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American Plan Vs. Housekeeping 

The docks at an American Plan lodge often have a fleet of boats awaiting guests. Photo courtesy of Anderson's Lodge
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American Plan Vs. Housekeeping 

The Differences between Housekeeping and American Plan Fishing Vacations 

While booking a fishing trip to Ontario’s Sunset Country, you’ve probably been faced with the decision between American Plan or Housekeeping. Here’s what the differences are and what they will mean to your vacation. 

You’ve finally put your foot down and are planning the fishing trip of a lifetime, and you’ve chosen the perfect place to do so: Sunset Country

Now to decide what type of adventure you’d like. Some frequently asked questions we hear in the Sunset Country office are “do I need to bring my own food to this lodge,” “what is included there,” or “is there a lodge where I only have to think about fishing and nothing else?” 

The answers to those questions define Housekeeping versus American Plan lodges; however, there are some grey areas in between where some lodges offer both! We’ll cover that and more below.

The dining room at Duck Bay Lodge on Lake of the Woods


American Plan: American Plan lodges in general offer three meals a day, the option of a boat included, typically gas for the week, and a few other perks sometimes including guided days on the water

Housekeeping Plan: Housekeeping lodges allow you to use their accommodations; however, you prepare your own meals. Sometimes gas is included if your housekeeping plan includes boat rental. Housekeeping plans often apply to fly-in/boat-in outposts as well, unless there is a fly-in lodge that offers American Plan. 

As we stated above, some lodges—boat-in, drive-in, or fly-in—offer both American and Housekeeping plans; the differences between their plans will likely be made clear on their websites. 

A wonderful video shot at Anderson's Lodge.

Alternative differences between American Plan and Housekeeping lodges may include the flexibility with gas, boats, guided/non-guided options, meal times, and more specific differences per the lodge. 

The differences listed above are matters you’ll discuss with lodges individually once you’ve decided on a plan that works best for you and your party. 


Let’s discuss some things visitors may or may not like about the plan differences. For instance, packing heavier and bringing your own food could be the choice of folks who don’t want to run on someone else’s schedule, whereas some may enjoy having three meals ready for them each day and may not mind the routine of the schedule. 

Bringing food to cook for yourselves, but there’s only one grill master or cook in the group? Perhaps an American Plan is the way to go so you, so your one friend doesn’t bear the burden of cooking for you all. 

Are you all diehards who pack lunch snacks, pee off the side of the boat, and don’t leave the water for 12+ hours? Perhaps a housekeeping plan is more your speed. 

Are you all diehards, but none of you can cook? Sorry, guess you should pack noodles. 

Positives of the American Plan:

  • You can pack lighter, food, and boats, and some gear is included 
  • All of your meals are cooked and dishes are done for you—zero maintenance 
  • Some lodges offer fully guided trips included in your American Plan 

American Plan points to consider: 

  • Set meal times can take away from diehard fishing plans (however, some lodges are willing to be flexible!) 
  • Running on someone else’s schedule 
  • Prices are understandably higher, but you’ll save money on food, and luggage overages (on fly-ins) and won’t have many extra costs. 

Positives of Housekeeping: 

  • Packing your own meals ensures you’re eating what you enjoy 
  • You run on your own schedule 
  • Some lodges offer to guide separately from American Plan so you can still be fully guided 

Housekeeping points to consider: 

  • You have to care for cooking and cleaning during your stay 
  • Boat rentals and guides may be too full to accommodate you (however, that can be settled with a phone call to your lodge of choice!)
  • You need to pack heavier 


Sometimes, American Plan vs Housekeeping Plans has very little to do with where you want to go and how you want to spend your trip. You may already have a lodge or body of water in mind where thankfully there are enough positives to each option, whether AP or HK, that once you’re here, the differences won’t affect your trip at all. 

If you’re still on the fence about which option you think is right for you and your group, you can order our FREE Travel Guide and Map that highlights our selection of lodges, shows you their locations, and even lets you search by species of fish using the back of the map. 

It’s an excellent tool for planning your trip in advance, but if you have immediate questions about all of the above, feel free to send us an email at info@visitsunsetcountry.com or call us at the Sunset Country office here: 1-800-665-7567.

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