Packing for a Retreat: What’s In Our Luggage

If you couldn’t tell, Jayne and I are really freaking excited about Cottage Week. So much so that we’ve already begun packing, a solid 5 days before the big day. And while piles of clothes and summer dresses are going to take up most of the space in our luggage, a huge portion of space will be devoted to entertainment. Here’s what we pack to keep the good times rolling (in no particular order).

1. Movies

The top priority are the most bromantic movies that accurately express how we feel about each other (SuperbadBill and Ted, I Love You, Man). We’ll be booping each other on the nose before the week is through.

Next, a whole slew of bitchin’ ’80s films like Back to the Future and Risky Business to remind us of the important things in life–like friendship, hijinks, and the importance of excellent accessories.

Finally, we always bring a bunch of really badass movies like Reservoir Dogs and The Boondock Saints because sometimes you need to get pumped up watching them to remember that you’re both a lover and a fighter.

2. Books

Our assortments of books differ, so I can’t speak in detail about what Jayne packs. What I can say is that we both bring a variety of books to read for pleasure.

And I do mean “variety.”

But besides the books we’re going to be reading for the hell of it, which usually include everything from classic literature to YA, we also bring a whole bunch of books for reference. For example, I always bring a book of Neruda’s poems (there’s the lover in me) because this is, after all, a writing retreat and sometimes I need to reference a poem or just check it out for inspiration. And that becomes a whole big second stack of books.

“Oh, but Tatiana, why don’t you just Google it?”

“Because I’m not a fucking philistine and I prefer the feel of a real book, even if it means an extra couple of pounds in my luggage.”

3. Journals/Notebooks

I keep journals of my travels (and I travel a fair bit), plus Jayne and I have notebooks full of ideas and memories and scenes and thoughts jotted down for later use. These we pile up next to our laptops to refer to like a set of mismatched encyclopedias. Inside are the seeds of future stories and books, so we always bring them and keep them close. Plus, every now and then, one of us will find a silly quote that one of us said and that we’d completely forgotten about.

4. Various Accessories

We’re back!

Yes, these again. Our Fun Cups are quickly becoming a staple of our trip and we wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without them.

This year, we also plan to get some cowboy hats at the Boot Barn (yes, the Boot Barn) to add to our Cottage Week repertoire (which we’ll probably wear on our hour-long morning walks). And Instagram it, for the good folks who follow us there.

Also, candy. I know it’s not technically an accessory (unless you’re thinking of those stylin’ candy necklaces of the ’90s), but it’s also not really “real food” (you know, corn dogs) so it’s kind of an accessory to me, ok? Glad that’s settled. We eat it during the many long hours spent writing, during our well-earned movie marathon breaks, and during late-night heart-to-hearts. So yeah, bite size Reese’s, Hi-Chews, Tootsie Rolls–anything goes. Anything except stuff with liquorice. We’re not completely insane.


How do you spend quality girl time? Let us know in the comments!


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