How to Prepare for a Self-Catering Holiday in Jersey

All information in this blog post is correct as of the publishing date,  11.07.19.

Self-catering holidays offer you the freedom you might not always get with other accommodation. A self-catered apartment or cottage gives you your own space for the whole holiday, somewhere to relax, unwind and feel at home. The self-catering Jersey accommodation we have available offers flexibility on where to eat, the activities you do and even how long your holiday is.

Though many people often opt for hotels and guest houses, choosing self-catering gives you independence and suits all types of holidaymakers. You do have to do some preparation before heading off on your Jersey holiday, so you don’t forget to pack something important, so we have put together a guide on how to make it easy and as stress-free as possible.


Find the Right Accommodation

Getting the right accommodation is the first step and essential in making your holiday relaxing and fun. You don’t want to turn up and find you don’t have the equipment and appliances you need to eat or have to go and buy towels. Not all self-catering properties are fully equipped so it is best to check before you book. If they don’t have some of your must-have items listed, these are things you can bring from home.

When it comes to self-catering, you should also know what you want from your accommodation, before you fall down the rabbit hole of gorgeous places out of your budget. Think about the number of bedrooms, location to Jersey’s top beaches and attractions, and whether it is near public transport or has parking. If there are young children or elderly people in the holiday party, you may have to think about pushchair or wheelchair access, ground level bedrooms and other extras such as a highchair or travel cot. Other features to keep in mind is sea view or countryside location, a pool and the type of accommodation you prefer, such as a cottage, apartment or resort.

Greve de Lecq

It is also a good idea to research the accommodation you are interested in independently; TripAdvisor or social media can give you unbiased reviews about other people’s stay at the property. Next thing is to read the small print about deposits, contact details and changeover rules, whether it’s your first time booking or tenth, and to use a credit card when booking. If you have any concerns or requests, voice them as early as possible!

Bring the Essential Items

You don’t want to arrive in Jersey and immediately head to the shops before you have had the chance to enjoy your holiday apartment or cottage! Bring some teabags, coffee, sugar and possibly even some UHT milk with you so you can have a drink when you arrive – you might want to put in a packet of biscuits too! It is a good idea to pack some small tubs or packets of seasoning and spices and some cooking oil, particularly if you are planning on cooking in your accommodation on some nights.

As well as cooking, the bathroom and kitchen will need a few essentials too. These include toilet roll, a small bottle of washing up liquid, soap, bin bags, laundry tablets and cleaning wipes. Having these items with you gives you peace of mind, and it is surprising how much you rely on them when you don’t have them at your disposal. As mentioned above, it is a good idea to pack some utensils they may not have at the accommodation, such as Tupperware and sandwich bags for picnics and leftovers, and cooking utensils – a good tin opener being one, and a knife sharpener being another.

Walking the dog

If you are taking your dog with you to Jersey, you will need to pack the essentials for them too, from poo bags, a lead, dog bowl and food. Dogs can be nervous when travelling so having some recognisable items from home will help them settle into your self-catering much more quickly.

Another essential, particularly useful for a beach holiday is a beach towel. Most self-catering properties do provide towels but are just for use in the apartment or cottage. For all the hours you plan to spend on the beach, it is best to come prepared with blankets and towels!

Beach towels

Plan for the First Night

Most people want the first night of their holiday to be chilled and stress-free, so thinking about it before departing will mean your holiday will be off to a smooth start. When you step off the ferry or plane in Jersey, your first thought is likely about settling into your accommodation and taking some time before you start exploring the beautiful island. Depending on when you arrive, you might have time to get a food shop in, or you could find a restaurant so you can dine out. If you travel by ferry, you could bring a readymade meal with you to pop in the oven or put some simple ingredients in your bag that you can easily whip into a delicious meal!


It is good to prepare for the morning too; make sure you have bread for toast or some cereal and milk, so you are not starting your day on an empty stomach and buying things you won’t need for your first shop!

Check the Appliances

The self-catering accommodation we have is regularly checked and maintained so we can guarantee our customers have the best time during their stay, but there is always a chance something could go wrong. Upon arriving, no matter the type of place you are staying in, it is a good idea to check the appliances included are fully functioning. Switch on the microwave, test out the oven and fridge, try out the kettle and toaster and even switch on the shower so you can adjust the pressure and temperature. You might also want to give the TV a test drive, so you are familiar with the controls and channels available. It is best to check everything as soon as possible so you can get it sorted out quickly, ensuring your holiday is unspoilt by a broken or faulty appliance.

Shop Only What You Need

There are two approaches to shopping on a self-catered holiday; a big shop when you arrive and planning out your meals for the week or pick up fewer ingredients every other day when you need them, so you have some flexibility over your meals. We think the best way is to keep it simple as you don’t want to be spending too much time cooking meals on your holiday and will likely want to sample some of the island’s best restaurants too during your stay! Go for one-pan dishes that don’t require a lot of prep, cooking or washing up, but it is also a great idea to give yourself one or two nights to have a spectacular home-cooked meal – the holiday is a treat after all!

When shopping in Jersey, it is a good idea to support local businesses, such as butchers, fishmongers, markets and grocers rather than chain supermarkets. Picking up some fresh seafood and veg will give you the chance to sample an authentic taste of Jersey but cooked in your own style!

Local vine tomatoes, Jersey

Think about the meals you are likely to have in your apartment – breakfast and dinner, brunch and sometimes lunch, as well as the food you will need for picnics or barbeques. Buy the appropriate food for the meals, splashing out if you want a cooked breakfast. Remember to not go over the top, as you will end up with leftover food at the end you have no need for.

Dine Out as a Treat

One of the benefits of self-catered holidays is that you don’t have to fuss about where to eat every night, trying to find a place that suits everyone’s diet and taste – but, of course, you don’t want to spend each evening cooking. Another benefit of self-catering is the freedom it offers on where to eat. If there is a night you don’t want to cook, then you can take a night off, find a restaurant or order a takeaway. Jersey is home to many fantastic restaurants and bars that cater to all dietary requirements and cuisines, with some of the most popular around the island listed in our ‘Things To Do’ section. You can choose from upscale restaurants or popular fish and chip shops to takeaway food to eat on the beach. Take a look at our blog for some inspiration of Jersey’s local flavours you should try during your holiday!

Jersey Seafood

Non-Essential Entertainment

We know it is unlikely you will spend the whole holiday in your gorgeous and comfy self-catered cottage when Jersey has so much to offer! The coasteering, paddleboarding and walks in the countryside will keep you occupied for hours, and that is not even mentioning the fantastic attractions around the island. But for those quiet evenings in, spending time with your loved ones can be made even better with some entertainment you might not usually do at home.

Jersey Paddle Boarding

The self-catered accommodation we offer around Jersey has TVs, DVD players or Wi-Fi, but a holiday is a perfect time to switch off and leave the electronic devices alone for a while. Take a pack of cards and games, so you can have a family game night on holiday – though not ones that cause arguments! Uno, travel size versions of board games such as Scrabble, Ludo and snakes and ladders, Dobble and Pictionary will provide hours of fun the whole family can enjoy. In addition to the games, make sure you have some books or an e-reader with all your holiday reads ready and waiting.

Child with favourite toy

For children, a few of their favourite toys have likely been brought with you, but outdoor games and toys should be considered as well for the days you spend at the beach. Bring a frisbee, kite or football in a suitcase or buy one in Jersey to save space.

A Packing List

Once you have in mind all the essential and not-so-essential items you want to bring, creating a packing list will help you remember to pack everything you need! Write out a list, putting it into sections for clothes, food, toiletries and so on to keep yourself prepared. You may need a separate list for what to pack for your children too; young children will need extra clothes, and for babies, you need to leave room to pack in things such as nappies and wipes.

Holiday Packing

In addition to a packing list for when you leave for your holiday, it is useful to have a packing list to help with the return journey when you head home. You don’t want to leave your child’s favourite toy, but also don’t want to pack in items that belong to the self-catered apartment! A comprehensive list – and even some reminders – will make sure you stay organised and stress-free when arriving and leaving your holiday.

Make Your Own Schedule

One reason people love self-catering is the independence it offers. There are a lot of choices when it comes to self-catered holiday lets, providing you with a comfortable home away from home. The freedom of staying in self-catering also extends to the activities you choose to do. You might feel obliged to take part in group activities hosted by the hotel or resort you stay at, even if its not your cup of tea. Self-catering allows you to pick and choose how you will spend your time, and there are plenty of attractions and activities to keep you busy in Jersey.

Jersey Seafaris

Of course, activities such as blokarting or Jersey Seafaris will be run at certain times on the days they are available, but surfing, sunbathing on the beach and cycling around the island can be fitted to your schedule. The ability to quickly adjust how you spend your time will mean your holiday in Jersey gives you a chance to unwind, sit back and make the most of the holiday with minimal fuss.

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