Renting a holiday cottage is a popular choice for those who prefer self-catering trips. These cottages are often spacious and a home away from home. Holidaymakers can choose what to eat, when to get out of bed, and the activities that they are certain to enjoy. Children and babies are welcome and there are no families in adjoining rooms who can complain about the noise. These cottages can be found across the UK, from coastal areas to forests. Those who want to experience rural life should consider renting a cottage on a farm.
Whether going on holiday abroad or in a remote local area, knowing what to pack can make all the difference. When making enquiries about cottage holidays, know what questions to ask the cottage owner or agent to make it easier to bring the right items. The packing list should include kitchen equipment and food, clothing, medical supplies, bathroom essentials, and sporting goods. A wide selection of holiday equipment and accessories is available from supermarkets and department stores, camping and hiking shops, and online, from eBay.
Not all holiday cottages are equipped with the same items. Even travellers who have stayed in this type of accommodation before should enquire about the contents of the cottage before leaving home. The table below lists items and features that may or may not be present. It can be used as a guide before making a booking.
Items and Features
Fully equipped with an oven or microwave
Utensils, for example, corkscrew, can opener, and sharp knives
Cups and plates, either ceramic or plastic
Cooking pots or casserole dishes
Consumables, such as kitchen towels, bin liners, and washing up liquid
Bath and hand towels
Pillows of various fillings
Bedside lamps or reading lights
Music system or radio
Internet connection, including Wi-Fi
Detailed maps for hikers
Sporting facilities nearby
Poisonous plants or problems with insect activity
Tailor the list to suit the lifestyles and interests of those travelling to the cottage. It is also handy to know where the closest shops are and whether they deliver groceries. Travellers arriving at the cottage late at night or after the local shops have closed should ask about a welcome pack containing essential food and drink, such as breakfast cereal, milk, and coffee or tea.
This list can be used as a guideline when packing. However, there are seven items that should not be forgotten.
This is a more practical choice for those who are driving to their destination. It is especially important for people who enjoy cooking and see the creation of sumptuous meals as an important part of their cottage holiday. Make a list of the most useful items in the kitchen, from a chef's knife to a favourite spice. Perishable items can usually be bought in smaller amounts at local shops. However, isolated rural shops may not stock the essential ingredients for a cook's signature dish.
If space is at a premium, consider which items can be used to enhance what is already available in the cottage kitchen, for example, a small knife sharpener. There is nothing worse than trying to cook in an unfamiliar kitchen with utensils that do not work properly and blunt knives are guaranteed to be a problem for most cooks. Pack salt and pepper and stock cubes as a minimum.
Although a cottage holiday is the perfect opportunity to get away from it all, few people can live without their electronic gadgets. The list should include mobile phones, digital cameras, portable music and video players, gaming consoles, and laptops. Check carefully whether all of the required chargers, memory cards, headphones, and other accessories have been packed before setting off. If the cottage is in a different country, remember to include plug adapters and voltage converters.
In addition, a hairdryer or hair straightener may be required. Consider investing in travel-sized products to facilitate transport and free up packing space.
Toys and games are crucial for those going on holiday with children, especially if there are rainy days spent indoors. Include old-fashioned board games as well as more contemporary video games. This is also a good option for adults if the group is unexpectedly housebound due to poor weather. Remember to pack a couple of books to relax with; a holiday is the perfect opportunity to catch up on some reading.
Pack a few emergency items to ensure that the cottage holiday is not soured by unforeseen circumstances. While it may sound peculiar, a ball of string is one of the most handy items to have around. It can be used as a temporary fix for broken items or as an impromptu washing line. Include safety pins, a small pair of scissors, a torch , matches, and candles.
The most important component of emergency holiday supplies is a first aid kit. This is not only handy for a cottage holiday, but could be left in the car for general emergencies while travelling. Include an antiseptic, plasters and bandages, tweezers, saline solution for rinsing eyes, medication for treating vomiting and diarrhoea, antihistamines, and treatment for insect bites. Ensure that an adequate supply of prescription medication is available while on holiday.
Sun protection is important for children and adults whether there is strong sun or only the occasional glimpse of light through the clouds. Pack some sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses that offer protection from ultraviolet rays. For cottage holidays at a beach or lake, consider taking a pop-up gazebo or small tent for added protection. Choose a model that is lightweight and easy to fold.
Weather can be unpredictable, especially when holidaying in the UK. Pack at least one warm coat for a summer holiday in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Smart clothing is rarely required for a cottage holiday. However, it is always a good idea to pack at least one smart outfit if any celebrations are planned during the trip. Ask whether the cottage has a washing machine to gauge how many changes of clothing are required and consider whether it is practical to wash and wear the same clothes.
It is, of course, nearly impossible to go on holiday without luggage, but having the right type of luggage and packing containers makes it easier to get there and back with everything intact. For trips in the car, consider investing in plastic boxes for kitchen supplies and electronics. These crates protect their contents. Pack bedding and other soft items in sturdy bags to keep them clean and to allow them to fit into the space available. Roll clothes instead of folding them in the traditional manner. This allows more to fit into a suitcase, while just about eliminating creases once they are unpacked.
eBay is the perfect place to shop for holiday essentials, with a wide variety of items on offer and plenty of great deals. To find what you need for your cottage holiday, type a search phrase, such as "plug adapters", into the field that is located on every page to see the items for sale. Refine your search by choosing the most appropriate category and item characteristics. You can further narrow or expand your search by using the advanced search feature.
Before you buy on eBay, evaluate the item and the seller. Click on a listing to see the item listing page where you can find all the information you need to do this. This includes the full item description, buying choices, payment options, postage and packaging costs, and the seller's feedback information. Always add the postage and packaging costs to the item's final selling price to calculate the total cost of the item.
Click on the number next to the seller's username to view his or her feedback information. This shows you what other buyers think of his or her products and customer service, allowing you to make up your own mind about the seller before buying.
Cottage holidays are a popular choice for those who prefer the freedom of self-catering accommodation. Before packing, contact the owner or agent and ask detailed questions about the contents of the cottage. For example, some may include towels and bedding, while others expect guests to supply their own. Also ask about nearby shops and the types of items that they stock to ensure that everything required can be sourced locally or is packed for the trip. Make a list of everyday items required for each room and use this to create a shopping list or checklist.
Those who enjoy cooking should consider packing some kitchen supplies and utensils. When travelling with children, include toys and games for rainy days. Stock up on emergency supplies, especially when holidaying in a remote area where medical facilities are some distance away. Include items required for power outages, such as torches and candles.
Pack enough sun protection for everyone in the family and take a selection of clothing that is suitable for different weather conditions and occasions. Choose the right types of luggage and storage boxes to ensure that items arrive at the cottage in one piece. eBay sellers have everything required for an enjoyable, well organised cottage holiday, whether at home or abroad.