·         Don’t forget to phone the key holder who will be letting you into the property a few days beforehand to let them know when you are coming.  This will save you having to wait (which could be a while depending on where they have to come from) when you arrive.

·         To save you time and hassle, why not pre-order your food and provisions by asking the owner for details of supermarkets in the area who offer home delivery service.

·         If travelling with children, check first whether the property you have rented comes with freeview and/or a DVD – always a helpful diversion when you’re trying to unpack or have a morning lie-in!

·         Buy a local newspaper when you arrive. They will often advertise local events and offer special discounts that will help you plan your activities.  Get the children involved by asking them to look through the paper and highlight anything that they might be interested in doing/visiting.

·         Don’t always rely on your Sat Nav to be exact, so don’t forget to pack a map of the area as a backup.

·         Ask in advance for details of the best local restaurants and pubs in the area that are within easy walking/driving distance

·         Work out a rough meal plan before you go, taking into account when you are likely to eat out to save you on buying more provisions than you will really need

·         Have a look at the website wherecanwego.com which lists events that will be taking place in your local area.

·         Take a project book, some scissors and glue to keep the kids busy on rainy days.  It’s a great way for them to learn about the area they are visiting by cutting and pasting tickets of places they have been to and articles of interest  from the local paper.

·          Take a small torch that can be left by your bedside in case anyone needs to get up the middle of the night to visit the bathroom, as it can be easy to get disorientated in an unfamiliar environment particularly at night.

·         The owners often leave a visitors information folder at the property, which is always worthwhile looking at as they will provide you with their own recommendations on where to go and what to do.