We’ve traveled as a family for a year now and everywhere we go there’s always something missing. Here’s what every apartment rental would have to make happy renters.

It’s all about the lists:


  • Corkscrew
  • Sharp knife
  • Peeler
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Chopping knife
  • Cutting board
  • Bottle opener (ignore it the corkscrew has one)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Tea towels
  • Plastic storage containers (for leftover food)
  • Ice trays
  • Microfibre clothes for easy window/mirror cleaning
  • Two-sided sponges or something to get a good scrub
  • Spice rack complete with at least salt, pepper, basil, oregano, olive oil and sugar
  • Frying pan
  • Coffee maker, either a French Press, an automatic coffee maker, camping coffee pot, etc.
  • Toaster
  • Tea pot and strainer.
  • Dish soap (as well as other cleaners)
  • Shopping bags, cloth
  • Rubbish bags
  • Baking paper or foil (this is a happy find if we get this)
  • Jug (to boil water)
  • Enough cutlery for at least 4 people
  • Drinking glasses for various alcoholic drinks
  • Bonus points if you have a stick blender or a real blender (clean – we’ve come across some pretty gross ones.)
  • A ‘welcome’ pack has always been gratefully received – coffee, milk, bread, some fruit. We may not be able to eat it, but the kids will eat the milk and bread in an emergency. When we arrive at a new place they’re always starving, so it qualifies as an emergency.


  • Fan (if no AC, ideally two fans.)
  • Heaters if no central heating
  • A cozy blanket (winter)
  • Puzzle and games for the kids (new toys are gold for us)
  • Clock
  • If there’s a sofa bed, please provide a mattress topper. (Pretty please!)
  • If there’s a fireplace,  please provide some wood and tell us where to get more


  • Enough beds for the people sleeping there. Ideally set up in a way where they can be moved around fairly easily
  • Pillows that are under the age of 10, and more than you think people need.
  • Variety of blankets and sheets
  • A comfortable mattress
  • Black out shades or heavy curtains. If you’re quite far north you need to understand that not everyone wants to stay awake until 1am


  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Shampoo
  • Towels
  • Plug


  • Scissors
  • Two sets of keys. Even though we tend to go out altogether, sometimes we have the opportunity to split up so two sets of keys are nice.
  • Pegs
  • Clothes rack
  • Cleaning products
  • A brush and pan
  • A vacuum cleaner that works
  • Cleaning products
  • Internet, easily accessible so it can be reset (sometimes internet needs to simply be turned off and on to restart it)
  • Local maps for sights, transport, supermarkets, banks, swimming pool, gym and other services – mark them out.
  • A few brochures for local attractions.
  • A list of the ‘inside’ places to visit. Only hosts will know which restaurants/shops are worthy of a visit.
  • Along those lines, the closest playgrounds and to let us know if it’s ok for kids to head there by themselves. (Each country has a different philosophy on this.)
  • Transport instructions – where  and how to buy tickets, and how to get the best price.
  • Where to buy SIM cards, and the provider with the widest coverage.
  • Instructions for when the power cuts off unexpectedly

We’ve had to buy something at every place we’ve been at, so now we end up bringing things with us, and we tend to gift things to each house. We now have an extra suitcase/duffel bag that has:

  • Tea Towels
  • Rope (for clothes lines and other random reasons)
  • Bungy cords (2)
  • Pegs
  • Frying pan (!)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Ice trays (it’s summer after all)
  • Corkscrew
  • Sometimes a spatula
  • Universal Sink plug
  • Bags
  • Salt/Pepper and sometimes – if we have weight allowance  – other items like coconut oil, cocoa, toilet paper; food for when we arrive at our next place and don’t have time to shop

Overall, if you are renting to a family understand that kids are going to explore every nook and cranny, and will test the sturdiness of everything in the house. Which means, please don’t fill your house with precious items or have a ‘pure white’ house, you’re asking for tears.

Glass tables and white falls fit into the above “asking for tears” criteria.

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Nathaniel Flick