Pack This, Not That: Vacation Rental Houses

Whether you’re headed to a beach house or a mountain retreat, here's what you need to pack for a fully-stocked kitchen, bathroom, and more.

By Amy Ahlberg

Morning coffee or tea

Don’t forget to bring your favorite coffee or tea along, as well as coffee filters. And if you're not sure about the quality of the pipes or the local water, pack a few liters of spring water as well.

Source: MidwestWeekends


Since so few rentals have well-sharpened knives, bring some from home. Consider bringing a chef’s knife for big cutting jobs, a paring knife for small jobs, and a serrated knife for tomatoes and bread.

Tip: Slip knives into a used paper towel roll, or wrap with paper towels and secure with a rubber band.

Source: MidwestWeekends

Cupboard cooking basics

If you're driving to your destination, you can pack a few cupboard mainstays from home (and avoid buying new pricey ones at your destination). A black pepper grinder, good sea salt, olive oil, and your favorite vinegar will make all the difference in the simple dishes you’ll whip up using local seafood and produce.

Tip: Write down a list of meal possibilities before leaving home. You’ll avoid making repeated trips to the local market if you’ve considered everything you’ll need to in order to cook—both the staples you’re bringing from home, and the fresh items you want to buy locally upon arrival.

Source: Cooking Light

Other tools and gadgets

Depending on your dinner-making plans and how well the rental property is outfitted, consider bringing the following: cutting boards, can opener, corkscrew, or an ice cream scoop.

Source: Cooking Light

Flavor enhancers

Bring snack-sized resealable bags containing any favorite spices or herbs you’re going to be using in small amounts. And depending on the shopping options at your destination, consider bringing items like olives, capers, lemons, and specialty cheeses, as well.

Source: Cooking Light

Don’t forget baking supplies

If you plan to make fruit pies or cobblers using farm stand finds, bring along flour, sugar, vanilla extract, and baking soda and powder from your cupboard—it's no fun to buy a whole new box when you have a full box at home.

Source: Vacation Lists 

Get ready to grill

If your rental will have a charcoal or electric grill, bring along grilling essentials such as a bag of charcoal, matches, a meat thermometer, and tongs.

Source: MidwestWeekends

Storing it away

You'll need lidded plastic storage containers, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil to wrap up and store leftovers, as rental properties rarely have these items.

Source: MidwestWeekends

Kitchen cleanup kit

Make cleanup easy by packing items like garbage bags, paper towels, paper napkins, dishtowels, dishwashing liquid, and a kitchen sponge.

Source: Vacation Lists

Bathroom basics

You’ll probably need to bring bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, and beach towels. Don’t forget to pack a few bars of soap for the bathroom shower and sink, as well as a few boxes of facial tissues. And be sure to bring extra rolls of toilet paper—you don't want to have to worry about not having a roll when you first arrive.

Source: MidwestWeekends


Inquire as to whether your rental supplies bedding. If not, you’ll need to bring blankets, sheets, and pillowcases. Sleeping bags might be a good idea for getaways to cooler climates. And consider bringing your favorite bed pillows along, too.

Source: MidwestWeekends

Fuel for a crackling fire

If your rental has a fireplace, you might want to bring plenty of old newspaper and matches; find out if firewood is provided.

Source: MidwestWeekends

Other helpful items to have

If you have room in the car, consider bringing the following: Folding chairs, board games, flashlights or head lamps, a night light, and an electric fan or two.

Source: MidwestWeekends

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