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Christian women's retreat packing list by Susan Gaddis

The Real Woman’s Must-Have Packing List for a Christian Women’s Retreat

I’m heading up to Santa Cruz tomorrow morning for a Christian women’s retreat. As a speaker, pastor, and woman-who-needs-God, I’ve attended a lot of conferences and retreats over the years. I’m addicted.

Christian women’s retreats bring a unique experience to me—Jesus encounters, laughter, crying, lots of talking, worshipping, and basically a potpourri of experiences crammed into one weekend.

This weekend will be no different. I’m excited!

And I’m practical. I have a lot to do before I leave, and packing is usually left to the very last-minute.

I’ve learned that I need a packing check-off list that I can grab and use without thinking when it’s 11:55 pm the night before I leave. When I do have a few minutes to pack early, I still revert to my packing list to make sure I don’t forget anything.

So here’s my Real Woman’s Must-Have Packing List for Christian women’s retreats and conferences—just in case you begin to pack the night before your retreat begins.

Stuff to leave at home

  • Husband and kids
  • Worries and stress
  • Any work you brought home from the office
  • Perfume (Some women are allergic to perfume, especially in a room full of women. Be sensitive to their needs and leave your perfume at home.)
  • Contact information at the retreat center for when cell phone reception is iffy.

Packing list for a Christian women’s retreat

  • A positive attitude
  • A heart that wants to meet with Jesus
  • Directions to the retreat site, gas money, or plane tickets
  • Bible, pen, and notebook
  • Special sleeping pillow
  • French Press, favorite Starbucks coffee mug, Stevia, electric tea-pot, bottled water, and ground coffee—there are some things a girl just can’t live without….
  • Appropriate clothing and shoes for the destination
  • Jewelry and other accessories
  • Cute pajamas, ear plugs, and night hat (my head gets cold at night)
  • Coat and umbrella if needed
  • Make-up, hand mirror, and cleansing creams
  • Hair supplies and blow dryer
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, and deodorant
  • Sleeping bag and towels if such things are not provided at the destination
  • Vitamins and prescription medications
  • Cash for spending on extra activities like shopping or renting a canoe
  • Anything special that the retreat coordinators have asked attendees to bring
  • Camera
  • Cell phone and charger

Input? What did I forget? What can you add to my list?

Have a great weekend. I know I will. Susan

“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.

Related posts:

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

A few years ago The Christian Woman published a great blog post on Why Go to a Women’s Retreat?

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Gayle

    Snacks! We must have snacks!!! I remember Jane Goodell always brought the best snacks to our women’s retreats!!!!

    1. Susan

      Ahhhh!!! How could I have forgotten snacks! Thanks, Gayle. Snacks are a priority and will be promptly added to my list.

  2. Angela Rayher

    Great article Susan. Thanks for helping me keep the perspective. (My head is mostly thinking about the skits we’ll do and the items I need to bring for them.)

    Our Koinonia group also needs to brings a sleeping bag or blankets as the neds do have linens.

    Also, remind the ladies that the snacks for the room must only be non-messy snacks like trail mix. And the only drinks allowed in the rooms is water. However ladies can bring a dessert for the dessert table in the worship room (or whatever that big room is called).

    Remind them to bring quarters for the payphone as cell phone don’t work up there.

    Also, they may want to bring money for the rope course. I think it’s $15.00

    Looking forward to it.
    Love Angela

    1. Susan

      Will do, Angela. I’m on it!

  3. Lora Dawes

    I was going to say “Wine and wineglasses” until I read that only water is allowed…rats! I always bring a soft fuzzy blanket or throw for mid day naps, and snuggling in the evening when we sit on our beds and giggle or pray. A small rug for next to the bed is nice, and one year I brought a mattress warmer! Heavenly!

    1. Susan

      Fuzzy blanket it is, Lora. I’ll pack one tonight. The small rug is a good idea too, and the mattress warmer…hey, ya think we could pass for the Hilton? That’s an awesome idea!

  4. cindy king

    i am going to pack courage , and a lot of fear not verses . i am out of state i don’t know anyone here and in visiting a church here everyone is talking about signing up for a women’s retreat in 2 weeks here , i had planned on not going after back and forth conversation with myself. i opened up my email and first thing i see is Christian women’s retreat ,and in reading the excitement in your words im going to go,and have a good time and meet some new sisters in the lord . have a great time at your retreat and i will at mine here, blessings cindy k

    1. Susan

      Courage for those who don’t know anyone . . . now that really is important. Thanks for reminding me of that one, Cindy. I’ll be on the lookout for the new women and those who don’t know anyone. Have a great time at your retreat!

  5. Moira

    ….prayer list and pic of loved ones!!!! xx

    1. Susan

      Oh yes, Moira, good ones! Thanks for the input.

  6. Trudy

    I find this all encouraging, yet I too must add to the list… Flashlight, energy bars – in case you don’t like or eat the food prepared. Writing materials, reading materials, bottled H2O, vitamins; cinnamon, walnuts for oat meal, lemons for water, paper towels, Kleenex, ear plugs, and ditto on a small rug. Flip-flops, Tennis, and walking shoes, soxs, shorts, swimsuit, a robe, we are going to a lake (YMCA), bug spray-we are in Florida. Lotion for sun, for after shower, etc. bandaids, ointments – pain, antibiotic, etc. Swiss Army knife-screwdrivers, corkscrew, etc. all on 1 knife! Remember you are going to the woods away from everything. Compass?

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Great group of add-ons, Trudy, especially if you are going to be in the woods. I’ve been to retreat locations that vary from a nice hotel, a well supplied retreat center, and the rather rustic back woods type. Nice to have an extended list to fall back on and pick through for whatever location you might be headed to. Thanks!

  7. Brenda Hatten

    Thanks these are great ideas for our retreat in September. God bless you for your efforts

  8. Amanda Drew

    You make a good point that you should be sure to bring a notebook, pens, and your Bible with you. Some of my friends and I have been feeling like we should do something spiritual together so that we could grow that way. Your packing list is great, and we’ll just need to find a Christian retreat we could go to.

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