Self-catering holidays always seem to involve a lot of planning – especially with regards to what to take. Having just returned from our self-catering family trip to Coombe Mill in Cornwall here are my top ten things to remember when you’re going self-catering.
Even if all the bedding is included where you’re staying it doesn’t necessarily mean that towels will be. It’s certainly worth checking – for both bathroom towels and a tea towel. Don’t forget that you may also want to take a bath mat too.
2. Tea bags
If you’re a complete tea addict like me then you’ll definitely want to make sure that you can make yourself a nice cuppa when you get to your holiday accommodation. Obviously, if you take sugar in your tea remember to pack that too.
3. Soap / handwash
Once you get to your accommodation and put the kettle on it’s likely that the next thing you’ll do is pop to the loo whilst it boils. If you’ve packed a bar of soap or a bottle of hand wash you’ll at least be able to wash your hands afterwards without having to search through your luggage for the shower gel or similar. Voice of experience speaking there!
4. Toilet rolls
Although there may be toilet rolls when you get to your accommodation, it’s possible that if you’re staying for a week or longer you’ll exhaust their supplies and you’ll need your own. Worth taking a couple from home if you’re staying that long.
5. Cleaning wipes / multi-surface cleaner
If you’re cooking in your accommodation then you’ll need to clean up after yourself in some way. Some properties include a simple cloth for you to use, but not any accompanying cleaning product. A bottle of some multi-surface cleaner is incredibly useful. Or even simpler you could buy a pack of wipes instead. That way you’re not caught out if they don’t provide you with a cloth.
Whilst food might seem like a rather obvious thing to have on a list like this it is worth mentioning. Think about when you’re going to arrive and when you might first be able to seek out a local supermarket or similar. Milk can always be picked up at a local garage or newsagent, but if you pack enough to get you though a first evening meal and breakfast the next morning it defers when you need to do that major food shop. A packet of pasta, some sauce, breakfast cereal and bread and jam should be enough. Also think about condiments and what you need to cook – salt, pepper, oil and ketchup to name but a few.
7. Kitchen knives
My mum was always convinced that when you go to any self-catering accommodation you’d never find a sharp knife. My experience tells me she’s right. If you’re going to want to do any proper cooking whilst away I strongly recommend you take a sharp kitchen knife or two with you. If you’re feeling organised then a can opener and bottle opener are also wise investments. Ones are likely to be provided, but experience tells me they’re not necessarily going to be any good!
8. Soft drinks
Again a potentially obvious one to add to the list, but experience says that it’s easy to remember to take wine and beer with you on holiday, but less easy to remember something soft for those times you’ve had a bit too much wine or beer!
9. Washing up liquid
Another one for cleaning up after yourself. Some places provide it, some don’t. Also, if a dishwasher is provided in your self-catering accommodation, don’t assume that dishwasher tablets are too. If you have some at home take them with you.
10. Laundry detergent
Same goes for if a washing machine is provided – take your own laundry detergent. Especially if you’ve got children, or anyone else in the family, with sensitive skin. The boxes of powder you can buy in many site shops isn’t always the kindest to sensitive skin.
So that’s my checklist. What else would you pack?