Mission Trip Packing List

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:

DO NOT BRING:

  • Expensive jewelry or watches
  • Sharp objects in carry-on
  • Aerosols in luggage
  • Checked bags weighing greater than 50 pounds
  • Liquids in carry-on exceeding 3 ounces

Here’s a list of suggested items to pack. Use www.accuweather.com to check for climate conditions.

PACKING SUPPLIES

  • Suitcase*
  • Backpack/Carry-on (Check flight rules for carry-ons.)*
  • Zip-Lock bags* (for packing, storing)
  • Bag for dirty laundry*
  • Luggage locks* (Must be TSA approved)
  • Travel-sized luggage scale
  • Clothing (See guidelines below)
  • Glasses* (extra pair in case of breakage)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Jacket and/or Sweater (if cold*)
  • T-Shirts/Casual Shirts/Blouses*
  • Dress Shirts/Blouses for church*
  • Tie
  • Women: Modest dress* (below the knee or longer)
  • Undergarments*
  • Socks*
  • Shoes* (comfortable walking shoes)
  • Shoes for Church*
  • Flip-Flops or sandals for hotel/souvenir day (optional)
  • Sleep attire* (something appropriate to wear to bed when sharing a room)
  • Raincoat or small umbrella*

ELECTRONICS

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.

  • Camera
  • Memory cards for camera
  • Cell phone
  • Tablet or Laptop for use on plane, at hotel, etc. (Wi-Fi is probable but not guaranteed.)
  • Chargers/cords for each device
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Flashlight (small)
  • Batteries (lithium batteries must be in carry-on)
  • Plug adapter and/or transformer (http://www.voltagevalet.com/elec_guide .html)

TOILETRIES

  • Small mirror
  • Toilet paper* (Pack just a few travel-sized rolls.)
  • Toothpaste*
  • Toothbrush*
  • Floss
  • Shampoo/soap*
  • Razor*
  • Deodorant*
  • Hairspray
  • Personal hygiene supplies*
  • Small towel and washcloth*
  • Small pillow
  • Kleenex
  • Nail-grooming set (not on you or carry-on!)
  • Hairdryer

MEDICINES & EXTRAS

  • Insect repellent*
  • Sunscreen* (30+ SPF, sweat-proof)
  • Hand sanitizer* (enough for a full week)
  • Prescription/regularly taken OTC medications*** (put in carry-on)
  • Imodium AD (for diarrhea)*
  • Laxative (for constipation)
  • Pepto-Bismol (general stomach problems)
  • Tums/Antacid (for spicy, unfamiliar foods)
  • Benadryl (for allergies)*
  • Tylenol/Advil (for headaches)*
  • Bandaids
  • Contact solution/case*
  • Extra Contacts*
  • Spending Money* (Suggested: $200-$250)
  • Credit/Debit card – notify your service provider/bank of your travel plans
  • Bible*
  • Notebook
  • Pens**
  • Photo ID* (besides passport)
  • 3 Extra passport-style photos* (Check CVS Pharmacy)
  • Photocopy of important documents*
  • Reading material
  • Snacks* (Ex. nuts, raisins, pop tarts, trail mix, granola bars, crackers, gum)

The above list is meant to be fairly straightforward and all-encompassing. Below, we list some tips concerning packing and traveling.

CLOTHING GUIDELINES

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.

  • “Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.” 2 Corinthians 6:3
  • “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.” 1 Corinthians 8:9

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!

CARRY-ON

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.

PLUG ADAPTERS, TRANSFORMERS (CONVERTERS), AND STEP-DOWNS

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.

MONEY

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.

PACKING & TRAVEL

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:

  1. First Scenario: We were able to book all your flights (from home to foreign country) with the same airline (ex. Delta) or family of airlines (ex. One World partners – American, British, etc). In this case, when you check your bag, check it all the way to the end destination. Let’s look at an example: You live in Denver, Colorado and are traveling to Honduras with MMO. This route was booked for you with Delta Airlines: Denver to Atlanta to Honduras. You would check your bag in Denver all the way to Honduras. This will prevent you from having to wait for your luggage and check it again. Looking at the previous example, if you just checked your bag to Atlanta, you would have to wait for your luggage in Atlanta and then re-check it with the same airline, which is very time-consuming. If you’re still not sure, ask the agent at the check-in desk, and they can tell you if you have the option to check your bag to the end destination. (Make sure you don’t need anything out of your bag before you get to the foreign country. You won’t see it until then!)
  2. Second Scenario: We had to book your flights (home to rally point to foreign country) on two separate airlines (ex. United & Delta). In this case, you will only have the option to check your bag to the endpoint of that airline’s flight. You will then have to retrieve your bag and re-check it whenever you switch airlines. Let’s look at an example: You live in Austin, Texas and are traveling to Kenya with MMO. This route was booked for you with American Airlines: Austin to Dallas to Newark. Then this route was booked with Virgin Atlantic: Newark to London to Nairobi. You would check your bag in Austin with American Airlines all the way to Newark. At Newark, you would retrieve your bag and make your way to the Virgin Atlantic terminal and re-check your bag with Virgin Atlantic all the way to Nairobi.

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.

THOUGHTS AND REMINDERS

  • Men: Carry your wallets in your front pockets when in cities, if not at all times.
  • Thin hand-towels work well for packing. They dry quickly and take up very little space. 
  • Make sure you know your luggage lock combination and/or have your luggage lock keys before you leave home! These locks must be TSA-approved.
  • MMO will give you a reservation number for your flight itinerary but does not issue tickets.
  • Tickets/boarding passes are issued at the ticket counter or kiosk at the airport. You will need to bring your passport and reservation number to the airport and follow the protocol for your airline carrier to check-in for your flight. Always know where your passport and boarding pass are!
  • If you purchase a phone card or plan, ensure that it is a valid international service to be used FROM another country to call TO the United States and not visa versa.
  • Check the websites and be aware of any changes to TSA security, airline rules and regulations, etc. You trip leader will keep you updated, but it never hurts to keep an eye on things.
  • Ensure your carry-on fits airline standards. You’d hate to have to check a bag with all of your in-flight entertainment.
  • And certainly, don’t forget to bring a prayerful heart, a willing spirit, an attitude of flexibility, an eagerness to serve, and healthy enthusiasm. Not only will you be a blessing to the local ministries we’re serving, but you will also find that you yourself will be very blessed by this trip!

LET’S GO SERVE!