Continuing the theme of this series, there will be no pictures today.

A VRBO is where you rent someplace to stay on vacation directly from the owner rather than staying at a hotel.  In many cases, there may be a management company that acts as an intermediary, but thinks like daily linen service that a hotel provides are not included.

Because it is someplace you are staying temporarily, most of the recommendations I made in the first two posts (Hotel Kitchens and Family Hotels) in this series still apply.  But, because it is not a hotel, there are a number of other considerations when packing for a VRBO stay.

First, VRBO listings should tell you how much is included.  Most, but not all, will include linens.  If there is a kitchen there should be a similar quantity of plates, cutlery, pots, etc. to a hotel kitchen.  But, the similarities pretty much end there.

Most importatantly, while basics are included they are not necessarily new for each guest.  This means you could end up with only a few sheets of paper towels in the kitchen, or half a roll of toilet paper.  If you have packing space (and nothing here is truly huge), I recommend enough supplies for your entire stay.  I.e., assume nothing is there.  It is generally easier and cheaper to bring these from home as otherwise you’ll be at the nearest Walmart buying single rolls or other small volume options.

  • Kitchen
    • paper towels/kitchen towel
    • dish soap
    • sponge/cloth
    • dishwasher soap
    • trash bags
  • Bathroom(s)
    • soap for both the sink and shower
    • shampoo/conditioner
    • toilet paper
    • trash bags
  • Laundry (especially if in unit)
    • detergent
    • stain remover/fabric softener, if desired
  • Misc other common hotel items, if desired
    • Pen/paper
    • Tea/coffee/sugar
    • Tourist information

On the other hand, there are things a VRBO often does provide that a hotel does not.  If you are near a tourist destination there may well be a stroller.  There might be beach or pool toys if those are relevant to your destination.  There might be DVDs or other TV/gaming options.  If there is a BBQ, it is probably gas and there are probably BBQ tools available.  If you are going to a destination that might suggest commonly used items, ask the owner what is included so you don’t have to pack duplicates.