Packing is a stressful activity. There’s no way around it. You’ll always be worried you forgot something at home. Maybe you’re a chronic overpacker. Or maybe you never show up for a trip properly prepared. So now you have to pack for a work retreat. Not only do you need to pack appropriately, as you’ll be around your boss, supervisors, and coworkers, but you also need to pack for a variety of different activities. Have no fear, we’re here to help you! We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to packing for a retreat.

Get The Facts

If you’re company hasn’t sent out all the proper details you need, take the initiative to find out more. Ask your boss or community manager for an itinerary. They can outline for you every single moment of the retreat so you won’t be left guessing and in the dark. The more you know, the easier it will be to prepare. You’ll need to factor in where you’re going, what activities you’ll be partaking in, and the duration of the retreat when packing.

The activities will really affect what you need to bring. Will you be playing athletic games? Pack tennis shoes and activewear. Will you be swimming or relaxing by the beach or a lake? Pack a swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen. Location will affect what kind of outerwear you’ll want to have on you too. Going somewhere in the mountains? You’ll want a coat or sweatshirt. Heading somewhere tropical? Shorts and tank tops galore. Get all the facts so you can be suitably prepared for the retreat and enjoy it to the fullest.

What To Pack For Popular Work Retreats

There are a few typical work retreats you may often encounter, and for those more popular work retreats, packing can be a little more straightforward. Since they are more common, they are easier to plan for. We’ve put together a couple of helpful lists that you can use to make sure you bring everything you need.

Wellness Retreat

If your company stresses the importance of their employee’s well being and overall health — physical, mental, and emotional — it’s likely you may embark on a wellness retreat at some point in your time working there. A wellness retreat often involves healthy and wholesome activities like meditation, yoga, exercise, self care and motivational lectures and classes, and spa treatments. Here are some items you should definitely include in your packing:

  • Yoga pants or leggings

  • Activewear tops

  • Yoga mat

  • Sneakers and socks for exercising

  • Comfortable and breathable clothing for possible nature walks or meditation sessions

  • A swimsuit if the retreat spot has a pool, sauna, hot tub, or a natural body of water for swimming

  • A notebook for taking notes when in classes or lectures

  • A journal for self expression, discovery, and creativity

  • Sunscreen for outdoor activities

  • A tennis racquet if there are tennis courts

  • Ski pants or bibs and a ski jacket if it’s a winter wellness retreat

Nature Retreat

If your company is fast-paced and city-based, it’s likely they may take you on a nature retreat. It gives employees a chance to unplug, unwind, and bond outside of the confines and stresses of the office. On a nature retreat, you’ll engage in activities like hiking, kayaking, building campfires, and playing beach volleyball. Think of it like camp for adults! Here are some items to pack:

  • Sturdy sneakers or hiking boots for nature walks and hikes

  • Sneakers and socks for playing outdoor games and sports

  • Swimsuits for swimming, kayaking, and other water sports

  • Activewear like running shorts, leggings, and sweat-wicking tops

  • A sweatshirt or jacket for chilly nights by the campfire

  • Sunscreen to protect your skin

  • Bug spray in case there are mosquitoes

  • A big water bottle to help you stay hydrated

  • A hat to help shield you from the sun 

Of course, no matter the retreat, you’ll need to bring essentials like underwear, pajamas, and toiletries. Tailor the rest of your packing to the particular retreat you’ll be going on, though, to make it easier for you. You don’t need to overpack or over prepare, as long as you get the facts and then pack accordingly.