If you prefer the hum of an air conditioner to the chirping of crickets and the morning greeting of birds singing, holing up in a cottage is probably not high on your list.
But if you're tired of city traffic and busy streets, you may already be dreaming about leaving your world behind for awhile for the haven of a cottage vacation.
Even if you share your cottage with a partner or several roommates, you can still experience a sense of privacy and space that doesn't happen at home.
Finding potential cottages to rent for your vacation isn't difficult. You'll find lists of such places on websites, in newspapers, through real estate agencies, and by the old standby word of mouth.
Ask your friends and neighbors if they've ever rented a cottage, where it was and how they liked it.
Finding them is easy. Determining if a particular cottage is right for you can be a little more work.
Phone or email the owner or manager of the property. You'll need to find out whether or not the cottage is available for the dates you want.
Spell out how many people will be coming to the cottage. Are you taking children or grandchildren? What about pets? The proprietor will need this information.
Find out how they like to be paid, by a cheque sent in the mail, by credit card or Paypal. Learn their cancellation policy in case things don't work out.
Ask them for an emergency contact phone number if the owner/manager will not be nearby.
Sometimes you'll get the key ahead of time by mail, or you might be met at the cottage with the key. When you're in the front door, make sure you've got working lights, water and any heat or air conditioning.
If there are problems, notify the proprietor right away so as not to be saddled with repair costs.
Remember to bring your own bedding and towels if they are not provided. You'll want to know what is in the cottage for food preparation, and what's in the surrounding area.
Do you need to bring some utensils, pots or pans? Do you have a stove? A microwave? A dishwasher?
Are there restaurants, fast food places or grocery stores close by?