The Self Catering Holiday Packing List

Booking a self catering holiday house is one of the easiest ways to save money on eating out when on vacation.  So if you’re planning on dining in on your self catering trip what should you pack?

A self-catering holiday packing list. This travel checklist is suitable for camping and caravanning, plus cabin, chalet and villa vacation stays.

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The Self Catering Packing List

To start planning your packing list for your self catering holiday you will need to know:

  1. How many days you are travelling
  2. What your self catering accommodation supplies
  3. What activities you have planned
  4. What other facilities are nearby eg. supermarkets, butchers, fruit and vegetable stalls
  5. Which meals you want to eat at your self-catering accommodation.

Dry Goods

Most self contained holiday accommodations supply pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and utensils.  However, they rarely supply the other pantry items you take for granted which are always in your kitchen.  Pack:

  • Alfoil
  • Clingwrap
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tea, coffee and sugar (some places do supply a few sachets of instant to get you started).
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Jams, preserves, honey and vegemite (I’m Aussie 🙂 ).
  • Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Onions.

Top Trip Tip: I put these items into a large plastic crate.  The crate is solid, prevents breakages (if one happens it contains the mess) and is easy to load into the car.

Cold Items

These items all get packed into an eski/cooler box with a few ice bricks to ensure it all stays cold for the journey to your self-catering vacation.

  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs and possibly Bacon
  • Milk
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables/Salad
  • Cheese
  • Cold luncheon meats
  • Meat of main meals eg chicken, steak
  • Drinks (wine, beer, soft drinks, juices)
  • Dips and nibblies.

Top Trip Tip:  If you freeze your main meal meats it helps keep everything else cool and the meat stays frozen for the road trip.


You will need to check exactly what your accommodation includes but many self catering cottage accommodation options provide bed linen and a bath towel.  So you will just need:

  • Face wash
  • Beach towel
  • Pillow (if you are a little fussy, like me)

If no linen is provided add:

  • Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Bath towel

Top Trip Tip: If you’re fussy about your pillow height and softness, take your own.

For the kids

  • Snuggle friend
  • Colouring
  • Activity books
  • Reading books
  • Scooter or bike (if you have room).

Top Trip Tip:  Place this bag of goodies including a few snacks next to your child for road trip entertainment as well.

Personal items

Of course, you will also need clothing, toiletries, basic first aid items and any specialist equipment for activities planned for your self-catering holiday.  Use the Ultimate Packing List to complete your travel packing checklist.

Get a copy of the Ultimate Travel Packing List. Yours FREE to download, alter and print.
Top Trip Tip:  If you download the free ultimate travel packing list you will have it available for every type trip you dream to embark upon.

A self-catering holiday packing list. This travel checklist is suitable for camping and caravanning, plus cabin, chalet and villa vacation stays.

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Toddlers On Tour

Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.

16 Responses to “The Self Catering Holiday Packing List

  • This list is good for a camping trip too. As a matter of fact it looks very similar to what I pack (except for some of the cold items). I have pantry items and toiletries ready to go (and I restock after every trip). #MondayEscapes

    • What a great idea to have the dry goods box prepared Ruth. You are ready to head off on a getaway at a moment’s notice.

  • We get shopping delivered for the week on the first night so we don’t take food or household goods but we do always take our nespresso coffee machine and pods. Plus outdoor activities for the kids and their bikes. This year we are taking guitar and karaoke machine for a music night and I’ll be taking glow sticks for the kids. Last year I took a pinata!

    • Wow, what fun things to take Jo! I hadn’t considered a karaoke machine and the Nespresso machine sounds like a very wise move. I know people who even pack there’s in the suitcase when they travel overseas.

  • Perfect list! I also include some flour, but otherwise you nailed it! Thanks for linking up this week with #wkendtravelinspiration!

    • I hadn’t thought of the flour – I wasn’t going to bake 🙂 But you also use flour for so much more – a thickener in sauces as a coating for rissoles, fish and chicken. Thanks for the tip JIm.

  • I also pack my own tea because I really hate cheap supermarket tea. I like a very firm pillow but learned a trick: if you wind up in a place with too-mushy pillows, fold a towel or two up and slip them inside the pillow case and it will give you the support you need!

    • That’s a great tip for beefing up the pillows Eileen. I have the opposite problem of liking a low soft pillow – hard to find. I have tried using a towel but it’s too hard. So I pack my own if I have room.

  • I know it sounds a bit obsessive but I sometimes also take my own frypan. So often I find the pots and pans in otherwise lovely self-catering cottages so awful I don’t want to eat anything which has been cooked in them.

    • I don’t think that sounds too obsessive Lyn. The only problem with self-catering accommodation is that the cleaning of the kitchen utensils is up to the previous tenant. If they don’t wash properly then when you arrive you have to wash everything before you start. On occasion, I have had to rewash everything.

  • The packing list is very useful. I used to freeze a prepared meal (like a lasagne) and use it in the cooler to help keep things cool when traveling. It would defrost and could be used as the first (or last) evening meal during the trip.

    • A premade meal – perfect Rhonda. A healthy homemade meal with no cooking – that’s a holiday!

  • Great list! Cooking related stuff is usually last on my mind when I pack, but it really can make things easier and save you money. #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • I don’t really want to cook too much on holiday either Anisa, but taking a few basics including breakfast can save considerable money and make life a little less stressful when you first wake up.

  • Growing up staying in Timeshares was about the same. They provided a lot, even vacuums, but we had to bring a lot of our own things. I still bring my own tea when I travel because most hotels I find have the cheap disgusting tea. And I’m picky about the English tea. #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • Nothing wrong with that Lolo. I think the morning coffee or tea is so important – it sets you up for the day.

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