I know there is still snow on the ground, but things are heating up quickly and the May long weekend will be here soon enough. So, if you’ve been invited to a friend’s cottage for the weekend, the last thing you want to do is to show up empty handed. Here are a few essentials to bring along so you will continue to be invited year after year.
First and foremost, and without question, bring booze. The worst cottage guests are the ones who show up and mooch your hooch. Of course a good host will share their stash with a guest, but if you’re looking for merriment then contribute. Don’t simply expect your host to accommodate. Especially if you have particular tastes!
With sand and sunshine at the lakeside, be sure to pack an extra towel or two. As a guest you don’t want to be dragging in the beach with you when you come inside. An extra towel will not only keep you clean and respectful of your host’s cottage, but it can double as a spot to sit or as a blanket for chilly campfire evenings.
When the sun is beating down on your uncooked skin, sunscreen will be worth its weight in gold. Bring a bottle for your own sake, and for the sake of any poor sap that forgot to pack their own. I’m sure they will thank you and make up for it in shared drinks. We’ve all been there, and nobody likes being the lobster.
4. A portable chair
You can’t tell what seating arrangements might be. You could end up on a stump, the ground, or standing all weekend. Time at the cottage is a time to relax. Whether on the beach, by the fire, or on the deck for a good barbecue, a comfortable chair is a must. I would be lying if I said I’ve never taken a long nap in my favorite chair at the cottage.
5. Bug Spray
It’s not the end of the world in the cooler shoulder seasons, but during the height of mosquito season, this is a game changer. Keep the bugs from bugging you by bringing along some repellant. How can you enjoy yourself if you are too busy swatting and scratching all weekend? Plus your hosts and cottage mates will appreciate your contribution too.
You can expect a good spread of food when heading to the cottage. Your hosts will usually try to astonish you with their kitchen skills, and you should do your best to let them. That being said it’s best to help them cut their kitchen costs by bringing along some groceries of your own. You can’t go wrong with supplying some extra bacon and eggs. You can always offer to take care of a meal or two yourself.
When staying with company, don’t assume you’re staying in a hotel. There isn’t likely complimentary bath soaps or tiny mints on your pillow when you arrive. Pack a small travel kit for yourself (better safe than sorry). Or find out what you need to bring in advance. I doubt you want to share someone’s toothbrush for the weekend.
Extra: A Flashlight
Let there be light. I can’t tell you how many times such a simple thing has saved the day; or should I say night? When you’re in an unfamiliar place, the last thing you need to do while trying to find the bathroom after a few drinks, is to stumble into a patch of poison ivy. Trust me, if you don’t bring it along, you’re going to need it!