What to Pack for a Spa Vacation

Think sneakers, minimal makeup and activewear when your vacation is focused on wellness.

Spa-Getaway

Minimal (or no) makeup, stretchy pants and sneakers — while it sounds more like an outfit for weekend errands — it’s basically your uniform at a spa retreat. Packing for a wellness vacation is a little bit different than packing for a weekend in NYC to say the least. In this scenario you can pretty much ditch the heels, cocktail attire and bold makeup — in fact, you’ll likely feel out of place if you do get too dolled up. Plus the whole point of a wellness vacation is to focus on your internal vs. external self.

With a trip to Canada’s largest destination spa, Ste. Anne’s Spa, coming up, we’ve got our own packing to do. Here’s what we’ll be bringing along and what you should consider including on your next spa getaway.

1. Sneakers
From hiking to workout classes, a pair of (not new) sneakers is a must. Be sure you’ve worn them in a bit, or you’ll be cursing from breaking them in. Literally the opposite state of mind you want to be in.

Ste. Anne’s has a variety of Wellness Classes, as well as a fitness facility, so you can bet we’ll be bringing our kicks.

2. Bathing Suit
Ideally bring along two — basically so you’ve got one to wear while the other is drying. If you plan to work out in your swimsuit, we suggest toting along a one-piece (it’s less likely to fall off), otherwise bring whatever you feel good in!

Although the large pool is only open in the summer at Ste. Anne’s, there are extensive wet therapies including the outdoor Fieldstone Grotto which includes a hot tub, plunge pool and lap pool. Plus there are multiple steam rooms (including Eucalyptus) and a dry sauna.

3. Flip Flops
You’ll likely find a pair of slippers to stay cozy in your room and a pair for around the spa facilities, but when you’re around the pool and outside facilities (weather permitting), they’ll keep the germs at bay.

We’ll be bringing our own pair to Ste. Anne’s as they recommend bringing your own slippers or flip flops for walking around inside the spa.

4. Workout Clothes
First determine how much physical activity you plan on doing during your trip. Is it a yoga retreat where you’re doing at least a class everyday or do you plan to mostly do hikes and only a class here and there? Cropped stretchy pants are our favourite, since they work for yoga, but also the gym. Definitely bring shorts if you’re going to be in the heat and a variety of tops and bras will help mix things up. Look for tops that have moisture wicking fabric — they’ll keep the sweat off you, so you can concentrate on your class.

Our pick: The Upside Behati Sports Bra, $108, net-a-porter.com

5. Sunscreen
Unless you’re staying indoors 100% of the trip, you’ve got to remember to pack sunscreen! It’s important to slather it on during hikes, lounging by the pool or any other activity you plan to do outdoors. The last thing you want is to come home with a burn.

Ste. Anne’s Spa is on a 400-acre property, which includes many trails that are open year-round and during the winter, they’re open for snowshoeing.

6. Loungewear
Not every minute during a spa getaway is spent in the spa or working out — you’ll likely have downtime to just relax or to even participate in cooking classes or workshops. This is when you’ll want to transition into comfy clothes like a pair of sweat pants, t-shirt, or oversized sweater. Of course you can always just stay in your robe all day (à la Ste. Anne’s Spa, where it’s recommended).

Dinner is often another time when you might want to swap the robe for more casual attire, but don’t feel like you need to hang up that robe if you don’t want to!

7. Canvas Bag
When you’re going from your room to the spa you’ll likely have some personal items you’ll want to bring. Instead of trying to carry it all awkwardly, bring along a small bag (we like canvas) you can throw everything into.

8. Water Bottle
Ever notice how thirty you get at a spa? Instead of wasting cup after plastic cup, bring your own plastic or stainless steel water bottle (glass in a spa is always a no-no). Not only is it better for the environment, but you’ll be hydrated all day. 

Our pick: S’well Water Bottle, 17oz, $45, chapters.indigo.ca

9. Aromatherapy
Those calming aromas don’t have to end on the massage table. We suggest bringing your own aromatherapy for back in your room. A travel candle or essential oils are perfect remedies to keep those chill vibes going all the way until dreamland.

Our pick: Saje Stress Release Tension Reducing Mist, $19.95, saje.ca

10. Reading Materials
A good book goes a long way during a spa vacation. Instead of checking in on social media or watching TV, let your mind wander into a pure escape. A few magazines don’t hurt either.

More from Travel & Style
Travel Tips: Spa Etiquette
Sun Protection 101
Expert Tips on Eating Healthy While Travelling