top of page
  • Writer's pictureCottage Care Rentals

16 Essentials for your Cottage Vacation

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

The countdown is on for your summer vacation at the lake!

Recreational items

Have you arrived at a cottage or other vacation destination only to realize that you packed the wrong things, or were missing some key elements? Planning out and organizing your vacation can be stressful. Allow us to melt some of that stress away by providing you with a comprehensive list of things you’ll need for your cottage vacation this summer.

Each of our cottages at Cottage Care Rentals are unique and have different amenities and features. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the listing details before you book your rental!

Essentials that you may not think of:

1. Drinking Water. Many of the cottages at Cottage Care Rentals have beautiful clear well water from the taps, while others have lake water draw so it is recommended in those listings that guests bring drinking water. Find a local water refill depot or spring to fill up a large jug to avoid single-use plastic water bottles. Some cottages have a water dispenser that accepts 3gal or 5gal jugs, so be sure to check on those details!

2. Linens. Most cottages are equipped with blankets and pillows, but you will need to bring your own towels (indoor and outdoor) and bed sheets to most cottages. Be sure to check the size of beds in the listing so you have the correct fit.

3. Local Firewood. If you’re intending to use the fire pit (and I mean, who would want to miss out on some s’mores?), please ensure you source firewood local to the cottage to prevent the transit of invasive species to our area.

4. Paper Products. A starter supply of toilet paper is provided, but you will need to bring toilet paper, tissue, and paper towel for the week. Since most of our cottages are on septic, ensure that you are using septic-safe toilet paper. Avoid “flushable” wipes as they will clog systems.

5. Recreation. Be prepared with gear you need for your favourite activities! Some examples include: binoculars for bird watching, fishing rods and tackle box, hiking shoes, properly fitted life jackets, bicycles and helmets, sun hat, swim suits, books to read at the beach or in a hammock.

Dog on dock
Furry family members enjoy lake time, too!

6. Pet Accessories. If you have booked a pet-friendly cottage and are bringing your pooch, you cannot forget their accessories. Leash, dog bowls, food, and poop bags are all crucial. We expect you to leave the cottage in as good of condition as when you arrived, and that includes keeping the lawns free of dog poop!

7. Fishing/Boating Permits. This depends on the provincial regulations. In Ontario most people need to have their Ontario card on them to fish or they can face fines. Read more about that on the Ontario website.

8. Identification. You don’t want to be caught without your health card or driver’s license while away from home.

9. Travel Insurance. If you are travelling out of province, it is a good idea to have traveller’s insurance to keep you covered.

10. Cash. It’s a good idea to have a bit of cash on hand when going to the cottage. Likely the cottage you’re staying at is in a small town, which may not have your bank. You don’t want to be stuck paying fees by using ATMs or trying to find a place that does cash back.

11. Warm Clothing. You may not think to bring some warm clothes for a summer vacation, but it can get chilly at night! Keep cozy – and beat the bugs – while sitting around the fire pit for a night of star gazing and campfire songs.

12. Flashlight. It gets dark at night when you’re away from city lights! Be sure to have a few flashlights on hand for those late-night dips in the lake or for getting from the campfire to the cottage.

13. Personal Care. Bug repellant, sunblock, aloe vera for sunburns, lip balm, and toiletries. Bring products made from natural ingredients to protect our local wildlife and waterways.

Natural ingredient toiletries
Bug repellant is a MUST in cottage country

14. Laundry Bag. You don’t want to get home after your trip and wonder which clothes are dirty and which are clean. Keep a fabric bag handy to toss your dirty laundry in as the week goes by, and then you can bring it directly to your laundry room when you get home. Psst: some cottages are equipped with laundry facilities.

15. Specialty Food. If your cottage is in a smaller town (and many are!) they may not have specific ingredients that you’re used to finding in larger cities so bring those with you. However, fresh produce is something you won’t need to bring, as you can check out the local farmer’s market for in-season goods. Also, see what you can purchase in bulk to reduce single-use packaging.

16. Your Favourite Items. The cottages at Cottage Care Rentals are certainly not barren of activities or supplies, but you may have some favourite items that will make your vacation even better. Be sure to get very familiar with what kitchen appliances, water toys, and other recreational items are included in your cottage so you can best prepare yourself for a memorable time with family!

We love to hear from you; you can always send us an email or give us a call you have any questions about what’s included in your cottage rental. At Cottage Care Rentals we keep our guests informed leading up to their booking; you can expect to receive our email communications containing pertinent information about the cottage at 10 weeks prior, 60 days prior, and 2 weeks prior to the start of your lakeside vacation. Get in touch with us today to book a cottage!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page