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LDS Missionary Packing Tips for Sisters (2023)

Posted by Dianne Chen on
Woman organizing luggage for mission trip using our LDS missionary packing tips

There's no hashtag more appropriate when it comes to the topic of sisters preparing to go on a mission, especially when it comes to the process of packing, than #RealTalk. And that's what we're about to do in this post.

First, expect there to be a combination of excitement and panic as soon as you receive your Mission Call Letter. And between studying scriptures, Mission Prep Classes, and thinking that you have enough time (which you don't!) to do everything you need, you'll most likely leave packing at the last minute.

By the time you realize that you don't have enough socks or that you forgot to bring your allergy medication, you'll be asking yourself why you didn't spend more time packing properly. So here are a few smart and practical LDS missionary packing tips to make sure you're always prepared and ready to serve on your mission.

General LDS Missionary Packing Tips:

Packing using clear cubes

Put your packing skills to the test and become a pro packer for your mission trip in no time with these easy tips and tricks! Let's begin.

Tip #1 - Download our Free LDS Mission Trip Packing List

Packing for a long mission trip is no easy task but with the right packing list to help you, it can actually be easy breezy. Remember, a packing list is just a guide that you can use to help you start and make sure you won't forget anything important. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to pack everything that's listed. You can customize the list according to your needs. Cut out things that you're sure you're not going to use and add in things that you'll certainly need.

Tip #2 - Clear packing cubes are a must

Suitcase with LDS missionary clothes
**Thanks to Ursula for this awesome photo! 

It's recommended to bring 2-3 large suitcases, one carry-on bag, and one everyday bag. Now, that's a lot of bags - and a lot of things. Prevent yourself from overpacking by using packing cubes like EzPacking's Complete Bundle.

Bulkier items like jeans and pullovers can go in a Large Cube, while you can roll shirts and skirts and stack them in a Medium CubeThese cubes have a see-through design, which lets you easily keep account of all your items, so you can visually assess which are absolute essentials and which ones are just excess baggage in the making.

Quart size bag

And speaking of airports, another advantage of using transparent packing cubes is it gets you through TSA in less time and with no fuss. At the very least, it saves you the awkwardness of explaining why you had to take that antifungal foot cream with you. 

Tip #3 - Group items together the way you use them

Avoid mixing your essentials together and organize them using clear cubes according to categories. Separate your nighttime and morning items, workout clothes, casual clothes, dressy clothes, toiletries, medicine kit, and other personal belongings. This will help you unpack neatly and find what you need right away.

Tip #4 - Raid the thrift store

Woman looking through shopping displays while on a mission trip

The number one packing mistake sisters make is spending a lot of money shopping for a new set of LDS sister missionary clothing. Why, you ask? Because the fact is, you'll ruin your clothes. Period. You'll ruin them by running after people, getting it tangled in bicycle chains, and sometimes by just putting too much bleach in the wash.

Aside from getting better deals, thrifting is also a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion hauls. And in terms of style, vintage items present more fashionable options when it comes to the required outfits. If you need inspiration, check out this lookbook. 

Tip #5 - Choose climate-appropriate outfits for mission

It's always a good idea to know what's the weather going to be like in your mission area. Plan your outfits around it and pack accordingly. We recommend bringing a jacket or sweatshirt regardless of the weather for when it gets cold during transit or when it gets chilly at night.

Tip #6 - Consider the local transportation system

When it comes to selecting which clothes to bring, you must put into consideration the local transportation you will be taking on the daily. If you get around by bike, pack more A-Line skirts instead of pencil skirts. To keep your modesty, consider taking thin leggings to wear under your skirt.

Tip #7 - Prioritize durability and simple designs

Opt for simple and darker colors over lighter ones. They can easily be matched with anything and you won't have to worry about easily spotting a stain. Solids are also a better choice over patterns. Keep yourself from buying unnecessary clothes by packing wrinkle-free clothes made from durable material like polyester and comfortable ones made from cotton.

Tip #8 - Roll shirts and blouses, fold jeans and jackets

Rolled shirts in a rose medium cube

As a general rule, flimsy clothes and those that can easily get wrinkled, like your shirts and blouses, should be rolled. Bulkier clothing items like your jeans and sweaters should be folded. Knowing what to roll or fold will help you save space in your luggage.

Pro Tip: Opt for blouses and dresses that are made with anti-wrinkle fabrics.

Tip #9 - Think comfort and durability for shoes

You know you're going to do a lot of walking during your mission so always choose comfortable and durable walking shoes or trainers. If you have any feet issues (flat feet or fallen arches) make sure to get shoes that are made for your condition. In general, shoes with thicker soles will be more comfortable and safer when walking on unpaved roads.

Tip #10 - Don't pack more than 5 pairs of shoes

You only have two feet, you're not gonna need that many pair of shoes. Pack a pair of sneakers or trainers, a pair of flats for casually going out or running an errand, and a pair of nice shoes for dining out.

P.S. Want more packing tips? Check out our post on Smart Packing Tips: Guaranteed to Make Your Travels Easier. 

Tip #11 - Bring a Travel Shoe Bag

Travel Shoe Bag

Keep your clothes and other items from getting soiled by packing your shoes in their own shoe pouch. When not in use, this can double as your mini laundry bag to separate dirty clothes from the clean ones.

Tip #12 - Wearable keepsakes

Once you're out doing your mission, there are only a few chances where you'll be able to contact your family. So one packing hack you can do is to take wearable keepsakes from home. Take your dad's jacket, mom's cardigan, your sister's pajamas or the necklace your parents gave you for graduation. This way, your family will always be with you during your mission.

Tip #13 - Bring a Hygiene Kit wherever you go

Travel hygiene kit in a clear half moon pouch

In light of recent events, practicing good hygiene habits is crucial and so is having a hygiene kit with you wherever you go. Pack a travel size hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and alcohol spray with 70% solution in a clear pouch in your personal items bag so you can easily sanitize and disinfect handles and surfaces before touching them. Remember to wash your hands with soap regularly.

Tip #14 - Reserve one place for important travel and mission documents

Organize your travel documents such as passport, IDs, and other important papers in one safe place to avoid losing or misplacing them. You'll also avoid all the unnecessary frustration and hassle of rummaging through your suitcase.

Tip #15 - Pack an everyday bag / tote bag for P-Day

Packing cubes in a tote bag

Choose a leather shoulder bag, a cross-body bag, or a tote bag that you can easily use for P-Day or when running errands. Opt for a design that you can use for casual or formal events.

Tip #16 - Store your study essentials in a separate study kit

Organize your pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, scripture study, journal, and other essentials for your study in one place. Being organized will help you focus more in your reflection.

Tip #17 - Organize accessories in a Travel Jewelry Roll

Travel jewelry roll for mission trip

A lady is never without her accessories even in mission trips. Be sure to bring conservative styles and designs and leave expensive and valuable jewelries at home. A jewelry organizer is the best storage for all your bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pins, hair ties, and such.

Tip #18 - Pack heavier things at the bottom and delicate things at the top

Complete bundle

Make sure to put sturdier things at the bottom of your suitcase and the lighter or breakable ones at the top. This will keep all your essentials balanced inside the suitcase and will keep them from shifting or moving while in transit.

Tip #19 - Research product availability

Contrary to what you might think, many countries carry the same brand of shampoo, deodorant, or sunblock that are available in the United States. So instead of stuffing your entire vanity in your luggage during mission prep, check which items are available in the country you're assigned to and just buy it there. Not only are you saving space in your luggage, but you're also contributing to the community's local economy.

Tip #20 - Donate to make more space

Before your mission is over and you are about to return home, if there are things that you can donate or giveaway, do so. With more space in your luggage, you can bring home more souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. Taking an extra duffle bag is a good idea to consider, especially if you run out of space for all the extra gifts you bought along the way. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg! If you want to know exactly what to bring on your first mission, we've prepared a Complete Missionary Packing List for Sisters which covers the essentials you'll need on your first mission trip. Or you can download our free packing list instead.

Good luck and have a safe trip!

LDS Mission Trip Packing Tips

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