“The Ultimate Mission Trip Packing Guide.” – tips and tricks from Praying Pelican Missions missionaries on how to be best prepared for your mission trip and how to take the pressure off of packing your suitcase for a new culture, climate and lifestyle. Our heart is to remove the anxiety and focus from timeless questions like: “How much is too much?” and give you a few tips that we’ve learned throughout the years. Ultimately, we pray that these posts would be a resource for you as you prepare for your trip. We want to provide you with a few tools that can help you as you prepare for your trip of a lifetime.
All throughout the Bible we are told to “prepare, prepare, prepare…” We are told to prepare our fields by sowing seed, told to prepare our lives for when the Lord returns, etc. We see so many stories of people trusting in God and preparing for things that they have never seen or experienced. In Hebrews 11:7 we read, “By Faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Noah had never seen rain or a boat but he trusted in God and believed that if God told him to prepare for something he had never experienced then it would happen. Whether this is your 1st or 2nd or 134th mission trip, God has called you to go, and because of that he has also called you to prepare for the trip. You may know what to expect and you may not. In this blog post, I’ll be highlighting a couple things that I think are good to make sure to bring with you so that you are (hopefully) prepared for a trip that is going to stretch and challenge you.
Because I have a fascination with all things medical and have a desire to return to school to become a nurse, I’m going to start off by talking about all the things related to your immediate health that I think are important to bring with you on your trip. One thing that I usually keep with me at all times is a handy dandy first aid kit. I always make sure it’s fully stocked just in case something comes up. Trust me, random scratches and cuts happen all the time so it’s nice to know you are covered. In addition to a first aid kit, I always have a small toiletry bag of some sort that has things like Immodium, Pepto Bismol, Tylenol or Ibuprofen, Cipro (this would be something a doctor would have to get you a prescription for but its unbelievable when dealing with stomach issues), Multi-Symptom Cold Medicine and Benadryl.
Some other toiletry items that I find quite handy are ponytail holders, thin or thick headbands and bobby pins. They work wonders if you want a to do something simple yet awesome with your hair. Also having to do with hair, I recommend some dry shampoo or baby powder. Of course if you use baby powder you need to make sure you don’t end up looking like a grandma but definitely pack some. It works wonders when you are sweaty and want to feel fresh and dry. I recommend packing some germ x and maybe roll of toilet paper or a pack of tissues. You never know when you will need them and what for. Baby Wipes! Those too, pack some of those. A great way to wipe off some sweat and grime in the afternoon so you feel fresh even if its only for 10 minutes. Chapstick with sunscreen is also something you might want to consider packing. Sunscreen and either Aloe or After Sun Lotion is something that I also highly recommend. Lastly, don’t forget the bug spray but make sure that it doesn’t have a high deet content. Higher is not always better. Trust me.
To help you keep cool, I suggest bringing some sort of mister or there are some water bottles now with a built in mister (O2 Cool Water Bottle). I have also seen some people invest in a Frogg Togg and bring it with them on their trip. Other things that may come in handy would be things like a hat, preferably one with a brim of some sort, is essential. Sunglasses always come in handy and if I were you, I would go somewhere and just get a cheap pair that way if something happens and they get ruined, its not a big deal. When you are packing for your trip in general I would suggest you steer clear of really nice clothes in case they get ruined. But when thinking about clothes, I would pack either a tide pen or a small package of Laundry detergent just in case.
Some last things to bring would of course be your Bible (or if you own a rather large one, pick up a travel Bible), some journals ( I HIGHLY recommend you journal every day so you don’t forget things that happened and who you meet), pens, and finally if you are going to a country that doesn’t speak your native language, throw either a dictionary or make some notecards with important phrases on them or key words so you are able to have conversation with people you meet.
I hope these tips help you in your packing and allow you the opportunity to focus on the goodness of God and the blessing it is to serve him rather than on the details of what you should pack.
Check Out The Other Posts In Our Packing Series: