Packing for an adventure isn’t always common sense and can be challenging. With this guide, you’ll have a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything when packing for a yoga retreat. Yoga retreats come in all shapes and sizes from luxury 5-star resorts to camping underneath the stars, but usually retreats fall somewhere in the middle.
1. Being Prepared
You know yourself best so do an assessment of what your needs are. Personally I know I need certain things but others I might as well get at my destination. Focusing on categories for packing and making sure you are covered will help organize what you want to take, how big your suitcase is. If you travel light then packing is even more fun because of the challenge!
After leading and attending over 30 retreats and trainings, traveling to over 35 countries and countless more cities, I know how important packing smart is, especially if you are traveling to more exotic locations with various means of transport. Hiking down the Colca Canyon in Peru needs different things than going to an ashram in the Indian Himalayas so connect with where you are going first!
Ask some questions ahead of time to the retreat coordinators to make sure you have the correct items for your stay and be comfortable. Retreats usually have special activities and this is where having your gear is smart. You don’t want to go hiking in flip flops or be cold or too hot.
Yoga mats can be an extra bundle to carry. There are some great travel mat options (this one weighs less than 2 lbs and is reversible!) or you can take a mat that you don’t mind donating or leaving at the location. Also if you know you need a specific prop make sure to ask if the center has yoga accessories.
Here’s a list of some clothing essentials:
- Clothes to practice yoga in. If you get very sweaty you might need extra! Remember you can always wash stuff. We put together a guide for you here.
- A fast-absorbing towel that can double as a mat cover. Some places if very rustic don’t have towels so these super absorbent towels are awesome.
- A hat. Beachside or in a mountain you want a hat to protect from the sun, wind and heat or cold. Sunburns on your face and lips can ruin a trip.
- A water bottle that you can carry easily. The more eco-friendly the better!
- A bag or backpack for day trips that’s comfortable and big enough for a jacket if needed or souvenirs.
- Enough shirts and underwear to change at least once a day.
- Shorts and pants that match with every top. I try to choose a palette that all goes well so it’s easy to combine.
- A scarf is always great as it’s versatile for warmth, shade, sitting or even tying something.
- Proper footwear. Again, ask to make sure you don’t need special hiking shoes or even water shoes. If your shoes need socks, have enough just in case they get wet.
Your bathroom essentials are key to a good trip. Since I like to travel light I will share some bare bones items to bring with you knowing you can spruce them up later. Depending the length of your stay you might need more but know you are covered with travel sized of most of these items. I usually just leave my travel case packed up and replenished.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste (travel size) and make sure you have a cap for the bristles.
- Organic sunblock for face and body. Even when you think you don’t need it, sunblock is a good idea, and organic and reef safe is even better for the oceans and your skin. Your skin is super absorbant.
- Moisturizing cream for face and body. Going to dry, windy places or high altitude makes your skin extra dry.
- Organic lip balm. Trick: you can use it for your nails also if the cuticles dry up.
- If you wear contacts your eye drops and cleaner.
- Nail file or clippers. They take up very little but it’s good to have either.
- Shampoo and conditioner if needed. Sometimes an all in one is a great idea and saves space.
- Organic bug spray is always smart just in case. Or, try organic lavender essential oil, which works just as well!
- Any medicines you might need (asthma, allergies, stomach). I always think where am I going and is there anything near by (in my trips the answers are usually nothing so I take what I need)
When I travel I also like to bring either an offering that has meaning and I can leave where I go, or a travel companion that reminds me of home. Maybe a photo of someone I love or a special token like a stone or a crystal. I keep a tiny little bell in my passport case always and a crystal to put next to my bedside. Also a journal is great to keep track of your days, new friends, experiences, feelings, transformations and activities. So much can happen in a few days that recording memories is special. If you are a photo lover, bring your camera that’s easy to carry but you know now a days a cell phone camera has amazing quality.
I wish you the best on your retreat! Good luck packing and remember to enjoy and have fun!
In travel spirit,