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What To Pack When Going On A Mission Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Evie Penney



Embarking on a mission trip is an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact on communities and individuals in need. Whether you’re traveling to a remote village, volunteering at an orphanage, or providing medical aid in a disaster-stricken area, careful planning and packing are essential for a successful trip. Packing the right items will not only ensure your comfort and safety but also enable you to effectively carry out your mission with ease.


When it comes to packing for a mission trip, it’s important to strike a balance between bringing what you need and traveling light. Remember, you may encounter limited resources and transportation challenges during your trip, so packing wisely is crucial. This article aims to guide you through the essentials to pack when going on a mission trip, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the adventure ahead.


From clothing and personal items to medications and tools, we will cover the key items necessary for a mission trip. Keep in mind that the specific items you’ll need may vary depending on the location, duration, and nature of your mission. This guide serves as a general reference, so be sure to consult with your mission organization or team leader for any specific requirements.


So, let’s dive in and explore the essential items to pack for your upcoming mission trip!



When planning your clothing for a mission trip, it’s important to consider the climate, cultural norms, and the specific activities you’ll be participating in. Here are some key clothing items to include in your packing list:

  • Comfortable and modest clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable clothing that allows for ease of movement. Remember to respect local traditions and customs by choosing modest attire.
  • Appropriate footwear: Bring comfortable shoes that are suitable for the terrain and activities you’ll be engaged in. This may include sturdy walking shoes, sandals, or even work boots.
  • Swimwear: If you’ll be near beaches, swimming pools, or engaging in water-related activities, don’t forget to pack your swimwear.
  • Headwear: In areas with intense sunlight, it’s essential to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Pack a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to keep the sun off your face and neck.
  • Layered clothing: Depending on the climate, it’s wise to pack layers that can be added or removed as needed. This allows you to adapt to temperature variations throughout the day.
  • Rain gear: If you’ll be traveling during the rainy season or to a location prone to sudden downpours, pack a lightweight and waterproof rain jacket or poncho.

It’s worth noting that donating clothing items to the local community is often encouraged on mission trips. This not only helps those in need but also lightens your load for the return journey. Check with your mission organization if there are any specific requirements or guidelines for clothing donations.


Packing clothing that is versatile, durable, and appropriate for the local culture will ensure your comfort and help you establish a positive connection with the communities you’ll be serving.


Personal Items

Along with clothing, there are several personal items that are essential for your mission trip. These items will help you stay organized, maintain personal hygiene, and ensure your well-being during your time away. Here are some key personal items to include in your packing list:

  • Travel-sized toiletries: Pack travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, and other necessary toiletries. Remember to adhere to airline liquid restrictions and choose eco-friendly options when possible.
  • Personal medications: If you have any prescription medications or essential over-the-counter medicines, be sure to pack an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. It’s also wise to carry a copy of your prescriptions or medical documents in case of any emergencies.
  • Travel adapter and power bank: Depending on your destination, you may need a travel adapter to charge your electronic devices. A power bank can be a lifesaver when access to electricity is limited.
  • Sleeping bag and travel pillow: If you anticipate staying in locations with limited bedding or in outdoor settings, a lightweight sleeping bag and travel pillow can provide much-needed comfort.
  • Journal and pen: Documenting your experiences and reflections during your mission trip can be a meaningful way to remember your journey. Pack a journal and pen to capture your thoughts and emotions.
  • Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in unfamiliar environments. Pack a reusable water bottle to refill throughout your trip and reduce waste.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays and ward off pesky insects by packing sunscreen with high SPF and insect repellent.

These personal items will help you maintain your well-being and comfort throughout your mission trip. Consider the specific needs of the region you’ll be traveling to and pack accordingly. Don’t forget to double-check any regulations or restrictions regarding medications or personal items in your destination country. With these personal items in tow, you’ll be well-prepared for your adventure!


Medications and First Aid

When it comes to staying healthy and prepared on a mission trip, having a well-stocked first aid kit and necessary medications is paramount. Here are some essential items to include in your medication and first aid supplies:

  • Prescription medications: If you take prescription medications, ensure that you have an ample supply to last the duration of your trip. It’s also a good idea to carry a copy of your prescriptions or doctor’s note in case of emergencies or refills.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Pack a variety of common over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, antacids, anti-diarrheal medications, and allergy medications. These can come in handy for minor ailments that may arise during your trip.
  • First aid essentials: Include items like adhesive bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, and hand sanitizer. These supplies will help you treat minor cuts, scrapes, and other injuries.
  • Medical supplies: Depending on your mission’s nature, you may need to pack additional medical supplies such as gloves, face masks, thermometer, and any specialized equipment or medications required for your mission’s purpose.
  • Personal health information: Carry a list of your allergies, chronic conditions, and emergency contacts in case of any medical emergencies. This information may be helpful in providing necessary details to healthcare professionals in your destination.

In addition to packing these items, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with basic first aid techniques and have a basic understanding of any health risks or common illnesses in your destination. Consulting a healthcare professional or your mission organization can provide valuable insights and guidance regarding the specific medical needs of your trip.


By being prepared with the right medications and first aid supplies, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can handle common medical situations and respond effectively in case of emergencies.


Electronics and Communication Devices

In today’s digital age, electronics and communication devices play a crucial role in staying connected and navigating the world. Here are some essential items to include when packing electronics for your mission trip:

  • Cell phone: A cell phone is a must-have item for staying connected with your fellow team members, mission organizers, and local contacts. Make sure to bring a charger and consider getting a local SIM card if needed.
  • Laptop or tablet: If you require access to documents, communication platforms, or specific software, consider bringing a laptop or tablet. These devices can also be useful for keeping personal records or editing photos/videos.
  • Portable charger/power bank: Keeping your electronics charged can be challenging, especially in areas with limited access to electricity. A portable charger or power bank will ensure you have a reliable power source to keep your devices juiced up.
  • Camera: Capture precious moments and document your experiences by bringing a camera. Whether it’s a professional DSLR or a smartphone with a good camera, having the ability to capture memories will be invaluable.
  • Adapters and converters: Depending on your destination, you may need adapters to plug in your electronics. Research the electrical standards of your destination and bring the necessary adapters and converters to ensure compatibility.
  • GPS device: If you’ll be traveling to remote locations or locations with limited internet access, consider bringing a standalone GPS device or have a reliable offline mapping application on your phone. This will help with navigation and preventing getting lost.

While electronics are essential for communication and staying connected, it’s also important to strike a balance and be present in the moment during your mission trip. Be mindful of using your devices in a manner that respects the local culture and doesn’t distract from your mission’s goals.


Remember to protect your electronics from theft or damage by keeping them secure and investing in protective cases or sleeves. By packing the necessary electronics and communication devices, you’ll have the tools you need to stay connected, document your journey, and utilize important resources throughout your mission trip.


Documents and Money

When going on a mission trip, it’s crucial to have all the necessary documents and financial resources in order. Proper documentation and access to funds will ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Here are the essential documents and money-related items to pack:

  • Passport and visas: Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay and that you have any required visas for your destination country. Keep copies of these documents in a separate location for backup.
  • Identification cards: Carry a government-issued ID card, such as a driver’s license or national ID, as a form of identification during your trip.
  • Travel insurance: It’s highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers you for potential medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage. Keep a copy of your insurance documents easily accessible.
  • Credit/debit cards: Bring a mix of credit and debit cards, including one with no foreign transaction fees. Ensure that they are activated for international use and inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage.
  • Cash: While it’s wise to have some local currency on hand, don’t carry excessive amounts. Research the currency exchange rates and withdrawal options in your destination to plan your money requirements accordingly.
  • Emergency contact information: Carry a list of emergency contact numbers, including your mission organization, local authorities, and your embassy or consulate.
  • Flight tickets and itinerary: Keep a copy of your flight tickets and travel itinerary easily accessible.

It’s a good practice to make electronic copies of all your important documents and store them securely in cloud storage or email them to yourself. This ensures that you have access to these documents even if physical copies are lost or stolen.


Additionally, familiarize yourself with the local customs and regulations regarding money and carrying documents. Some countries may require registration of your passport or have specific currency regulations that you need to be aware of.


By being organized with your documents and managing your finances wisely, you’ll have the necessary resources and peace of mind for a successful mission trip.


Toiletries and Hygiene Products

Maintaining good hygiene is essential during your mission trip to ensure your well-being and prevent illnesses. Packing the right toiletries and hygiene products will help you stay fresh, clean, and comfortable. Here are some essential items to include in your toiletries and hygiene kit:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Keep your dental health in check by packing a toothbrush and toothpaste. Opt for travel-sized options for convenience.
  • Soap or body wash: Choose a soap or body wash that suits your skin type and preferences. Consider packing a biodegradable option to minimize environmental impact.
  • Shampoo and conditioner: Take care of your hair by packing travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Alternatively, you can opt for solid shampoo bars to save space and reduce plastic waste.
  • Deodorant: Stay fresh and odor-free with a reliable deodorant. Select options that are long-lasting and suitable for the climate you’ll be in.
  • Feminine hygiene products: If applicable, pack an adequate supply of sanitary pads, tampons, or menstrual cups. These may not be readily available or easily accessible in certain locations.
  • Razors and shaving cream: For personal grooming, bring the necessary shaving tools and products that you use regularly.
  • Towel or travel towel: Depending on your accommodation arrangements, a quick-drying travel towel can be a useful addition to your toiletries. It takes up less space and dries faster than regular towels.
  • Hand sanitizer: Keep your hands clean and sanitized by carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer. This will be particularly useful in situations where access to water and soap is limited.

Remember to pack these items in a waterproof toiletry bag or pouch to prevent any leaks or spills. Additionally, consider the environmental impact of your toiletries and opt for eco-friendly, sustainable options whenever possible.


If you have any specific toiletry or hygiene preferences or requirements, ensure to pack accordingly. By taking care of your personal hygiene needs, you’ll stay comfortable, healthy, and ready to take on your mission trip.


Snacks and Food

When going on a mission trip, it’s important to pack a selection of snacks and food items to sustain you during your journey, especially if you anticipate limited food options or have specific dietary restrictions. Here are some tips and suggestions for packing snacks and food for your mission trip:

  • Non-perishable snacks: Pack a variety of non-perishable snacks such as granola bars, nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, and energy bars. These snacks can provide a quick boost of energy and can be easily carried in your bag.
  • Canned goods: Consider bringing canned goods like tuna, beans, or soups that can be easily opened and consumed. These items can provide a good source of protein and be a backup option when fresh food is not readily available.
  • Instant meals: If you’ll have access to hot water or simple cooking facilities, bringing instant meals such as noodles, rice packets, or dehydrated meals can be a convenient and filling option.
  • Easy-to-cook ingredients: Pack ingredients like instant oatmeal, instant coffee or tea, and spices to enhance the flavor of your meals. These items can be lightweight and can add variety to your diet.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Depending on the duration of your trip and accessibility to fresh produce, consider packing sturdy fruits like apples, oranges, or bananas. These can provide important vitamins and nutrients.
  • Beverages: Stay hydrated by packing water bottles and bringing powdered drink mixes or tea bags for flavoring. This will save you money and help satisfy your beverage preferences.
  • Dietary restrictions: If you have specific dietary restrictions or allergies, ensure to pack suitable substitutes or specialized snacks that meet your needs.

It’s important to note that some countries have strict regulations on bringing food items across borders. Before packing any food, check the destination country’s customs regulations to ensure compliance and avoid any issues or confiscation at the airport.


While it’s important to bring snacks and food that will sustain you, it’s also a good opportunity to experience local cuisine and support local businesses. Try out local dishes and engage with the community to fully immerse yourself in the culture of your destination.


By packing a selection of snacks and food items, you’ll have a source of sustenance to keep you energized and satisfied throughout your mission trip.


Tools and Equipment

When preparing for a mission trip, it’s important to consider the tools and equipment you may need to carry out your mission effectively. These items will vary depending on the nature of your mission, but here are some general tools and equipment to consider packing:

  • Basic hand tools: Depending on the scope of your mission, it may be helpful to bring a set of basic hand tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, and a utility knife. These tools can be useful for various tasks, from repairing equipment to assisting with construction projects.
  • Work gloves: If your mission involves physical labor or manual work, pack a sturdy pair of work gloves to protect your hands and improve grip.
  • Flashlight or headlamp: A reliable flashlight or headlamp is essential for navigating in low-light conditions, especially if you’ll be in areas with limited electricity or during nighttime activities.
  • Portable tool kit: Consider packing a compact tool kit that includes items like a multi-tool, duct tape, zip ties, and other versatile tools that can help with various repairs or emergency situations.
  • Water purification system: If you anticipate limited access to clean water, consider bringing a portable water filter or purification tablets to ensure safe drinking water.
  • Safety gear: Depending on your mission activities, it may be necessary to pack safety gear, such as a helmet, safety glasses, or a high-visibility vest.
  • Portable sewing kit: A small sewing kit can be handy for quick repairs to clothing or equipment during your mission.

It’s important to assess your mission’s requirements and consult with your team leader or mission organization for specific tools and equipment recommendations. Additionally, be mindful of space and weight restrictions when packing tools and equipment, as you’ll likely have limited luggage capacity.


Remember to handle tools and equipment responsibly and safely. If you’re unsure about how to use a specific tool or equipment, seek guidance or training before attempting to use it.


By equipping yourself with the necessary tools and equipment, you’ll be prepared to tackle the tasks and challenges that come your way during your mission trip.


Miscellaneous Items

Aside from the essential items, there are various miscellaneous items that can enhance your experience and add convenience to your mission trip. These items may not fall under specific categories but can still play a crucial role in ensuring a successful journey. Here are some miscellaneous items to consider packing:

  • Travel pillow and blanket: Long journeys and overnight stays may require some comfort. Packing a travel pillow and blanket can help you rest and recharge during transit or when sleeping in unfamiliar places.
  • Insect repellent: Protect yourself from pesky insects, especially in locations where they are prevalent. Choose a quality insect repellent to avoid bites and potential insect-borne diseases.
  • Travel-sized laundry supplies: Packing a small packet of laundry detergent or laundry soap sheets can be helpful for washing your clothes during longer trips or when access to laundry facilities is limited.
  • Ziplock bags: A few resealable ziplock bags in various sizes can be incredibly useful for organizing and keeping items dry and secure. They can also be handy for storing snacks or separating wet or dirty items.
  • Travel adapter: Ensure you have the appropriate travel adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination country. This will enable you to charge your devices and use any necessary electronics.
  • Travel guidebook or phrasebook: Familiarize yourself with your destination by packing a travel guidebook or phrasebook. These resources can provide valuable information about local customs, places of interest, and basic phrases in the local language.
  • Multi-purpose bag or daypack: A lightweight and foldable bag or daypack can serve as an additional storage option during day trips or to carry essentials when exploring your destination.
  • Entertainment items: Bring along items for leisure and downtime, such as books, playing cards, or a portable music player, to keep yourself entertained during long flights or periods of relaxation.

While these items may seem small or insignificant, they can greatly contribute to your overall comfort, organization, and enjoyment during your mission trip. Consider your personal needs and preferences when deciding which miscellaneous items to include.


Remember to pack these items in a way that doesn’t compromise the weight restrictions or exceed your luggage allowance. Prioritize the essentials first and then assess how much space you have remaining for miscellaneous items.


By packing these miscellaneous items, you’ll be well-prepared to handle various situations and make your mission trip more comfortable and enjoyable.



As you embark on your mission trip, being well-prepared with the right items is crucial for a successful and fulfilling experience. By carefully considering and packing the essential items, you can ensure your comfort, safety, and effectiveness in carrying out your mission. From clothing and personal items to documents, tools, and miscellaneous items, each item plays a role in enhancing your journey.


Remember to tailor your packing list to the specific requirements of your mission, including the destination, duration, and nature of the activities you’ll be involved in. Consulting with your mission organization or team leader can provide valuable guidance and insight into the specific needs and expectations for your trip.


Throughout your mission trip, embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, build connections, and make a positive impact on the communities you serve. Be mindful of the environmental impact of your choices, respect local customs and traditions, and show gratitude and appreciation to the people you meet along the way.


Lastly, keep in mind that flexibility and adaptability are essential when embarking on a mission trip. Unexpected situations may arise, and your ability to adjust and problem-solve will contribute to a successful mission. Embrace the challenges and opportunities for personal growth that come with the journey.


By packing thoughtfully and considering the items outlined in this guide, you’re setting yourself up for a memorable, impactful, and fulfilling mission trip. Safe travels and may your journey be filled with meaningful experiences and lasting memories!