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How to pack for a beachy yoga or fitness retreat

Bethany Mayer

As far as beach-chic goes, Montauk’s Surf Bazaar is pretty much the epitome.

“We have everything from swimwear to dresses to beauty stuff, from a lot of emerging designers,” says founder Bethany Mayer, of the stylish clothing and lifestyle boutique housed within The Surf Lodge hotel. “It’s surf culture with an elevated design look, or what the super fashionable woman in the city wants to wear on the beach.” (Starting with you?)

Mayer would know. She worked in design and retail in New York City for over two decades before opening the Surf Bazaar in 2010 and has owned a house in Montauk for 15 years. She regularly practices yoga and trail running, and, yes, surfs in the morning.

So, if you’re packing for an upcoming wellness retreat where sand, sun, and lots of yoga are on the schedule (AKA Mayer’s life), skip the giant suitcase and opt for beach-chic simplicity instead.

Mayer shows us how it’s done, here. This is what you’ll need:

1. A lot of bathing suits. “You never need to wear anything other than a bathing suit under anything on a retreat,” Mayer says. “It’s a great accent to any beachy outfit. You put something over it, and go to dinner.” She recommends bringing at least one that’s athletic for beach yoga or surfing and something that’s more fashion-y for lounging. A personal favorite of Mayer’s is Kiini Swimwear.

2. Natural sunscreen. “I love one that you can put on your face and your body to save packing room,” Mayer says. “A great one is Coola Mineral Sport Moisturizer Suncare SPF 30. It’s easy to put on and doesn’t get in your eyes during surfing or yoga. img-1I always have that with me.”

3. Carry-all pouches. “My friend has a company called Samudra that makes beautiful pouches in Hawaii,” Mayer says, about the little printed carry-alls. “You throw them in your suitcase, and you can bring them to the beach to stash your phone and essentials in them.” Especially because you won’t want to forgo your phone for those SUP yoga photo-ops.

4. Sandals. birkenstock_trend_white“The only shoes you’ll need are Birkenstocks,” she says definitively. The Boho-chic ones she packs? “I love the Birko-Flor, so you can get them wet.” They come in a lot of colors and styles this season. Of course, “pack a pair of running shoes if that’s your thing,” Mayer adds. Beach run, anyone?

5. Cover-ups. “I always bring a Surf Bazaar dress,” Mayer says. “We made our own clothing because we wanted something that’s easy to pack. This one is gauzy so it looks great even when you twist it and wrinkle it up in your bag, and then throw it on to go to dinner. Plus, it dries really fast, so it also doubles as a towel should you need it to.” —Jamie McKillop

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(Photo: Surf Bazaar)