ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Pack for Week at a Cottage

Updated on May 9, 2015
janikon profile image

I'm a thirty-something writer who lives in downtown Toronto. I've been an online writer for over seven years, focusing on health trends.


Whether you are traveling to a cottage or to the south of France (to visit Johnny Depp, of course) one should always have a well-packed travel bag. A well-thought out travel bag will ensure you will have a successful vacation and limit your need to pilfer shampoo from fellow travellers while they sleep or drag your bleeding spouse around a strange place searching for a twenty-four pharmacy. You do not want to be one of those packers who would surely die if sent off into the wilderness with one travel bag and no cellular telephone to call for assistance. You want to be the savvy and intelligent traveller who would use a pocket knife, a box of toothpicks and bubblegum to build a treetop town - live like the Swiss Family Robinsons - when asked how you survived for nine years alone in the wilderness you'd simply smile and state, "I just packed what I needed, just enough for seven days and one night in San Francisco"

I would surely die because I am the worlds worst packer, no matter the destination I am almost always guaranteed a sore shoulder and mild cardiac arrhythmia due to the overstuffed travel bag weighing a little more than Lu Hao. I'm not sure exactly what caused me to attempt to amend my overpacking ways, possibly the thought of dying from exhaustion on the way through the airport terminal or cracking a rib when I sling the bag around my torso but I've come up with a list of ways to pack a sensible travel bag for the over-packer.


step one: the medicine cabinet - go to it, now

The most important thing to do is review where you are going and the bare necessities you will need to, well, live comfortably for however long you away. So, your first stop, should be to your bathroom to begin rifling through your medicine cabinet. Here are a few things to think about when packing for the cottage:

1. Shampoo/Conditioner: nobody likes dirty, oily or overly dry hair, so please, think of your friends and family when packing this necessary item.
2. Toothbrush/Toothpaste: if you think bad hair is gross, try talking to someone with bad breath - especially after you packed away that entire bag of sour cream and onion chips - pack this one immediately.
3. Razor: this one is good for men and women who do not want to be mistook for a) a wildebeest, or b) big foot
4. Deodorant/Antiperspirant: please, I know you are spending most of your time in the water but it is going to be hot and nobody needs to have the awkward conversation with you about your smell - pack it, pack it now!
5. Hair Brush: the birds nest look went out when Christina began losing her hair, run a brush through it once and while.

TIP OF THE HUB: If you are not fancy enough to have your very own cosmetic or toiletry bag, I would suggest using a large ziplock bag - if anything opens it can be contained within the plastic and not ruin your clothing (I would suggest bringing an extra bag just in case).

step two: the clothes on your back are as important as the ones in your drawer

I was once told by my grandmother you should pack, at least, one outfit for everyday and then double the underwear because you should always be safe rather than sorry. I am not sure whether people who grew up during the depression often dealt with the a clan of rabid dogs who sought after underwear but I followed her advice to a tee and have never been without clean boxer briefs. Lets pretend we are packing for a seven day cottage adventure, ready? Lets go!

There are seven days in the week, so you should be packing seven different outfits - this doesn't mean you need seven different items of everything but it means you will need to get creative. When my mother packed my bag - back when things were simple and bright - she would pack two more t-shirts than I needed just in case something happened to any of them. So, I would end up with nine t-shirts, eight pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks (most of the time we were in flip-flops but pack more if you are rigid shoe wearers), three pairs of pants (jeans can be re-worn and you can get away with two pairs for seven days), one sweatshirt, two bathing suits and two beach towels.

She would lay everything out on the bed in piles and then ask me to begin packing them into my bag, then I could see what I needed to pack for future trips. I am sure she did not have a checklist but I have adopted the need for one, it was the only way I was able to break my overpacking issue and stomach-churning fear I had forgotten something I truly needed.

step three: the checklist therapy

Having the ability to check off what you have packed from a list you have taken the time to write out is extremely helpful. I would suggest laying everything on your checklist out on your bed before packing it into a suitcase is incredibly helpful and allows you to eliminate items you really do not need. I have learned that visualization is key to packing a well thought-out travelling bag, never again will you be the person seeking medical attention after lifting your suitcase out of the car.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • hisandhers profile image


      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Great tips! I am a chronic over-packer as well (although when we went to the Dominican I was happy about cramming everything into a small suitcase!)

      My main problem is over-packing books, but I guess now that I have a Kobo that can be remedied as well!

      Voted up!

    • janikon profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      I'm a really good 'planned' packer but I'm a terrible 'spur-of-the-moment' packer - I hope you have an awesome time in Kuaui, I can only suggest leaving a small amount of space in your suitcase for gifts of the clothing variety. And I hate flying but my favourite game is 'stranger story' - you can play with a friend - every time you see a stranger, who looks a little odd or out-of-place, create a backstory for them ...

      ... it also can be great fodder for characters to a story.

    • mega1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Good and useful hub. I am going soon to Kuaui for my son's wedding and it is a nightmare when I try to plan my clothing- and one thing you forgot- all the stuff I'll buy there and have to tote home. So I'm taking the small carry-on and a large suitcase to check - which I will not fill in hopes I will have enough room to buy some Hawaiian clothes and gifts for friends. I am a lousy traveller - I really hate flying and all the strangers. I would stay home if I could. But if I could only just be magically transported to my destination I would go all over the world! I need someone to travel with - someone like you! (also the money to pay for it all)

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      These are great packing tips. I am an extreme overpacker and I need to stop. I am one of those people walking around wheeling suitcases and carrying back breaking bags everywhere I go. I need help. Thank you for the good advice!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)