Outdoor Living

Find the perfect cottage rental

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Outdoor Living

Find the perfect cottage rental

Ah, cottage season. It's part of the romance of being Canadian: heading out into the wilderness to just kick back and chill out, or call in a couple dozen friends and have a party by the dock. Yet only about 10% of the population actually owns a cottage. You know what that means: demand for cottage-owning buddies to finagle a weekend invite from far outstrips supply. That's where rentals come in. For as little as $300 per week (up to over $6,000 per week), you can rent your own retreat. Here's what you need to know to get started.

Where to look
Websites are the fastest and most convenient means of checking out rental cottages. Cottagelink.com has listings for properties ranging from shacks on remote islands to deluxe cottage-country mansions, from coast to coast (and the US as well!) Best part: click on the booking calendar for each property to see what weeks (and in some cases weekends) are left.

When to look
Here's some bad news. The best time to start your search is early. Very early. Like, when snow's still on the ground. Once spring fever hits, it's every man, woman, child (and water-loving pup) for themselves. Still, even if the listing you're interested in seems booked solid, email the owner and get waitlisted just in case a renter cancels. TIP: Cottageportal.com has a convenient "Book Last Minute" listing category.

Considerations
While some ads may say "No pets", it's worth emailing the owners to see if they'll relax the rules for you. Offer a damage deposit for your well-behaved pet.

If you're the queen (or king) of clean laundry, check where the nearest laundry facilities are. Or rent a house-in-cottage-country rather than a rustic cottage – that way you'll always be close to the ol' double loader.

Does the cottage come with a barbecue? If none is provided you'll need to bring a portable one – after all, what is cottaging without barbecuing?

Find out about the kitchen and bath facilities. It may be hot where you live, but it can get cold up north. How are you going to feel about cold-water shower facilities then? And if "cooking" dehydrated food over an outdoor Coleman stove turns your crank, great. But if you're into gourmet cooking, look for a full kitchen.

Do you need to bring your own linens? TIP: For your own comfort, regardless of what's provided, we suggest traveling with your own pillows.

How far away are you from the best things about civilization: hospitals and a quaint retail strip with an ice cream parlour?

How close are you to other cottages? Some cottage complexes can get loud at night, what with the raucous kids, partyers and endless rounds of 99 bottles of beer on the wall, by the communal fire pit.

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Outdoor Living

Find the perfect cottage rental