Mission Possible: Smart Packing Tips for LDS Missionary Sisters
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 tips to make sure you're always prepared and ready to serve on your mission.
General Packing Tips:
Photo Taken by: Home Made by Carmona (click here to read how she organized her suitcase).
Clear Packing Cubes Are A Must
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 Packing Cube, while you can roll shirts and skirts and stack them in a Medium Packing Cube. These 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.
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.
Raid the thrift store
The number one packing mistake sisters make is spending a lot of money shopping for a new set of mission clothes. 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.
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, 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.
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.
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 EzPacking 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.
- Stick to simple designs.
- Prioritize durability.
- Choose darker colors.
- Wrinkle-free fabric.
- Consider the local transportation system (Ex. 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.
- A versatile scarf will go a long way.
- Always choose comfort. If you have any feet issues (flat feet or fallen arches) make sure to get shoes that are made for your condition.
- Durable walking shoes or trainers. Shoes with thicker soles will be more comfortable and safer when walking on unpaved roads.
- Consider waterproof shoes like Crocs and Melissa if you’re going to countries where there’s a lot of rainfall.
- Versatile formal shoes.
- Choose a multi-purpose bag. Something you can bring to a formal or casual event.
- Bring an eco bag for shopping in local markets or just for when running errands.
- Choose hands-free bags like cross-body bags, for better mobility.
- EzPacking Clear Packing cubes (for organizing your suitcase, and keeping toiletries/accessories in separate compartments).
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you want to know exactly what to bring on your first mission, we've prepared a complete packing list sample for sisters which you can check out here.