a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.
Life In General

5 Things I Wish I Had Taken On My Missions Trip


Imagine visiting a place for several nights where you don’t know where you’ll be sleeping, the water isn’t safe to drink, and the use of a bathroom and/or shower is an unknown.  What would you take?

I just got back from a trip like that, with a few variations.  I knew we’d be sleeping indoors, but I didn’t know our hosts.  I didn’t know the water would be unsafe (although I should have looked that up before leaving).  And I knew we’d have indoor plumbing, but with so many people staying in one place, access to the bathroom would be minimal.

Here’s what I should have brought with me:

  1. Thin pajamas – We went north on our trip, and even though I checked the forecast and had a full sized sleeping bag with me, I didn’t stop to think that my thick fleece pajama pants might get too warm at night.  I’m used to wearing them to sleep in a tent at low temperatures, not in a sleeping bag at room temperature.  I should have brought thin PJ pants to wear with a t-shirt at night.
  2. A shoulder bag – We did a lot of schlepping back and forth, carrying teaching supplies, slippers, our Bibles, etc.  The though crossed my mind that I should bring a compact, foldable bag for that purpose, but it slipped my mind when it came time to pack.  A folding fabric grocery bag, preferably with a shoulder strap, is something I won’t forget next time.  My kids actually found this one (below) at Dollarama, and had it at home.  It has a shoulder strap and it’s own carrying bag.  On my next trip, I’ll definitely be asking them if I can borrow it.PicMonkey Collage
  3. A compact sleeping bag – As I mentioned earlier, I took my full weight sleeping bag with me.  It got through security as a carry-on piece, but next time, I’d prefer to take a compact sleeping bag that will fit into my pack.  Not only will it be easier to carry on the flights, but I’ll be less likely to get overheated while sleeping indoors.  In fact, we’re in the market for new sleeping bags for the entire family for our travels this summer, so I ordered the Nature Hike Ultra-Light Sleeping Bag for myself.  I’ll post a review of it once I’ve had a chance to try it out.  It’s super compact, I can’t wait to try it out!41INme56O8L._SX355_
  4. Water purification tablets – The community we visited is under a Boil Water Advisory, so we boiled all of our water.  However, it made me realize that having water purification tablets with you while you’re traveling to remote locations may not be a bad idea.  They’re quite inexpensive, and they’re tiny so they’ll add no weight at all.  They’re perfect for a back-up plan.  Throwing a box of tablets in your home emergency supply kit would also be a great idea.
  5. Pictures of my family – My husband cleared my phone before I left so that I’d have lots of space for new photos.  But without access to the internet, I was left without photos of the most important people in my life – my family.  Next time, I’ll take a wallet-size family picture, or have some up-to-date pics on my phone. ThingsIWishITook

There is one thing I did take that came in very handy: a high quality battery backup for my phone.  I was only using my phone for pictures, since we didn’t have wifi access and there was no signal to make calls.  But having that battery to recharge my phone meant I didn’t have to use our hosts’ electricity.  It also meant I could recharge on the go, keeping my phone plugged into it while we were out and about.

And I’m so glad I used my DIY Packing Cubes They made life so much easier, especially when I was rooting around in my pack for things when we were on a tight schedule.  One of the bags did burst a seam, so for the next trip, I may invest in some actual packing cubes.   These ones from MEC are reasonably priced, and like anything from MEC, are probably pretty good quality.  But if you’re going on just one trip, using the Dollar Store version is a great idea.

Next up: 5 Things I Wish I HADN’T Taken On My Missions Trip!


Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Alli Smith

    My husband goes on mission trips on a regular basis, so I’ll have to make sure he has these 5 things when he travels. You just don’t realize everything you need until you get there. Glad you shared this list.
    Go check out Alli Smith’s latest post! DIY Musical Note Pool Bag and Wedding WeekendMy Profile

  2. Anosa

    Never been on a mission trip before but I think it’s important to carry all you’ve listed but mostly importantly family pictures
    Go check out Anosa’s latest post! Holiday outfit: Forever21 bodycon pencil skirtsMy Profile

  3. Heather @ Kraus House Mom

    I don’t know how I would have handled having limited access to the bathroom, that gives me anxiety, especially knowing there was a boil water advisory. You are much braver than I am.

  4. Tammilee Tips

    I have not seen some of these things before! Great list I know some of these would be perfect for hiking too.

  5. Jeni Hawkins

    I love water purification tablets for traveling! I always take some with me when I travel and go on hikes. They are life savers!

  6. Liz Mays

    I can definitely see those purification tablets coming in handy. I’ve never actually used those before!

  7. Sarah

    I can see how you may have wished for those items, I guess you have learned something new now from your experience.

  8. Bella

    These are great suggestions and thinks you would not necessarily think of. I haven’t been on a missions trip in a few years – I would love to go on another.

  9. Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green

    Great list, a shoulder bag is a must for me wherever I go. I just got a new one today to take with me out of town on Friday. My new shoulder bag is cute and environmental safe too.

  10. rika

    Great list! I have to start bringing some water purification tablets with me. Never actually used those before, sound pretty useful

  11. Franc Ramon

    I always bring a battery back up or a powerbank. It’s always safe to have the battery to recharge your phone especially on long trips.

  12. Inspiring Kitchen

    I think these are all important, although I have never been on a mission trip. I have to try those water purification tablets next time we travel.

  13. Bonnie @wemake7

    These are really great things to take next time. I’m glad your backup battery came in handy.

  14. Michele D

    Those water tablets seem interesting. A must have for a mission trip and even to have handy around the house. I actually never heard of them until now. I think it’s great!

  15. Sam Sly

    What a helpful list for anyone on a mission or other trip. I never would have thought of the lighter PJs, I think when packing light it is easy to overlook that.

  16. Kita

    Good things to remember especially the bag and the purification pills. I admire you for going on missions trips. Amazing work that is definitely needed.

  17. Hannah Adkins

    They also have the water bottles now with the built in water filters that filter your water as you drink it. I bet it would come in handy as well!

Comments are now closed.