Pack up the beer, inflate the beach ball and pack up more beer. Cottage season is upon us again.
But like anything, getting the most out of your cottage visit entails a little bit of groundwork, and you’ve got some bushes to beat before you let the good times roll. Before you go, you should be figuring out where you want to be, who’s coming with you and how much you’re prepared to pay.
First you’re going to have to rent a cottage, if you don’t own one, and that can be big bucks. The starting price for a good one is $500 per week according to online directory Cottagesincanada.com. Some factors affecting price include cottage size, whether pets are allowed, and proximity to water.
Helen Lovekin, a media relations co-ordinator for Ontario Tourism, says you’ll get better rates across the province in spring and fall, or what she calls the “shoulder seasons.” But when you’re talking price — and that often means supply and demand — where you go can count for a lot.
“Wasaga Beach, Sauble Beach, Sand Banks Provincial Park, which is a beach — beaches are popular,” says Lovekin. “But so are specific regions: Algonquin, Muskoka and Georgian Bay are iconographic and famous, and therefore in demand. The lesser known Kawarthas have housekeeping cottages on their own little wee islands, hidden lakes, great little towns and excellent ice cream, for more reasonable rates. The Grey-Bruce Peninsula is varied. Or, you could go north.”
When you’ve got your spot, ask what you can and should be taking with you, and what the protocols are in terms of cottage maintenance. The three Bs — boats, bicycles and beach balls — are sometimes included, but you might have to bring your own. Find out about the dumping and recycling procedures, and as much as this might gross you out, the septic tank, pump and sewer functions. You may want to bring some electrical fuses, just in case, suggests Lovekin.
>> For more, visit www.rentcottage.com or call a cottage realtor in the region where you wish to rent.