Posted on 2/25/2019

Bring, Buy, or Borrow? How to Pack for Your Next Beach Vacation

Bring, Buy, or Borrow? How to Pack for Your Next Beach Vacation | Ward Realty

You've booked your vacation house and figured out your transportation to Topsail Island.  Now it’s time to review your rental home description for details about what is included in your property. Then you can start making a list of items to bring from home, what to rent here, what to purchase once you arrive, and finally, what to leave behind as you leave the island.

Ward Realty wants to help you plan ahead so that you can enjoy your vacation, worry-free!

What to bring:

Toiletries | Ward Realty

What to bring from home:

  • Sheets, pillow cases, blankets
  • Bath towels, washcloths
  • Paper towels, napkins, toilet paper
  • Trash bags
  • Non-abrasive cleaning supplies
  • Dish detergent, dish soap
  • Kitchen towels, sponge
  • Laundry detergent, softener
  • Foil, plastic wrap, baggies
  • Beach chairs & umbrellas
  • Favorite kitchen items
  • Medications, First Aid supplies
  • Hair dryer, hair care items
  • Clothing, shoes, long-sleeves for SPF
  • Toiletries (shampoo, sunscreen, soap, hand soap, lotions, toothpaste, etc)
  • Food, coffee, condiments, drinks
  • Check the weather before you pack. 
  • Questions? Call us at 910-328-3221.

It's really up to you how much you bring from home. You will obviously need the basics (clothing, shoes, hats, sunglasses, and personal care items) but if space is limited, you can always purchase just about everything else once you arrive. 

We do suggest bringing as much as you can from home, not only to save you money, but also time. After all, you would probably prefer to bask in the glow of a Topsail Island sunset upon arrival, and not speed through the aisles of the local supermarket. 

What is provided in our Rental Properties? 

Each of our properties are individually furnished and equipped by the homeowner. 

Here are the standard items included in all homes (unless noted in property description):  Central Air Conditioning, Color Cable TV, Internet Access, Washer/Dryer access, Fully Equipped Kitchen (microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker, blender, toaster, pots/pans, dishes, utensils, glassware), Bedding (pillows, comforters or bedspreads for the beds - excludes sleeper sofas), Iron and Ironing Board. 

Please note that linens and paper products are not included. Ward Realty does rent linens (sheets and towels) for a whole house or just for one bed for your convenience. Click here for specific information on linen rentals with Ward Realty.

If you are looking for a specific amenity in a rental home, please search for your Topsail Island rental by amenity.

Confused about some of the abbreviations we use? Here is a cheat sheet.   

What to buy:

fresh groceries | Ward Realty

What to buy on Topsail:

  • Milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Meat, fish
  • Vegetables, fruits
  • Breakfast goodies
  • Bread, hamburger buns
  • Sandwich fillings
  • Popsicles, snacks
  • Beer, wine
  • Forgotten items

Once you arrive and settle into your vacation rental, take stock of what is already provided. 

It's very possible that a previous guest left behind some hand soap for the kitchen or some ketchup in the fridge. 

You might even find that the homeowner provides certain items not normally found in a rental home. 

Items you will probably need to pick up upon arrival might include perishables like milk, cheese, fruits, veggies, yogurt, breakfast goodies, beer, popsicles... you know, the necessities! 

Forgot toothpaste or hair ties? It's practically impossible to remember every single thing when you are packing for vacation! Grab them here. 

One quick outing to the beach might also remind you that you forgot a coverup, sunscreen, hats, or toys. 

Luckily, we have plenty of fun stores that sell all that stuff, and they make great souvenirs, too. 

Check this list for local grocery stores on Topsail Island:

And this list of other great shops and stores:


What to borrow:

kayaks | Ward Realty

What to rent or borrow:

  • Bed and bath linens
  • Baby gates
  • High chairs
  • Baby cribs
  • Pack and play
  • Beach cart
  • Beach chairs
  • Coolers
  • Umbrella
  • Kayaks
  • Canoes
  • Paddleboards
  • Life jackets
  • Bicycles
  • Fishing equipment

Did you know that you can rent various items directly from Ward Realty? Whether you just don't have room in the car or you simply forget to pack something, we just might have what you need. 

Our most popular rental items include bed and bath linens as well as miscellaneous baby and beach equipment. Our reservationists will be happy to help you schedule these services or you can order online when you make your reservation. 

If you or someone in your party has a special need that is not listed, please call our office and we will assist you in any way that we can. 

Please click on our list of Topsail Island rental items for prices and more information.

There are also several great companies on Topsail Island that will rent (and deliver!) beach gear that is, quite frankly, difficult to bring with you from home! Rent a paddleboard, kayak, beach chairs, a canopy, or fishing gear and leave more room in the minivan for your people! 

What to leave behind:

food donation | Ward Realty

What to leave behind:

  • Clean out the fridge and cabinets of food items, but donate or bring home what you can. 
  • Old swim floats, broken items
  • Unwanted stuff
  • All other garbage
  • Drink cans and bottles - Please recycle! 

You have enjoyed a spectacular week on Topsail Island. Now, it's time to pack up and go home. 

But why, oh why, did you buy those four extra boxes of pasta? And how did you end up with an entire bag of apples and an unopened gallon of milk in the fridge? 

Don't throw it away! Share The Table is a local food pantry and they would love to receive your donations. Read here to see their donation hours (they are even open Sundays at 5:00 pm). 

The address is: 12395 NC Hwy 50, Hampstead, NC 28443.  As a special service to our local vacationers, Share the Table sets up a donation drop off site on Saturday mornings from 8am to 11am in the parking lot of Max's Pizza, on Roland Avenue in Surf City. Just pull up with your bags of fresh, frozen, or non-perishable items.

If you happen to have extra beach toys or coolers, it's usually ok to leave them behind for the next guest. If you have a question about that, just give us a call at 910-328-3221.  

Your vacation rental will come complete with detailed instructions for trash removal, local recycling rules and how to clean out the home before you depart. Please let us know if you have any questions. 

What to take home with you:

Packing up after a wonderful vacation isn't nearly as much fun as packing to visit Topsail, but alas, it must be done. As you walk around the house collecting your stuff, don't forget these often abandoned items: 

  • Your bed linens and bath towels
  • Your beach towels
  • Your hand soaps and dish soaps, foils, paper products
  • Beach toys, chairs, swimsuits still hanging on the porch
  • Phone cords and other chargers plugged into the wall
  • Medications
  • Leftover food (don't forget to check the freezer)

The most important item to take home with you is a warm, wonderful memory of your time here on Topsail Island! You will probably also have plenty of photos, a few hilarious videos, and possibly a suntan to remind you of our favorite place on earth. We hope to see you soon! 

Ready to get packing? 

Book your next vacation ASAP! 

Bring, Buy, or Borrow? How to Pack for Your Next Beach Vacation | Ward Realty
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