Mission trips are a big part of our lives. We’ve been on many mission trips over the past 10 years and each one was different from the other. We thought we’d share a little bit about the things that should be packed for a mission trip because it’s not like a vacation or work trip. The most important thing to remember on a mission trip is to be flexible. When we are out in another country serving, we always need to remember that we are not on our own time schedule anymore and things will most likely not always go as planned, haha. That’s the adventure of it though! Jesus will take care of it! So, in the same vein, what you pack should allow you to be flexible and available for whatever is asked of you on this trip! The things you would take on a mission trip can vary depending on the work being done and the country, state or location you will be going to.
It is important to consider a few things before starting to pack:
- Look up what the approximate weather will look like
- Check with the leader if there is a dress code
- Find out if dressy attire will be needed
- Check up on which toiletries will be provided and which will be needed
Those four points are key! Must know these before you pack that bag!
In the picture above there are a few essentials that we think should always be taken on a missions trip
- Bible & Notebook (because Jesus, spend time with him, write about your experience!)
- Refillable Water Bottle (staying hydrated is critical for missions trips)
- Makeup & Makeup remover wipes (we like makeup, haha)
- Hair brush (gotta brush the locks)
- Lotion (stay moisturized, duh!)
- Dry Shampoo (just in case you can’t wash your hair as often as you’d like)
These items are so so necessary! We would say bring these on every trip if it pertains to you!
Let me start off by explaining which missions trips we’ve gone on and what they looked like. The first set of trips we’ve been on was to Baja California, Mexico several times; about 8 or 9 times. The location we stayed at was a run down, dirt ground trailer park. We would caravan down to Mexico (18hr drive) with about fourteen 15-passenger vans, about three huge trucks full of food and supplies, plus a trailer for music equipment. The students on the trip would set up camp immediately as we arrived on the dirt ground. So yes, we slept on the dirt floor in sleeping bags. Pretty rough conditions for a week but that was what the trip entailed and it was a sacrifice the students decided to make when they went on the trip. In this trip, the items that were important to take were a little more detailed than some of the other trips we’ve been on.
Here are a few things that were unique to this Mexico trip packing list:
- Sleeping bag, blanket, pillow
- Towel for showers
- Extra toilet paper (just in case) – the location we stayed at had community bathrooms which did have toilet paper, but it was always a good idea to bring an extra roll in your bag in case of emergencies.
So, it was crucial on this trip that we brought these items because of where we were staying. Some other trips that we’ve been on did not require these things.
Another factor we want to add to this specific trip was that our team brought huge water jugs that supplied clean water for us to brush our teeth with and to drink. In that area of Mexico, the water from the bathroom sinks was not drinkable or sustainable, so our team brought jugs that we filled up with water from this huge tank to have for our water bottles that we carried with us throughout the day and to use to brush our teeth with. If you are not sure about water being clean where you will be going for your trip check up on that now! It is key to have clean drinking water, so you stay hydrated and energized! On other trips we’ve been on we have actually had to buy or bring our own water bottles ourselves. So double check on water, you need it!
Also, if you know that you get hungry often & it makes you hangry, lol you should definitely bring snacks because meals often are far away from each other since we are doing things on the other country’s culture’s time. Bringing snacks in a purse or backpack with you everywhere helps.
Our trip to Spain last year was much different than the trip we took to Mexico for several years. In Spain, we stayed at a hotel that has towels, blankets, pillows and so on. We did not need to bring an extra toilet paper roll or water bottles because the water there was clean and drinkable. The items that were important to take on this trip were not as drastic as the ones we had to take to Mexico. This trip was not in such a rural area. However, we needed a couple extra choices of clothing, some for a church service and some hang out clothes that would be worn when we would go out to site see the city. I would suggest two outfits per day for any trip – one for working in and getting dirty, and the other for changing into after (hopefully there’s a shower in between the two, but to be honest, that’s not always the case haha).
Don’t forget to ask your team leader or whoever is in charge if there is a packing list. This will save you and help you so much as you begin to pack for your trip! We have added a packing list at the very bottom that one of our friends made for our last Spain trip when we helped with a BasketCamp.
Collectively, we’ve gone to several other countries too, like Guatemala, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Each mission trip had its purpose and different work was done in each place. We have enjoyed every trip we’ve been on. It’s such a privilege to see what the Lord is doing in other parts of the world. What an honor that we get to be a small part of it and connect people to Jesus through sports, music, acts of service, whatever it may be!
We hope these packing tips give you some sort of idea on what is necessary and what is not. Ultimately packing can be extremely easy if you first know the location you are going to and second ask about the work that will be done. Then the trip will be amazing and completely change your life! The Lord has done great things in our lives through the mission trips we’ve been on. Just remember, be flexible! Not just in serving, but also in your heart. Let the Lord show you new things and challenge you and mold you! Sometimes it feels weird, but just like a song that Quimi wrote says, “at first faith feels weird, but then it turns into peace”! (You can check out that song on her SoundCloud.) We are so excited to return to Spain in just 4 dayssss!!
We would love to hear from you and to pray for you on your mission trips! Comment below and let us know if you’ll be going on a trip this year, we’d love to support and encourage you!