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Help… I Need Some Mission Trip Travel Tips!

 —  February 18, 2014 — 14 Comments

cholutecaIn less than a month, my 13-year old son and I will embark on a mission trip to Choluteca, Honduras with Lifetree Adventures. We’re totally stoked for this, and have plenty of wisdom from project leaders Jobe and Robin on what to expect, how to pack and so on.

What I’m looking for are some “secret” travel tips.

It will not only be my son’s first trip out of the country, but also his first time away from my wife for that long of a period. It’s not like he’s even just a state away somewhere – he’ll literally be in another culture.

I think it’s why she asked me, “Um… what can I pack for you guys? I need to do something.”

So I’m looking for your travel tips.

  • Any food/snacks that I can bring cross-culturally that would be good in a warm climate? For example, fruit snacks with real juice in them versus dry granola bars.
  • Any mini-packets I should take with? “Shout” wipes? Disinfecting wipes? etc
  • Any sense of what to do to make this trip a win logistically, as well as spiritually?
  • Any apps for my phone worth having that would work without data?

I think you see where I’m going with this. I’ve been around the block on this with students before, but this is the first time I’m taking “my kid” on something like this. Know what I mean?

If it helps, here’s a quick glimpse of the partners we’ll be working with: http://www.greatcommissionla.com/churches/honduras/choluteca/

How about it? Suggestions what we can do today for a “father-son-experience-meets-a-warm-climate-we’ve-never-been-in-before-while-mom-hangs-back-home?”

We already started a personal prayer group for the trip. I now need your expertise or suggestions on the details.

Any help?

Tony Myles

Tony Myles

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Tony Myles is a youth ministry veteran, author, speaker, volunteer youth worker and lead pastor of Connection Church in Medina, Ohio... and he really likes smoothies.

14 responses to Help… I Need Some Mission Trip Travel Tips!

  1. I always take fruit strips with me … they taste good like fruit snacks, but are healthier (actual fruit, typically no sugar added) … Target has them in several flavors http://www.target.com/p/simply-balanced-organic-strawberry-fruit-strips-10-ct/-/A-14576145 … and as a packing sidenote: they don’t take up much space at all!

  2. 1. Roll of toilet paper. You want to run over it with the car first to flatten it so it takes up less space packing. You can never have too much toilet paper.
    2. A roll of duct tape…because you never know.
    3. A pack of wipes.
    4. Start eating yogurt with live active cultures everyday NOW! It really does help the digestive system when you start encountering new foods, water, etc.
    5. An antibiotic just in case.
    6. Laxative & diarrhea preventative. Both extremes tend to hit ya.

    Also, think boots even though it’ll be hot. We came across scorpions and tarantulas when I was in Honduras with our group a few years ago. You feel much more confident crushing or kicking those buggers when you’re wearing a good pair of boots. Speaking of clothing, a good alternative for working in hot climates are hospital scrubs (pants). They’re light-weight yet provide more protection to the legs than shorts and are much cooler than jeans.

    • Tony Myles

      I can’t tell you how practical driving over a roll of toilet paper sounds… and how masculine it would make me feel at the same time. Great tip! Toss in the duct tape, and this is great. The work boots idea triggered my wife and I to start looking online even now. Also appreciate that heads up. Did you encounter the critters more in the wild or in your sleeping quarters?

  3. Don’t forget sunblock and a comfortable hat.

    When I go to Honduras (my birth country) I take enough toiletries because is hot and humid, I want to take showers at night before going to sleep and another in the morning. Those little soaps and shampoo bottles do not cut it for me.

    And finally, bring power bars, those quick snacks that will keep you going for another two hours before dinner is served.

    People in Choluteca are warm, children are fun, adults are hard working. Be ready to be embraced and served.

  4. Mosquito Spray

    Clif bars

    Your own clean BPA free style drinking vessel.

    Toilet Paper always a must. Carry close. In a pocket or bag you always have close to you.

    Electrolyte filled powdered drink mixes

    Have a safe, fun and productive trip.

    • Tony Myles

      Thanks, Javier. I was wondering about the powdered drink mixes – if it’s okay to mix that with the local water. Any experience with that?

      And I appreciate the heads up on Clif Bars – I hadn’t heard of this brand.

  5. I was in Peru this past summer with Lifetree and LOVED the experience.

    People have made great suggestions already. I would second electrolyte filled powdered drink mixes. The little packets are easy to find at the grocery so bring different flavors. I don’t like drinking lots of plain water but when you are in such a warm climate you have to. I’m guessing your son (and you) will be more likely to stay hydrated with these. Clif bars are great and they make a Kids version which are smaller, and taste like cookies! I got a collapsible water bottle which was super convenient.

    From the spiritual end, I would say be sure to bring something to write, draw, journal on. One of the things I find especially on international mission trips is that there is so much going on that we don’t always take the time to really see and retain what God is doing. Your hot and tired and things are new and awesome and you are experiencing so much it can be overwhelming. I like using a book with blank pages so that if I am tired I can just write a few words or tape down mementos. You can even write Bible verses, prayers, or questions in it ahead of time to help make some spiritual connections. It makes a huge difference in how much you remember and take back with you when you get home.

    • Tony Myles

      Good stuff, Julianna – especially the spiritual/journal heads up. I know we’ll both need ways to process our experience, but I imagine he will especially… and thankfully he’s does a great job at writing. Appreciate the tips!

  6. Get a roll of campers toliet paper from the camping section. You get the same amount of tp without the roll.
    Duct tape and 550 cord. Just in case, never know when this stuff will come in handy.
    Cliff Bars
    Protein powder, you can drink as a meal replacement in a pinch.
    Multitool ( I never travel anywhere without mine )
    Chapstick, sunscreen
    Starbucks via packs ( hey even when roughing it a good cup o joe can’t be beat )

    • Tony Myles

      I did not know about the campers TP – here I was ready to drive over a roll of toilet paper to flatten it. :) On the multitool, have you ever had a problem having that in your bag when you fly?

  7. Oh I forgot. If it’s warm:
    Baby powder
    Baby wipes
    Go to a running specialty store and get something called “Bodyglide”. This stuff prevents chaffing in the heat. It’s a life saver.

  8. You might also consider a safety training program for your youth. Safe Travel Solutions has been providing this for years and it is now available in a streaming video online. Not all of it is necessary for youth. But there are some valuable tips that will help the entire group. You can learn more at http://www.safetravelsolutions.org.

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