Cottagers! Plan, Pack And Rejoice! It’s Almost Summer!

Are you ready for it?  The first official long weekend of the summer is just around the corner and I can’t wait!  For many Canadians this means it’s time to organize the kids, pack up the house, throw everybody in the car and make a trip to cottage country. Sigh, is there a better place in the world?  Crystal clear lakes, long docks, walks in the woods and bonfires.  Sleeping in late, big breakfasts, old fashioned board games and eating way too much.  Dreaming of  getaways up north is how I get through that frigid Canadian winter.

How do you have the “perfect” long weekend at the cottage?  With weekend getaways, a little preparation can make a huge difference.   Here’s how this family preps when we’re lucky enough to be heading out for a glorious long weekend with family or friends.

Step 1:  Pack for comfort and for fun.  Remember cottage life is all about relaxation and family time.  No need to pack the fancy clothes and “fashion before function” shoes.  Think leggings and sweatshirts for nights around the campfire, extra socks for coolish nights, shorts, maxi-dresses, swim-suits and lots of beach towels for those brave enough to take that first dip in the chilly lake.  After your clothes are all squared away, throw in a new puzzle for the family to tackle and a fave board game or two.  One of the best things about cottage life is the ability to truly re-connect with your loved one’s with some old fashioned fun.

Step 2:  Do some meal planning.  You don’t want to spend the entire weekend running back and forth into town to the local grocery store because you forgot to grab ketchup or potatoes.

Step 3: Be prepared! Remember cottage life is sometimes messy.  Don’t forget those little things that can turn into big things if left behind.  Hand soap (for the bathrooms and the kitchen), dish soap/dishwasher detergent, and all the essentials for the laundry.  I detest coming home from the perfect cottage getaway only to have to run 6 loads of laundry for my crew, so tend to stay on top of it while I’m away.  The easy way to do this?  Know what kind of laundry you will be doing and prepare accordingly.  I pack Tide PODS Plus Febreze Laundry Detergent.  They are super-convenient as it’s a 4-in-1 laundry product.  With each  Tide POD you have the power to clean, brighten fabrics, fight stains and freshen an entire load with just one POD.  Nothing is easier!

Sometimes your favourite cottage clothing items can be tricky to care for. Those leggings, sweaters, swimsuits and towels can take on some tough-to eliminate odours. You may have noticed your  favourite leggings are often designed with synthetic fibres making them odour magnets, sweaters can instantly take on a “campfire smell” when roasting marshmallows, and swimsuits and towels can develop a musty odour if not properly laundered.  So here are some helpful tips to make laundry a breeze: 

  • Most leggings, especially those designed for athletic wear; contain synthetic fibers, which are dirt and odour magnets. This can make your leggings more prone to getting stinky. To get rid of odours after wearing them, wash them in Tide PODS Plus Febreze Odor Defense, along with Tide Odor Rescue with Febreze Odor Defense laundry booster to remove body soils and odours from deep inside the fibres.  After wearing, simply throw your Tide POD into the wash, add your clothing and let the magic begin.
  • Have you ever done a load of laundry only to end up with clothing that still has a faint odour?  It’s so frustrating!  To eliminate odours like “campfire smell” from sweaters, be sure to use a high quality laundry detergent like Tide PODS plus Febreze Odor Defense. Use along with Tide Odor Rescue with Febreze Odor Defense laundry booster to help eliminate odours at the fibre level.  Getting it done right the first time saves you time and money.
  • After a fun day at the beach or on the lake, most people throw their towels in a pile.  Teach your little one’s to hang their towels up in between uses and allow towels to air dry until you are ready to wash them.  This will help to avoid that dreaded “musty” smell.  When you do wash them, wash in warm water with Tide PODS with Febreze Odor Defense.

  • Want that just washed smell to last and last?  Downy Fresh Protect helps give an extra boost of fresh scent out of the wash and storage. The motion-activated fresheners neutralize bad odours and give a fresh scent as you move through your day.
  • Downy Fresh Protect removes any odours from clothes and provides an amazing fresh scent that will last 24 hours or up to 12 weeks in storage.

Extra hints:  When you are packing for a cottage, it can feel 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 a mix of small suitcases, 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!

Now all you have to do is fill the gas tank, grab the kids and you’re ready to go!

I want to make getting ready for the first “official” long weekend of summer even easier.  How?  With a giveaway of course!

Enter now for your chance to WIN all the fabulous TIDE products pictured in this post; Tide PODS, Tide Odor Rescue capsules and Downy fresh protect.

Here’s how to enter: Comment below and answer this question; “What is your favourite or best packing tip?” Then use the Rafflecopter form provided to earn those extra entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to Canadians only, excluding Quebec, and to all those who have reached the age of majority in their Province. Limit of one entry form per household.  Closes June 5, 2017

Wishing you all a glorious long weekend!  Happy Travels!

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  I was provided product in order to facilitate this review and post.  As always all opinions on this blog remain my own.


  1. Judy Cowan says:

    We are already enjoying life at the “cottge” or in our case the RV! Looking forward to the first long weekend of the season!

  2. Lorraine Hibbs says:

    Pack light 🙂

  3. Kathy Kelly says:

    Well my best packing tip is to roll your clothes when placing them in a suitcase. They wrinkle way less this way and it really makes more room in the suitcase. I roll everything except jeans or hoodies. When packing a car – place the easily fit items in the trunk (suitcases/boxes/squarish bags etc) and the looser items in the back seat (extra coats/shoes/food for the trip)

  4. Jennifer Kitt says:

    Keep it simple! I use to overpack and quickly realized I was bringing way to many clothes. Think ahead, check weather and only pack for an outfit a day plus one extra outfit for the trip incase weather goes crazy. Check out laundromats to wash clothes which will cut down on how much you need. Some hotels offer this too 🙂

  5. Pack early so that you can repack and remove along the way. Also use your space efficiently…ie) put things inside of things, and create a system for yourself to always know where to find things in your suitcase. Making a list in advance may help you not to forget things. Pack practical items only.

  6. Amanda Masters says:

    I use wipes containers for snacks and kid friendly kits with stickers, crayons, not pads. They are great for keeping like items together and easy to find

  7. kathy downey says:

    I always find packing less is better,i can’t wait to get out to the cottage if the weather would just warm up.

  8. If travelling by plane, I put a bit of each person’s clothing in each suitcase, so that if one gets lost in transit, that person doesn’t lose all of their stuff!

  9. Rebecca says:

    I steal a bit of space from hubby’s suitcase 😁

  10. plan a day to hit a store. Don’t pack things unnecessarily and buy smaller sizes so you don’t have guilt of throwing things out or leaving them behind if it’s your own cottage.

  11. My tip is to not over pack. You can always buy the little things.

  12. my best packing tip is the roll your clothes, don’t fold

  13. Don’t bring too much stuff. You can always buy some things when you arrive.

  14. Best tip – Pack complete outfits together. Our “cottage” is our boat and there’s only so much storage. Packing full outfits (top/bottom/underwear/socks) together makes it easy to get everyone ready in the morning and keeps the boat tidy.

  15. ivy pluchinsky says:

    My tip is to pack light and try to pack things so that everything fits into your suitcase! I fold the t-shirts to make more room

  16. My tip is to roll your clothes to avoid wrinkles and fit more in

  17. Sherry Moffitt says:

    My husband and I travel light , only bringing what we know we will wear.

  18. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Always pack any fluids or creams in ziplock plastic bags, so prevent having to wash as soon as you reach your destination. 🙂

  19. Lynda Cook says:

    The only tip I have is write everything down and check it twice, so you don’t forget anything

  20. Stephanie says:

    I like to roll clothes instead of folding, saves some space!

  21. Christine w says:

    I make a list to ensure I’m not bringing useless stuff! It also helps me when I need to repack when I return.

  22. Gillian Morgan says:

    Make a list of everything you may need from clothing items to medications. Roll clothing to make more room in your suitcase. If you plan on doing some shopping try packing a smaller suitcase inside a bigger suitcase just in case you need it.

  23. Janet M says:

    I find if I roll my clothes they are not wrinkled and take up less room.

  24. Melinda says:

    My best packing tip is to roll your clothes. I can fit more in my bag when I do this.

  25. Trisha Pedros says:

    I am so lucky! I live at my cottage which is a big house on the lake! I do however need to clean it so would love to win this amazing prize pack! My packing tip is to put your shoes in your carry on not much else you can carry on now, so it’s perfect. Ans rolling your clothes tightly is a great idea too! Thanks for contest and the great article! Loved it!

  26. i like to plan my outfits including a few extra just incase and keep it all together like a package

  27. Kathryn says:

    I freeze water bottles and juice boxes that im bringing anyway…. and use them as ice packs (then i dont have to pack ice)

  28. heidi c. says:

    I freeze water in recycled pop and water bottles first to act as a cold pack for our cooler and then, once they have melted, as water to drink.

  29. Tina L. says:

    Roll your clothes instead of folding

  30. Linda Svarovsky says:

    Bring comfy shoes

  31. Shirley p says:

    I usually pack just what I need keep it simple make sure you have comfortable shoes and freeze a couple water bottles to keep the cooler bag cold..A first aid kit is a must

  32. That railing full of towels accurately depicts my parents’ house in the summer! A good tip for towels? I started to personalize family towels as gifts! My dad was always complaining about the kids stealing ‘his’ towel, so he got a “Grampie” towel this Xmas, and I’ve decided to make them for everyone. People are less likely to grab new, clean ones, therefore less laundry and better for the environment! Which is good, since the laundry piles up when there are 10-15 people staying in the house!

  33. Nicole Bonomo says:

    When packing my suitcase, I roll all my clothes to get maximum use of the suitcase.

  34. Laurie P says:

    Start ahead of time, plan accordingly, and double check.

  35. Pack your socks and underwear into your shoes!

  36. Alayne Langford says:

    Make a check list!!

  37. Florence Cochrane says:

    If you are going shopping on your trip leave room to bring back new items. If going camping make a list ahead of time and add things as you remember them.

  38. Jenny Major says:

    I always find packing less is better

  39. Lushka Smith says:

    Keep a list and check off once you’ve put it in the suitcase.

  40. Only pack necessary things!

  41. Pack only essentials!

  42. Jenness M says:

    I keep a dryer sheet in my suitcase to keep my clothes fresh.

  43. Judy Cowan says:

    Make a list and stick to it when you pack so you don’t end up taking a bunch of things you don’t need.

  44. Leslie W-H says:

    I use packing cubes to organize clothes for my two boys within one large bag. The cubes keep everything from tumbling around together as the bags get tossed around.

  45. I’m a big fan of making a list when packing, otherwise I’d end up with everything in my suitcase!!!

  46. Roll your clothes and stuff your shoes.

  47. Anna Dalzell says:

    Take only what you need! Be ruthless when picking out your clothes-you do not need 8 pairs of pants for a weekend trip!!

  48. My best tip is to make a list before hand so you don’t bring unnecessary items or miss anything!

  49. Erika P says:

    We are a large family and enjoy camping several times a summer. I am an organization nerd as I have a LAMINATED packing list and have a “ready” Rubbermaid tub with some of our camping gear ready to go.

  50. Glogirl says:

    My best packing tip is to pack bottles of liquids (ie. shampoos, facial cleansers) in recloseable bags just in case a leak happens.

  51. wendy Hutton says:

    pack only what you really need, I put shampoos/creams in ziplock bags, I roll up the clothing to save on space make a list so you do not forget anuthing

  52. I like to roll my clothes instead of folding them for more space in the suitcase!

  53. Brenda Lacourciere says:

    Plan ahead so you aren’t bringing things you don’t need.

  54. Lisa Chambers says:

    I am in need of this advice! I always pack way too much clothing! Just in case…lol My best too though, is to buy the small samples of toiletries, it can save alot of room!

  55. Rhonda W G. says:

    Use accessories as a way of changing up an outfit so that you need less clothing. Use sample sizes of anything you can…

  56. Dianne G. says:

    My best tip is to make a list of all the things you need and when you get to your cottage or camping add or take away from that list for the next time you go. You may not think about some things like matches and a knife to make kindling for a campfire or a piece of rope and clothespins to hang wet swimsuits so add that to the list for next time.

  57. Lisa McLain says:

    Only take what you really need !!!

  58. Linda G says:

    Those zip lock bags, squeeze the air out and you can pack a lot more towels, clothing, etc. Then use them on the return for wet dirty items.

  59. Nicole Jubleew says:

    My best packing tip is to roll your clothes to fit more in. Also keep lots of small containers to hold odds and ends so that they are easier to find.

  60. pack light

  61. Lee-Ann S says:

    Have a spare set of clothes for everyone just in case someone forgets how to count or an accident happens.

  62. Julie bolduc says:

    Purge as much as you can

  63. Carole D says:

    My best packing tip is to roll your clothes!

  64. Juliee Fitze says:

    I roll all my clothes and fill any holes with smaller items.

  65. I lay everything out on the bed first and then try to put about 1/2 of it back 😀

  66. Start early!

  67. crystal porter says:

    Pack light and roll your clothes

  68. Sunshine G says:

    Take a Tide-To-Go pen with you – travelling with little kids involves a lot of spills!

  69. sandypeachy says:

    take tide everywhere, cottage, hotel to wash undergarments ; wear clothes that dont need ironing is a good time.

  70. Start packing early they you will be able to purchase anything that you might still be missing

  71. 🙁 We don’t own a vehicle anymore so no more trips for us. However our tip for packing is to pack as light as possible. You won’t need an excess of clothing. Take green garbage bags for clothes that get dirty and stinky from campfire smoke.

  72. Lee-Ann says:

    My tip is to pack light and do laundry! Most places offer some sort of laundry and we try to stay places that have laundry. Typically I pack enough stuff for 3 days and do laundry half way through a week vacation.

  73. I tend to overpack. I roll my clothes so it’s a better fit

  74. I make a list to bring all my essentials and medications. Then I pack lightly and only bring

    what I think I will wear and my most comfortable shoes.I like to pack clothes that I know will

    not wrinkle easily.I pack my undies and socks in a laundry bag and then later use the bag for my dirty


  75. Make a list, that way you can try to avoid over and under packing.

  76. Tara Betterley says:

    I create a list of everything that is needed. I check off as I pack the items. rule in my house – once packed – nothing is taken out.. It is so much easier to have the list – I’m not stressing if I forgot something.

  77. Lists help alot! Clear ziplocks are great for holding smaller items and you can see what’s inside, I roll a lot of my clothes for more space and I decorate my luggage with something bright and colourful!

  78. nicolthepickle says:

    Mine is make a list. That makes it so much easier and you remember everything.

  79. Make a list, and don’t over pack.

  80. Alison Braidwood says:

    When it comes to packing suitcases, I’m a roller. You can squeeze a lot more clothes in than if you pack flat.

  81. Andrea Amy says:

    Pack early, and use a list. Only pack what you NEED, and don’t go overboard.

  82. sara rai says:

    I usually pack what is need for an emergency, other than that its light packing.

  83. SUMMER PLEWES says:

    It sounds simple but it is essential to roll your clothes. It saves a ton of space!!

  84. SweetPanda says:

    I usually start packing few days in advance and I try to stick to few tops with an extra pair of pants for each person and that’s it so that I don’t have a lot to carry

  85. Nicole Hutcheson says:

    I use a list do that nothing important is forgotten. I roll our clothes so they fit better in bags for packing!

  86. my packing tip is to make a list, and follow it – only bring what you really need and leave the rest at home.

  87. Sherri F says:

    When packing your suitcase, roll your clothes up. It helps more fit and when you get to your destination, your clothes aren’t all wrinkled.

  88. Margo b says:

    Don’t overdue the packing, just go easy with it and take the necessities

  89. mohammad anjum says:

    comfy shoes

  90. angela eagle says:

    I always remember to bring toilet paper and baby wipes

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