10 must-have items for a safe cottage getaway

Children sitting in car before leaving for cottage getaway with parents

Cottage season is in full swing. Whether you’re heading up to the cottage for two days or two weeks, you’ve probably got your bathing suits, towels, and inflatable unicorns covered — but here are 10 more items to pack for a safe stay:

  1. Candles, matches, and a lighter. Summer storms can bring power outages, and depending on where your cottage is located, it could take a while for power to be restored. Consider keeping some candles (and matches or a lighter) on hand to brighten things up while you wait for the lights to come back on.
  2. Batteries and chargers. Make sure you have back-up batteries and chargers for flashlights, lanterns, smoke detectors, and any other battery-operated devices you keep at the cottage. You’ll also want to keep your phone powered up in case of an emergency, so consider packing a portable charger or one that you can plug into your vehicle if the power inside your cottage goes out.
  3. First aid kit. Remember to pack bandages, gauze, tweezers, antibacterial ointment, bug repellent, after-bite solution, a thermometer, painkillers, and an adequate supply of any medications you take daily.
  4. Safety equipment for boats and motorized vehicles. Always keep a supply of lifejackets or personal floatation devices in various sizes for anyone who may be using your boats or other water equipment. Plus, if you have all-terrain vehicles or other motorized vehicles on your property, make sure you have enough helmets for everyone who will be taking a ride.
  5. Sun protection. Even when it doesn’t feel hot outside, spending lots of time in the sun can result in sunburns and even heat stroke. Sunscreen, hats, and other protective sun gear are essential for a comfortable cottage getaway.
  6. Non-perishable food. Depending on the location of your cottage, it could be tricky to track down food during a major storm or other emergency. Pack high-energy foods like protein bars, peanut butter and crackers, and trail mix.
  7. Clean water. If you don’t have access to clean drinking water at your cottage, be sure to bring enough to last you at least a few days. Consider filling reusable bottles with water from the tap at home instead of buying bottled water.
  8. Plastic bags for garbage disposal. It’s important to keep perishable food waste (especially meat or fish) indoors, as it may attract wildlife like bears and raccoons. Keep some clean plastic bags on hand for storing food waste in the freezer until your garbage pick-up time or trip to the dump.
  9. Supplies for Fluffy or Fido. Bringing your pet to the cottage? Make sure you pack enough food, his leash, a collar with an ID tag, a pet floatation device, and a copy of his pet insurance policy in case he needs to visit a vet during your trip.
  10. Your seasonal property insurance policy and car insurance information. If you own the cottage, be sure to keep an up-to-date copy of your seasonal property insurance policy on hand (including your licensed broker’s contact information). Your car insurance pink slip should already be in your vehicle, but double-check it’s there before you leave in case you need to reach your broker while you’re away from home. 

Ready to hit the road and get away from it all? Don’t forget to prep your vehicle for the trip, too.

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