy - basically, the more flexible you can be, the better the chances of finding a swap. Apart from that, just be pro-active and contact lots of people.

londonmoo Sun 24-Feb-13 08:26:29

Found a great place with airbnb. Love that site!

Gingerodgers Fri 22-Feb-13 04:35:13

You don't have to lend your car. Sounds great, fancy nz? Oh, I forgot, you can also swap pets!!

Horopu Fri 22-Feb-13 04:23:04

We just had 5 weeks in London. My parents very kindly gave us their house and they went to stay with my sister. My sister also lent us her car.

TheCatInTheHairnet Fri 22-Feb-13 04:09:55

Am so intrigued with the house swapping. Although not palatial, our house is lovely, pretty big, has a pool and has easy access to NYC.

But my car is my 7th baby (after kids and dogs). I don't HAVE to share my car, do I?!

Gingerodgers Fri 22-Feb-13 04:02:28

Oh yes, and you get the car with the swap too.

Gingerodgers Fri 22-Feb-13 04:01:19

I have house swapped! Got a house in the exact location we wanted so it was perfect. We swapped it with our beach house tho, don't know that I could be bothered with the faffing around otherwise. Anyway, you can browse thehomeforexchange websites, see if there is anything that would suit you, then sign up. Good luck. I would definitely do it again.

ClaudiaSchiffer Fri 22-Feb-13 03:55:22

That site is brilliant viktoria - I've just spent hours on it thinking of possible places to stay. Has it been easy to find people to swap with?

viktoria Thu 21-Feb-13 21:13:26

If you are interested in house swaps, try

We have used this website for a few years now and have only ever had great experiences.

londonmoo Thu 21-Feb-13 04:37:53

Hope you get it sorted this time steppemum. Complicated, isn't it?

steppemum Wed 20-Feb-13 14:01:22

We used to stay with my parents (3 dcs, but big house and cool laid back parents

My DB and SIL come back and arrange housesitting with various friends as they all go off on holiday in the summer. Works but means moving on every 2 weeks.

When we were little my mum did one christmas staying with family and friends and swore never again, so they ended up buying in the uk and coming back there in holidays (but we were back 1-2 times per year)

We now have same problem when we visit Holland (dh is dutch) We used to stay with DFIL, but then he moved to small flat. Then we stayed with SIL, but now she has 2 kids and we have 3 and she is not well a lot of the time, so don't feel that we can stay there any more.
Last time we went and we camped near one part of the family and made a holiday of it. Never Again. Weather was crap and it didn't work.
Next time we will rent a holiday home, or even a static caravan so that we have a base and I am not trying to take tired cold children to visit great granny.

Thumbwitch Wed 20-Feb-13 13:44:30

I always stay at my Dad's and probably will always do so until he's no longer around. But we're not there the entire time - I'm usually off up and down the country visiting people, often with overnight stays elsewhere too. Usually manage to be put up in people's houses. Just me and DS1 up until this time but at Easter I'll be taking DS2 (will be 6m) with us, so it could get interesting!
My Dad has a car that I use when I'm there as well, so that is useful. I would say it saves me money - up until last year that was true but I got stung for paying the insurance for the whole year, so it's cost me more than a hire car would have done for 3 weeks.

londonmoo Wed 20-Feb-13 13:39:45

Bump. Any more [London-based] ideas? Before I press 'book' on a dismal studio down a street I don't want to live in?

FellatioNels0n Sat 16-Feb-13 05:31:52

I have a car that I leave in the UK. I bought one that was old enough to be reasonably priced, but new enough to be reasonably reliable, big enough to get us all in it, but small enough to be cheap to insure! I can't be spending thousands on car hire every summer, that's ridiculous.

Lavenderhoney Sat 16-Feb-13 05:26:53

The first time I stayed with family and friends alone with the dc and it was awful. The second time I rented in the Cotswolds and it was much better. I used google to see private websites and holiday lettins/ owners direct. I also use the trips to the uk to stay in different places like Cornwall for a week and see the beaches etc. I also stay in France and rent there. If your home trip is all summer then you could look at a week or so in a villa in Spain too and people join you.

It's the car hire that makes me gulp though! Can't do without a car though.

Binfullofmaggotsonth45 Thu 14-Feb-13 21:20:44

We have mixed it up on our last few visits.

Usually we have a little tour of friends around Brighton and Hampshire to stay with for a few days as we make our way from Dover to the west. Sometimes a stop at a Premier Inn (agree with the comment on Travelodge btw).

Last Feb we rented a wooden chalet in Yorkshire. It had two spare rooms and a hot tub so people came to see us thanks to the lure of an evening in the hot tub under the stars! It was through Forest Holidays. We then got the overnight ferry back from Hull to Rotterdam which was an experience (stag night prison).

In the summer we met halfway in a campsite near Brugge. That meant both DB and his family got a holiday too and it was nice to adventure together.

We tend to luckily be out of UK school hols a lot of the time.

We have a wedding in Wales in the Autumn which thankfully is in DS holiday time so I have rented a cottage through Owners Direct. It had a spare room to invite a family member round to look after DS as it's a no kids affair, even though we have no option but to bring him with us.

But as most people probably experience, you have to do all the legwork in organizing trips and visits and shelling out for property and travel, dinner etc, as it's your fault you chose the lifestyle. Yet if I make one visit here due to work and don't manage to see every last friend and family member they all get the right hump!

This half term we've said arses to all and rented a luxury apartment in Dubai! Everyone is welcome to come over if they can make it though! wink

Mummysaysno Tue 05-Feb-13 01:25:02

Very impressed with airbnb so far...great selection of lets, with price range of an apartment in central London through to cottage on Kent suits a range of budgets. Hopefully about to book and that will be straightforward! We may have the odd night or two inbetween our holiday lets in which case I will look at travel inn...hopefully if it's just a night and isn't great we can grin and bear it!

Engelsemama Mon 04-Feb-13 14:06:23

If staying for a week we tend to rent a holiday let, but were disappointed with last one. For the last year we've gone with Holiday Inn as so close to my parents, good value if you book early enough (and we often only go over for a long weekend). Often we get with breakfast but not always. Close enough to my mum and dad's to go and rustle up dinner there if we want to, or a really nice Beefeater over the road.

differentnameforthis Mon 04-Feb-13 12:03:02

We stayed with relatives & it was difficult. Next time we go we will find a cheap rental somewhere, that way people can also come to us instead of us being the ones who do all the travelling.

Be careful with Travel lodges. We stayed in a couple for a nigh here & there & some of them are grim now. Premier Inn are much better!

Mummysaysno Mon 04-Feb-13 09:47:13

Of course previous post makes no sense as it was for another thread I'm on...never try to text during kids dinner time!!!

Mummysaysno Mon 04-Feb-13 09:45:32

I always thought Virgo Fidelis was Catholic...thanks. All the replies are so helpful as so want to find the right school that can accept him at his speed!

ClaudiaSchiffer Mon 04-Feb-13 07:22:16

God soapnuts that sounds ideal.

Would your finances stretch to a little place in the Cotswolds for me? grin

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Mon 04-Feb-13 04:37:48

We have always stayed with family, however, it is a bit of squash, so this year we have decided to rent an apartment. I think having our own base will make things so much easier.

soapnuts Mon 04-Feb-13 04:31:07

We always used to stay with PILs for a few days to a week max (couldn't last much longer as house is teeny tiny) then to my parents for a couple of weeks - often PILs would come down for a couple of days (luckily PILs and parents get on like a house on fire - v odd!) while we're there. This usually meant though that DH didn't get to see much of his parents for the short time he'd join us and he didn't see the rest of his family at all.

Last summer we bit the bullet and rented an apartment close to his family which worked out brilliantly - we saw the family every day but weren't under each others feet. It actually worked out so well that we ended up buying a house to stay in when we go back (of course that's only possible because of the ridiculously low house prices in PILs area - couldn't have afforded it elsewhere!!) Eventually we'll rent it out for holiday lets to help pay the bills but at the moment we're still doing it up - I have to say it's made the world of difference to the length and the enjoyment of our stays - we were there for two months over the summer and even longer over xmas (though that was unusual circumstances). We'll be there for 8 weeks again this coming summer and it has been amazing for DS to spend more time with his cousins and the rest of the family.

Of course renting/buying somewhere is costly but we look at it as our annual holiday and only ever take short breaks away from here now. weirdly enough we've become total home birds (after years and years of saying we'd never go back) and thoroughly enjoy our holidays back in the UK - it's really hard to leave! also MIL and I have become much closer as we're not under each others feet all summer and don't get to the "I'm going to kill her" stage like we did when we were staying with her. It's also become a bit of a regular holiday jaunt for friends/my family (well my parents virtually live there anyhow!) who come over everytime we're back for a weekend which is fab as it means we don't have to traipse around visiting.

Mummysaysno Sun 03-Feb-13 13:45:06

Finding these posts v helpful...hadn't thought of travel lodge either.
We did a holiday a few years ago while still living in UK in caravans...I loved it! Yes I do remember how cold it would get at night, and generally bring afraid one night after three days of heavy rain in Cornwall that we would be swept out to sea...but it was fun! (And the terrible 'entertainment' at the campsite club, which ended in the entertainer getting angry at all the children for not laughing....cringe!!!)
House swap...I don't know if I would...not sure why really!!!

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