Okay, so this question is the one that comes up the most. What do we pack, do we need long skirts, do we need backpacks, do I need bedding?
So let’s get this thing cleared up. We totally want you to feel as prepared as you possibly can upon arrival.
One thing you need to be aware of is most airlines do make you pay for even your first bag. Call the airlines and figure out the specifics. DO NOT go over 50 US lbs or 22.5 kg in a bag, they will charge you an insane amount. Also, you do not need an insane amount of luggage. One suitcase is plenty for 6 months!
The thing I am going to start with goes mostly for girls, but we all have this weird thing in our minds that since we are going into missions, we have to dress like missionaries. If that is your personal style, please continue to bring those clothes with you to Hawaii, but one rule of thumb I have continued to go by is wear what you love. Wear the clothes that make you feel pretty. But, again, you DO NOT need to bring your entire wardrobe! We girls like to borrow each others clothes anyways, and you'll have lots of room mates.
Remember, Hawaii is hot and it is humid. You probably only really need about one or two pairs of jeans, a hoodie, and one or two light weight cardigan/jackets. Otherwise, tank tops, shorts, dresses, skirts, and other summer things.
Another one for girls, please bring at least one tankini/ one piece bathing suit for school events, or if you don’t have one make sure you wear tank tops over your swim suit please.
We also believe that to dress modest is actually hottest (hahah) and so there is no set rules, but a thought is having shorts that when you stand with your arms down your side reaches to your thumbs or fingertips. Also, maybe don't bring crazy crop tops that show you belly.
For bedding, you can buy pillows at Walmart when you arrive for between $5- $12. Bring a fitted and flat sheet for a twin size bed. Also bring some sort of blanket/ comforter, it doesn’t need to be very thick because again, this is Hawaii, but some nights it can get cool and you will want something. During my DTS I bought a blanket from Walmart which worked very well, but if you can fit it in your suitcase you should. With bedding especially, it is good to get a vacuum seal bag so it will not take up as much room.
Toiletries. Bring what you need, but you can buy things while you are here. Keep in mind that giant bottles of shampoo will add a ton of unnecessary weight.
For class, all you really need is a journal to take notes in and a bible. If you have a large study bible it may be wise to also bring a smaller one that is easier to take with you around campus. You do not need to but it is just a suggestion.
For outreach we will have locations all over the globe. About two weeks after being here you will know where you are going, but upon arrival you will have no idea. You could potentially be in China in the freezing cold, or in South African summer. My suggestion (for U.S. and Candian students) would be to pack a box of winter clothes, coats, gloves, scarves, sleeping bags, that you could leave at either your parents house or a friends house that would be willing to ship it to you if you need it. (Shipping things through the post office will be the less expensive option.) For warmer climate outreaches, majority of the time you will be able to find either a couple long skirts from Ross, Walmart or Target or from thrift stores around the island. So don’t stress.
Hiking Backpacks. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes it really doesn’t matter. I personally do not like to travel with a backpack, but some really prefer it. I would say if you do not have one don’t go out of your way to buy one.
Computers. Bring them if you have them! There is wifi all over the campus and you will want to Skype family and friends and connect with them.