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Summer Holiday Cottages 2010

calendar June 8, 2010 10:31 by Chris Thornton

If you thought you'd left it too late to find a cottage for your 2010 summer break don't worry. After our robots had finished their search a couple of days ago I did a little check and was surprised to see how many cottages still have availability during the school holidays.

Some of this seems to be due to how difficult it is for a person to go in and out of the different holiday websites and different regions choosing specific weeks one at a time to see what cottages are left. Since our robots do all that for you, we think that finding late availability cottages is easier at FindOurHoliday than anywhere else, so you might find a last minute bargain summer holiday here that everyone else has missed.

And to make it even easier I thought I'd put together a page containing just the cottages that still have availability during this year's school summer holidays: Summer Holiday Cottages 2010. I've used our local school holiday dates and yours might be different, so please click "choose preferences" and change the dates if necessary.

At the last count there were over 2100 cottages still available for summer 2010, but that number is dwindling fast so don't leave it too late.



Suggestion Box

calendar August 12, 2009 11:02 by Chris Thornton

Finally we’re about ready to go live and we’d really like to get people’s opinions about what we’ve done so far and to ask for any suggestions about how we could improve the site in the future. There are plenty of things already on our TODO list, so please have a quick look at what’s already planned before adding your own suggestions.


TODO (in no particular order)

  • Get more holiday details from different providers.
  • Simplified version for mobile and low-memory browsers.
  • More cross-browser testing.
  • Helpful content about things to do & places to see.
  • Owner area to allow accommodation owners to add & update their details.
  • Text search.
  • Store favourite holidays for people to make a short-list.
  • Add maximum price to search.
  • Let people remove holidays they don’t like and other similar holidays from the map.
  • Distance based search.
  • Driving directions.

A Search Engine for UK Holidays

calendar September 24, 2008 19:17 by Chris Thornton

Most years we go on a family holiday in the UK - this year it was boating on the Norfolk Broads, the year before it was a cottage in Wales. When it comes to planning where to go, we quite often leave things until later than we should and with six in our family we aren't always left with a huge choice. Somehow though we always manage to find something really good. Well to be honest, my wife always finds something really good after many hours of trawling the Internet.

This got me thinking that if all these good holidays are out there, even quite late in the day, then why is it so hard to find them? So I rolled up my sleeves and started looking around some of the hundreds of sites dedicated to finding a holiday online and I soon found why my wife had become so frustrated by them.

Most general holiday sites are geared towards flights and hotels, but there are still plenty that are focussed more on the UK market. But even these have problems. First of all, you have to visit lots of sites to be sure of seeing a good range of holidays. This means entering all your requirements over and over again in different sites (and often entering them several times in the same site when it forgets what you entered when paging backwards and forwards). Then you have to be really specific about some things, for example you have to choose whether you want to stay in a cottage or a villa or a boat and you have to choose a region or a county before it will show you anything. We're open to new ideas and suggestions, and we're not so fussy as to say "I want to go to Devon, so don't even think of showing me places in West Dorset". Lastly there's the availability issue, you find somewhere really nice only to be told at the last moment that it's booked.

As it happens, a little while ago I designed some software which is probably best described as a "Search Engine". I never used it as I was busy writing software for other people and didn't really fancy going head-to-head with the likes of Google. Then this holiday thing came up and it seemed like a pretty good fit. Now I'm part of an independent software house, so between us we have the resources and expertise to make it happen and so FindOurHoliday.co.uk was born.

As you can see, it's just a holding page at the moment. Apologies for that, but you have to start somewhere and we really didn't want to release anything that was still a "work in progress", as we'd then cause as much frustration as all the other sites out there. We already have data for several thousand holiday locations, but we really want to get this right and we're trying to get together as much data as possible while we're busy finishing off the rest of the site.

We are setting out to resolve all the annoying points mentioned above, but if you have any additional thoughts or suggestions please respond to this blog and hopefully we can overcome your frustrations too.