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Christian Life

How to Get Ready for Your Mission Trip

If you are about to take a mission trip, congratulations! This is a huge step and a wonderful time. It will open your eyes and teach you things about the world, yourself and God that can hardly be learned in any other setting. Here are a few key tips that will get you prepared.

Research the culture. If this is your first time to your destination, make sure you know what type of clothing and behavior are considered appropriate. You may need to buy new pieces of clothing if the culture has stricter modesty standards than you are used to. There may be customs to be aware of, and you will feel better being prepared.

Research the weather. Are you going someplace tropical? Sweltering? The climate where you are traveling will vastly affect how you pack. In some places sun and bugs are huge issues. For trips with a heavy workload, you may need steel-toed boots or a special hat. Make sure you know going in what you’ll need clothing-wise because shopping and/or shops may not be available to you once you arrive.

Pray. Ask God to be with you every step of this process. Ask Him to protect your group. Ask Him to teach you everything He wants to reveal to you. Pray for patience, grace, flexibility and a willing spirit. Pray you change lives and return changed.

Ask for advice. Chances are someone in your youth group or organization you are traveling with has taken the mission trip you’re about to take before. Check with them and see what they recommend. They probably have insider tips and invaluable information that will make your trip that much better.

Pack your bag. Packing for a mission trip is not like packing for a regular vacation. It is much more about practicality. Check with your youth pastor or whoever is leading the trip as they may provide a recommended packing list. Here are some items to get you going:

  • Bible
  • Journal (plan on actually using it)
  • Cell phone
  • Charger (wall and car)
  • Camera
  • Translation book or app
  • Cash
  • Walking shoes
  • Culture and weather appropriate clothes and pajamas
  • Sunblock
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug spray (if needed)
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Passport or ID (if needed)
  • Anything else your leader recommends

We hope this helps you prepare for your amazing journey!


Have you been on a mission trip before? Where did you go? Do you have any additional advice for someone about to take their first trip?


Image: Lightstock | Prixel Creative


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  1. Whisper Of Hope

    Posted by Whisper Of Hope on May 24, 2015 at 12:24

    I just wroght a “mini book” with tips and advice on raising your support I wish someone told me lol maybe I should start a blog…

    Last year I went to Alaska for a week, and this year I’m going to Swaziland (Africa) for a month.

    A helpful sight I’ve found for packing tips is: http://herpackinglist.com/blog/. They have a bunch of tips and tricks for packing light and maximizing space, as well as packing lists for different types of trips, , and reviews on useful gear. I spent a lot of time on that sight, and it has helped me a lot!

  2. Jesusfreak1415

    Posted by Jesusfreak1415 on May 2, 2015 at 06:46

    I love that you all are writing more about missions trips! I remember suggesting it back when y’all asked for suggestions. Missions is something I am very passionate about. I have been to NYC (2012) and Romania (2013) with Global Expeditions and they were both amazing! And now I’m getting ready to go on a 2 month trip to Peru & Panama this summer! These are all really great tips! I also agree with @StayAnchored on the two points she made below. Definitely be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. I am very introverted and I hate public speaking, meeting new people, etc… Basically I could be a really good hermit, LOL 😀 But on these trips (especially this summer) I am going to be pushed out of my comfort zone a lot. Not just mentally but also Physically (as far as the Panama portion is concerned.) It’s hard but it’s definitely worth it! Being pushed past your limits really helps you grow in ways you never would have dreamed of. Also, like @StayAnchored said; make sure your heart’s in the right place. Make sure that you are going somewhere because you feel God is calling you to, not just because it’s a cool place with awesome shopping or because your friends and/or crush is going. If your just going for those reasons your not going to get much out of the trip and it will make everything a whole lot harder. Oh and lastly. If your going somewhere you don’t speak the language and your giving candy to the kids; whatever you do DONT give them pixie sticks. LOL. Yeah, for kids who don’t get candy very much and have never had pixie sticks… Let’s just say they don’t entirely understand the whole “Don’t suck on them or else it’ll clog up thing.” LOL 😀 Stick with lollipops or taffy.

  3. Karlee_bugg19

    Posted by Karlee_bugg19 on April 30, 2015 at 12:12

    I have been to Brazil once, Honduras twice, and I am going back in July!! Take LOTS OF PICTURES!!

  4. AidylJune

    Posted by AidylJune on April 30, 2015 at 00:41

    I can confirm: Make sure your clothes are culturally acceptable!! I went to Peru and thought I would be fine (I asked the coordinator) But he was a man and didn’t really understand shorts. haha! I ended up having to wear two pairs of jeans for 10 days because my shorts were too short for that culture.

    If you don’t know: Be on the safe/and more modest than normal side. Pack versatile!

  5. mackenzie.mag

    Posted by mackenzie.mag on April 29, 2015 at 17:09

    My sister and I are about to go to Brazil in July with my youth group. We each have to raise about $1,400. We’ve been working like yard work, babysitting, cleaning our teachers rooms and stuff to raise the money. We still have a lot of money left to raise in a short amount of time, but we are believing that God will provide. I also went to Honduras 2 years ago. I had to work to get money for that trip, too. But it was worth it and I know that all our hard work with be worth it this time as well.

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by erraticm on April 29, 2015 at 14:38

    my department is going for a rural outreach next month…my first. so excited

  7. Danni

    Posted by Danni on April 28, 2015 at 23:12

    I’ve been on 2 SOAR mission trips. One to Salt Lake City and one to Saskatoon.

  8. StayAnchored

    Posted by StayAnchored on April 28, 2015 at 21:07

    Mission trips that I have been on:
    San Diego,CA(5th grade)
    Arlington,TX(7th and 8th grade)
    New Orleans, LA(8th and twice in 9th grade)
    Bryan, TX(9th and 10th grade)
    Midland, TX(10th grade)
    New Mexico(11th grade)

    And one day I dream to go on a medical mission trip to Africa or Mexico!(I want to be a Dental H.)

    I would really just recommend that if you are going on a mission trip make sure your heart is in the right place. Make sure you are going because God is calling you to, not because all your friends are going. 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by chalelyn on April 29, 2015 at 15:33

      I agree with what you have said. I have been doing mission work since I was in 8th grade. I was wondering though what you did in Midland? I am from that area and find it cool you picked this area!

    • Christispeace104

      Posted by Christispeace104 on April 29, 2015 at 15:14

      where in new orleans?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by erraticm on April 29, 2015 at 14:41

      im a medical student. we have q medical rural outreach next month. never been on one…so dont really know what to expect but I know caring for people spirit soul nd body will be great

    • StayAnchored

      Posted by StayAnchored on April 28, 2015 at 21:09

      Oh, and get out of your bubble! You might not be comfortable sharing your testimony, talking to strangers, rebuilding a bathroom wall, etc. but push yourself to the limit! Remember why you are where you are. You are there for Christ, not your comfort zone!