We stay in cabins a lot on vacation and work trips. We love to be close to the water through the summer but we do not camp! Because this is Texas and it’s friggin’ hot! Staying in a cabin gives us the best of both worlds! Over the years I have learned a thing or two about cabin life and how to make your stay as easy and comfortable as possible. In addition to always bringing your own linens, pillows, blankets, bath towels and kitchen essentials, here is a list of items to pack on your next trip!
1. Old Dark Sheets & Tacks
What? Yes, let me explain. Lots of cabins have no blinds on the windows or they have window coverings that let in all the light. So while I am all about taking in the beautiful scenery, I am also all about getting to sleep in on vacation (or keep the tired kiddos asleep). We take old, dark colored sheets and tack them over the windows to block out early morning sun! True story, we stayed at one cabin that had no covering over the front door that faced all the other cabins, was half windows and the bathroom opened up facing that door. It was so awkward, I was so glad I brought my sheets and tacks! Ps – that was the Possum Kingdom trip.. no surprise if you read about that crazy trip.
2. Shower Head
Yes! Stay with me, this is genius, I promise! Of all the cabins we have ever stayed in, our number 1 complaint is the shower! There is usually no bath tub and the water pressure in the shower is 9 times out of 10 awful! There is never any water pressure, NEVER I tell you! A couple of years ago The Water Man got smart (that’s why I keep him around, he’s handy) and bought a cheap shower head to travel with. When you get to the cabin, unscrew the miserable mister shower head and screw yours on. BAM, instant water pressure! Your welcome, who doesn’t love a decent shower after a long day playing in the sun!
3. Gallon Zip Lock Bags
These babies are wonderful for everything! Seriously. You don’t want to travel with a bunch of Tupperware but I know I hate throwing out left over food. A gallon size zip lock will hold left overs, you can even put a paper plate with food on it into the bag and zip it up (oh goodness, don’t forget the paper plates and paper towels to make your life easier too)! You can also put wet bathing suits or water shoes in these bags to travel home, swim diapers when your at the water with a stinky and no where to put it. The things you can do with a gallon sized zip lock bag are endless, these will come in so, so handy!
4. Sound Machine
This is a great travel hack period and it’s also back to that all important beauty rest! I know a lot of people who need a fan to sleep, lots of my friends and family travel with a box fan for the noise. That is wonderful, but it takes up a lot of room and a lot of times isn’t feasible. But who can sleep with all the noise of a cabin?? Early morning hunters leaving in their diesel trucks, the annoying a/c clicking on and off, and who can keep everyone in that tiny cabin asleep if one person wakes up in the night? (I won’t mention any names…) Sound machines are louder than a fan if you need them to be and small enough to fit in any bag! We got ours for the kids but now we all sleep in the rain every night! This is our favorite sound machine!
5. Safety Door Knob Cover & Baby Gate
Ok, these last 2 are for the parents with littles! I always travel to cabins with a wooden collapsible baby gate and a safety door knob cover. Both take up very little room, although the baby gate is big, it lays flat or slides easily between suitcases and can be priceless to have at the cabin with a loft or stairs. I have also used the baby gate on the front door while we grill on the porch so the kids can see what’s going on and talk to daddy but can’t get to the grill, parking lot, cliff, whatever. The safety door knob cover is self explanatory and is worth every second of peace of mind as another layer of protection against the kiddos leaving unannounced!
Vacation can feel a lot like work, especially with kids so I like to find ways to make our trips easier, more comfortable and get everyone (including this mama) as much sleep as possible. I hope you find these cabin hacks helpful and that they make all your adventures more fun!