The Ultimate Packing List for Your Short-Term Mission Trip | Mission Direct

The Ultimate Packing List for Your Short-Term Mission Trip

As excitement mounts for your upcoming mission trip, you’ll know that a very important aspect of your travels involves packing. Gearing up for your mission trip is different than gearing up for a normal holiday, and we want to help you pack as efficiently as you can.

How should I pack for a mission trip?

A little goes a long way – especially in terms of researching the country you’ll be visiting. What season will it be during your stay? Are there any predicted storms that you might want to prepare for – or will you have enough t shirts to be able to change out your outfit on sweltering hot days? By knowing (or at least having an idea) of the weather you’ll be encountering, you can still pack light – and right.

Be sure to take along some washing powder or detergent to keep what you pack to a minimum, and help you keep clean items in rotation.

What clothing should I pack for my charity mission trip?

Once you know what type of weather to expect, pack accordingly. Regardless of weather, all trips will require a few basic items:

  • Two pairs of trousers. This way, you will always have a clean pair!
  • Two long sleeve shirts – preferably cotton if possible. No matter what the weather will be, you will need protective clothing – especially if you’ll be doing any physical work in the sun.
  • Shorts or capris – for hotter days, these will keep you cooler than trousers.
  • Short sleeved shirts – at least one per day. These can be worn on their own, over other shirts or as an undershirt.
  • Underwear – at least one pair per day, and ideally two pairs per day. Cotton is best, as it’s the most comfortable and breathable in the heat.
  • A windbreaker or light jacket – for colder days. If you’re working in colder conditions, then it’s good to be able to layer up.
  • A wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun out your face and protect your neck and head from harsh exposure.
  • A bandana – you can use this as a face mask if you’re working in dusty or polluted areas, and as head protection for sunnier days.
  • Socks – at least one pair for each day.
  • Trainers that you wouldn’t mind taking some strain. You might need to work in muddy spaces, so rather opt for non-branded, comfortable trainers.
  • ‘Day out’ outfits and shoes. Our mission trips have scheduled excursion days, and if you want to dress up for these outings – be sure to pack some comfortable clothes for it, including skirts, dresses, blouses, and jeans.
  • Leggings or tracksuit bottoms and a comfortable t-shirt for sleeping. 

What supplies should I pack for my mission trip?

  • Anti-nausea and anti-diarrhoea mediation – especially important when trying local food that you may not be used to.
  • Painkillers for headaches and muscle tension, over-the-counter types are the best option. Any prescription painkillers should be kept in personal luggage and out of reach of smaller children.
  • First aid kit – stocked with in-date supplies, readily available for small emergencies. It might be a good idea to keep gloves, a face mask, and some alcohol-based disinfectant in addition to your first aid kit as a safety measure against airborne infections.
  • Prescription medications – sufficient supply for your whole trip, as you may not be able to get supplies in your host country during your stay. It’s a good idea to keep an emergency supply of medication separate from the rest, so that if you find yourself with lost luggage, there’s no need to panic about missing a day of medication.
  •  Sunscreen – and lots of it. Be sure to keep from burning as this could put a real dampener on your trip, and if it’s severe enough – it could make you quite ill.
  • Deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, body wash, shampoo & conditioner. These are all readily available in convenient travel sizes. Pop one of each into your bag or decant them from larger containers to free up valuable packing space.
  • Sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses – keep these in your hand luggage or handbag for easy access.

What not to pack

  • Jewellery – you’ll likely not have the chance to wear any during your trip, so packing these may be a waste of useful luggage space. They could also get easily lost or broken.
  • Expensive accessories, like laptops and consoles. This may seem common sense, but there will likely not be any time (or even facilities) to use these – and carrying them puts them at unnecessary risk of damage or theft during travel.
  • Impractical and overly revealing clothing is not advised. Opt for lose fitting, comfortable clothing that you don’t mind becoming soiled or damaged. Overly revealing clothing may compromise your comfort in conservative countries.

What accessories or electronics should I bring on my mission trip?

  • It’s worth mentioning a first aid kit again, even if it is never used – the peace of mind that you have one is worth it.
  • A power bank and charging cable can help to keep your phone powered, even if there is an interruption in electricity supply, or you forget to charge your phone overnight.
  • Washing soap for underwear and other garments you might want to re-use during your trip. A few clothes pegs can tide you over if you’re pressed for drying space, too.
  • A lifestraw – although not necessary – can help you filter out impurities in low-quality drinking water. If there’s no need to use it during your trip, you might want to gift it to a local community member who battles water crises frequently.
  • Camera – although many of us use our mobiles for this. Take memorable pictures of the projects you’re working on, the happy faces you’re surrounded by or simply the natural environment you find yourself in.

Every trip will be different, so be sure to look at the activities you have planned for the duration and use your discretion when packing. We can’t wait to see you on your next mission trip, and until then, happy packing! 

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