Tips for choosing a gite or holiday rental:
Size and location: Have a clear idea of exactly what you want: a romantic hideaway or a property suitable for family holidays. Do you want to be within walking distance to shops/ restaurants a nearby town? (French drink driving laws are more severe and random breath testing alot more frequent than in UK/ Ireland)
How many bedrooms do you need?
Would you like a private pool, or do you not mind sharing? Do you mind if the pool is overlooked?
Bear in mind that in peak season, July and August, temperatures may be high enough to make access to a pool essential for those not accustomed to this kind of weather. Many properties may also be near a lake, although some lakes are private- so check are there charges for use.
Access: Are you driving, fly/ driving or relying entirely on public transport. How near the airport do you want to be?
The train system in France is excellent, making it a very realistic option for day-trips, so being near a station may be a good idea.
Facilities: Do you want linen/ towels supplied or are you happy to bring your own? (expensive now that budget airlines are charging for luggage!!) What about airconditioning? Some French holiday homes will have this in one or more bedrooms. Or throughout the whole house- though this is rarer.
Do you need a washing machine, television, dishwasher?
Is there a barbecue supplied and enough garden furniture, or will you have to bring indoor furniture outside and then bring it back in at night.
Will your property have enough chairs/ tables for you to entertain friends, or just enough for you, the paying guest?