How & What to Pack

Packing for your VISIONS trip isn’t elaborate, but it’s important to familiarize with the information early so you’re not left with last minute surprises. Duffels or rolling suitcases are recommended for the check-on bag and a daypack for your carry-on.

Cultural Appropriateness

VISIONS places high value on respect for the community members who welcome us into their lives. We are not tourists. We are temporary community members, and as such strive to honor the standards of our host community. 

The community will want to welcome you as a friend. Inappropriate language, behavior or attire may inadvertently put a personal wedge in those relationships, many of which are with elders and people who work at social service organizations where conservative apparel is the norm. Please do your part and leave at home anything that isn’t part of #VISIONSdressCODE.

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Pack with Intention

Remember that comfort and versatility are more important than fashion, and clothes will get dirty. We understand that you may need to purchase some new or new-thrift items in order to adhere to the dress code, and we appreciate your understanding with this. You can check out our blog about gear for suggestions. 

We do laundry once a week on programs longer than 9 days, and hand washing clothes can be done at any time. The packing list may be more than what you need, so err on the side of paring down instead of bulking up. (This is also a good time to remind you that VISIONS programs take place in a no frills backdrop, with showers every other day.) Label all clothing with indelible ink. 

Travel Documents

If you are traveling internationally for your program and need an updated passport, don’t delay! You can do an online search for your country destination + travel requirements if you have any questions. Note that processing for youth passports can take longer than adults, so plan to get expedited processing if the trip is less than three months away. 

Participants traveling internationally should also take a notarized Minor Consent to Travel Form. While it’s rarely requested by the airlines, they are at liberty to ask for this when minors are traveling out of their home country without legal guardians.

Refer to the packing list below for additional details about travel documents. Participants who are not U.S. citizens must consult with the appropriate embassy or consulate regarding travel requirements.

VISIONSdressCODE

Don’t Pack These Things…

  • Short-shorts or short skirts. All shorts—for boys and girls—must be between mid thigh and knee length. Students who arrive without appropriate shorts will need to wear pants or wear shorts provided by the program (long mesh shorts).
  • Crop tops (shirts need to cover midriff)
  • Spaghetti straps
  • Low cut shirts
  • Clothing that reveals undergarments
  • See-through clothing 
  • Spandex or yoga pants (leggings worn under shorts are permitted)
  • Bikinis or Brazil-cut bathing suits (tankinis are fine)
  • Low-riding pants that show boxers 

Check out a blog & pictures with our local partners to see what we’re talking about!

Tech-Free Experience

Hooray! VISIONS is tech-free. Cell phones and other gadgets are collected on arrival after calling home at the airport. (Remember—if you’re traveling out of country, all family members can download WhatsApp pre-trip to avoid international calling fees.) Phones are returned on the final day at the airport, where we arrive with plenty of time for non-tech check-ins.

We make every effort to safely secure kids’ phones, but VISIONS is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please bring the bare minimum. Label all devices, including chargers. 

Note that [non-phone] cameras are allowed. And don’t worry if you choose not to bring one, as leaders take photos that are shared at the end of the program.

Spending Money

Tuition covers all activities of the program, but participants should have access to extra money ($20-50 per week) for personal items such as souvenirs, snacks beyond what the program provides, and baggage or other travel-related fees. 

  • Cash: VISIONS leaders encourage participants to turn in cash at the beginning of the program and check money out as needed, but we don’t want to accept more than $150. For international locations, money can be changed at the arrival airport.
  • ATM/Debit Card: An ATM card will withdraw local currency and is more secure than carrying excess cash. If needed, it can be in a parent’s name since ATM machines don’t require identification. Note: Don’t rely on prepaid debit cards, which often do not work well (even if they say they will). 
  • Credit Card: We recommend bringing a credit card for things like baggage fees and other expenses if your ATM card doesn’t have spending abilities.

Note: Please don’t bring a bunch of snacks from home. They aren’t allowed in sleeping areas because they attract pests, our kitchen can’t accommodate the extras, and there are options to purchase locally. (Exceptions for those with documented food restrictions who need to bring specialty items.) 

BVI PACKING LIST

FORECAST
Temperatures tend to range from the mid-70s to the low-90s and most days will find us in t-shirts and shorts or pants.


 

DOCUMENTS
Put these in an envelope in your carry-on to give to VISIONS leaders on-site.

PASSPORTMust be valid up through the entry date to the BVI
PASSPORT COPYTake a picture of the 2-page spread that includes your photo; share the photo with your parents
VACCINE CARDCopy of vaccination card
TRAVEL CONSENTNotarized Consent to Travel form (not required for custom groups traveling with teachers)

 

PERSONAL ITEMS & GEAR

HAND SANITIZER Small bottle for personal use
TOILETRIES
  • Big supplies aren’t necessary & more can be purchased on-site if needed
  • Biodegradable shampoo & soap (Dr. Bronners, for example)
  • Leave hair dryers, makeup, etc. at home
MEDICATION
  • We suggest putting prescriptions into pill boxes that cover the entire program. Also bring the original prescription containers, as Customs / airport security may check medications.
  • Bring prescriptions in your carry-on in case luggage is delayed.
SUNSCREENEnough to apply multiple times a day & make sure it’s reef safe!
BUG REPELLENT Non-aerosol bottles, please, and enough for duration of program; also consider bringing a small amount of anti-itch ointment
TOWELBath & beach towel
SHEETSTwin-sized sheets
PILLOWCan be taken as a carry on & travel size should be just fine
SMALL BLANKET Lightweight & small (although rare, some kids get chilly at night)
HEADLAMPFor reading at night
SUNGLASSESA strap is recommended
WATER BOTTLE 24 oz. minimum and label with your name
WORK GLOVES Leather or other durable material & label with your name
DAYPACKYou will use this daily to take to worksites and other activities
LAUNDRY BAGStuff-sack-type bag or pillowcase will suffice (only for programs longer than 9 days)
SPENDING MONEYIn addition to discretionary spending money, you will need:
$10 USVI Departure Tax (if you are flying to St. Thomas)
$10 BVI Environmental Levy Fee (per person)
$20 BVI Departure Tax (per person)

 

ATTIRE
Remember #VISIONSdressCODE to avoid bringing things that you won’t be able to wear.

SHOES1 pair of sneakers or hiking boots for worksites and hikes
SANDALSTeva- or Chaco-type sandals with straps
Optionally also bring flip-flops for showers & beach
T-SHIRTS4 to 6 t-shirts
Important: Refer to #VISIONSdressCODE
RAIN JACKET Lightweight—you probably won’t need this, but just in case…
WORK SHIRT1 cotton button-up for sun protection & cool nights
PANTS1 or 2… jeans, lightweight cotton or quick-dry—your choice for something comfortable
SHORTS2 to 4 pairs: search for “long work shorts,” which will be good for worksites & outings, and following the #VISIONSdressCODE (shorts must be between mid-thigh and knee-length)
SOCKS4 to 5 pairs
UNDER-
GARMENTS
Keep in mind weekly laundry for programs longer than 9 days
SLEEPWEARJust for sleeping—it won’t be worn around homebase or to breakfast
BATHING SUITReview that #VISIONSdressCODE again
HAT
A baseball hat will be a favorite part of your daily uniform
NICER OUTFIT
If you want to keep it simple, your work shorts or pants and the button up shirt will suffice, but you're welcome to bring something dressier. This is for the optional local church service we are invited to.

 

OPTIONAL
Customize your comforts to your own needs!

SNORKEL & MASKGear is provided on scuba outing, but your can bring your own simple mask and snorkel for beach days
DONATIONS for ANIMALSAnimal Rescue Council accepts donations of Petmate or Frisco large carriers, 6’ slip leads, Teramycin and 96 oz water bowls
DONATIONS for PEOPLEEye glasses and school supplies (including children’s books) are accepted by the Lions Club and are distributed to those in need.
WATCHRecommended since you won’t have your phone; water-proof or resistant is best
BOOK Old-fashioned book with pages; no e-books
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTAny musicians out there?
CAMERAJust as long as it’s not part of a phone
BANDANAVersatile items for protection from the sun
MONEY BELTThis one is up to you!
CAMP CHAIRIf you want to use it for our group meetings, it will need to sit right on the ground(Crazy Creek or similar)
JOURNALTo remember this unique experience!
TRAVEL GAMEIf you have a favorite, feel free to bring it
EYE MASK & EAR PLUGSFor darker, quieter sleeping (the roosters crow early!)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

FORECAST
Temperatures tend to range from the mid-70s to the low-90s and most days will find us in t-shirts and shorts or pants.


 

DOCUMENTS
Put these in an envelope in your carry-on to give to VISIONS leaders on-site.

PASSPORTMust be valid for at least six months following the return date from the DR
PASSPORT COPYTake a picture of the 2-page spread that includes your photo; share the photo with your parents
VACCINE CARDVaccination card (optional, but helpful!)
TRAVEL CONSENTNotarized Consent to Travel form (not required for custom groups traveling with teachers)
DR E-TICKETRequired before you can board your flight to the DR!! Once accepted, you will receive a QR code. Must read instructions under "Travel Days" on the DR FAQ Page, here.

 

PERSONAL ITEMS & GEAR

HAND SANITIZER Small bottle for personal use
TOILETRIES
  • Big supplies aren’t necessary & more can be purchased on-site if needed
  • Biodegradable shampoo & soap (Dr. Bronners, for example)
  • Leave hair dryers, makeup, etc. at home
MEDICATION
  • We suggest putting prescriptions into pill boxes that cover the entire program. Also bring the original prescription containers, as Customs / airport security may check medications.
  • Bring prescriptions in your carry-on in case luggage is delayed.
SUNSCREENEnough to apply multiple times a day & make sure it’s reef safe!
BUG REPELLENT Non-aerosol bottles, please, and enough for duration of program; also consider bringing a small amount of anti-itch ointment
TOWELOne should be enough
SHEETSTwin-sized sheets
PILLOWCan be taken as a carry on & travel size should be just fine
SMALL BLANKET Lightweight & small (although rare, some kids get chilly at night)
HEADLAMPFor reading at night
SUNGLASSESA strap is recommended
WATER BOTTLE 24 oz. minimum and label with your name
WORK GLOVES Leather or other durable material & label with your name
DAYPACKYou will use this daily to take to worksites and other activities
LAUNDRY BAGStuff-sack-type bag or pillowcase will suffice (only for programs longer than 9 days)
SPENDING MONEYIn addition to discretionary spending money, you will need US $10 for entry fee at DR airport

 

ATTIRE
Remember #VISIONSdressCODE to avoid bringing things that you won’t be able to wear.

SHOES1 pair of sneakers or hiking boots for worksites and hikes
SANDALSTeva- or Chaco-type sandals with heel strap (a must!)
Optionally also bring flip-flops for showers
T-SHIRTS4 to 6 t-shirts
Important: Refer to #VISIONSdressCODE
RAIN JACKET Lightweight—you probably won’t need this, but just in case…
WORK SHIRT1 cotton button-up for sun protection & cool nights
PANTS1 or 2… jeans, lightweight cotton or quick-dry—your choice for something comfortable but pants are essential if mosquitos are out
SHORTS2 to 4 pairs: search for “long work shorts,” which will be good for worksites & outings, and following the #VISIONSdressCODE (shorts must be between mid-thigh and knee-length)
SOCKS4 to 5 pairs
UNDER-
GARMENTS
Keep in mind weekly laundry for programs longer than 9 days
SLEEPWEARJust for sleeping—it won’t be worn around homebase or to breakfast
BATHING SUITReview that #VISIONSdressCODE again
HAT
A baseball hat will be a favorite part of your daily uniform
NICER OUTFIT
If you want to keep it simple and skip this, your work shorts or pants and the button up shirt will suffice for community gatherings

 

OPTIONAL
Customize your comforts to your own needs!

HOMESTAY GIFTFor the day stay that is done with another VISIONS participant and a local family. No more than a ~ $15 gift that could be a souvenir from your hometown, or candle, picture frame, local craft, etc.
WATCHRecommended since you won’t have your phone; water-proof or resistant is best
BOOK Old-fashioned book with pages; no e-books
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTAny musicians out there?
CAMERAJust as long as it’s not part of a phone
BANDANAVersatile items for protection from the sun
MONEY BELTThis one is up to you!
CAMP CHAIRIf you want to use it for our group meetings, it will need to sit right on the ground(Crazy Creek or similar)
JOURNALTo remember this unique experience!
TRAVEL GAMEIf you have a favorite, feel free to bring it
SPANISH DICTIONARY Even pocket-sized can be useful
BASEBALL GLOVEFor pick-up games, and you can leave it as a donation if you’d like to. There will also be some available to borrow.
EYE MASK & EAR PLUGSFor darker, quieter sleeping (the roosters crow early!)

 

MONTANA PACKING LIST

FORECAST
The weather can be variable from season to season and daytime to nighttime, so you’ll bring layers. Daytime temperatures tend to be mid-70s to low-90s and most days will find us in t-shirts and shorts or pants.


 

DOCUMENTS
Put these in an envelope in your carry-on to give to VISIONS leaders on-site.

I.D.Minors traveling within the US do not need to present identification for their flight. However, if you have a driver’s license or student ID, please go ahead and bring it.
HEALTH INSURANCE
Photocopy of front and back of your health insurance card
VACCINE CARDPhotocopy of your vaccination record

 

PERSONAL ITEMS & GEAR

HAND SANITIZER Small bottle for personal use
TOILETRIES
  • Big supplies aren’t necessary & more can be purchased on-site if needed
  • All soaps, shampoo, conditioners must be biodegradable for use at the conservation ranch where we live. Dr. Bronners is one reliable brand.
  • Bring prescriptions in your carry-on in case luggage is delayed
MEDICATION
  • We suggest putting prescriptions into pill boxes that cover the entire program. Also please bring the original prescription containers.
  • Bring prescriptions in your carry-on in case luggage is delayed
SUNSCREENBring enough to apply multiple times a day
BUG REPELLENT Non-aerosol bottles, please, and enough for the duration of program; also consider bringing a small amount of anti-itch ointment
TOWELOne should be enough
SHEETSTwin-sized sheets
PILLOWCan be taken as a carry on & travel size should be just fine
SLEEPING BAGRated to approx 25°F since nights can be chilly; and a stuff sack
HEADLAMPFor reading at night
SUNGLASSESA strap is recommended
WATER BOTTLE 24 oz. minimum and label with your name
WORK GLOVES Leather or other durable material & label with your name
DAYPACKYou will use this daily to take to worksites and other activities
LAUNDRY BAGStuff-sack-type bag or pillowcase will suffice (only for programs longer than 9 days)
SPENDING MONEYRefer to the Packing Guidelines if you have questions

 

ATTIRE
Remember #VISIONSdressCODE to avoid bringing things that you won’t be able to wear.

SHOES1 pair of broken-in & water-resistant hiking boots with ankle support for worksites & hikes. Also bring a pair of sneakers if you’d like to.
SANDALSTeva- or Chaco-type sandals with straps
Optionally also bring flip-flops for showers & beach
T-SHIRTS4 to 6 t-shirts with at least 1 being quick-dry, non-cotton
Important: Remember #VISIONSdressCODE
JACKETLightweight, waterproof shell / jacket
WORK SHIRT1 button-up for sun protection, hikes & cool nights. Non-cotton, fast-drying material, please.
PANTS1 pair jeans / work pants; 1 pair lightweight quick-dry material
SHORTS2 to 4 pairs: search for “long work shorts,” which will be good for worksites & outings, and following the #VISIONSdressCODE (shorts must be between mid-thigh and knee-length)
SOCKS4 pairs of regular socks
1 polypro or silk sock liners (optional, can help prevent blisters)
2 pairs of wool or polypro hiking socks
UNDER-
GARMENTS
Keep in mind weekly laundry for programs longer than 9 days
SLEEPWEARJust for sleeping—it won’t be worn around homebase or to breakfast
BATHING SUITReview that #VISIONSdressCODE again
HATS
A baseball hat to protect from the sun & another hat to wear at night in case it’s chilly
FLEECENon-cotton warm layer of a fleece, light down or wool sweater

OPTIONAL
Customize your comforts to your own needs!

WATCHRecommended since you won’t have your phone; water-proof or resistant is best
BOOK Old-fashioned book with pages; no e-books
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTAny musicians out there?
CAMERAJust as long as it’s not part of a phone
BANDANAVersatile items for protection from the sun
STATIONERY & STAMPSFor letter writing
JOURNALTo remember this unique experience!
TRAVEL GAMEIf you have a favorite, feel free to bring it
EYE MASK & EAR PLUGSFor darker, quieter sleeping (the sun sets & rises early!)

PERU PACKING LIST

FORECAST
The weather will be variable from daytime to nighttime, so bring layers. Daytime temperatures tend to be high-60s to 70s and most days will find us in t-shirts and shorts or pants. Nights can be cold!


 

DOCUMENTS
Put these in an envelope in your carry-on to give to VISIONS leaders on-site.

PASSPORTMust be valid for at least six months following the return date from Peru
PASSPORT COPYTake a picture of the 2-page spread that includes your photo; share the photo with your parents
VACCINE CARDVaccination card, including copy of Covid-19 vaccine if you have it
TRAVEL CONSENTNotarized Consent to Travel form (not required for custom groups traveling with teachers)

 

PERSONAL ITEMS & GEAR

HAND SANITIZER Small bottle for personal use
TOILETRIES
  • Big supplies aren’t necessary & more can be purchased on-site if needed
  • Bring prescriptions in your carry-on in case luggage is delayed
MEDICATION
  • We suggest putting prescriptions into pill boxes that cover the entire program. Also bring the original prescription containers, as Customs / airport security may check medications.
  • Bring prescriptions in your carry-on in case luggage is delayed


SUNSCREENBring enough to apply multiple times a day
BUG REPELLENT Non-aerosol bottles, please, and enough for duration of program; also consider bringing a small amount of anti-itch ointment
TOWELOne should be enough
SHEETSTwin-sized sheets (just a bottom sheet if you sleep in sleeping bag)
PILLOWCan be taken as a carry on & travel size should be just fine
SLEEPING BAGRated to 25°F or colder since nights can be very chilly
HEADLAMPFor reading at night
SUNGLASSESA strap is recommended
WATER BOTTLE 24 oz. minimum and label with your name
WORK GLOVES Leather or other durable material & label with your name
DAYPACKYou will use this daily to take to worksites and other activities
LAUNDRY BAGStuff-sack-type bag or pillowcase will suffice (only for programs longer than 9 days)
SPENDING MONEYRefer to the Packing Guidelines if you have questions

 

ATTIRE
Remember #VISIONSdressCODE to avoid bringing things that you won’t be able to wear.

SHOES1 pair of broken-in & water-resistant hiking boots with ankle support for worksites & hikes. Also bring a pair of sneakers if you’d like to.
SANDALSTeva- or Chaco-type sandals with straps
Optionally also bring flip-flops for showers & beach
T-SHIRTS4 to 6 t-shirts with at least 1 being quick-dry, non-cotton
Important: Remember #VISIONSdressCODE
JACKETLightweight, waterproof shell / jacket
WORK SHIRT1 button-up for sun protection, hikes & cool nights. Non-cotton, fast-drying material, please.
PANTS1 or 2… jeans, lightweight cotton or quick-dry— at least one pair should be quick-dry material (not cotton)
SHORTS 2 to 4 pairs: search for “long work shorts,” which will be good for worksites & outings, and following the #VISIONSdressCODE (shorts must be between mid-thigh and knee-length)
SOCKS4 pairs of regular socks
1 polypro or silk sock liners (optional, can help prevent blisters)
2 pairs of wool or polypro hiking socks
UNDER-
GARMENTS
Keep in mind weekly laundry for programs longer than 9 days
SLEEPWEARJust for sleeping—it won’t be worn around homebase or to breakfast
BATHING SUITReview that #VISIONSdressCODE again
HAT
A baseball hat will be a favorite part of your daily uniform
NICER OUTFIT
If you want to keep it simple, your work shorts or pants and the button up shirt will suffice for community gatherings
FLEECENon-cotton warm layer of a fleece, light down or wool sweater
BASE LAYERTop and bottom midweight base layer (long-underwear) made with synthetic or wool fibers. NO Cotton.
HAT & GLOVESIt can get chilly at night, so bring a warm hat and gloves.

OPTIONAL
Customize your comforts to your own needs!

HOMESTAY GIFTFor the day stay that is done with another VISIONS participant and a local family. No more than a ~ $15 gift that could be a souvenir from your hometown, or candle, picture frame, local craft, etc.
WATCHRecommended since you won’t have your phone; water-proof or resistant is best. No smart watches.
BOOK Old-fashioned book with pages; no e-books
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTAny musicians out there?
CAMERAJust as long as it’s not part of a phone
BANDANAVersatile items for protection from the sun
MONEY BELTThis one is up to you!
CAMP CHAIRIf you want to use it for our group meetings, it will need to sit right on the ground(Crazy Creek or similar)
JOURNALTo remember this unique experience!
TRAVEL GAMEIf you have a favorite, feel free to bring it
SPANISH DICTIONARY Even pocket-sized can be useful
SLIPPERSCan be nice at homebase
EYE MASK & EAR PLUGSFor darker, quieter sleeping (the roosters early!)