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Have you ever rented a vacation rental before?  My family and I love them!! But many times you get to the home and realize that it is missing just a few random items that will make it more like home!  This list is geared to a family with younger kids. I also take into consideration the space that they take up in your luggage which I know is a commodity!  So without further adieu:

Here is my top five unlikely yet super helpful items to bring with you to a vacation rental!

#1 Knives

One of the main appeals of a vacation rental is the kitchen.  However, the kitchens can be hit or miss in homes and the kitchen items can be less than stellar.  I have been to too many homes where they only have crappy dull steak knives.  I have tried to cut onions with dull knives and feared for my fingers! I only pack 2 knives one smaller 3 inch paring style knife and a 6 inch knife.

If you are flying make sure to check the knives in, TSA would not like to see that as a carry on!  You can make a homemade sheath for the knives by taping a piece of cardboard or wrapping aluminum foil around the blade.  Be very aware of where you decide to place the knives and use caution when opening your bag at your final destination!!

#travelhack If you decide to risk not bringing your own knives you can sharpen a dull knife with the base of a ceramic cup.  Hold the knife at about a 25 degree angle from the rough ceramic surface and swipe down on both sides of the knife. Here is a short video showing how it works– I am not in any way affiliated with this your tube channel I just liked the information!

#2 Spices

I like to cook most meals at our house.  It helps save money and sometimes the kids just are not in the mood to go out!  My go to spices are salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder so I like to have a good amount of them on hand.  You can buy the smaller bags of the spices, bring the containers from your home or pour some spices into a small Ziploc bag!  I like to put all of the spices together in a plastic bag in case anything spills it will be contained!

#3 Kid Dishes – If they are young children

If you bring your kids plastic dishes(I bring one plate, bowl and a small cup per child) they will feel more at home and eat better (hopefully).  Another reason is because a lot of the time the dishes are ceramic or glass, no one wants to clean up broken glass on vacation!!

#4 Disposable Bed Pads – for young children/ bed wetters

Sometimes children wet the bed.  I have been to a few places that don’t have a waterproof sheet protecting the mattress – you don’t want to be the person who leaves the bed smelling like pee.  They have disposable pads which are near the pull ups in the grocery store or you can get larger/cheaper ones near the adult diapers.  My kids typically don’t wet the bed but I still brought 4 for a few month stay.

#5 Laundry Hamper

There is nothing worse than laundry strewn about the floor in a bedroom! A pop-up laundry hamper is a cheap investment and doesn’t take up much luggage real estate!  Because  It helps keep things a bit more organized, compared to just shoving dirty laundry into a bedroom corner!


These are a few things that are super helpful to have when travelling!  They may seem trivial but you will miss them if you don’t have them!

Please comment with any items that are a must bring when staying at a vacation home!


**Please note that I have added some links for products that I feel will be helpful to you – the reader, these are affiliate links and I may receive a small commission that will in no way effect your final purchase price.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites**







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