Essential Packing List For Self-Catering Holiday

Self-catering holidays offer a lot of advantages including freedom, flexibility, and generally more space than you would get in a standard hotel. However, if you have never been on a self-catering holiday before, you may be wondering what you need to pack. 

The first rule is to check with the accommodation to see what is included to avoid over-packing. Also, make sure you consider the number of days you will be staying at the property, what shops and other facilities are nearby, and what activities you will be partaking in. Once you have established all this, you can follow our recommended essentials list.

Self Catering Holiday Packing List

Kitchen essentials

If you are not planning on shopping where you are staying, make a meal plan for the length of your stay and buy all the ingredients you will need beforehand. Also, consider cooking accessories such as foil and particular kitchen utensils that may not be included. Whatever you are planning on cooking, the following essentials are always a must:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar/sweetener
  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Foil
  • Cooking oil (for instance olive oil)
  • Containers for leftovers
  • Drinks (wine, beer, juices, squash…)

Cleaning products

You will need cleaning products to keep your accommodation clean throughout your stay, and to leave the place in a clean, tidy state when you leave to avoid charges. The main cleaning items you will need include:

  • Sponges
  • Antibacterial spray

packing suitcase

Bathroom supplies

A lot of self-catering cottages provide larger bathroom items such as bath towels and hair dryers. However, these are not always included so make sure you check with your accommodation provider before packing. As a general guideline, ensure you have the following either at the property or packed ready to go:

  • Hairdryer
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toiletries

For the kids

If you are travelling with babies or kids, packing can be a minefield. As kids get older they can, fortunately, pack some of their bags, however, there is more to consider when travelling with babies or toddlers. The key items you will need to pack to stay at a self-catering cottage are as follow:

  • Nappies
  • Rash cream
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby bottles and sterilising tablets
  • Baby carrier
  • Travel cot
  • High Chair
  • Compact stroller
  • Games
  • Activity books
  • Compact DVD player/tablet with entertainment apps

For pets

Self-catering cottages sometimes allow pets, however, it is important that you plan to bring the necessary supplies to make sure they feel comfortable too. You can ensure your pet is content in their temporary home by bringing:

  • Pet food
  • Pet bowls
  • Pet bed
  • Towels
  • A lead
  • Poo bags


There are a few extra items you should pack and keep handy during your stay. A few extra essentials we recommend packing include:

  • A torchlight
  • First aid kit/medicines
  • Cards/board games
  • Electronics chargers
  • Wellies
  • Wet weather gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Rucksacks

To find out more about self-catering holiday cottages, get in contact with us at Tove Valley Cottages and discover our luxury cottages in Northamptonshire. Contact us today on 01327 811 714, or visit our contact page.