How To Plan A Mission Trip
Planning a mission trip can be overwhelming. There are so many details to plan for and balls to juggle. In this post, we’ll provide greater direction and clarity – with a TOP resource – on how to plan a mission trip.
Do you desire clarity on what to do – and when – for a mission trip planning timeline? Ever feel like maybe you’re missing an important detail? Want greater peace of mind and a clear sequence?
Learning how to plan a mission trip could be complex but it really doesn’t have to be. Mission trip planning is sequential. Remember that adage of “how do you eat an elephant?” Answer: One bite at a time. There is a clear process and timeline for what to do when as you begin to plan for your mission trip. Let’s start at 12 months in advance from trip departure date.
You’re 12 Months From Departure
The excitement and expectations are high around this time. People have – or are starting – to make commitments. You should be confirming your mission trip dates, details with hosts, etc. This is also when you should begin mission trip fundraising. If you have the ability, build a custom webpage or fundraising page – like what our friends offer at MissionTrip.org At minimum, begin crafting and mailing support letters and get to know each of your team members.
9-6 Months Away From Departure
At this stage, your to-do list will really pile up. Top to-do items include:
- Create your budget
- Set fundraising milestone goals per team and/or team member
- Work with a missionary travel agency to purchase your missions airfare
- Apply for passports
- Check and apply for visas
- Check immunization needs
- Submit and organize all signed paperwork including passports, required photos, visa applications, WHO cards, etc as required by hosts or trip organizer
- Purchase travel protection insurance – at minimum medical/evacuation insurance
- Begin team meetings and trainings
3 Months Through Departure Date
During this important period, you have made your final commitments. If you’re a team leader, the whole team is organized, on target in fundraising and you’re growing closer as a team relationally and spiritually. Also, you should:
- Purchase your missionary airfare if you haven’t already done so
- Plan and research baggage regulations with the airline
- Finalize all fundraising to hit your goals
- Arrange airport ground transportation each way
- Confirm arrival details with your country hosts
- Register with US State Department for the US Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
- Print out the Mission Trip Packing List and plan accordingly
- Use SeatGuru.com to select the best airline seat
- Much more
There’s A Better Way
Enroll in the Mission Trip Academy online training program. All of the steps above are worked out in more detail with specific how-to and links. There are forms, timelines, checklists, resources and much more to download and it keeps you on pace from 12 months from departure date all the way until what to do after you return
Are you ready to pack – and go serve?
Finally, when planning a mission trip, you need to make sure you’re well equipped and ready to go. You’ve made it to this point, your team is assembled, your missionary airfare tickets are purchased, the plan is in place – now you’re ready to do your mission trip packing. Do you have the Essential Mission Trip Packing List? It’s FREE, so download now and share with others. You can also reference our popular blog post on this topic HERE.