One of the toughest parts of preparing to go overseas on a missions trip is deciding exactly what to take. Though each trip will differ depending on the location, time of year, type of activities, etc., we offer some pointers to help you think through your packing needs.

You may have seen this on our Cultural Values page, but we’ll repeat it here in our top spot for reinforcement.  As a U.S. citizen, you will be a natural target for theft. Even if you are not wealthy by our standards, the mere fact that you can find time and means to travel overseas will signify to many in other cultures that you are “rich.” Don’t take anything of financial or sentimental value that you can not afford to lose.

Common Packing List Items:

  1. Passport

  2. Bible & Devotional

  3. Basic Toiletries (shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc.)

  4. Long pants (especially helpful during “buggy” seasons.

  5. Business casual dress for Church

  6. Money for off-compound meals and souvenirs

  7. Money belt or discreet fanny pack

  8. Bug Repellant (high concentration of DEET or Picaridin formulae are recommended)

  9. Sunscreen (SPF higher than 20 is suggested. NOTHING will ruin a trip more quickly than a bad sunburn)

  10. Hat

  11. Convenient snacks. 

  12. Shoes for water

  13. Work shoes

  14. Rain Poncho

  15. Work Gloves

  16. Sport Bottle/Water Bottle

  17. Medications (original prescription packaging is required by TSA)

  18. Hand Sanitizer

  19. Handi-wipes

  20. Small Pillow and set of sheets

  21. Inexpensive camera

  22. Notebook and Pen

  23. Group-oriented gifts for children (i.e.- small toys, crafts, etc.)

  24. Playing cards/travel games

Airline Requirements:

Each airline has different restrictions on the number, size and weight of luggage allowed We’ve listed links below to some of the most frequently used airlines. Please check with your airline immediately prior to your trip for the latest restrictions.

  1. American Airlines

  2. Delta Airlines

  3. United Airlines

  4. U.S. Airlines

  5. Continental Airlines

Practical Preparation

Packing for Success