The Must-Have Packing List for Any Retreat

Posted on February 28, 2019 by America's Keswick in Retreat Planning

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A woman using a retreat planning checklist for a women's retreat at America's Keswick.

Heading to a church retreat for your next big adventure? Here’s a list of what you can’t leave home without – and a few extras.

What Should You Pack for a Retreat?

Download the printable retreat planning checklist below for free!

Download Our Retreat Planning Checklist »
(click here)

Everyone has his or her own list of “essentials,” but it’s easy to forget things when you assume you’ll remember them. Aside from your Bible, seasonal clothing, toiletries and any prescription medication you’re on, you will also want to include these items listed below. 

Retreat Packing Essentials

  • Activewear
  • Camera
  • Extra pillows and a cozy blanket if you’d use them
  • Extra shoes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Hat or visor
  • Insect repellent, if you’ll be spending time outdoors
  • Jacket or sweatshirt
  • Laundry bag
  • Pajamas
  • Personal journal
  • Phone charger
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit, if you’ll have free time and the weather permits
  • Water bottle

Most church retreat campuses offer plenty of things to do during “downtime,” which means it’s a good idea to bring recreational items you can use. If the retreat you’re taking has indoor recreation (like a heated swimming pool, a gymnasium, and a fitness center) and outdoor recreation, make sure you bring the things you’ll need to enjoy them.

Packing for a Couples’ Church Retreat

If you’re packing for a couple’s church retreat, you’ll need all the essentials listed above – but you may also need other things, too. Because your overarching goal is quality time with your spouse, think about bringing a picnic blanket you can spread out in front of the lake, hiking boots to enjoy nature trails, or fishing poles and equipment if you plan to bond on the water.

Although these recreational activities are all available at America’s Keswick, they aren’t at other retreat venues – so before you pack, check with your event’s coordinator to find out what types of “extras” you’ll need to bring.

Get your printable retreat planning checklist below (click here)!

Packing for a Kids’ Church Retreat

Packing for a kids’ church retreat – or a kid-friendly church retreat – means you need to be prepared for anything. Bring seasonal clothing, any medication your kids take, and separate laundry bags to make sorting easier throughout the retreat. Depending on your kids’ ages, as well as the activities the church has planned, you may also need:

  • Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Diapers, wipes, and baby supplies
  • Extra toiletries
  • Hats
  • Headlamps or flashlights
  • Kids’ medication
  • Lightweight jackets
  • Plastic bags
  • Quick-dry clothing
  • Rain jackets
  • Extra towels
  • Small first-aid kit with bandages and antibacterial ointment
  • Sports equipment
  • Wearable hydration kits or refillable water bottles

7 Retreat Packing Tips

The fewer bags you have to carry, the better. Use these seven church retreat packing tips to make the most of the space you have:

  1. Wear as much as you can to save suitcase space.
  2. Roll, don’t fold. (Here’s a quick tutorial.)
  3. Don’t pack into your suitcase anything essential – hand-carry your Bible and other important items.
  4. Use compression bags if you can.
  5. Bring empty plastic bags for laundry.
  6. Limit your liquids.
  7. Keep like items together (shirts with shirts, pants with pants, undergarments in a bag).

If you’re already thinking about your next retreat, America’s Keswick may be just the place for you. For more than 80 years, America’s Keswick has provided beautiful retreat spaces for church groups nationwide. We’d love to answer your questions and give you a tour of our family-friendly facility, so please contact us today to learn more. Stressed about planning your next retreat? Click here for our ultimate retreat planning guide.

Download Your Free Church Retreat Planning Checklist Here!

Download Our Church Retreat Planning Checklist »
(click here)

Ready to start planning your next retreat? We've got you covered.

When preparing for a retreat, it's important to pack strategically to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Start with the basics like clothes, toiletries, and footwear suitable for different activities. Remember items for outdoor adventures, such as sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent. Include personal safety items like a first aid kit and any necessary medications. Consider bringing entertainment, snacks, and personal comfort items for relaxation. Lastly, organize your belongings with extra bags and packing cubes. Customize this packing checklist based on your specific retreat and preferences for a seamless and fulfilling experience.

Our retreat specialists have planned hundreds of events and are here to help you make your group retreat one you will remember for years to come. Request a Retreat Information Packet to learn more about our retreat options or submit an inquiry now to get started with planning your group retreat.

Want more tips on how to plan a retreat?

Check out our Complete Guide to Retreat Planning.

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