Airbnb packing list: how to make your short break extra cosy

Airbnb packing list

Planning a trip to an Airbnb? Don’t forget anything with my ultimate Airbnb packing list…

If you enjoy staying in Airbnbs then you need my Airbnb packing list.

I love staying in an Airbnb. In the past couple of years I’ve gone on quite a few short breaks around Scotland and I really love staying in Airbnbs during those. Why? Well, for one, I now have a dog, and there seem to be way more self-catering places that cater to dogs than there are hotels.

However, I also feel like I’ve fallen out of love with the regimented timetable of hotels. All that having to get up and dressed at a certain time for breakfast, no thank you. No, I much prefer eating my breakfast at leisure with my pyjamas still firmly on.

Airbnb packing list

However, you want to make sure your Airbnb trip feels just as relaxing and fun as staying in a hotel, and that means your packing list needs to be on point. You certainly don’t want to wake up on the first day of your trip and realise that you’ve not got any milk in the fridge or that the cosy wood burner only comes with one small bag of firewood… that you used up on your first night. That’s why I wanted to write an Airbnb packing list!

Just as an FYI, this guide is mostly aimed at Airbnb staycations but I’ve also followed it when I’ve travelled to an Airbnb abroad. I guess you just have to think about your baggage allowance and how much you can fit in your suitcase, and leave the food behind!

What to expect from an Airbnb

What can you expect to be already in your Airbnb when you arrive? Well, it depends. I’ve stayed in some Airbnbs that have come with a fully stocked fridge of fresh farm produce, including eggs, butter and cheese!

I’ve stayed in others where they’ve teamed up with a local cook who would deliver home-cooked takeaway to your door – they even had a menu of delicious options for you to choose from. However, you can’t rely on that, so it’s best to be prepared. And it’s not just with food either, some Airbnbs I’ve stayed in have got their central heating set onto a thermostat, so it’s been a lot chillier than I’d planned for.

This leads me onto my first point – the booking information for your trip!

Airbnb basics: check your booking information

Airbnb packing list

Your Airbnb booking information is one of the most important things you ‘pack’ for your trip. Make your trip to your Airbnb as seamless as possible by screengrabbing all your key information before you leave. This includes things like directions, or signposts that you’ll have to look out for, and parking instructions. Due to Covid restrictions, you’ll also probably need the pin code for the key box to access your Airbnb.

The really important thing is to do all this BEFORE you leave. Why? Well, a lot of the time I’m taking trips to little spots in the countryside that have dodgy Wi-Fi at best. You definitely don’t want to be driving around in circles because you can’t find your location – or worse, arrive and not be able to get in. Not the best way to start off your holiday, right?

My advice would be to save everything you need to a folder on your phone, and also share the information with your travel companions in case your battery runs out on your phone.

Airbnb packing list

Things to print off/screengrab for your Airbnb trip

  • Name and postcode of your destination
  • Directions to your destination
  • Signposts/turnings to look out for
  • Parking instructions
  • Pin code for the key box
  • Contact details for Airbnb host

What to bring to your Airbnb following Covid-19 regulations

The biggest change to Airbnbs that I’ve seen as a result of Covid has been that you can no longer meet your house when you arrive. A lot of hosts do make a point of saying hello when you first arrive, which is always a nice touch, however with social distancing that’s not really practical at the moment. What this means is that you’ll have to let yourself into your Airbnb yourself. Most of the time that will involve using a key box, as I mentioned.

You might want to consider bringing the following items…

  • Extra masks
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Antibacterial wipes

It’s also worth double checking your cancellation policy when you book. Due to the uncertainty around lockdown it’s hard to plan for anything – I had to cancel a trip up north recently when we went into Tier 3 and it became clear that I couldn’t travel outside of my local area. However, the Airbnb I’d booked had a full cancellation policy up until a few days before the trip. My advice is to just keep an eye on that so you don’t lose any cash.

So how do you prepare for your Airbnb stay?

Airbnb packing list for kitchen

Airbnb packing list

Hmmm… what to pack for your Airbnb kitchen? Well, I would again look to your booking instructions. They’ll be able to give you a rough guide on what to expect and whether tea, coffee, and condiments are provided for example. However, it’s also good to bring more than you need because, let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than having to do a shopping trip in the middle of your short break. Nothing says back to reality like a trip to Tesco, right? So with that in mind, here’s some ideas for food to bring on your Airbnb trip…

Grocery list for Airbnb

  • Tea and coffee
  • Diluting juice (or squash if you’re not Scottish)
  • Milk
  • Sugar/sweetener for hot drinks
  • Bread/bagels/wraps
  • Eggs
  • Cereal
  • Fruit (the more portable the better)
  • Butter
  • Sandwiches fillings (cheese, ham, jam, etc)
  • Zip-up sandwich bags
  • Mixed herbs and spices (salt and pepper are usually provided)
  • Snacks – crisps, biscuits, nibbles for the evening
  • Alcohol – whatever your poison is – and plenty of mixer

Oh, and just to say, a lot of the Airbnbs I’ve stayed in have come with a fully stocked treat box. This could include a whole manner of things including share size bags of crisps, chocolate treats, nuts, sparking soft drinks, mini bottles of gin, and more. One Airbnb host even provided freshly baked scones along with butter and jam. What a triumph!

Airbnb packing list for the bathroom

Airbnb packing list

What should you pack for your Airbnb bathroom? Again, it depends on the stay. Some more luxurious places will provide mini shampoos and shower gels as part of the price of your stay. However, if you have sensitive skin or you’re staying for a while it’s always a good idea to bring your own. You also might want to make the most of the bathtub if you don’t have one at home – there’s nothing like a soak in the tub after a long walk in the cold!

You also don’t want to forget about the basics – Airbnbs will provide toilet paper but you never can know exactly how much will be provided. So, in short, be prepared!

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shower gel and/or bubble bath
  • Shower puff
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair straighteners
  • Make-up remover
  • Moisturiser
  • Sun block (if appropriate)
  • Extra toilet paper
  • Razor
  • First aid kit
  • Extra towels if needed

Airbnb packing list for the living room

Airbnb packing list

What on earth would you need to pack for the living room you might be wondering? Surely all the essentials are already there? Well, for the most part they already will be, but it doesn’t hurt to bring a few extra bits and bobs just in case. If there’s a wood burner in the living room you might want to have an extra bag of kindling and extra blankets might not go amiss – especially if you’re travelling with a hairy little pup as I often am!

  • Matches
  • Extra bad of firewood
  • Newspaper
  • An extra blanket
  • Candles or tea lights
  • Fresh flowers – for a touch of luxe
  • Mini speakers and your favourite playlist

Airbnb packing list for the bedroom

  • A cosy extra blanket
  • Electric blanket
  • Coat hangers
  • Scented drawer liners
  • A good book

Air packing list for pets

Planning on staying in an Airbnb with your furry friend? Then you need to make sure they’re well catered for too. Another reason I love staying at Airbnbs is because so many of them cater to dog owners, and it’s lovely being able to bring the pup along on trips with us. Some Airbnbs will have certain specifications about where dogs can sleep so make sure you give them a read before you have your pooch cosied up with you on the bed.

  • Dog bed
  • Lead and collar
  • Dog food and treats
  • Poop bags
  • Doggy jacket
  • Tick remover
  • Doghair brush
  • Towel
  • Blanket
  • A selection of toys
  • Torch for those early morning walks

Pack like a pro: 7 smart Airbnb tips for guests

Smart packing tips – add these little extras to make your stay ever more comfortable!

1. Slippers

I’ve forgotten slippers in the past and seriously regretted it. A lot of Airbnb cottages take a while to warm up, have stone floors, or are set on a remote thermostat that you can’t change, so having a fluffy pair of slippers to pad around in makes all the difference. This is one of my most important must-brings on your Airbnb trip. Also make sure you remember pyjamas. My friend forgot his on our last trip and was so mad about it

2. An HDMI adapter

I’m not going to pretend that I’m an expert on tech because I’m not, but basically something that will enable you to watch Netflix on the TV instead of on your laptop. One of my best memories from an Airbnb trip in Pitlochry last year was watching back-to-back episodes of The Crown after a long walk in the cold outside. Lovely!

3. Home-made freezer food in tupperware

Bringing your own frozen dinner with you is my go-to tip for the first night at an Airbnb when you’re arriving late and haven’t got your bearings yet. It’s also a good money saver. The last time I stayed in an Airbnb we heated up home-cooked curry and ate it with poppadoms and mango chutney that we’d brought with us, and it was delicious. Yes, of course it’s lovely to go out and see what the local restaurants have to offer, but when it’s dark and freezing cold it’s also really nice to curl up and not have to go anywhere.

4. An extension plug

Why do you need an extension plug for an Airbnb stay you might be wondering? Well, I’ve found in many of these old country cottages that there are never plug sockets where you need them to be. If you want to cosy up on the couch while charging your phone or straighten your hair in front of an actual mirror then the only way to do it is to have an adapter packed in your suitcase. Boring but very essential item for your Airbnb packing list.

5. Portable snacks and a reusable water bottle

Walks in the countryside can be long and tiring, so if you want to pep yourself up after (or mid-way through) a long hike then you need some snacks that you can easily pack in your rucksack. Mini packs of oatcakes, cereal bars, a banana, and a flask of hot tea will all do a great job of reviving you. And of course you don’t want to head out without a trusty bottle of water. Bring a reusable one with you all you’ll be all sorted!

6. Extra pairs of socks

Usually whenever I stay in an Airbnb it’s in a remote corner of Scotland, so when it comes to socks the more the merrier really. The last short break I took was to Pitlochry. We did white water rafting as well as some pretty long walks in dubious weather, which you can read more about here. But the point is this: not bringing enough socks equals having to schlep around with cold and wet feet, and that’s no fun when you’re supposed to be on holiday. I would recommend a mix of pop socks and fluffy indoor socks for cosying on the couch!

7. A couple of washing tablets

Oh I know, washing equals domestic drudgery and that’s what you’re trying to get away from on your Airbnb trip, right? However, if you are going out on walks in the countryside you may find that you get damp and muddy sooner rather than later. Don’t just bung your clothes in your bag – wash them and then you can get another use out them on the trip. If you’re lucky you might even have a tumble dryer to make the whole process doubly quick!

Like this post? Why not read my blogs on my recent Airbnb trips to Pitlochry and Mull?

2 responses to “Airbnb packing list: how to make your short break extra cosy”

  1. I’ve never been to an Airbnb before but all the things you have mentioned in the list are definitely useful! Perfect for a cosy night! Thanks for sharing!

    Laura /

    1. Thanks so much! 😊

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