10 things to bring to a vacation rental house

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Booking a rental house for your vacation can be a great upgrade – you get more space, and it’s easier than coordinating multiple hotel rooms. But if you haven’t stayed in a rental property before, there are some things you should be sure to bring that you would normally find gratis in a hotel.

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Here are 10 things we had to go looking for.

1. Toilet paper

Arriving in a rental house with four bathrooms but only three rolls of toilet paper leads to some serious questions — especially after a long trip. Make sure you’ve got enough necessary paper to get the vacation started smoothly.

2. Cleaners and sponges

Having your own fully equipped kitchen is one of the benefits of having a vacation house. However, they aren’t cleaned every day like a hotel is. Bring along some light cleaning supplies to help clean up messes as they happen.

3. Measuring spoons

“Fully equipped” can be a relative term when it comes to rental properties. You can get a kitchen that’s ready for Wolfgang Puck to step in, and you can get a mismatched set straight out of a college dorm room.

Measuring spoons are small, light, and useful for many things, including morning coffee.

4. Garbage bags

After a week, any garbage can can be overfull and smell worse than your dirty laundry. Make sure you can empty your garbage cans and refill them with new, clean bags.

5. Groceries

With the kitchen comes the ability to save significant money on your vacation. Instead of going out to eat for every meal, give yourself the ability to make breakfasts and lunches.

If you’re renting with several groups, rotate who pays for meals and don’t be afraid to cook instead of going out.

6. Toys and games

If you’re renting with your family, or extended family, you may be spending more time together in the unit. Bring favorite games and toys to enjoy together.

While board games take up lots of space in luggage, card games and dice games are easier to pack.

7. Storage bags

As the week progresses, you’ll find leftovers and unused food items piling up. Make sure to get some storage bags to keep things good and keep costs down.

If you’re driving to your getaway destination, you can use those bags to help bring extra food home.

8. DVDs

While it’s tempting to bring the latest Blu-ray with you on vacation, your rental house may well only be stocked with DVD players.

Check with the property owners before you arrive, or bring a laptop with a Blu-ray player built in. A laptop and HDMI cable can help you stream video, too.

9. Extra batteries

In a big rental house, there are likely to be multiple tvs, DVD players and even sound systems. That means a lot of remote controls, and a lot of batteries that can go dead.

Having some extra double-A batteries can be the difference between relaxing in front of a movie and being frustrated with non-functioning equipment.

10. Sheets and towels

Read your rental agreement carefully to find out what linens are provided and if they are cleaned. Many vacation rentals provide no linens at all, and most cannot accommodate requests for extras. This is especially true for beach towels.

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