When preparing for an impact trip, one of the first questions many people ask is, “What do I need to pack?”
We’ve scoured the internet and Pinterest, and determined that there really isn’t a lot of inspiration when it comes to what to wear on the mission field. You don’t need to break the bank to get ready for your trip. In fact, what you need to pack may already be in your closet. Here are some practical pointers and some pictures that we have found to be helpful.
1. Consider the culture.
While Haiti and the United States are geographically close in proximity, there are very obvious distinctions between the two cultures. Though many trending styles and fashions may be acceptable in the US, it’s best to leave many of those pieces at home for your Impact Trip.
In Haiti, as in many other countries, the appropriate attire is more conservative than it is at home. Yet, the climate is often hot and humid. It is possible to dress in lightweight, comfortable clothing when are traveling abroad. Below is a picture with a mix of what we suggest, and what we’d like for you to leave at home. Read this post to be clear on which are “Dos” and which are “Don’ts.”
Gentlemen, read on… you’ve got it much easier, but we didn’t leave you out!
2. Consider the climate.
Haiti is a tropical climate that can be HOT and HUMID year-round, and the mosquitos love it when you wear shorts. You may think wearing fewer articles of clothing would feel more comfortable and cool in the tropical weather. However, it is actually better to cover yourself more in clothing that is lightweight and loose-fitting to protect you from the scorching sun and hungry mosquitoes.
Check out our suggestions below for the best bottoms and tops to wear on a mission trip! We’ve also included info about what to leave at home.
Wearing bottoms like Anna is wearing pictured below will keep you cool and comfortable and will provide a nice shield from those pesky mosquitos. Scrubs are great too, and can often be found at your local Goodwill.
- Lightweight, linen, or cotton pants are the best option.
- Shopping tips: Old Navy, Ross, Marshall’s, H&M, Goodwill.
- If pants just won’t work for you, shorts are permitted but should fall at or near the top of the knee. Guys often opt for shorts.
- Tight-fitting pants and leggings are HOT and show more curves than necessary
- Short shorts/skirts (Nike Shorts, Jean shorts). Sabrina says, thumbs down to these shorts, though they are ok to wear in the evening at the guesthouse.
Anna and Michelle are sporting some casual, cute tees.
Great tops include:
- Dry fit, loose-fitting t-shirts
- Lightweight, cotton t-shirts
- Shopping tip: Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Sevenly, Project 615, KORE
- Spaghetti straps
- Tight-fitting shirts
- Low cut shirts
More thumbs down on these tops sported by Sabrina and Bailey.
3. Consider your activities.
What will you be doing on your trip? KORE Impact Trips offer a variety of activities and excursions and you want to make sure you are prepared for what each day will bring. From farm and orphanage visits to beach excursions and church, this section will ensure you have what you need.
Appropriate footwear is key to being comfortable, and even staying safe on your trip!
- Sturdy, closed-toe shoes (tennis shoes/hiking shoes) for walking on rugged terrain or “off-road.”
- Rugged sandals (optional) with backing for the rocky beach.
- Casual flip-flops will be nice to wear in the evening at the guesthouse
- Birkenstocks, Crocs, expensive dress sandals
If you will be in Haiti on Sunday, you will get to experience church! Worship in this country is always impactful, and from your initial approach to the building itself, you will see that Haitians dress up for church!
- Knee-length or longer skirts
- Flowy sundresses
- Pants and polo shirt for guys
- Sundresses with spaghetti straps
- Shorts or short dresses
At KORE, we love to take our Impact Teams to experience the beautiful beaches of Haiti. For your beach trip, less is not more. For this activity, remember the culture and the hot sun, and please cover up.
- Conservative one-pieces
- Any swimsuit with a dark-colored t-shirt over
- Shopping tip: Amazon, Target, Dillard’s, Marshall’s, Ross
- Low cut tops
4. Consider your accessories.
Okay, so tip #4 doesn’t exactly sound like it fits the logic of tips 1, 2 & 3, but your accessories can save you while out and about in Haiti! And there are some items you probably use every day at home that you really won’t need.
- Headbands, baseball hats (we love the KORE baseball cap pictured), and hair ties
- Inexpensive sunglasses
- Daypack for snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, and more
- Don’t forget your sunscreen!!!
- Hairstyling tools (curling and straightening irons)
- Loud, expensive jewelry
- Expensive sunglasses (the kids love sunglasses and may accidentally damage them)