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My Holiday Lets Journey

I guess I can trace my passion for coastal holiday lets back to my love of the British seaside.  After all, we are an "island nation" and nowhere in the U.K. are we ever further than 73 miles from our beautiful coastline.

I have many happy childhood memories of paddling in rock pools, donkey rides, candy floss, and enjoying endless summers on sandy beaches building sand-castles.

Beach and surf

But as we get older, these memories start to fade.

It was the magazine "Coast" that re-connected me with my love of the seaside and re-kindled my desire to one day live by the sea.

While that was a long-term goal, I saw in mid-2007 that the economic downturn would create a renaissance in the "great British seaside holiday", and fortunately, I was proved right!

In times of economic decline, people always hark back to nostalgia and when times were good, so those childhood memories of U.K. seaside holidays suddenly surface in sharp focus and people want to reconnect with their past.

Add that to a rise in the popularity of the "stay-cation", and you have two very good reasons to invest in holiday lets on the U.K. coast.

We started doing research into holiday lets in late 2007 and by April 2008, we had purchased our first holiday let at Camber Sands in East Sussex.

Now in its fifth season, our little blue house by the sea has proved to be a winner with couples and young families alike, and has enjoyed some superb occupancy and therefore cash flow!

Sea BreezeBeing just 1.5 hours from central London, "SeaBreeze" at Camber Sands has also benefitted hugely from the "London long weekender" market, giving us occupancy year round.

What an easy sell!  "Relax on the decking with a glass of wine within 1.5 hours of leaving your city office on a Friday night!". 

We set this 2 bed house up like a luxury boutique hotel with Molton Brown toiletries, fluffy dressing gowns, high thread count bed linen, and many extras.  It's designed to appeal to the discerning guest who wants to relax and revive adjacent to one of the best sandy beaches in the U.K. ....

Our second holiday let was set up on the island of Portland in Dorset.   However, due to the sad death of my husband's Mum, we decided to move my father in law into this property where he has been happily living for the past three years.  It has given my husband enormous relief to be able to accommodate his father and look after him in this way.  We also enjoy many long weekend breaks there ourselves, so, while it is not making us any money, it has served an important purpose for our family.

This is one of the things I like about holiday lets - they add a new dimension to your life, as, if they are empty, family and friends can benefit from them too.  We also offer our cottages to charities and under-privileged families during down time, so that people can get to enjoy them.  That is what they are there for, after all!

And that summarises what I love about holiday letting.  You are creating happy memories for people.  They look forward to their holiday all year round, and you can play a part in making those memories special.  In a world full of struggles and challenges, that is a wonderful thing to be able to do and the comments in our "Guest Book" make our efforts all the more worthwhile.

The Holiday Lets Tribe on Property Tribes is chock-full of information of how to source, market, and manage a high yielding and successful holiday let that delights guests and exceeds their expectations.  Whether you are just thinking of dipping your toe into holiday lets, or you are a seasoned holiday let cottage owner with multiple properties, you will find discussions and information to help you raise your game and increase your cash flow.

Here are my top 6 favourite discussions:

Coastal property rocks!


PT TV:  Holiday lets in Cornwall


Leveraging "anticipation happiness" in your marketing


Marketing holiday lets using social media


How I achieved 52 weeks bookings for my holiday let


Holiday Lets myths - BUSTED!





Vanessa Warwick

Vanessa Warwick is a landlord and co-founder of Property Tribes.