So you've booked and planned and waited patiently, and the day of departure is almost near. Now the fun begins: the packing! Nothing makes the journey feel real quite like sifting through the swimsuit draw and popping out to pick up summer essentials. But there are a few things we recommend thinking about before you pull out the suitcase and start shopping for bikinis. We hope it makes packing for your summer retreat that little bit easier...
Bring as few distractions as possible
Slipping completely off the grid might be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep distractions and technology to a minimum. Can you just bring your smart phone and leave your laptop behind? Can you just bring a dodgy old Nokia and leave your smart phone behind? Find a balance that works for you and your circumstances. You don’t want to spend the whole trip stressing that your loved ones are crumbling apart without you, but leaving a technological toy or two behind but still being reachable can make the whole trip that bit more rejuvenating.
Wearing soft, comfortable clothes is always best
Suffocating crop tops and suck-everything-in exercise pants have no place on your Yoga retreat. Pick clothes that let you bend and stretch whilst feeling blissfully comfortable. Natural cotton and bamboo fabrics are ideal.
Sarongs or wraps will always come in handy
Nothing screams Yoga retreat more than a casually draped pashmina (think Julia Roberts: Eat Pray Love). Perfect for taking the chill off a brisk morning meditate or making a dinner outfit out of your Yoga gear by night. If you haven’t made a recent trip to India and your pashmina collection is non-existent, a few sarongs or a sheer blanket will do the trick.
Consider packing your special things
Lavender sleep balm, a journal, a photo of someone special, your cleansed crystal collection – there’s nothing weird about bringing a few treasures from home.
Be rational about the number of swimsuits you'll need!
Going to Portugal, and indeed going on surf retreat, feels like a license to buy 18 new swimsuits. In all honesty, you could probably survive with just one. Firstly, you wear them in the ocean so they’re not exactly filthy. Secondly, you’ll spend most of your ocean time with additional layers to protect your precious skin from being irritated by your surfboard and surf wax. Our advice? Don’t bother bring more than a few. You can put the saved money in locked tin to make buying your next surf and Yoga retreat that little bit easier (they’re addictive, round 2 is more or less inevitable).
Don't forget the camera
If you heed our advice from point one and leave your smart phone at home, don’t forget that this means you’ve left your camera at home! Be sure to pack another one, you won’t want to forget these Portuguese memories and sceneries.
Pack your summer essentials
If you’re travelling into Portugal from cooler lands, it’s easy to overlook all the summer essentials you may want to have on hand. Aloe vera for sun-soaked skin, lip balm for wind kissed lips, argan oil for salty tresses. Your summer toolkit will come in handy on this getaway.
Every holiday needs a good book
With the sudden absence of Facebook and Instagram found by those taking up digital detox, it’s time to reconnect with an old and faithful friend: reading! Sweet, uninterrupted hours of freedom mean you are even at liberty to take on more than a magazine. We suggest 300 Days of Sun By Deborah Lawrenson, Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier, or The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa if you want to get into the spirit of your trip to Portugal through your holiday read.
PHOTO BY NAGNATA.