Updated: Jan 12, 2020
I recently returned from a missions trip to Puerto Rico with my church.
And it was so good!
Read all about it here!
But leading up to the trip, I did have some hesitations. I trusted God but also wondered what I needed to practically do to prepare for the trip.
While I was getting ready for the trip, I was especially curious about what would be important to pack that might not be on the pack list. Yes I know to bring clothes, yes I know to bring toiletries, but I wanted to know WHAT ELSE I needed to bring that might not be on an average packing list!! (Ya feel me?!)
And so my friends, after my trip, the ‘what to pack for your missions trip list’ was born : )
This is especially for my sisters who are excited for their trips but are also a bit hesitant to go and get out of their comfort zones. (That was me, too!)
Here is everything you might wish you had, that wasn't on the pack list : )
I pray that this is a blessing to you, removes any stress you might have about the trip, and leaves more room for you to experience & savor Jesus so that you can prepare your heart for your time away <3
What to Pack on Your Mission Trip (That Might Not Be On Your Packing List!)
(When you are brushing your teeth with water from a water bottle… you might not feel super fresh after.. I would have loved to have mouthwash to rinse with after brushing my teeth to feel a bit extra clean!)
(Super nice to hang your towel, hand towel, and other items on)
Fiber or Miralax
(Let’s just say things might not be working as they normally do when you’re in a new environment ; ) I bought fiber gummies and fiber one bars while down in PR
(Totally forgot to bring my multivitamin+fish oil pills & wish I’d had them! Also probably should have brought my probiotics. I did, however, take an Emergen-c every day and am so glad I did!)
(Was unsure about drinking tea using the tap water in PR… I brought Crystal Light energy packets for my caffeine fix and was so grateful to have them! And, I brought Propel packets too which seriously helped me feel so much better to replenish electrolytes after sweating outside)
Melatonin or Tylenol PM
(I took one melatonin gummy each night and it totally worked for me!)
Mini book bag/purse
(Test putting your ‘essentials’ in it first to make sure it’s the right size for what you need!)
(This saved me a couple days on the job site!)
(Self explanatory : )
(A little luxury that may make you feel a little bit more like yourself, especially when you're not doing your hair or wearing makeup!)
I used Fighting Five on my feet every day (it's like Thieves or On Guard!). Also brought peppermint and a lemon/lavender roller : )
(Oh my goodness… this was a life saver. My hair is kind of wavy… it's not straight and it's not curly + definitely needs to be styled to look presentable haha. So this is where the hair wrap came in! Each day, I'd had my hair french braided or put in a bun or single braid, & then would throw on a hair wrap (loved the ones from Buff, & Lululemon also has super cute large headbands). It totally kept my hair out of my face & helped me to feel a bit more put together!)
Special pen + journal + bible
(It was so nice to have these items on hand; having a favorite pen totally felt like a little luxury!)
Just in case you need it for walking around your camp at night!
(I did have a water bottle I’d brought… but I got grossed out by reusing it. So I ended up using the water bottles… but would have loved for them to stay cooler)
Sleep mask and ear plugs
(I actually use these at home, too. Super helpful when you have roomies that you might not be used to, or are like me and like to go to sleep earlier than most everyone else ;)
(Just in case there’s not one in the bathroom!)
(I brought beef jerky (high protein), Clif bars, nuts, and hard candy)
A worship playlist (to fill you up, especially in the mornings & evenings) and a motivating playlist (especially if you are on a work site)
Thank you cards
We were asked not to give gifts… however, many of the people we encountered gave us small gifts or fed us! I ended up writing a thank you card to one of them on a ripped out piece of my journal… but how sweet would it have been to have had a cute thank you note to give them!)
Meds from doctor
(I believe my doctor wrote me a prescription for Cipro in case I got sick while I was away)
Letters from loved ones
(Be brave and ask for a handful of letters of encouragement from friends & family! It is so sweet to be comforted by their words when you are in a new environment. I think I had about 3-4. It was a huge help and would have been even more amazing to have one to read each day. Related to that, you’ll want to ask for all the prayers you can get! I felt so supernaturally covered by prayer while I was away and was incredibly grateful for that)
Prayerfully consider what intention you’d like to come back to throughout your trip. Let it center and encourage you. Perhaps align it to a scripture, too. And related.. Be mindful of what your biggest takeaways and also journal out the action steps you'd like to take after the trip. Let your time away continue to impact your life and the lives around you!)
Sweet friend, I hope this helped!!! Let me know if you have any questions : )
I pray that you enjoy your trip + feel God's presence in an amazing way. <3 Be a blessing and be blessed!!
And, please feel free to comment below on what else you would add to this list! :)