Summer for The 410 Bridge means trips are in full swing and there are a lot of logistics that go into embarking on a journey to one of our communities. Some of the most important factors are planning ahead, packing smart, and being prepared for the travels ahead. We asked a few our U.S. staff members for some of their best travel tips to help you prepare for your upcoming 410 trip!
Tommy says, “For electronics… I have an offline version of Google Translate on my phone for the language of the country where I’m going. That allows me to always have access to some basic communication without depending on a translator. I always bring an external battery pack to charge my mobile devices. Food… Always pack snacks in case you have any stomach issues with the food provided. Jet Lag…. I try to adjust to the time where I’m traveling as quickly as possible. For example, when I travel to Kenya, it’s 7 hours ahead of GA time. If I depart Atlanta at 8:00 pm GA time, then that’s 3:00 am Kenya time. I need to sleep for the first 4-5 hours of that flight, then try to stay awake most of the rest of the flights because I typically arrive in Kenya around 10:00 pm Kenya time, so I want to be able to go to sleep as quickly as possible to adjust to the new time. This strategy has really helped me fight jet lag on both the going to & coming home from trips.”
Anna says, “For the plane… On long flights to Kenya, the planes are so big, there are areas where you can stretch out and do some yoga if you are feeling cramped up. Also, bring some make-up-removing-type face wipes. After traveling for 24 hours, it feels good to wipe all those airplane germs off your face! For bus rides…I always bring a buff or sheer scarf to put over my mouth and nose for the bus rides, sometimes the roads you are on are dusty and it helps a ton to have something to protect your nose from getting clogged up with dirt. For packing… I highly suggest packing light! Remove half of what’s in your bag, I promise you will survive. If you successfully packed everything in your carry on…you’re doing it right!”
Kurt says, “For packing…Pack less! You never need as much as you think you do! Hydration on the ground…Drink lots of water, you always need more than you think you do. For flying… for East Africa flights – sleep the first leg to Europe and stay awake for the second leg. Ditto for the return.”
Bri says, “While in the community… I bring white duct tape and a sharpie. I use it to make name tags for the people on my team, for 410 Bridge staff, and for the leadership council and members of the community! It helps me learn everyone’s name quickly and it makes it feel like we’re all on the same team! For packing… If you pack it, you have to carry it. It’s so much easier to just have to deal with a carry on instead of a carry on AND a checked bag, so for most trips I try to just bring one bag on my back. (I packed for 15 days in Guatemala in one mid sized back pack!) For flights… I pack a change of clothes and my toiletries in my carry on so that I can freshen up on long flights. Washing your face and brushing your teeth is a game changer 10 hours in to 16 hours of travel!”
Melissa says, “For flights… bring saline spray! This is great for flights but also being in higher altitudes than I’m used to, this helps my nose from being so dry and irritated. For traveling home… pack one outfit in a ziplock bag so nothing else touches it and let this be your coming home travel outfit. At least to Kenya, it’s such a long flight home, it’s really nice to wear something back that is completely clean! For staying healthy while flying… compression socks really help with preventing swelling as well. I get up and stand in the back of the plane every hour when I’m not sleeping on flights.”
Allyson says, “For packing smart and light… I usually bring quick dry materials that can be hand washed at night for multiple wears during the trip. For staying healthy during your journey… I also suggest bringing an insulated water bottle and probiotics.”
Matt says, “For clothing and quick packing … I have mission trip clothes. I’ve gone to Walmart and bought a pack of black and grey t-shirts. That along with some pants I don’t mind wearing on trips I keep on a shelf ready to go, and when I return I wash them and put them back on the shelf. It literally takes me about 3 minutes to pack. For snacks… PB & J is good to pack. You can get bread in country and make sandwiches for snacks on days you have long bus rides.”