pack list for wellness retreat

Getting ready for a wellness retreat is an exhilarating time. As you pack your bags, you get increasingly excited about the coming days. However, the process can also be overwhelming if you’ve never been on this type of trip before. 

In many important ways, a wellness retreat is different than a traditional vacation. Most notably, you don’t return home feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation. Instead, you feel fresh and prepared to take on whatever comes your way. Furthermore, wellness retreats often include different types of activities than other vacations, and they tend to be more inclusive in the price. 

As such, the packing list for a wellness retreat is slightly different from a trip to a theme park or other vacation. While you’ll still need your toothbrush and other essentials, your suitcase may look a little different than it has in the past. What you need to bring depends on the type of wellness retreat you book and what it includes. 

Packing List for All Wellness Retreats

No matter what type of wellness retreat you choose or where you go, there are a few essential items you should bring with you, including:

  • A reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Medications and supplements
  • A journal or other paper for taking notes
  • A good pen or two
  • Any spiritual items you need for your practice
  • Notes from your loved ones or pictures
  • Sunscreen
  • Passport (if traveling abroad) and ID
young woman with a checklist for her wellness vacation

There are also a few things to be sure to leave behind, such as “off-limits” foods that you’re trying to get away from. Unless an instructor says otherwise, you can leave workout equipment at home as well. For example, you typically do not need to bring your yoga mat to a yoga retreat, because they will have plenty when you get there. 

Packing List for Exercise-Specific Wellness Retreats

Many, but not all, wellness retreats focus on exercise in some way or another. When you attend such a retreat, be sure you have:

  • Enough workout clothing for the time you will be there
  • Appropriate shoes, if necessary for the type of exercise you’ll do
  • A travel-size deodorant and possibly some wipes for a quick “rinse-off”
  • A great sports bra, if applicable
  • Headbands, ponytail holders, etc.
young business man packing for a yoga retreat

In most cases, you won’t need to bring much else for the exercise portion of the retreat. If the organizers need you to bring additional equipment, they will specify this when you book the trip. 

Packing for Wellness Retreats with Outdoor Tours

Whether focused on exercise or not, many wellness retreats include some form of outdoor exploring. After all, these events are often in beautiful locations worth exploring. If you’re planning on going offsite during your retreat, be sure to bring:

  • A water bottle (it bears repeating)
  • A small bag or backpack
  • Meal bars or other snacks-on-the-go
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Comfortable clothes
camping gear

Make sure your clothing is weather-appropriate. Some regions have rapidly-changing temperatures. For example, the dessert may get pretty cold at night. Be sure to pack layers if you travel to these types of places. 

Other Ways to Prepare for a Wellness Retreat

Packing is not the only way to get your mind, body, and spirit ready for your trip. For example, you may want to research as much as you can about the instructors that will lead the classes and what types of events the retreat will include. This can help you know what to expect and how to pack. 

Most importantly, prepare your mind. If you meditate or pray, take a session to set an intention for your retreat. Either way, be sure you know what you’re hoping to get out of the time you spend away. And have an open mind–you never know what amazing experiences you will have.