Thanks for traveling with BCWE! Below is a packing idea list. You do not have to bring every item on the list. To help, an asterisk (*) denotes an item that is either required or heavily recommended.
Before you even get started packing, here’s a small list of things NOT to bring:
Here’s a list of suggested items to pack. Use www.accuweather.com to check for climate conditions.
Bring these items at your own risk. Also, be respectful with your electronics. For example: ask before taking pictures, be respectful with cell phone use, etc.
The above list is meant to be fairly straightforward and all-encompassing. Below, we list some tips concerning packing and traveling.
As disciples of Christ, we want to be as respectful as possible in how we dress. We always want to err on the side of modesty so that our dress does not distract from the message we want to convey or the ministry of the missionary with whom we’re serving.
At Church: Men will be expected to wear slacks and a button-up shirt (ties are optional), and women are expected to wear dresses or skirts (below the knee or longer) and blouses with modest necklines and some form of sleeves (no tank tops or spaghetti straps, nothing sheer or see-through).
Outside of Church: Women should wear modest clothing (below the knee or longer). Men should also wear modest clothing and some form of a sleeved shirt. No tank tops or shorts, please.
Lodging: Even at the hotel, you are still interacting with local people and with members of the opposite gender. Please, maintain your modesty when outside your rooms/in common areas.
Sightseeing: Maintain the aforementioned guidelines, but you may choose more casual attire than what you wore in church. The rules on cultural modesty exist for as long as we are traveling to and from the country.
These rules may seem rather detailed, but our point is not to offend the local people. We want to be a catalyst to the local ministries that we’re there to serve, not something that offends and does more harm than good. Mission trips bring us to sacrifice in many ways. If you have any concerns with any clothing policy after reading these guidelines, feel free to contact your trip leader who will be happy to assist you. We thank you for your willingness to work with us and adapt for this one week. It means more than you can imagine!
On occasion your luggage may be delayed by a day or two so for this reason we recommend you pack more than just snacks and books in your carry-on.
Recommended Carry-On Packing List: Travel clock (or you can use the alarm on your phone), 1-2 days’ clothing, snacks, Bible, small travel lock, a smaller bag of items in case forced to check carry-on bag (optional), at least half of your regular meds, emergency meds, glasses, contacts, notebook, electronics and respective charging cords, camera/memory cards, reading material, a small roll of TP, personal toiletry items, light jacket, 2nd set of keys to any luggage locks. REMEMBER: No knives. Liquids need to be in bottles 3 oz. or less in size, and all of these in the same one-quart zip-lock bag.
Check the battery packs and owner’s manuals for your devices. Many of your personal electronics (iPhone, iPad, Laptop, etc.) can handle 120v or 240v. For these items, you just need to purchase a plug adapter. Some items (such as hair dryers) are made specifically for 120v (United States). For these items, you’ll need a step-down transformer (240v to 120v). Consider 110v and 120v interchangeable; as well, treat 220v and 240v as equivalents.) Remember, you only need a converter or transformer if the country is of a different voltage than the U.S. and your products are not compatible with that voltage. If voltage is similar, check for plug type differences. Plug types may be different between countries with the same voltage. Many hotels in foreign countries offer “American” plugs due to tourism. When in doubt, ask us and/or consult the aforementioned website before making an unnecessary purchase.
We suggest $200 – $250 in cash (for souvenirs, snacks, etc.). Make this in newer, $10 – $50 bills, plus a few smaller bills for U.S. airports.
Traveler’s checks are okay in some places, but are usually more difficult to cash except in airports.
1–2 credit card(s) are a nice thing to bring along if you have one. Visa and MasterCard are the safest bets to be accepted worldwide, but you should notify your credit card company of your travel plans prior to departure. This will protect you from potential fraud and from having your account ‘frozen’ as a result of unexpected usage in a foreign country.
Because of the frequent changes made by airline carriers regarding baggage allowance, we suggest that you check the website of your carrier. If the baggage allowance is for two checked bags AND you are flying out of either the Baltimore or Philadelphia airports, we ask to reserve the second bag for MMO supplies.
As far as actually checking in your bags, there are two scenarios:
Zip-lock bags are your friend. Use them to organize, protect from moisture, and prevent products such as shampoo from leaking into your bag. (Remember, if you’re carrying on liquids, they must be 3 oz. or less, and they must be contained in a quart-sized zip-lock bag.) Double or triple zip- lock any liquid or food items. Remember Murphy’s Law! (Also, remember: no aerosols in your luggage!) Use small-sized travel toiletries if possible to save weight and space.
Try to bring luggage that you can handle yourself as you maneuver through airports, busses, etc. Space is many times limited when traveling within the foreign country, so please pack tightly and practically. Remember, too, that you may be bringing home souvenirs.