More of us are opting for local getaways this summer and one place that comes to mind is the cottage. A few days at the cottage allow you to reconnect with nature, replacing city lights and traffic with the calming sounds of nature. Packing for the cottage is not the same as a beach or city vacation. There are specific things that you need to pack in order for it to be a successful trip and below are our top picks for a fun, stress-free weekend at the lake. 

First things first, pack smart. Packing for the cottage means thinking about much more than what you’ll wear. You need to think about food, activities, entertainment, etc. so when it comes down to it, it might feel like you are taking the entire house with you.

To make the most use of space in your car, we recommend packing with totes and laundry baskets instead of suitcases (they are easy to pack and carry around). Next, pack all the food in coolers with a ton of ice packs to ensure that food stays fresh through the long drive. For pantry and entertainment items, use flat totes and square totes that will fit snugly in the smaller spaces of your car. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can fit in your car with this method.

1. Food

The lake is calling your name, so you probably don’t want to worry about what to eat last-minute. Depending on how long your cottage trip is, it’s a good idea to plan out your meals. Of course not every meal needs to be a big affair, but if you plan out your breakfast and dinner options, you’ll have more time to soak up the sun.

For breakfast, think of quick and easy meals such as egg muffins, overnight oats, and even some cereals accompanied by fresh fruit to keep everyone fueled through morning activities. After a breezy afternoon spent at the dockside, what’s better than heading in for a meal that’s already prepared? Utilize all the conveniences of an instant pot to make simple recipes like pulled pork sandwiches. If it’s a BBQ you desire, prep your dishes the night before, so you can easily pop them on the  grill.

2. Toiletries

Packing for a long weekend at the cottage should always include these two items: sunscreen and bug repellent. Hanging out by the lake is so much fun, but as always, safety first. Protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun by packing a water resistant sunscreen. Find out which type of sunscreen is best suited for your skin in our summer skincare blog post. Remember to pack bug spray to keep pesky insect bites from ruining your getaway. Check the Flipp app for deals on sunscreen and bug spray

3. Snacks

One of the best things about lounging at the cottage is sitting back and enjoying tons of food! That means having an abundance of snacks to cater to everyone. Although we all love to dive into bags of chips or ice cream, you might want to amp up your snack game and impress your guests with a charcuterie board that will keep their bellies full till dinner.

A charcuterie board is always a winner because it gives you the flexibility to add in different foods to cater to different tastes. Stack your wooden board with cured meats, venture out and add some different cheeses, and don’t forget the olives and crackers. Check out this post to get inspired and make the ultimate charcuterie board.

4. Drinks*

If you’re going to be eating well, you may as well pair the food with some delicious drinks. You will likely already have water, wine, beer and juice packed. But why not go the extra mile to impress your guests by making some simple cottage inspired cocktails? Start the morning off right with a refreshing and easy mimosa. All you will need is some sparkling champagne and fresh orange juice in a champagne glass to feel like the belle of the cottage. Check out this list of cottage inspired drinks from one of the most popular cottage locations in Canada, Muskoka. 

*These tips are for those of legal drinking age.

5. Entertainment 

Whether you’re going to the cottage for a long weekend or an extended period of time, you will want to have some fun activities to keep the kids and adults entertained. First, you’ll need the basics such as a bluetooth speaker, books, a beer pong set, and a deck of cards. There are tons of super fun and engaging card games such as Sequence or What Do You Meme, to keep everyone entertained.

If you’re in need of some board games or card games, stop by Walmart’s toy section before you head out. For outdoor entertainment by the lake, take it up a notch by bringing some floaties, frisbees, a beach ball, and water squirters. Don’t forget to pack the pump! Check out Dollar General’s summer savings ad for all your outdoor entertainment essentials.

6. S’mores

A cottage weekend wouldn’t be complete without s’mores by the fire. This simple dessert needs only three ingredients: marshmallows, graham crackers, and a chocolate bar. Using a camping stick, slide the marshmallow to the top and roast slowly over the fire. Once all sides of the marshmallow are a golden color, put your chocolate piece on one graham cracker and then slide the marshmallow on top of the chocolate. The chocolate will start to melt and you can add the other graham cracker to make it a sandwich, and there you have it, a delicious s’more. Check out this post for four different ways to create your s’mores. For all your s’more ingredients, be sure to check out the Flipp app

We hope you found this blog useful to help you plan your cottage getaway. Now that you’re packed, the hard part is over…other than facing cottage country traffic! Enjoy your cottage getaway and stay safe.

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