One of the most stressful things about going on a trip, whether it be a mission trip or just simply a vacation, is the packing process.
At least, it is for me.
It is so easy to get stressed out about possibly forgetting something or maybe even packing too much and having to lug it around everywhere. This stress might be even be multiplied for a mission trip, for if you forget something, you might not have access to whatever you have forgotten in the foreign country you are serving.
Never fear, though.
My mission trip leaders compiled a basic list of things to pack which I feel like could be applicable to anyone packing for a mission trip.
Here’s what you need:
1) Based on how many days you will be spending in your area, you will of course need a change of clothes for each day.
Side note: your leaders should inform you about the weather and what kind of work you will be doing, so you can base what you bring upon that. For instance, I will be playing with kids for five days and then going to a church service one day, so I will bring one nice outfit and shirts and shorts for the other days.
Also you of course can recycle outfits if you are going on a prolonged trip.
This also includes pajamas, tennis shoes and coats if you are going somewhere cooler.
2) Bedding. This will be different for each trip, for sometimes people will stay in homes or hotels. However, I will be staying in an orphanage, so I will need to bring sheets and things to put on my bed. I have heard about trips where there are no beds at all, so sometimes sleeping bags are a must as well.
3) Towels and shower things. Sometimes I find it helpful to make a completely separate list for toiletry items, for you definitely do not want to forget any soaps. Cleanliness is key, after all. be sure to bring shampoos and body washes but also shower flip flops if you want. This can also include sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste and any other toiletries.
4) Water bottle. This is SO important. In Mexico, you cannot even drink the water, so it is important for me to have something to fill up at a clean source at the beginning of the day. Some might travel to a place where the water source is a few miles away; in that case, they would definitely need a bottle to fill up when they can.
5) Other small items such as: Camera, drawstring backpack, journal, Bible, sunglasses and hand sanitizer.
6) Passport. if you are travelling to another country, you will not be able to go if you forget this. (Obviously.)
7) Fun things. I will be at an orphanage, so I plan on bringing fun things for the kids such as bubbles, candy and coloring books. This will of course be different based on your trip.
This list is pretty basic, but you would definitely be able to spend a week somewhere if you have these things in a suitcase with you.
At my school, this next week is spring break which is a huge week for mission trips. If that is you or if you are going on a trip sometime soon, please know that I am praying for you and so glad that you chose to have this experience!
Please pray for me as I finally embark on my Mexico adventure this coming week; I will be sure to post about how everything went!
Know of anything I left off my list, or have any mission trip stories to share? I’d love to hear in the comments below!