Packing and travel tips

Pack lightly. You will need to be able to carry your own bags, sometimes for long distances. (As a general guide, assume you’ll need to walk a ½ mile carrying all of your luggage.)

Pack well, as though someone will drop your suitcase from a height of six feet.

More clothes will fit in your suitcase if they are laid flat, rolled up, and stored tightly. This will also help reduce severe wrinkling. Don’t take clothes that need special care or ironing.

Put all liquids (shampoo, cologne, etc.) in Ziploc baggies to prevent them from leaking in your suitcase.

Carry an extra set of clothes and some personal items in your carry-on backpack, in case your suitcase is lost or delayed.

Don’t take anything that you really don’t want to lose (such as an expensive watch or jewelry).

In addition to your passport, take another form of photo ID if possible (driver’s license, student ID, etc.).

Be aware of the airline’s luggage size and weight limits, as well as security restrictions for carry-on items.

Clearly label all pieces of luggage with your name, address (including U.S.A.), and telephone number. You can get free labels at the ticket counter in the airport.

Don’t leave your luggage unattended in the airport, or it will be removed and destroyed.

Tie a distinctive color ribbon to the handle of your luggage so it can be easily recognized at the baggage claim. As a team you might want to decide on a color so you can all recognize each other’s luggage.

You might find it helpful to carry a few small snacks with you, such as granola bars or other dry snacks, particularly on long travel days.

Take your camera with you but plan to have your pictures printed when you return. Take pictures along of yourself and/or your family to show to new friends you meet.

Be aware that electrical voltage varies from country to country. If you have to take a hair dryer, curling iron, computer, or cell phone charger make sure it is the correct voltage before trying to use it. Someone on the team may want to take an electric socket adapter along.

When on outreach, always listen to your outreach coordinator(s) and other “locals.” They know the area and will help guide you.

If you carry a backpack with valuables in it, carry it in front of you for added safety.

Remember to pack small gifts for your hosts. Appropriate gifts include simple things from your home area, such as a framed picture of your family, a calendar with local photos, etc.