The Ultimate Vacation Rental Packing List: 18 Items Renters Forget

The Ultimate Vacation Rental Packing List
The Ultimate Vacation Rental Packing List

If you’re considering booking a vacation rental next time you travel, you might have some questions about how vacation rentals differ from hotels. As the industry grows with newer and more convenient ways to book, thousands of travelers are trying a vacation rental for the first time. They realize that staying in a vacation rental means they can stay together and that vacation rentals are the perfect venue for celebration vacations.

But what should a first timer expect? Stay Alfred has prepared the ultimate vacation rental packing list to help you understand the difference between packing for a trip to a hotel and packing for a stay in a vacation rental–including the 18 items even seasoned vacation renters might forget!

For your Rental Home

  1. All-Purpose Cleaner and Sponges*: Unlike a hotel, a vacation rental is not cleaned every day. Having a little cleaner handy can help you take care of little spills and messes as they come up.
  2. Aluminum Foil: One of the chief benefits of a vacation rental is access to full kitchen facilities. Take full advantage of your cooking options with foil, wax paper or static wrap*.
  3. Baby Equipment**: Most vacation rental companies do not provide cribs or playpens.
  4. Bath Soap and Shampoo*: Some vacation rentals provide travel-sizes of some toiletries, but most cannot provide extra.
  5. Coffee, Filters, Cream and Sugar: Take advantage of the coffee maker provided in some vacation rentals with your favorite grind.
  6. Dish Towels and Dishcloths*: Although most vacation rentals provide one or two, you may want more for longer stays.
  7. Dishwasher Detergent*: Some vacation rentals provide a set of dishware and cutlery, but travelers can go through it quickly. Detergent lets your have fresh utensils at every meal.
  8. Garbage Bags*: Although most vacation rentals provide one or two, you may want more for longer stays.
  9. Groceries and Condiments: One of the biggest sources of cost savings with vacation rentals is the ability to avoid eating out every night. You’ll have access to a full-sized refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets; so pack the kinds of food you and your family love to eat.
  10. Laundry Detergent*: Most vacation rentals provide access to laundry facilities. If you plan do laundry while you travel, you can pack fewer clothes and towels.
  11. Napkins: Most vacation rentals do not provide napkins.
  12. Paper Plates: Some vacation rentals provide a set of dishware and cutlery, but travelers can go through it quickly–especially when they use plates to prepare or serve food. Paper plates cut down on the number of times you’ll run the dishwasher.
  13. Paper Towels*: Although most vacation rentals provide one or two spare rolls, you may want to bring extras.
  14. Salt & Pepper*: Some vacation rentals provide condiments, but it’s best to presume they won’t.
  15. Sheets and Towels*: Read your rental agreement carefully to find out what linens are provided. Many vacation rentals provide no linens at all, and most cannot accommodate requests for extras.
  16. Toilet Paper * and Facial Tissue: Although most vacation rentals provide two or three rolls, this is one supply that is too easy to forget.
  17. Toys and Games: Many vacation renters travel with their families. Because rentals are more comfortable than hotel rooms, they often find themselves spending more time together in the unit. Bring favorite games and toys to enjoy together.
  18. Ziplock Bags*: These are seldom provided by vacation rentals, but they have a dozen uses for a traveler.

The above items set this packing list apart from most other lists available. The remainder of the items are standard fare to an experienced traveler, but they may comprise a welcome reminder in the sometimes frantic days leading up to your departure.


  • Hat
  • Pants/Skirts
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Sweater or Sweatshirt
  • Swimwear
  • Underwear


  • Driver’s License
  • Insurance Documents
  • Reservation Information
  • Travel Guide
  • Vehicle Registration


  • Aloe
  • Bandages
  • First Aid Kit
  • Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Insect Repellent
  • Motion Sickness Medicine
  • Pain Reliever
  • Prescription Medications

Personal Effects

  • Camera
  • Cash and Debit Card
  • Cell Phone and Charger
  • Change (for Tolls and Parking)
  • Contact Lenses and Solution
  • Credit Card
  • Glasses
  • Purse
  • Sunglasses and Case
  • Wallet
  • Watch


  • Comb or Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Hairties
  • Hairdryer: Most vacation rentals do not provide this hotel room staple.
  • Makeup*
  • Moisturizer
  • Razor and Shaving Cream
  • Shampoo and Conditioner*: Some vacation rentals provide travel-sizes of some toiletries, but most cannot provide extra.
  • Shower Gel
  • Soap*
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste


  • Blankets and Pillows*
  • Books
  • Flashlight and Batteries
  • GPS
  • iPod or MP3 player
  • Maps
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Portable DVD player
  • DVDs: Some vacation rentals have DVD players*.
  • Sketch Pads
  • Snacks and Drinks
  • Spare Key
  • Tire Gauge

*Items marked with a single asterisk denote supplies provided in all Stay Alfred vacation rental units. Because all units have laundry facilities, Stay Alfred provides one set of linens per bed and one bath towel per person.

**Stay Alfred can provide a crib in any of our units for a nominal fee.

For more information, tips and tricks on how to stay smart and stay together with vacation rentals, visit or download the Stay Alfred mobile app. Stay Alfred is the first nationwide urban vacation rental company offering the space, privacy and value of vacation rental with the convenience of online booking.

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© 2014 Stay Alfred, LLC