Step 4. Pack
When you have your plane tickets secured, your doctor visit done, and your passport taken care of, then you have all the big stuff taken care of. The next thing is to start on your packing. Below I have included a packing list. Once you read this you can start putting together your trip supplies. At any point let us know if you need any more information or help. We hope to soon have some type of meeting with you and probably the other people in the group to see that you have all the information you need.
American Airlines allows each international traveler to take two 50-pound check bags (second one costs $40), one carry-on bag, and one personal item (like a back-pack or a carry bag like a large purse). You are also allowed to use a fanny pack in addition to the carry-on and personal item. We ask everyone on the trip give up their two 50 pound check bags so that we can fill them with medicine/supplies for the clinic. We ask that everyone use their carry-on bag and personal item to pack almost everything they will need during the week. (We have always done it this way and never had any problems.) A couple weeks before the trip we will organize all the medicine and supplies and back the two 50 pound bags for you to check. If you would like be involved in the packing process of the supplies just let us know. We can really use your help especially now that we have kids.
When packing we suggest you pack most things inside of ziplock bags. The extent that you do this is up to you, but in the past we have even put each days cloths into its own zip lock bag. This does a couple things, first it helps to conserve space because you squeeze all the air out of the bag and zip it. Second it helps to organize your stuff inside your bag and will help if the customs people decide to go through your bag. Third, it helps if your bag were to get rained on during the trip up the mountain. Fourth, it helps with bugs a little (this is usually not an issue). At the end of your packing you want to have your bags as full as possible. If you still have room when you are done, then you may want to bring some other things for the people/kids, things like games, toys, stickers, candy …ect.
It is very important to remember the new airline rules about fluids/creams/gels. Any fluids/creams/gels over 3.4 oz (100mL) cannot be carried on the plane. They must go in the check bags. If you have fluids/creams/jels over 3.4 oz please get them to us as early as possible so we can get them in the check bags when we pack them. Other fluids/creams/gels less than 3.4 oz (100ml) must be placed in a quart size ziplock bag and presented to the airline folks as we go through security. Please note that it is important that it be a quart size ziplock bag and every person is just allowed one of them. As far as we can tell, any type of fluid/cream/gel is included (examples include toothpaste, shaving cream, peanut butter, lotion, and deodorant). This bag should be placed into the top of your carry-on so that it can be easily pulled out when you get to the airport. Don’t forget this when you are packing.
Depending on how things go, the flights back to the US are often delayed. In the past this means that sometimes we don’t reach our connecting flight in Miami Florida on time and sometimes this means an overnight stay. Recent trips have had an overnight planned into them on the way back through Miami, and therefore it has not been a problem. Other times it may mean an extra night in the capital city in Haiti. We recommend that everyone coming on these trips keep an extra set of cloths for the end of the week and plan their schedules so that if the flights don’t work as planned one extra day on this mission trip will not cause you too much grief.
Here is the packing list that we have come up with over the years. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call. Happy planning, packing, and preparing to do God’s work.
Shirts – anything cool, T-shirts are ok
Pants/shorts – Jennifer generally wear capris, shorts are fine if not too short. Shorts are fine for both the winter and summer trip generally.
Pajamas – anything works here. May want to consider a long sleeve shirt to keep the mosquitoes off.
Church clothes – for Sunday bring a dress or long skirt for the girls. Guy dress nicely – ties are not required. Button up shirt if possible.
Shoes/sandals – I usually wear tennis shoes and bring sandals. Having some type of second pair is good. They often get dirty.
Hat – Sometimes good for the travel days or if you go for a walk on Sunday.
Toothbrush – bring a spare in case you drop your first.
Toothpaste – remember to only brush with bottled water
Flashlights – I typically bring a couple small ones. I really like the kind that attach to your head so you are hands free (this is especially helpful in the bathroom).