1. Patience Is Important
Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. You can either be angry and annoyed over a situation or just accept it and enjoy the ride. Did you miss your bus? No worries, there will be another one. No hot showers? Take the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that it really will be ok.
2. Say "Yes" Often
Say yes when someone randomly invites you to meet their family, cook you lunch, or show you their favorite spot to pick avocados. It’s these unexpected and unplanned situations that add spice to your trip and always turn into the best stories later.
Accept the kindness of strangers when you're on your next mission trip — you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so.
3. Pack Less Stuff
Here's the trick for packing: Lay everything out that you want to take and then cut it in half. It may seem impossible, but you'll quickly realize what is essential and what isn't. We promise you don't need to bring 20 t-shirts with you on a 7 day trip.
4. Do Your Research
It's important to do some research on where you are going. You might find that even in tropical countries, the evenings will be cooler than you expected. If you're going during a rainy season, a light rain jacket may be a lifesaver. Researching doesn't have to be limited to the weather forecast, either. Women in some places have to wear a long dress or skirt to church. For men, a nicer dress shirt and pants are usually required as well. It all depends on what country you are going to, so do your research and make sure what you plan to wear is culturally appropriate.
5. Learn the Language
No, you don't have take a class, but learning a few phrases can go a long way. Focus on the basics like "hello", "how are you", and "thank you" and you should be fine. You will also find that the locals will respect your effort.
6. Be Smart
Take responsibility for your own security by being smart. Although traveling to most overseas countries isn't more or less dangerous than traveling to any large U.S. city, it's important to stay wise and aware of you're surroundings. Always be aware of what's going on around you and have a plan should you find yourself in a sticky situation.