Do you have a vacation coming up and are feeling frazzled, harried, hurried, excited, angry, just plain scattered? Do you have a plan to get ready for this big vacation or do you just wing it? Perhaps you pack the way you feel, by just throwing stuff in and are left feeling frustrated, sweaty and wondering why you agreed to go on that “so called vacation” in the first place? If this begins to describe the way you pack, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Back by popular demand, my Ultimate Cottage Packing List.
What I’ve learned? Packing for a week away at a cottage can NOT be done in a day. But with a little bit of planning, a little bit of organization and a tiny bit of luck, this seemingly overwhelming task can go from painful to joy filled. A good packing list and a little prep can also be the difference between a relaxed week at the lake a week spent running errands heading out to grab all of those things you forgot. So let me help you out! Copy, print and pack the list that has helped me with countless trips to cottage country and hopefully many more to come! Happy Holidays!
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 lock box
Owner and/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.
A small first aid kit well equipped with Band-Aids, tweezers, polysporin, gauze, thermometer, Children`s Tylenol, knee wrap etc.
Sheet sets as required for every bed:
King or Queens (again, check your rental agreement)
Soft Blanket or two- this may seem ridiculous, but when you tuck in late at night to watch a movie or read a book nothing will feel better than wrapping yourself in your blanket from home and most rentals don’t have these.
Bath towels x4
Hand towels x4
Beach towels x4
Tea Towels x4
Hand Soap times 2 or 3 (Kitchen and bathrooms)
Toilet paper for the week! – most cottages require you to have 1 ply toilet paper
Shampoo & Conditioner
Hair dryer (if none are supplied)
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!)
Garbage bags (small and large)
Coffee filters (check to see what kind you need before you go!)
Cheese Grater (so many rentals I have been to don’t have one)
Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener – We use 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 pantry 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!
Beer, wine, and other lovely drinks you may require from the LCBO.
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)
Floats for the lake
Do you fish? Then pack that fishing gear and your Fishing License.
An extra sweat-shirt. 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!
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 be 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!