What to Bring to Your Vacation Rental

by  Anne Fritz and Christine Dayao | Updated on Jun 25, 2020
Beach houses
Beach houses / iStock / EyeMark

Sure, the listing for the vacation rental you're eying says it’s fully loaded with amenities, but savvy renters know they need to bring a few extras for a safe, easy, and more enjoyable stay.

Apart from bed sheets and bath towels, here’s what else you'll need to pack.

1. A Sharp Kitchen Knife

Plan on getting good use out of that kitchen? Make sure you bring along a kitchen knife, as the blades at rental homes are notoriously dull. This one has an 8-inch blade and is rust-resistant and tarnish-free. (Remember to pack it safely: Roll it in a t-shirt, then place it in a plastic bag. If you’re flying to your destination, definitely check your bag.) Buy it now.

2. A Streaming Media Player

Save your rainy day by bringing along a streaming device – just double check that the rental has widi. Something fun to try: Watch films or TV shows that were filmed in your location – like Jaws on Martha’s Vineyard or Sideways along California’s central coast. Amazon's Fire TV Stick has more than 500,000 movies and TV shows and more included with a Prime membership. Buy it now.

3. These Night Lights

Hotels often have dimmer switches in the bathrooms, but rental houses don’t. Save yourself the pain of tripping during a nighttime bathroom run by packing a small night light. This set of six plug-in night lights have a built-in sensor, so they automatically turn on. Buy them now

4. Your Own Pillow 

You never know what you’re in for when it comes to the bedding at a rental – it’s not a four-star hotel, after all! Falling asleep in a strange bed is a little easier when you have a familiar pillow. Consider this fluffy two-pack, which provides great support. Buy them now.

5. A Pack of Sponges 

Hopefully, the courteous renter before you left behind dish soap, but how long has that sketchy-looking sponge been sitting there? Cut down on unwanted germs by bringing along this fresh pack of nine sponges. Buy it now.

6. Toiletry Kit

While you can buy them at the local drug store, you’ll save yourself a resort town markup if you bring these items from home. This kit has a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a ton of other necessities packed in a cute case. Buy it now

7. A Compact Beach Blanket 

A giant beach blanket (or two) will keep your host-provided towels from getting sandy and wet. Save on space in your luggage with this compact 55-inch by 60-inch blanket that can be folded in a neat little carrying bag. It also comes in several colors! Buy it now.

8. A Portable Fan

If your house doesn’t have air conditioning (or, if it turns out AC means old window units), a fan will help keep you cool. It can also help blow bugs away if you’re planning on grilling and eating outdoors. This rechargeable one can be propped up on a flat surface, has three speeds, and comes in four colors. Buy it now

9. A Safety Gate 

This is a must if you’re traveling with little ones or a pup. You’ll be able to block stairs and cordon off the kitchen area to prevent accidents. This one is easy to install with its pressure mount fastening. Choose from a single pack or one with two gates. Buy it now.

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