Dress for comfort, not fashion. No matter how hard you try, you won’t “blend,” so don’t worry. Comfortable walking shoes are your most important item. Next comes rain gear, depending on the time of year and the places you will be visiting. In winter, rain gear is imperative and you should plan to dress in layers so that you can adjust as the weather requires. A windbreaker, sunscreen and hat are always good items to carry. Shorts and sleeveless shirts (on males or females) are not allowed in many religious sites such as churches and are inappropriate at any time of the year during touring. A bathing suit might be useful on some programs, even in the winter, because many hotels have pools and spas. We do not recommend jackets and ties for men. When traveling to the Middle East, modesty in dress is the norm for both men and women. Some holy sites require modest dress for men and women. There are no special dress requirements for women, except when visiting some mosques. In that case either your own scarf will suffice or proper covering will be provided.
Remember, delayed luggage happens. Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on, in case your luggage is delayed or lost. If you are traveling with a partner, distribute your belongings between your two suitcases, so that if one gets lost, you will have something to wear in the other. Make sure your luggage is labeled with your name, address and phone number! S.B.S will send each person two luggage tags to use for this purpose.
Don’t forget your Bible.
Here’s a list of what experienced travelers pack:
- a change of clothes in your carry-on, in case your luggage is delayed
- comfortable walking shoes
- rain gear
- your Bible
- washcloth, since many hotels do not provide them
- batteries, memory cards and chargers for your camera and devices
- plug adapters and converters for electrical devices, such as cell phones, computers, battery chargers, razors, etc.
- ATM/debit cards, personal checks, credit cards, some US cash
It is a good idea to leave valuables, i.e., anything you’d hate to lose or feel is irreplaceable, and sentimental items, at home.