Going on a mission trip and you don’t know where to start? Here is a basic packing list that will work anywhere! No matter where you go, whether it is hot or cold, the jungle or the desert, mountainous or flat there are a few necessities that you should take with you:

  • Photo ID
  • Copy of your passport (just in case)- I usually put one in my carry on AND in my suitcase
  • Stuff to do on the plane (crosswords, iPod, books, etc.)
  • Snacks (no liquids)
  • Spending money
  • Bible
  • Journal and pen

You should always check with your host about certain dress codes, or specific things to stay away from. For example, last year I went to Scotland and we were told to avoid wearing red or green outfits because the futball/ soccer teams are so competitive that people are known to get abused or harassed by opposing teams. Some places are also more modest than others, and you always want to respect the culture. Here is the basic packing list that should work wherever you go. We will add some extensive lists for more extreme weather or circumstances.

  • Tops-
  • Girls: lightweight t-shirts
  • Guys: T-shirts or tank tops
  • Bottoms:
  • Girls: cargo pants, or capris, athletic shorts, or long skirts
  • Guys: lightweight pants, athletic shorts
  • A few nicer outfits
  • You’ll want these for attending church services. Out of respect for the ministry or the church you are visiting, you do not want to wear your work clothes, unless they say otherwise.
  • Active clothes- things that can get dirty
  • Leisure clothes- shorts and tank top
  • Swim suit
  • Modest is hottest
  • Flip flops
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • 1 pair of close-toed shoes
  • Some places required this, like the Catholic orphanage in Panama
  • 1-2 sweatshirts/long sleeved shirts
  • there are always places that are cold
  • Raincoat or poncho (sometimes it downpours)
  • Pajamas
  • usually the lighter the better
  • Enough socks and underwear
  • having re-wear old socks and underwear is the worst, so bring enough!
  • 1 Sheet (for bedding)
  • Pillow

Toiletries vary depending on your preferences and where you’re going, but these are some useful items that the majority of people will use:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Razor & shaving cream
  • Sun-screen and Aloe Vera
  • Deodorant
  • Soap and Shampoo
  • if you put grapefruit seed extract or tea-tree oil in your shampoo it will help protect you from lice
  • Towel/ wash cloths
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Baby wipes
  • These come in handy more that you think, like after a 14 hour night bus ride!
  • Travel toilet paper
  • Some places will not have it
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Comb/brush/hair ties/head bands
  • Gold Bond powder
  • Dries up sweat and cools you off
  • Outlet Converter/Adapter-specifically for Asia
  • if you need to plug anything in you will need this
  • Bug spray with Deet
  • it’s a lot stronger and bite preventive, you can get at Walmart
  • Wrinkle releaser
  • Travel stain remover
  • Small flash light or head lamp
  • Alarm clock or phone (whatever is easiest for you)

Lastly, there is the extras. If you’re running low on space in your luggage and carry-on these are not necessities and you can do without them, but I like to bring these on every trip:

  • Camera (extremely optional-if you bring one you are fully responsible if it is lost or stolen)
  • Medicines: antibiotics, vitamins, ibuprofen, allergy tabs, Etc. (make sure all prescriptions are in a prescription bottle)
  • Snacks (sealed tightly and securely, nothing that will melt)
  • Mosquito net
  • Laundry bag (to separate your dirty clothes)
  • Hair appliances (flat iron, hair dryer-if you want them)
  • Hammock or Eno (these are popular in America, and are useful for downtime or relaxing)
  • Refillable water bottle

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