Ultimate Check List for your time at the cottage!

You thought ahead and booked your cottage well in advance. Perfect cottage, perfect location, ready for the perfect family time away. Your entire family has been looking forward to this, through the long cold winter we just had. Then suddenly you realize, OH NO, its only 7 days until you leave for the cottage.

Fear not. If you prepare with this list, things should go smoothly. Of course there are always bumps in the road, but keep your list handy and organize ahead of time.


  • 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.

To Pack:

  • Prescription Medications
    Plus for my family;
  • Advil
  • Benadryl,
  • After bite
  • Imodium
  • Align
  • Allergy medication
  • A small first aid kit well equipped with Band-Aids, tweezers, polysporin, gauze, thermometer, Children`s Tylenol, knee wrap etc.
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray

Household Needs:

  • Sheet sets as required for every bed:
  • Queens
  • Doubles
  • Twins
  • 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
  • Kleenex
  • Hair dryer
  • Flashlights
  • Travel Candle and matches (Woods and summer storm can equal power outages.  Be prepared!)

Kitchen Needs:

  • Napkins
  • 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)

Laundry Needs

  • 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

  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • relish
  • mayo
  • Barbecue sauce
  • coffee
  • milk
  • cream
  • sugar
  • salad dressings
  • butter
  • margarine
  • olive oil
  • Water (some cottages do have water that is safe to drink, others don`t)
  • Makings for s`mores! Yes, this is an essential!

Don`t forget!

  • Camera and charger
  • Laptop and charger (if you must)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Books
  • Deck of Cards
  • Life jackets ( if you are required to supply your own)
  • Volleyball
  • Badminton
  • 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!