Mission Trips Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's
Do I need a valid U.S. passport?
Yes. If you don’t already have a current U.S. passport, you may obtain one by picking up the forms at certain branches of the U.S. Post Office or go online to http://travel.state.gov/passport
Passports typically take six weeks to process.
Photocopy all important documents and keep them in a hidden place separate from the originals. Leave another copy at home with someone you can easily get in contact with while you are abroad.
What does the cost of the trip include?
The cost of the land package includes accommodations, ground transportation and meals during the trip. Domestic and international airfare is additional.
Where will we stay?
Food For The Poor has special lodging arrangements in the countries we visit. Depending upon your destination, your quarters will be either a comfortable retreat center or a clean, comfortable hotel. The cost of the trip includes sharing a room. If you desire private accommodations, there is an additional cost.
Where will we eat?
Meals include breakfast and dinners in your hotel or at a restaurant nearby. Lunch is typically served at the Food For The Poor facility in the country you are visiting. A special menu may be arranged for those with dietary restrictions.
What kind of transportation is provided?
Throughout your trip, you will travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned bus, driven by an experienced Food For The Poor driver.
What should I pack?
We strongly suggest packing one carry-on bag plus one small tote bag/back pack to avoid any delays at the airports. Please make sure to follow the zip lock bag rules for liquids.
What kind of clothing should I bring?
Out of respect for the local culture, we dress modestly on our trips. Shorts and sleeve-less tops (tank tops) are NOT allowed for touring, but may be worn later in the evening. Since most of the countries are tropical in climate, it’s advisable to wear lightweight shirts and pants and closed-toe shoes during the day.
What about my safety?
You will be visiting projects that are operated by Food For The Poor or the missionaries we help. A representative from our U.S. headquarters will accompany the group. A special in-country coordinator and translator will be responsible for overseeing the trip and keeping abreast of any news that could affect your visit. Should any developments occur during your trip that warrant concern, every precaution is taken to ensure your safety. Our first priority will always be your well being.
What about physicals, prescriptions and vaccinations?
You can consult with your doctor or go to the website for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov to get advice on what (if any) vaccinations are needed while abroad. Note that our itinerary does not include any overnight stays in a rural area. The group is not out before dawn or after dusk. FFP does not require any immunizations.
If you have glasses or contact lenses, bring along an extra pair. If you have prescription medication, make sure you bring enough to last during your time abroad. Make sure to carry the correctly labeled containers so it won’t be mistaken for illegal drugs.
Is insurance provided?
You are responsible for your own health, accident and emergency evacuation insurance while traveling overseas. Food For The Poor does NOT provide this coverage.
How much money to bring?
United States currency is acceptable at most tourist shops, hotels and airports. You will obtain the best rate of exchange by using a Visa/MasterCard for any purchase in the local country you are visiting. You should also bring some cash in small denominations, for any local tipping or small purchases. If you pay in cash, you will receive change in the local currency.
What if I don’t speak the language?
Your group leader or the in-country representative will be able to translate. You can always ask the translator to teach you a few basic phrases. Hugs, smiles and laughter break down any possible language barriers.
Are there emergency contact numbers?
Yes, emergency contact numbers and the hotel/retreat center phone number will be provided to you 1-2 weeks before the departure date.
Will there be prayer during the trip?
Prayer and reflection are an important part of the mission experience. During your visits, you may participate in prayers with the people.
Is my mission trip payment tax-deductible?
All our mission trips are hands-on experiences. Additionally, your journey may contain a significant amount of work in service to the poor. This service may be realized in the building of houses, the feeding of the hungry, the care of children and other activities that will bring love and hope to those who desperately need it. The expenses paid to attend your mission trip may be tax-deductible under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Please consult your accountant or tax advisor for more information.