Cottage getaways are tons of fun! You and your family can take a break from your normal life and relax somewhere that’s utterly scenic. No traffic, no tech, no tasks on the to-do list. There are so many amazing cottages right here in Ontario that it’d be a shame not to see what the area has to offer. It’s a stone’s throw away from your home, but a completely different speed of life. What could be better?
The best experiences often come from the best-laid plans, so make sure you do some planning before your trip. There’s not much to do; booking with a reputable cottage rental will ensure you have a great time and a great place to stay. Still, there are five things you can do before booking your cottage getaway to ensure your trip is as smooth as a lake in the early morning.
Figure out accessibility
The first thing to assess is accessibility points in the cottage you’re looking to rent, especially if children or seniors are coming along. Too many outdoor stairs could be an issue, especially if it’s wintertime. Don’t just think about stairs to the front door of the cottage; there could be stairs to the bedroom, backyard, deck, or bedrooms. Ask if these stairs are well lit. The last thing you want is a trip-and-fall accident to happen on the stairs, spoiling your whole getaway. You and your guests will also feel more comfortable if basic accessibility and safety measures are taken around the cottage. You’ll be able to focus on having fun, not maneuvering in the dark.
What is the Local Nature Like?
One of the main reasons people go to cottages is to experience nature. We’re so blessed in Canada to have such spectacular nature basically at our back door. Canada’s nature also varies wildly, so inquire about what the cottage’s terrain will be like. Is it nestled in dense forest? Is it on a lake? At altitude? You’ll want to know what your rental cottage’s nature is like so you can know what to look forward to, and also what to pack for. Thick trees can mean a higher concentration of animals and insects, while lakes can harbour waterfowl that wakes you up at all hours of the morning. Some people are particular about the environment they want to relax in, so it makes sense to ask about the local landscape and wildlife ahead of time.
Is Cottage Equipment Included?
Some folks just want to sit on a lake and read paperback novels, while others want to get active. This means having cottage equipment such as canoes, kayaks, chairs, coolers and bicycles. You should also inquire about boat rental companies nearby, as well as tubing and water skiing services. Water activities most likely won’t be included with your cottage rental, but it’s good to know about local options so you can know what’s available. Other equipment you should confirm is baby equipment, kitchen appliances, TV and wi-fi. There’s nothing wrong with gathering round for a movie after a tiring day of exploring nature.
Can Pets Come?
For some folks, their dog is the most important member of the family. For some cottage rentals, however, dogs are not on the guest list. Inquire with your cottage rental broker if your pets can come, and if so what their policies are surrounding animals. Perhaps your dog is allowed to accompany you but must remain on a leash. Or, maybe your dog is welcome but you have to put down a security deposit for any damage to the cottage prior to arrival. Definitely don’t just show up with your pets. It could be an awkward situation if the rental service doesn’t allow them.
You may be on vacation but your morning perk is still a needed part of the day. In that case, knowing the coffee situation ahead of time could save you from a caffeine-withdrawal migraine and an aggravating start to your stay. Most cottages have coffee makers or Keurig machines but may not carry beans or coffee pods. You can bring your own beans and grinder on your trip and enjoy the coffee that you’re used to, only now with a serene view and nowhere to rush off to. Perfection.
Cottaging should be the highlight of your year, and you have a better chance of making it so by asking pertinent questions before your trip. Be sure to ask about accessibility and mobility around the cottage, especially if you’re travelling with anyone requiring special assistance. After that, ask about the terrain, pets, and whether anything else is included in the rental. You’ll be guaranteed to have a great time with you and your family or friends, and be able to anticipate any curveballs along the way. The only thing to do now is to fantasize about the sunrise, the silence and that first sip of coffee on the deck of your cabin.