If you’re packing for a mission trip, it can be difficult to know what to bring or, maybe even more importantly, what not to bring. By understanding what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be going, you’ll have a better idea of how to pack for your travels. Start by asking yourself the following questions.
What Does the Airline Allow?
Different airlines have varying luggage policies, so make sure you triple-check your plane tickets and research the airline you’re flying with. You’ll need to know how big your bags can be, what the weight limit is, and how many bags are included in the price of your ticket. Some airlines don’t include any baggage in the ticket price. If that’s the case, you’ll need to have cash or a credit card in hand, depending on the payment policy of the airport.
Is Your Clothing Culturally and Climate Appropriate?
In Motion Ministries will provide you with a list of appropriate clothing. Ask about swimwear, sleepwear, graphic t-shirts, the length of skirts, pants, shorts, and tops, as well as what people in that country wear to church. You may also need to cover tattoos in certain cultures. Also, keep in mind the temperature and humidity of the location. A hot and tropical climate in a Muslim nation may require you to wear long sleeves and pants, but be smart about it and leave clothing made of heavy materials at home.
Are Your Belongings Sending the Wrong Message?
Aim to blend in with the people around you. If you’re traveling to a poverty-stricken neighborhood, it’s not appropriate to bring along your diamond rings and expensive cameras. You want to exercise humility. In the same vein, it’s advised not to bring gifts to shower on middle-class or even poorer communities because it increases the poverties of community, being, and stewardship, as well as undermining local assets.
What Items Might Not Be Available?
Knowing what items will be or won’t be available on your short-term mission trip can drastically influence how you pack. For example, a developing country might not have your allergy medication. If you think the host climate will affect your seasonal allergies, it’s best to bring it with you. Also, consider access to a washing machine. If there aren’t any, you’ll need to pack extra clothes.
If you’re interested in serving others through an Alaska mission trip or another Christian mission trip, In-Motion Ministries can help. We provide a list of ministry opportunities so you and your group can find your best match. Contact us for more information today!