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10 Things You Should Always Pack for Your Vacation Rental

Before you pile into the caravan, make a list of what(else) to carry along to your fabulous vacation rental home.


Chargers and power adapters

This may seem like a duh, but it bears repeating. Don’t forget to pack your chargers and load up on extra adapters, advises Tim Minerd, Oasis Collection, a home rental consortium. “You can never have too many,” he says, especially if you are traveling to a country with a different voltage. And don’t forget portable chargers for when you’re out seeing the sights. These are the most popular travel tips that are no longer true.

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Child safety gate

Unless you are renting a place specifically indicated for children of certain ages, like those villas and apartments curated by Kid and Coe, it’s highly unlikely the home will baby-proofed. If you’ve got space, pack a baby gate. No need for fancy plug covers, however, masking tape over the sockets has the same “don’t touch” effect. Here are some vacation rental mistakes you should avoid for a great trip.


Food delivery

“Not really an item to pack but I always check if Fresh Direct or another local grocery company delivers groceries so I don’t have to waste time food shopping when I get there,” says DuVall Wilson. HelloFresh, a chef-curated, self-cook, pre-packaged meals service is another excellent option. Preselect your vacation menu, have your order shipped to your vacation home, and enjoy big family dinners with little food waste and no trail and error on prep. When staying in these vacation rentals, always follow these etiquette rules. 


Laundry pods and sponges

Those cleaning fees don’t include laundry and dishes. Kitchen sponges are notoriously drenched in bacteria. Erase the absolute ick of using a stranger’s sponge and bring your own. Laundry soap pods travel easily, don’t spill, and can insure your kids get that hypo-allergic detergent their sensitive skin needs. Here are the stressful vacation mistakes to avoid.


Paper products

And when we say that, what we really mean is TP. The worst thing is to arrive after a long day or travel and find there is no toilet paper.


Plastic bags

Baggies, Ziplocks, green bags, trash bags, whatever you call them, chances are you’ll need them. “There are so many uses for every traveler,” says Cancida Maloney, Travelocity ambassador and blogger at pointsandtravel.com. Sandwich bags are great for doling out snacks, storing electronics, organizing cords and—if for no other reason—packing your toiletries in a TSA-approved manner. Larger bags can be used to pitch refuse, store dirt clothes, and—in a pinch—a homemade poncho.

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Sheets and towels

There’s nothing like home—and we’re talking about your sheets and towels. Beach goers will want to bring their own ultra-absorbent towels for the sea and sand. Those lucky enough to have vacation to absolutely repose in bed, may consider toting along their favorite high-thread count sheets. In some vacation markets (Cape Cod , we’re looking at you) linens are not standard with home rental. Air travelers can book a separate provider for bed, bath and beach needs with Linen Rentals of Cape Cod, a round trip delivery service.

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Spices and kitchen knife

Even if you don’t carry hot sauce in your bag, you’ll want to tote your favorite spices. The pantry may be advertised as packed, but are you willing to sub a different blend of season on your crab boil? Similarly consider bringing a knife or two. It’s nearly impossible to know the sharpness and maneuverability of the house knife without actually using it.


New pajamas

Old sweats and that pledge T-shirt from your first year boyfriend aren’t all that cute when you are sipping coffee with friends on the Insta-perfect, sun-dappled patio of your AirBnB. Raven & Crow, an indie loungewear label based in Los Angeles has cute mix-and-match basic tops and bottoms made of lightweight and eco-friendly bamboo. Bonus: Getting a new pair of summer PJs has a throw-back, packing-for-summer-camp feel.

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Booze and ice cube trays

You can never overbuy when it comes to alcohol on vacation. (And we don’t say that expecting a rerun of MTV’s Spring Break. It is more of a precaution.) “While renting a vacation home in Curacao we broke our last bottle of wine and we hadn’t had dinner, or our post-kids-went-to-bed evening revelry on our balcony. My husband had to walk almost a mile to a random liquor store,” says Nubia DuVall Willson, founder of Cielo Consulting, a luxury travel brand public relations company. Not to mention that wine and liquor prices are typically jacked up in resort areas. Stock up on beverages that will appeal to a variety of tastes and that are chameleon-like in their appeal (great for apres plage, a fantastic brunch accompaniment, and pairs well with dinner). Pink Party is a refreshing, light and yes, way, so seasonal bubbly rosé that at $14.99 won’t break the bank. DuVall Wilson also suggests toting an extra tray or two for ice cubes. If you are entertaining in your vacation home, whatever they have in the freezer isn’t enough. Mommy hack bonus: Blend baby food and store in the cube trays for perfect portions and easy portability. Next, check out these travel agent secrets for traveling cheap.