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.
- Prescription Medications
Plus for my family;
- After bite
- Allergy medication
- A small first aid kit well equipped with Band-Aids, tweezers, polysporin, gauze, thermometer, Children`s Tylenol, knee wrap etc.
- Bug spray
- Sheet sets as required for every bed:
- 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
- Hair dryer
- Travel Candle and matches (Woods and summer storm can equal power outages. Be prepared!)
- 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)
- 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
Water (some cottages do have water that is safe to drink, others don`t)
Makings for s`mores! Yes, this is an essential!
Camera and charger
Laptop and charger (if you must)
Cell phone and charger
Deck of Cards
Life jackets ( if you are required to supply your own)
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!