What to bring for beach house rental??

I've never rented a house before so I'm clueless. We will be there a week. The contract says linens are included but I'm not sure what else. What things do I need to pack that I would not think of? Any tricks or tips?

Also, if you have done this with another family as we are doing, any tips on the best way to allocate the costs? Do you have each family just bring some stuff and share? Or do you split the costs of everything at the end? (Not talking about rental costs, but food and stuff like that.)

Specific questions I have:

--Do we need to bring laundry detergent and dish soap? (We will have 2 babies and 2 toddlers so will need to do lots of both!)

--We will bring some groceries and buy some there, but what about things like spices, condiments, oil, saran wrap, tinfoil, etc.? Do you bother packing all that or just buy and/or do without for the week? We like to cook.

--Is it safe to assume the house will have a decent selection of pots, pans, knives, bowls, etc.? I'm not talking gourmet, but at least the basics to make a decent meal for two families.

--What about trash bags?

Anything else I am missing or any hints/tips would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

We usually bring a lot of what you mention, just to be on the safe side. Yes, most rentals have dish soap, dishwasher detergent, spices, olive oil, sugar, tin foil and tupperware, but not all do. We always bring a couple good knives, because the ones at the rentals tend to be not that great. There are usually pots and pans, but sometimes they aren't that clean or in good condition. We definitely bring our own laundry detergent and a few Bounce sheets. We usually buy or bring condiments and plan a few nights of cooking, assuming we don't have any fancy equipment. We stick to things like spaghetti and chicken that can be made with a large pot and a frying pan. There is typically a strainer there. All the rentals we have been at have had a good selection of plates, silverware and glassware. We usually bring a few trash bags, extra toilet paper, a roll of paper towels, napkins and paper plates for the kids. When we had a baby we would bring a shower curtain to put under their chair so they didn't ruin the carpet.

Over the years, we have made a "beach packing list" and just throw everything in a couple bins, pack in the car, and go.

Have fun!
This is our usual list for the Outer Baniks, not sure where you go but the house has no food spices, TP, Papertowels etc. when we get there the welcome package has a small thing of dish soap and roll of TP and paper towels.

We rent an ocena front house that has all the pots pans, etc which is great

We bring this:

Bars of soap,Trashbags,Paper Towels sheets- I can't stand the crappy ones,Towels- same reason,Saran wrap, foil etc, Beach towels, beach umbrella, beach chairs- we bought the beach rentals one year at the end of the season and store them at a friends house that lives there, boogie boards, shampoo, kids favorite games, beach toys, cooler, lots of alcohol
We go to the beach every year with a lot of other family members and divide the grocery lists, so maybe divy it up or split the cost, but remember that shore towns are infamous for charging more at their local grocery store. I would buy the trash bags, soap, etc. but sometimes prior renters do leave stuff at the house, so as long as you can use it when you go back home if you don't at the beach you should be good.

We go w/ our linens, towels, beach towels and pillows. I get grossed out about linens, esp. when I don't know who's they are. We do bring laundry detergent, not a big, but a decent size.

The kitchen is usually fully equipped with everything we need. With that said, sometime, it isn't always in the best quality (ie numbers off measuring cups), not sharp knives, etc. So if you need something you might want to bring it from home. They should have all the biggers things like blenders, grill, ice machines (hopefully), etc.

Bring spices if you have a recipe you need spices for. Just pre-measure for the trip. I am going to bring more food with me this time because I was outraged by the price of food in the Outerbanks.
I think whether a house has things like dish soap, dishwasher detergent, etc may depend on the previous renters. Our first year in our house in OBX all those things were there. Our second year, there was nothing there. I assume because the previous renters took everything back home with them. We now wait to buy dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and trash bags until we get there so we can see what, if anything, has been left before. We always leave our unused portions as well.

You will typically need to bring things like foil, plastic wrap, paper plates (if you use them) and food of any kind (including staples). Our house is very well stocked in terms of pots/pans, dishes (incl baby spoons, toddler dishes), tubberware, baking supplies, just about anything for cooking. I would imagine this varies by house though. Definitely bring a good knife.
If you're going with a group to rent a house then I'd suggest they each bring a few rolls of toilet paper, a roll of paper towel, some napkins. Also bring dish detergent, dish sponge, dish towels, dishwasher soap, trash bags, a small emergency kit w/ band aids, etc. I'd bring snack bags, foil, seran wrap, box of tissue, beach chairs, beach towels, beach toys, bath soap, paper plates/cups if you're not using the real ones provided, salt/pepper and any other spices. Might want to bring some plastic food storage containers - I found most homes don't have many of those (use for leftovers or to take sandwiches/snacks down to the beach). If you're family drinks lot of lemonade then bring one or two gal. size pitchers to make your own.
We normally bring with us the things that are important to us. Then we wait to see what the house actually has on hand and make a run to the local grocery store to pick up those items. Normally this means we bring our own detergent, soap, etc. We keep a pad of paper handy to keep a running list of things we needed. Early in the season many houses have limited stock of spices etc, later in the season previous renters have left behind stuff. There is usually a reasonable set of pots and pans but do plan whatever meals you make to be simple.

We normally spilt the cost of groceries that everyone would share - milk, cereal etc but since some families have different needs I would not expect another family to pay for my son's speciality milk etc. We divided up the meal schedule so one night we cooked for everyone (and paid for food), the next night they prepared the meal and then we planned on meals out so no one had to cook. I will say that renting with another family can be difficult- families have different schedules and needs and for us it ended up not being very relaxing to share space with another family. Make sure you start out the trip telling the other family what your expectations are - there is nothing worse than realizing that each family assumed a different scenario.

I'm bringing most of what is outlined below. I think the later in the summer you go, the more stuff will be in the house (salt and pepper, oil, etc) because people buy and leave it. We are renting chairs and umbrellas down there and towels are provided as are sheets.

Paper towels, scrubby sponges, dishsoap, DW det, laundry det, bug spray, sun lotion, spices, extra TP, big box of toys, books, lots of extra beach towels, sun umbrellas, cooler, sports bottles and kid's videos!
This is why we go to a nice resort for a week! Because it was no vacation for me. It felt like all I was doing was moving my household activities to the beach instead of the burbs. I come back much more relaxed and feel like I had a vacation.
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