If you’re staying in a rental home or apartment on your vacation, you may need to pack more than you would for the typical hotel. From towels to soap, shampoo and other personal items, rental homes aren’t always fully equipped with the things you’d expect from a hotel stay.
Vacation Home © weidnerapartmenthomes
We’ve prepared a complete packing list for vacation rental homes and apartments. Use it to pack with confidence for your next vacation, whether you’re staying in a family rental home or an apartment.
Things To Remember For Every Trip
We’ve listed items specifically for a rental home. For the items you need on every trip regardless of location or climate, see our Essential Vacation Packing List.
- Face mask – COVID is still very active in many countries and you may be required to wear an SFP2 facemask on the plane and in some indoor spaces. It’s also a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser when you travel.
- Check What’s Included – Before you buy or pack anything for your vacation, contact the accommodation rental provider and ask what’s included with the home or apartment. Ask about cookware and utensils, appliances, cleaning supplies and linens so that you know exactly what you need to bring from home.
- Traveling with young children? If you’re traveling with babies, toddlers or young kids, read our Vacation Checklist for Families for suggestions on what to include for the littlest members of your travel party.
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
Rental Home Hygiene and Personal Care
- First Aid Kit – Since you aren’t staying at a hotel, you won’t have staff on call to help with injuries. Pack a first aid kit to deal with cuts and bruises easily. The SadoMedcare All-In-One First Aid Kit is a good option.
- Soap or Body Wash – Many rental homes don’t come with soap or body wash. Pack a bottle of body wash or several bars of soap so that you’re fully equipped as soon as you check in.
- Shampoo and Conditioner – Likewise, shampoo and conditioner aren’t always included with a vacation rental. Bring a large enough bottle of each so that you don’t need to shop for either during your stay. Keep larger bottles in your hold luggage, if you’re traveling by airplane.
- Toilet Paper – Another essential, toilet paper often isn’t always included with your rental home. Bring a few rolls from home to keep you covered for the first few days until you’ve got time for a local shopping trip.
- Hair Dryer – Check ahead to see if your rental home comes with a hair dryer. If not, make sure to bring your own from home or buy a compact travel hair dryer like the Babylisspro TT Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer.
- Insect Repellent – If you’re traveling to a tropical destination, pack some natural insect repellent to protect you from mosquitos and other pests. Mosquito coils are an effective, cheap way to keep insects away from outdoor chairs and dining tables.
Food for Vacation Rental Homes
- Snacks – Pack enough snacks or the trip to your destination, as well as to keep you from getting hungry during the day.
- Coffee Machine, Beans and Filters – Many vacation rental homes include a drip coffee maker, although many won’t have any filters. Bring a pack of coffee filters from home to make preparing your morning cup of coffee quick and simple.
- Again, it’s best to call ahead of time to check if your rental home comes with a coffee machine or not. If it doesn’t, bring an AeroPress, Moka Pot or other portable brewing device from home so you don’t have to go without caffeine during your vacation.
- Cooking Oil – Even rental homes that come fully equipped with cookware will usually skip cooking oil, making it worth bringing your own from home.
- Condiments – Just like cooking oil, salt and pepper usually aren’t included in the typical rental home kitchen. Bring salt, pepper and other condiments from home so you have all the essentials you need to prepare dinner without having to visit the local supermarket.
Kitchen Items for Vacation Rental Homes
- Cookware – If your vacation rental doesn’t include cookware, make sure you bring the right pots and pans for your trip from home. If your accommodation only includes minimal cookware, bring what you need for any particular cooking you plan to do.
- Aluminum Foil and Parchment Paper – These items are easy to forget, and very few rental homes will include them. If you plan on broiling or BBQing, aluminum foil is a must-have. Likewise, parchment paper is extremely helpful if you expect to bake.
- Ziplock Bags – Ziplock bags are useful inside and outside the kitchen, and an absolute essential for vacation rental homes. Pack a variety of sizes so you’ve got a bag available for leftover food, cooking ingredients, small items and anything else.
- Utensils – Check that your vacation rental includes utensils, and be sure to ask how many sets are included. If you’re worried about running out of knives, forks and spoons, bring your own from home.
- Kitchen Knives – If you like to cook, bring your own knives from home. Even rental homes that come “fully equipped” with kitchen equipment usually have cheap, blunt knives that are far from ideal for preparing meals.
- Other Small Kitchen Essentials – Potato peelers, cutting boards, salad spinners and other essentials are often absent in vacation home kitchens. If you’re traveling to your destination in the car, pack as many kitchen items as you can comfortably bring.
- Corkscrew and Bottle Opener – It’s amazing how many rental homes with “fully equipped” kitchens don’t have a corkscrew. Pack a combination corkscrew and bottle opener so that you don’t run into any roadblocks trying to open a bottle of wine.
- Paper Towels – Pack as many paper towels as you anticipate you’ll need, then an extra pack or two for good measure. Paper towels save you from the horror of the provided kitchen towels, which may have been used hundreds of times before.
- Napkins – Likewise, don’t forget to bring several packs of napkins with you. While most vacation rentals come with paper towels and some kitchen linens, few will include paper napkins.
Cleaning Products for Vacation Rental Homes
- Dish Sponges – Unless you want to eat off paper plates, you’ll need something to keep your vacation rental home’s dishes clean. Bring a pack of dish sponges with you so that cleaning up after breakfast, lunch or dinner is a quick and simple process.
If you have sensitive skin that dries easily when it touches soapy water, make sure you also pack a pair of rubber gloves.
- Dishwashing Liquid – Similarly, bring a bottle of dishwashing liquid from home, since you’ll need to clean dishes and utensils after use. Before you pack, ask if your vacation home has a dishwasher – if so, bring a small pack of dishwasher tablets instead.
- Garbage Bags – Not all vacation rentals come with garbage bags, so it’s worth bringing a small supply with you. Pack enough to last for your entire vacation, plus a few extra in case you need them for packing.
- Multi-purpose Cleaner – Even if your rental home provider offers a cleaning service, it’s worth packing a spray bottle of multi-purpose cleaner for spilled drinks, food stains, dirty bathrooms and other minor cleaning tasks.
Linens for Vacation Rental Homes
- Sheets – It’s always best to call ahead to find out many sets of sheets are included with your rental home. If it’s just one, bring a second set from home so you don’t need to rush to do all the laundry in one day.
- Bath Towels – Not all rental homes come with bath towels. Even then, you may prefer to bring your own. If yours has a BYO policy for bathroom linens, make sure you pack hand towels, bath towels and washcloths to avoid having to go shopping after you check in.
- Blankets – If you’re traveling to a cold destination during winter, bring a set of blankets from home in case the ones provided in your vacation rental home aren’t enough.
Remember The Essentials
- Make sure you’ve got your passport, flight tickets, travel vaccinations and all the other items essential to every trip abroad – see our Essential Vacation Packing List to double check you’ve got everything!