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

Christian women's retreat packing list by Susan Gaddis

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

    1. Gayle says:

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

    2. Angela Rayher says:

      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

    3. Lora Dawes says:

      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!

      • Susan says:

        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 says:

      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

      • Susan says:

        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 says:

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

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