Going on a mission trip can be an exciting adventure where you’ll meet new friends, discuss your beliefs with religious leaders, and practice evangelism. However, it can also be a stressful experience, particularly if you aren’t sure what to expect. Whether you’re traveling as a part of a Christian youth conference or you’re going with a group from your church, you’ll have plenty of support along the way. To ensure you’re prepared for your mission trip, we’ve assembled a brief packing guide, so you’re guaranteed to have all the essentials.
Before you start packing your bags, it’s usually a good idea to do some quick research about where you’re going. What type of service is available where you’ll be staying? Does your destination operate primarily with cash? If you’re traveling to another country for your mission trip, the types of items you’ll need may change significantly. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pack more.
In this article, we’ll review some of the essential items for your mission trip to help you prepare for upcoming travel. Generally speaking, you’ll rarely need to bring actual mission supplies. Most of the time, everything you need will fit in a backpack and carry-on bag. If you’re planning to move to different locations throughout your trip, it’s important to pack as light as possible.
Passport and Proof of Covid Vaccination
Packing for your mission trip starts with essential documents. If you’re leaving the country, you’ll need a passport that’s valid for at least six months after you get back home. If you do need to renew this document, it’s a good idea to plan at least two months for processing. You’ll also need your driver’s license (for additional identity verification), as well as your health insurance card.
It’s also a good idea to carry your covid vaccination card on you at all times. Certain countries may require proof of vaccination for entry- make sure to research the travel restrictions for the destination country throughout the months leading up to the trip. Chances are, your trip leader is continuing to keep an eye on this information as well.
Clothing That Matches the Climate
If you are traveling to another country for your mission, make sure to get information about the local climate before packing. Cargo shorts, rain gear, and other practical clothing pieces are often a must. Clothes should be neat and respectful, with minimal logos. You’ll also want to make sure you have at least one nice outfit for wearing to church or religious service. Make sure to bring a bag for dirty clothes to make sure your bag stays as neat and orderly as possible throughout the trip.
A comfortable hat is usually essential, as are gloves if you’re traveling in the winter. If you’re planning to check a bag with most of your clothing, it’s usually a good idea to set aside a fresh change of clothes that can be packed in your carry-on bag (just in case your luggage gets lost). Shower shoes and sunglasses might also be a good idea, depending on where you’ll be staying. While it might seem like it’s necessary to bring an extra pair of shoes, it is usually more than is worth carrying.
Quick Drying Towel and Washcloth
A small towel and washcloth are often essential for many individuals because you won’t exactly be staying in a hotel or Airbnb. Quick drying items are fantastic for mission trips because they are significantly easier to pack at a moment’s notice. You’ll also need to limit your shampoo and other liquids to a TSA-approved ziplock bag (1-quart size).
Sunscreen and Bug-Repellant
Chances are, the climate in your destination country is significantly different than it is at home. A small supply of sunscreen and bug repellent is a good way to counteract the effects of staying outside all day if that’s what’s necessary. While you can, of course, stock up on these items when you arrive, you’ll want to have them in your pack, just in case you decide you need them for a day or two.
A Refillable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle might seem like an obvious thing to pack, but you might be surprised at how easy it is to overlook. Plastic water bottles are impractical for the majority of mission trips, especially if you’re leaving for more than a week or two. In addition, they’re far from eco-friendly. Before you go through airport security, you’ll need to empty your reusable bottle due to the limitations on the amount of liquids you can take onboard your flight.
Paperback Bible and Notepad
A paperback Bible is a good choice for all individuals planning to go on a mission trip because it makes it easy to connect with the scripture and word of God, as well as reflect on your travels so far. For the most part, this item is packed for purely personal reasons, but it might still be an item that you’ll need to share.
A notepad is also a good item to bring in your bag because it offers the opportunity for continuing reflection and contemplation. You can also journal your trip so that it’s easier to look back on in the future. If you anticipate needing to speak with people in another language about why you’re traveling and what it means to you, you may also want to consider bringing a phrasebook.
Conclusion- What to Pack for Your Mission Trip
Exciting about your upcoming mission trip? Unsure about what to expect? By thinking carefully about what you’re going to pack, you’ll feel better prepared for the upcoming, potentially life-changing experience that lies ahead.