Whether you care for orphans, provide medical care or teach sports skills, your mission trip is all about helping others. But what happens when you face an emergency and need help? With an emergency plan in place, you improve your chances of getting the help you need no matter where your trip takes you.
Set up an emergency fund
You plan and fundraise for your trip’s transportation, housing and food, but unexpected expenses can crop up. Maybe your transportation falls through and you need to pay more for alternative travel or you lose your luggage and need to buy new supplies. Cover these unexpected expenses in an emergency fund.
Deposit at least several hundred dollars into the fund, and ensure the money is accessible from your destination country. And if you don’t need the funds for emergencies, consider donating them to the charity of your choice after you return home.
Purchase health insurance
No one plans to need medical treatment during a mission trip, but accidents and injuries happen. Be prepared with mission trip insurance plans. Research various plans, and choose the one that covers medical care and treatment associated with the kind of travel you will be doing.
Additionally, carry at least a basic first aid kit. You never know when you or one of your team members may need some minor medical treatment. The kit should include:
- Bandages and gauze
- Antibacterial ointment
- Burn cream
- Alcohol wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Pain reliever
- Anti-diarrheal pills
- Cough and cold medicine
- Insect repellant
Arrange alternative transportation
Many countries around the world welcome mission groups, yet a country’s politics and weather can change in an instant. Plan for quick ways to ensure you can get out of your host country on schedule, or before if you need to.
You’ll also want to plan alternative transportation as you travel within your host country. If your bus, van or boat breaks down or is otherwise inaccessible, arrange other transportation so you aren’t stranded at the airport, hotel or middle of nowhere.
Know how to contact help
Whenever you travel, leave a detailed itinerary and contact information with at least one person at home. Arrange to check in regularly by phone or Skype to let your contact know you’re okay and to discuss any itinerary plans.
Additionally, carry your embassy’s contact information in your phone or suitcase, and know how to get there if you need their help for any reason.
Pack water and food
You’ll need potable water that’s accessible whether you travel 100 or 1,000 miles from home. Carry a canteen or bladder pack on your trip, and fill it as often as possible with pure water.
Find room in your pack for food, too. Granola or energy bars, trail mix with raisins and nuts and MREs ensure you have plenty to eat if your food supply is damaged or lost.
Your mission trip will be life-changing for both you and the people you help. Increase your chances of a successful mission when you prepare for emergencies. Then get ready to make a difference!