This year, a large number of us have suffered with a type of flu that just wouldn’t go away. A free day would be followed by a relapse, sometimes in a different form.

And a room-full of sick people would all have different symptoms.

It was christened The 100-Day Cough. But I’m sure I had it for 102 days!

So what has this to do with making money through going away on holiday, I hear you asking, Dear Readers!

Don’t be so impatient! Bear with me and I’ll explain!

As I convalesced, I went through the ‘I hate myself and my way of life’ phase, and I vowed to makes changes to get the most out of life and travel more

I began by frantically emptying cupboards and drawers, sorting out stuff that I’ve kept for ages and never even looked at.

As my sort-out went on, I became more and more ruthless. What a stupid way to live! I had things that I’d collected for making different crafts that I’d never got round to doing. Out they went. And oh, the clothes! I don’t even wear them. I just wear my favourites. Out went great armfuls of them.

The hardest part was persuading Hubby John to get rid of his stuff.

Are all men hoarders?

holidayBut at last he’s getting into the swing of it. And he’s doing all the touching-up and repairs that have been waiting for years to be done!

In one kitchen cupboard I had four water jugs. Four! If I’d filled them all at once, they wouldn’t have fitted in the fridge, so what was the point? Out went two of them.

Our hall and summer house are crammed full of things that have sat in cupboards and the loft for years.

This Bank Holiday weekend, we’re going to do three car boot sales to sell everything – weather permitting of course!


holiday3A few years ago I was a guest at an evening in London, in a luxury apartment, run by HouseTrip, who deal in high-quality properties.

The owners of the apartment would just walk out of the door and go on holiday, leaving the apartment rented out . They would leave their expensive ornaments, their kitchen equipment and everything for the use of the people who were renting the apartment.

There was a lock on one wardrobe and the other one was empty.

In the past few years, we’ve had a new kitchen and bathroom, and an expensive carpet, which I worried about every time we had any visitors.

But what’s the point when we can make money from the house?

I don’t want to stare at the carpet. I want to gaze at Mediterranean sunsets!

I’ve had the house valued for renting and I nearly fell over when I found out how much we could make from it!

Forget the carpet. The six weeks’ deposit easily pays for any damage, or even a new replacement carpet.

holiday2Most properties are rented out for a minimum of six months, but the short-term rental is a fairly new business and there is a shortage of properties.

Who would need a short let?

Corporate people who might be here for just 4-6 weeks.

Visiting family who want to go out and about while they’re here, without imposing on their relatives for several weeks.

People who have a delay in between completing on one house and the next one.

Ooh, don’t get me started on solicitors and house sales!

Someone having renovation work done in their home, who needs to move out of the mess for a short time.

Insurance emergencies, eg a burst pipe or a fire.

A divorce.

We have Glyndebourne Opera House near here. The orchestra all come for the season, but the singers change every few weeks. They all need accommodation.

Universities – the professors, not the students!

There are costs involved in starting your rental business, but they’re mainly just a one-off payment.

Check with your Mortgage Co that it’s OK to rent out the property short-term. They probably won’t know what to say, and won’t be interested.

Insurance is very important.

Make sure that you have spare keys. Keys go missing!

All furniture must be fire-proof.

Gas appliances must have certificates.

You need an inventory, which costs up to £150.

It’s a good idea to have electrical certificates, and wired-in smoke detectors.

Do have a written introduction, which gives a personal touch.

Tell them about any quirks, eg, does one key need to be fitted in a certain way?

Leave them something welcoming, like some basics in the fridge, soap, etc in the bathroom, fresh cloths in the kitchen, instructions to get to the shops, trains, buses, etc.

To calculate how much your property is worth, find out the going rate for renting, and add on 40%.

Talk to your local rental agencies. They probably won’t be interested in just your property, but you might be a useful contact for them. And they’ll probably be able to recommend someone to do the invoice, Insurance Companies, etc.

If you’re lucky, they may act as go-betweens, holding the keys for you.

The disadvantage there is, they will only be available during office hours.

A hiding-place for the key is a good idea if you’re going off and the client’s plane doesn’t land until the early hours.

I’ve learnt a lot about all this in a short time.

Hampton’s is an Estate Agency that specialices in short-term rental. They’re in the UK and some other countries too.

TripAdvisor does holiday lets, and holds the deposit for you.

Airbnb is a growing Company, with everything from a small room to a castle.

What’s the disadvantage?

There is a faint chance that someone could stay put and refuse to move out, but Hamptons say it’s never happened to them.

Almost everyone that you’ll have as clients will be home owners. And it they’re Corporate, the Company will pay their bill, and will take very seriously any behaviour that would bring shame on their name.

Damage does happen. People on holiday do often like a drink or three.

But the deposit should cover any damage, and nobody wants to lose their deposit!

People can leave a Comment on TripAdvisor, so do make sure that you’ve made your home as welcoming as possible.

I’ve arranged with my neighbour friend to change the bedding and have a quick Hoovering before we get home, after someone’s moved out.

But don’t leave your neighbour’s details as they won’t be very happy to receive a call at 2am, asking them how to work the washing-machine!

We’ve been working on the house, painting walls, deep cleaning, etc plus of course, emptying drawers.

Now we just need some good weather to get rid of all our accumulated rubbish!

And I intend to work on another way of getting commission, from having leaflets here recommending local taxi drivers, restaurants, etc.

Wish us luck.