I LOVE packing. Like a lot! And I adore being prepared!!!!
Like 4 weeks before a trip I will start laying out my outfits and making sure I am bringing the right stuff. I will mix and match each piece and whittle it down until I can fit everything into my carry ons. AND I LOVE DOING THIS!
Call me crazy but I find the process of preparation just as fun as the trip! I love anticipating what I might encounter on my adventure and thoughtfully bringing things that might enhance my experience!
SOOOOOOO it felt natural to write up a little list of tips and tricks for how I pack for mission trips!
3 THINGS TO RESEARCH BEFORE PACKING:
Here are a few things you NEED to do to be best prepared for your missions trip!
1. Check the weather over there to make sure you're bringing the right layers.
- It might be rainy season or winter where you are going! No one wants to be caught in a thunderstorm in the back woods of Panama without a rain jacket, trust me!
2. Research culturally acceptable attire
- Most developing countries consider it very immodest for women to show skin above their knees. It is disrespectful and distracting & may hinder your ability to be effective or taken seriously.
3. Check the weight limits AND CARRY ON LUGGAGE DIMENSIONS for your airline AND WEIGH YOUR BAG AT HOME!!!! My rolling carryon bag was forced into being checked because it was literally a half an inch too long.... so frustrating!
4. Look into the "Bug" situation ... this could dramatically change your sleeve length or foot wear choices!
3 PRO-PACKING GOALS FOR YOUR MISSION TRIP:
1. ROLLLLLLL YOUR CLOTHES INSTEAD OF FOLDING THEM - no joke this allows you to save tons of space!
2. DON'T BRING MORE THAN 4 PAIRS OF SHOES - you will not wear as many shoes as you think you will, save the space and save the weight!
3. TRY TO FIT ALL YOUR STUFF INTO YOUR CARRY ONS - Airlines can't lose a bag that you don't check!
7 ITEMS YOU SHOULD GET FOR YOUR TRIP: ( I am not being sponsored by anyone, these are simply GREAT products worth having)
1. Water Purifying Water bottle -
This is a life saver when you show up at a lodging in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, that only has tap water for you! Save your self the hassle of getting sick by bringing your own water purification bottle!
2. Inflatable "footrest" pillow to lean on for sleep on the plane -
When you're trying to adjust time zones sleeping on a plane is your best bet for hitting the ground running! I bought this inflateable pillow and it was an absolute game changer! I got 6 hours of sleep on my first 15 hr flight & 4 hours on the next 6hr flight! When we landed in Nairobi at 11 am I was ready to last all day!
3. Pill pouch & medication guide - ( also I suggest writing the name of each medication down in the dividers of the pill pouch!)
Prescription bottle can take up a ton of room, so be smart and down size! ALSO Don't adsume you will remember what your doc prescribed! Get a good pill pouch and keep all the medication guides on hand for the duration of your trip! OTHERWISE you might end up taking anti-diarrhea meds when you needed antibiotics!
4. Eye mask and earplugs -
Good news! Most planes give these away on long flights these days, which is so great, BUT if you don't want your eye lashes smushed you might want your own pair! ALSO double good news, if you bought the inflatable pillow I suggested these two things come free with it! IF NOT PLEASE DO YOU'RE SELF A FAVOR AND GET AN EYE MASK YOU LIKE, this may be the difference between 1 hour & 6 hours of sleep!
5. A Power Charger Bank -
During the day you most likely won't be anywhere you can just leave your phone charging , you might not be anywhere that even has electricity so make sure you get a power bank! I took tons of photos and videos each day and by about 2 pm my phone was always on 15% percent! This device saved my [phone from dying at least 4 times! It is amazing! The only down side is that you have to remember to charge IT very few days too! hah That might seem obvious but when you're in the mission field it's easy to forget the small things!=
6. All in one International Power adapter-
If you don't have this you can't use any electronics:) simple as that!
7. Facial Sheet Masks -
I figure that most people reading this are girls so I had to mention this one! It is my newest travel hack and it is amazing! You put one of these sheets on every 6 hours and it keeps your face from getting dehydrated and looking haggard when you land. It also is a small way of feeling fancy and taking some personal care when you're on a mission to serve others! Buy them! Trust me, you will not regret it!