What to Pack for a Vacation Home Rental

With sites like Home Away and Airbnb, vacation home rentals have quickly become the go-to choice for savvy travelers. No matter how long you plan to stay, the advantage of having an entire house to yourself is hard to pass up. Unlike hotels and resorts, vacation home rentals are typically furnished with an array of amenities, from fully stocked kitchens to outdoor recreational gear. However, you might be surprised to learn that many rentals do not include items such as bed sheets and toilet paper.

If this is your first time renting, and you’re not sure what to pack for a vacation home rental, here’s a handy list of essentials to help you make the most of your home away from home.

Vacation Rental Packing List

Beyond the usual vacation must-haves, what you need to bring will depend heavily on what the vacation home includes, so make sure to request a list from the rental owner. How long you’re planning to stay and how you plan to use the home, will also have an impact on your packing list. For instance, if you’re planning to eat out for the duration of your stay, you might opt to skip the kitchen items.

Towels & Linens

If the vacation home does not include bed sheets and towels, make sure you know the size of the mattresses and whether or not you’ll need to bring pillows. Even if they provide pillows, I always advise bringing your own if you can – you know you will sleep well and not have to adjust to different fluff or softness! If traveling with an infant, find out if there is a crib, high chair, etc. Don’t forget to pack bath towels, as well as beach towels if you plan to swim or sunbathe.

Kitchen Items

Most rentals include basic place settings and utensils, but if you plan to use the kitchen for cooking, make sure you get details. Knowing whether there’s a toaster oven and coffee maker will help with your grocery list, and don’t forget the condiments and spices. Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, food containers and bags will come in handy, as well, and, if they’re not provided, you’ll need dishwasher detergent or dish soap, a sponge and dish towels. Lastly, bring a good corkscrew and bottle opener – it is vacation after all!

Paper Products & Cleaning Supplies

Not every rental includes the necessities, such as toilet paper, napkins, paper towels and garbage bags, so make sure to ask. If cleaning supplies are not included, a basic all-purpose cleaner and sponge should do the trick. However, if you’re staying for an extended period, or are required to clean thoroughly upon check out, you may want to bring additional supplies.


If you’re one of those travelers that relies on the complimentary shampoo and conditioner provided by hotels, you’ll need to pack your own for a vacation rental. That often goes for hand soap and your hair dryer, too. If there’s a washer and dryer, find out if it is coin operated and consider packing a small bottle of laundry detergent.

Outdoor Gear & Extras

Depending on the season, you’ll need different recreational gear, so find out what’s included with your vacation rental. Coolers, beach chairs, umbrellas, bikes, canoes and snowshoes are some popular items hear in the Lake George area. Before you pack the laptop, ensure there’s WiFi, and don’t forget your phone charger. Find out if there’s a barbecue included and if you need to bring your own charcoal and lighter fluid. Either way, you’ll want to pack matches and a lighter. If you need to purchase propane, find out where to go.

Renting vs. Buying a Vacation Home

As a real estate agent for the Southern Adirondacks, I’m often asked if it makes more sense to rent or buy a vacation home in Lake George. And the fact is, it really depends on how much you love the area. If you find you’re returning year after year, or making multiple trips each year – a few ski trips every winter, hiking in the fall, plus summer vacations – then buying would probably be more convenient and cost-effective in the long run. And if you think you might like to retire in Lake George eventually, then buying a vacation home is absolutely a smart move.

If you’re interested in looking at vacation homes in Lake George, Bolton Landing and the surrounding Southern Adirondacks, give me a call at (518) 321-1870. Even if you’re not ready to buy just yet, I’d still love to talk about your goals and help you come up with a plan.

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