If you’re renting a vacation house for the first time it can be very overwhelming. Most vacation rentals supply the basic amenities while guests are required to everything else. Even though my family spends a week in Cape Cod every summer, we always forget something. I’ve put together a list of What to Bring to a Vacation Rental with the hopes it will help someone, but also me while packing this week.
Make sure to always review the rental agreement before you begin packing so you know what’s available in the rental home.
Vacation Rental Basics
LINENS: My family has stayed in a variety of beach cottages – some rentals have linens and towels while others do not. Check the rental agreement twice before you leave home without sheets, pillows, and bath towels.
PAPER GOODS: Toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, etc.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT: I actually enjoy doing laundry on vacation so we unpack clean clothes when we get home.
Pillow & Blanket: My daughters prefer their personal pillow and blanket, so we always bring our own.
Dirty Laundry Bag: Even if there is a washer and dryer on site, you’ll still need a way to transport dirty items home. This is my favorite bag.
What to pack for a vacation rental: Kitchen Supplies
Condiments — Pack your favorites. Some vacation rental owners provide basic condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo), but we don’t always use them.
Spices and seasonings – for cooking and grilling, plus salt and pepper
Corkscrew – I never leave home without one!
Cereal or other breakfast foods
Food storage bags – for leftovers or beach snacks
Aluminum foil and plastic wrap
Coffee – THIS IS A BIG ONE! Also, don’t forget your favorite coffee creamer
Dish Soap & Sponge
What to Leave at Home: Mini appliances (unless you love your blender and there isn’t one at the house), toaster, coffeemaker, dishes, silverware, etc. Always check with the rental host for a list of what’s available!
What to pack for a vacation rental: Bathroom and Toilet Supplies
Medication (for adults and children)
Shampoo & Conditioner
Blow-Dryer – not every vacation rental will have a blow dryer so pack yours or a travel blow dryer
Toilet Paper – even if there is a roll or two when you arrive, it won’t last a week with a full house. We always BYOTP!
Sunscreen & Aloe
First Aid Kit
Other Essentials to Pack
Clothing Hangers – there are NEVER enough provided
Beach Chairs – even if they’re provided, sometimes we have found the beach chairs to be old/damaged
Beach Toys – some beach rental owners have a collection of beach toys for guests but its best to be prepared with backup toys in case one is lost at sea
Beach Umbrella or Tent
Baby Gate – if you have a wandering baby in a big house, come prepared to close off stairs or doorways
If you need certain items but have limited space in your vehicle, use a local rental service!
Every year we use a local rental service in Cape Cod to request the following items: Crib, Pack-n-Play, Beach Umbrella, Beach Cart, High Chair. Most of what’s listed is too big to bring from home. Also, it costs less to rent these items than to buy them once we reach our destination.
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.