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:
- Journal (plan on actually using it)
- Cell phone
- Charger (wall and car)
- Translation book or app
- Walking shoes
- Culture and weather appropriate clothes and pajamas
- Bug spray (if needed)
- 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?