What Makes the Perfect Holiday Cottage?

As restrictions continue to ease and the Great British Summer is finally in full flow, we’ve analysed Google search data to find out which features travellers want most in their next holiday rental.

The most in demand holiday-let features for UK travellers in 2021

With the UK due another heatwave in July and ‘Freedom Day’ kicking off next week, many are looking forward to taking advantage by getting away and relaxing on a well-deserved break.

Despite the traffic light system allowing international travel to slowly open up, double-vaccinated travellers are more likely to be able to go, and many are still unsure about jetting out of the country – instead opting to stay local.

But what does the dream holiday rental look like in the UK?

To find out, we’ve examined Google search data looking at which holiday-let features are the most in demand.

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In first place, holidaymakers are most eager to have access to a hot tub when going away, with the feature receiving over 180,000 Google searches, almost triple what they were the year before (66,400).

Hot tub sales saw a huge spike last year thanks to people spending more time in their gardens, with sales increasing by more than 1000 percent during April 2020. This trend seems to be continuing throughout 2021, with UK travellers wanting an ‘Instagrammable’  staycation with an outdoor tub more than ever.

Holiday property owners should take note, as our internal data suggests that those with a hot tub on their property can expect to enjoy on average a £200 increase in value for each weekly booking, regardless of property size, as well as a 20 percent increase in weeks booked.

Taking second place are ‘dog friendly’ holiday homes, which saw over 131,000 searches during the year-long period, almost double the search volume of the previous year (73,530).  

This is likely due to the rise in those buying and adopting dogs during lockdown, with 3.2 million UK households welcoming a new pet since the start of the pandemic. And after spending so much time with your furry friends, its understandably difficult to leave your pooch behind whilst travelling.

Following in third place were holiday lets with that ‘luxury’ feel – these received over 96,000 searches between June 2020 and May 2021, up from 38,000 during the 2019-2020 period.  

Despite early reports predicting the pandemic would cause an economic depression, the UK has seen a financial boom, with Britons squirrelling away an additional £200bn as the average household’s wealth rose by £7,800. And with 43% of savers choosing to set aside money for a holiday, a luxurious stay away has never been more accessible.  

Having a pool (39,630) took the fourth spot, while last-minute availability (28,770) completed the top five holiday-let features. Searches for last-minute getaways almost doubled over the last year, likely thanks to the government’s frequently changing rules on travel forcing UK holidaymakers to book last-minute trips or risk losing out.  

Surprisingly, having a garden was of little importance, seeing only 120 Google searches through the entire year analysed. And if you’re holidaying by the beach or in some of the fantastic British countryside, it’s no wonder people are more drawn to exploring the local area instead. Having said that, specifying an enclosed garden received 420 searches in the same period, likely due to the increase in those looking to travel with dogs.  

Finding a property with Wi-Fi also doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of travellers’ minds, with the feature only receiving 150 Google searches. Perhaps holidaymakers are keen to use their getaways as an opportunity to switch off from technology after it was revealed that the UK’s internet usage doubled during 2020.  

With so many sought-after property features, it might be hard to visualise what the perfect holiday-let would look like. To give you an idea, we’ve designed an illustration showing a holiday home that contains all the most desirable features:

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Not only that, our fantastic range of cottages available to rent for your next holiday all contain some of these top features. And if you’re wanting a real dream holiday home, our Coast View property could tick almost all of your boxes.


Data analysts at My Favourite Cottages used Google Keyword Planner to collect the total UK search volume for various property features between June 2020 and May 2021. They also collected the data for the preceding year to make a direct comparison where relevant.

The features were chosen based on common categories found on holiday rental websites and through looking at Google Search's autocomplete feature. My Favourite Cottages analysed 57 features, 27 of which had some level of search volume, and 30 of which had no data available, meaning they likely had little to no searches in that period.

The total search volume for each feature was found by adding up the number of searches for the feature coupled with [holiday rental], [holiday let], and [holiday cottage] in the following format: [holiday rental with *feature*] or [*feature* holiday rental] depending on grammatical correctness. For example, [holiday rental with pool] or [luxury holiday rental].

The full data can be seen below:

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