Which items to pack (and which to leave at home) when staying in a vacation rental

Vacation Home

Renting a vacation home promotes a slower paced trip with less to stress over and more room to spread out. My kids favorite activity when we arrive at a new vacation rental? Hide and go seek (how better to get to know the place?).  For parents, vacation rentals provide relaxation: no need to unpack just to repack again in a few days. It’s easy to spend an entire week or more in one rental, saving on transportation to new destinations and restaurant meals, but the luxury of space sometimes leads to over-packing. Here’s what to bring (and what to leave at home) the next time you rent a house. What to bring:

  1. Bikes or skis. Depending on the season, you’ll have room at a vacation home for the full fleet of bikes or everyone’s skis. If you’ve rented equipment for a family in the past, you know what a cost savings this is! Most vacation homes are in communities perfect for bike rides; let older kids explore the resort or neighborhood on their own, or plan an entire family ride.
  2. Golf clubs. We love to golf, but often, we don’t have room for our clubs in our hotel room, and we don’t like leaving them in our car. We love vacation rentals with full garages or storage spaces to stash our clubs when we’re not using them.
  3. Laundry detergent. You’ll want to take advantage of the full washer and dryer included in many vacation rental homes. Often, a sample packet will be included in your stay, but check to see if you’ll need to bring or buy more.
  4. Groceries. Eat in! It’s cheaper and healthier in a vacation rental. For the best savings, shop in the last large town or city you pass through en route to your vacation destination (instead of in the resort). The only trick will be finding room in the car for the bags amid all the luggage!
  5. Lawn games or board games. We love quiet evenings in our vacation rental, but need some activity, too. We research our property ahead of time to see if our rental includes a yard or acreage, and bring outdoor toys if so. If not, we always bring our favorite board games.
Canyons Bike Trail
What to leave at home:
  1. Bedding or sleeping bags. Thank goodness, you can leave the sleeping bags at home! We love that vacation homes come with all the bedding we need for our entire vacation.
  2. Tips or cash for a valet. No paid parking at a vacation rental! Yes, you’ll have to bring your own luggage in, but you’ll also have a driveway to park in or a parking pass.
  3. Paper or plastic dishes and cutlery. We love that vacation home kitchens are stocked with all the necessary plates and silverware. No need to waste money and resources on paper products.
  4. Spices, seasonings, and kitchen accessories. It’s overwhelming enough to grocery shop for an entire vacation’s worth of meals. It’s nice to know it’s usually unnecessary to buy condiments, seasonings, and spices. Almost all vacation rentals we’ve experienced have had the above stocked