The Ultimate Cottage Packing List!

So you have one week until the long awaited cottage vacation.  You’ve scrimped and saved, your entire family has been looking forward to this getaway for the entire year, and suddenly you realize. Crap.  In less then seven days you have to figure out how to get two families organized, packed up into two cars and hit the road without forgetting anything?  How will you do this?  There are two ways to go about it.  The hard way.  Scramble, panic, scream and yell at each other to make sure you have everything and then forget at least half of your precious stuff.  Or take a little bit of time to be organized and truly enjoy your weeks vacation.


Today I bring to you, my must haves for a successful week at the cottage. 

The Ultimate Cottage Packing List:


  • Rental Agreement and Arrival Information (be sure to know your check in time)
  • This may include a cleaning check list for your departure
  • Directions to the cottage
  • A Map (for when you get lost despite the directions)
  • Additional information needed to  access the cottage. i.e. -Code for keyless entry or lockbox
  • Owner or agency contact numbers
    Flashlight: (keep it in the glove box in case you arrive in the dark!)

Hint: When you are looking up directions, be sure to make note of the closest Hospital and Walk in Clinic. 

To Pack:

  • Prescription Medications
    Plus for my family;
  • Advil
  • Benadryl,
  • After bite
  • Imodium
  • Align
  • Allergy medication
  • A small first aid kit well equipped with Band-Aids, tweezers, polysporin, gauze, thermometer, Children`s Tylenol, knee wrap etc.
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray

Household Needs:

  • Sheet sets as required for every bed:
  • Queens
  • Doubles
  • Twins
  • Bath towels x4
  • Hand towels x4
  • Beach towels x4
  • Tea Towels x4
  • Paper Towels
  • Hand Soap times 2 or 3 (Kitchen and bathrooms)
  • Toilet paper for the week!
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Kleenex
  • Hair dryer
  • Flashlights
  • Travel Candle and matches (Woods and summer storm can equal power outages.  Be prepared!)

Kitchen Needs:

  • Napkins
  • Dishwasher Tabs (Hint: buy a box and just throw 14 in a Ziploc bag!)
  • small dish soap
  • Tin Foil
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Parchment Paper
  • Garbage bags (small and large)
  • Coffee filters (check to see what kind you need before you go!)
  • Paper plates 
  • Plastic Cups
  • Cheese Grater (so many rentals I have been to don`t have one)

Laundry Needs

  • Tide Pods (again I throw 10 or so in a Ziplock bag so I have everything I need to do one load of laundry in one little tab)
  • Tide Laundry Stick (stains happen on vacations too!)

Menu planning is key!  You don’t want to spend your entire week wondering what’s for dinner and making the hike into town for more supplies.  You will require your weeks worth of meals plus the essentials.  Don’t forget the good snacks! Here are some essentials to get you started.

*salt and pepper are included at most rentals

  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • relish
  • mayo
  • Barbecue sauce
  • coffee
  • milk
  • cream
  • sugar
  • salad dressings
  • butter
  • margarine
  • olive oil
  • Water (some cottages do have water that is safe to drink, others don`t)
  • Makings for s`mores! Yes, this is an essential!

Don`t forget!

  • Camera and charger
  • Laptop and charger (if you must)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Books
  • Deck of Cards
  • Life jackets ( if you are required to supply your own)
  • Volleyball
  • Badminton
  • An extra sweatshirt. I know you think all your clothes are packed.  They are not.  It gets cold and buggy up at the lake at night.  Go and throw in an extra sweater or sweatshirt for everyone!
    What to wear

Wondering what to wear at the cottage!  Think easy, breezy and comfy,  You can`t go wrong!  See my post here for what I’m packing for a week at the cottage!

My super duper packing tricks

When you are packing for a cottage, it feels like you are taking the entire house with you!  Don`t feel like you have to use suitcases. They take up too much room anyway.  I prefer to pack with totes and laundry baskets.  Stash all the food in coolers with a ton of ice packs.  Roll the sheets and towels and put them in laundry baskets, and use flat totes and square totes for pantry items and lake stuff.  You would surprised how much more you can squeeze into your car! 

Most important remember, as long as you have your kids and your credit cards, anything you forget can be replaced if it has to be! Enjoy and have fun!


  1. Maggie C says:

    such great tips! I am so not good when it comes to packing … I will bookmark this page!

  2. Have a wonderful time! You list is awesome and I myself must have a list before I pack. I start doing it a few weeks in advance and every time I think of something I add it to the list.

  3. Chandra Christine O'Connor says:

    thats a nice freaking cottage!

  4. Debbie Bashford says:

    and take your lists with you, so you know what to bring back home with you!

  5. Judy Cowan says:

    Great tips, is this the cottage you are staying at? It looks amazing!

  6. Lynda Cook says:

    Great packing tips, we used to own a trailer we went to every weekend and I always managed to forget something

  7. that’s a good list.

    if renting off of kijiji don’t get taken in by scams

  8. What a handy list, thanks!

  9. Chandra Christine O'Connor says:

    tampons and pads for those horrible little visits

  10. Jolan Holmes says:

    Great article and tips. Can’t wait to use them

  11. Awesome cottage! looks great, and a fantastic list

  12. Darlene Schuller says:

    There are some fabulous tips here and i usually forget extra toilet paper.. some cottages supply 1/2 a roll or none lol

  13. i’ve never been to a cottage. it looks fab.

  14. We are thinking about maybe renting a cottage next summer so I am definitely going to print and keep this list!

  15. Great list, I used to have one just like it when we would go camping

  16. I love this post! We just booked our lake house rental for 2015…I know, it’s crazy that we are already booking for next summer. 🙂 This breakdown of items will come in handy. What a helpful post, thanks!

  17. What a handy list, thanks!

  18. Anne Taylor says:

    Really great post! I think you covered everything! I’m quite organized, but love lists!

  19. did the list included the parent’s spare credit card?

  20. What a wonderful list! Excellent ideas about using totes and laundry baskets. I’m generally the least organized person…luckily planning doesn’t fall to me too often.

  21. Victoria Ess says:

    Thank you for sharing the list and all the tips! We are going camping next weekend and will sure find this post handy.

  22. Chandra Christine O'Connor says:

    this cottage is so lovely to look at.

  23. kathy downey says:

    Im printing this list if thats ok and posting to my fridge because i ALWAYs forget things at home when we go

  24. This is fantastic!

    Also, I should really learn to book earlier. Oops!

    Maybe a summer miracle can happen. 😉

  25. This is an excellent list of things to take to the cottage.Ususally I get so excited about going that I forget something.It’s crazy all the things we do have to pack and take though.Thanks for this!!

  26. kathy downey says:

    I would love to print this list if its okey,best list i ever seen.

  27. Great list! I have pinned for future reference.

  28. This is a great list and I am pinning it for future reference. Thanks so much for this.

  29. Isn’t it crazy all the things that we actually need or possibly could need for a safe and happy get away.

  30. That’s a beautiful cottage.The last thing you need to do is to go looking for something that you need after getting there. This is a great list.

  31. Be sure to keep the list to remember what to pack when coming back home.

  32. i’m bookmarking this one! thanks for the list!

  33. Tiffany Rotulo says:

    Laundry baskets are a great tip. I love the lists. That cottage looks beautiful! Great pic.

  34. Shirley P says:

    Thank you for the list now I dont need to make one yours has every needed

  35. Tania B says:

    This is really well thought out list. Well done! I almost always forget something or other. I am stealing this for my next trip.

  36. That is an awesome list and I am keeping it in my favorites so I can refer to it when we go camping.

  37. Great list, this will be handy

  38. Laurie P says:

    some great reminders, like the Benadryl, need to buy some more!

  39. Izzy7793 says:

    Thanks so much!!! That was really helpful😁

  40. kathy downey says:

    Finally we are going to the cottage for 2 whole weeks,just hubby and i.I will be following your packing tips….wish me luck!

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