What To Pack For Your First Yoga Retreat

Packing is one of my least favorite parts about traveling. I always end up catching a serious case of the “what if’s”, which leads me to believe I need to pack something for every possible scenario that could occur after I reach my destination.

“What if it’s raining?” “What if it gets really cold?” “What if I spill something on my shirt every single day and need backups!?”

All of these worst case scenarios can result in over packing and paying extra fees at the airport  due to overweight luggage; and that’s never a good way to begin any vacation, especially a yoga retreat! After all, I’m trying to relax and find my zen here.

So to prevent overpacking and that looming feeling I’ve forgotten something once I board the plane, I’ve become committed to creating a packing list and not waiting until the last minute to pull everything together. This worked extremely well for me last year before I attended my first yoga retreat in Bali.

Are you heading to your first yoga retreat soon? Here are some key items to bring with you.

Soap and other toiletries

Depending on the level of luxury at your retreat, you may need to bring your own travel sized soaps, lotions, etc. to save yourself the disappointment of not having it when you arrive. The villa where I stayed in Bali didn’t provide these items and I was glad I thought to bring my own just in case.

Insect repellent and sunscreen

Have you ever noticed how some people always get attacked by mosquitos, while others are looking around like “what mosquitos?” Well, I’m the person that seems to attract them wherever I go; especially in rural areas. That being said, insect repellent is always a good idea. You’ll also need some sunscreen for those days when you just want to lay by the pool.

Rain jacket

You never can be too prepared for the unlikely event that a torrential downpour occurs, right?

Yoga clothes

Bringing yoga clothes to a yoga retreat is obviously a must, but ensure you have enough clothes to last for the duration of the trip. Many retreats offer yoga twice daily. For a weeklong retreat, I’d suggest about 4-5 pairs of yoga pants and tops. Pack a light fleece and a pair of warm socks for those early morning practices that may bring some cool crisp air with it.

Comfortable shoes

Depending on the daily activities offered, you want to be sure you have at least one pair of sneakers. In Bali, we ended up hiking Mount Batur in the wee hours of the morning.

Yoga mat and any props you normally use

Many retreats don’t provide them onsite and if they do, they may not be in the best condition. It’s possible to ask the retreat host in advance, but I always like to practice using my own equipment.

A journal and pen

Most yoga retreats allow time for you to relax, enjoy the stillness and reflect about life or your experience. If you’re into recording your thoughts and feelings, I’d suggest bringing your journal along to jot down some reflections throughout your vacation. It’s always fun to go back, read about certain moments in time and see how much you’ve grown as a person emotionally or spiritually.

Your favorite books

Save some space and bring your kindle if you have one! Remember, more books equals more luggage weight (which we never want).

Converters and adapters

Depending on where in the world the retreat is held you may need plug converters or adapters so you’re able to charge your electronic devices and appliances, based on the power requirements and plug type of that country.

Cash in case places don’t accept debit cards

I’m terrible at keeping cash on hand domestically. But it’s good to carry an appropriate amount of cash in the currency of the country you’re traveling to.

Baby wipes or wet naps and hand sanitizers

Cleanliness is always a good idea!

Travel insurance

I can’t stress the importance of having travel insurance enough. This protects you in the unlikely event that an emergency occurs. The one time I almost opted out of purchasing it is the one time I ended up needing to use it. I typically purchase insurance through World Nomads, but there’s so many options out there. If you have a major credit card, check with them first to see what kinds of travel insurance plans may be included with your annual fee.

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Jaimee Ratliff
Jaimee Ratliff

Jaimee Ratliff is a writer, traveler, yogi and passionate advocate for living a life you love. She can be found writing on all things travel and inspiration over at This Way North. Jaimee is also the author of Party of One: An Inspirational Guide to Letting Go of Fear and Loving Solo Travel.

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