WHAT TO BRING
You’ll be in Slovakia and Eastern Europe in late spring and/or early summer – expect temperatures to be around 70 degrees F in the daytime, and 55 degrees F at night. This is only an average – plan for this temperature range, but also be minimally prepared in case it’s warmer or cooler than average. We’ll try to communicate about current temperatures.
- Shorts (modest), capris, skirts or pants (any are appropriate in our context)
- Short-sleeved shirts
- A jacket and/or sweater – We’ll watch the weather on this – especially if we’re planning to go the Tatras, as that region tends to be cooler than average (typical mountain air).
- One or two long-sleeved shirts
- An outfit for worship – No shorts or short skirts, please. Otherwise conservative tops (button shirt for guys), nice jeans, pants or dresses are all fine. You will see a large variety of dress at church, but formal dress is not expected.
- Good walking shoes – we’ll be doing a lot of walking!
- Socks – Don’t forget that people will be seeing your socks, since it’s customary in Europe to take your shoes off indoors!
- Optional – a pair of house shoes or Crocs for wearing around the hotel/apartment.
- Small gifts for host homes (if your group is doing a home stay) – Maybe a thank-you card and something very small – a souvenir from your hometown or state, or a small remembrance (no more than $3-5). Otherwise please don’t bring things like candy unless you are able to give enough to everyone that is present.
- Photo album – some way to show about your family, your church, etc. This is a great way to make conversation in host homes!
- Toiletries – We suggest that you bring all that you will need. Most things are available, but are often a bit more expensive and not always the brand that you are used to. Remember the 3-1-1 rule (see image), and pack most liquids in your checked bag.
- Sunscreen, since we’ll likely spend some time outside.
- A washcloth – they don’t use them here and you won’t find one at the hotel. If you’re accustomed to using one, bring one – plus a plastic bag to store it in when you pack up.
- Camera – We will talk more about the appropriateness of picture-taking, but you will certainly want to document this trip with pictures.
- Chargers for Electronic Devices – Europe uses a different voltage than the U.S. – 220 volts, instead of the 110 in the U.S. That said, most of your chargers for electronics will still work, but you’ll need a plug adapter (plug types E and C – see the image at right). Hair dryers/straighteners/curlers will NOT work. If you want to bring anything that plugs in, and you’re not sure if it will work, contact us and we’ll talk you through it.
- Small Backpack – Bring a backpack for overnight stays or for taking with you on day trips. Other types of collapsible bags are also acceptable.
- Sound machine, ear plugs, small fan – Obviously very optional… if you are a light sleeper, you might consider having a way to deaden the sounds of the city – they are likely to be more than you experience in the states.
- Medicine – Rx and others that you take regularly – it is easier and cheaper for you to bring things that you might need than for us to buy them here. Be sure to bring prescription medicines in their original bottles.
- Bible, Journal, and Pencil/Pen – We hope that an important part of your time here will be spent in reflection. Bring whatever it is that helps you reflect.
- Small/medium suitcase – Please try to pack in one small to medium-sized suitcase. We will be traveling some in vans, and don’t have a lot of room for excess luggage.
- A flexible and open heart!
A NOTE ABOUT ELECTRONIC DEVICES
We understand that you will want to let your family know that you are okay, and there will be opportunity for you to use our WiFi in our home and at the hotels. But, we strongly urge you to consider leaving some of those things at home, disengaging some with the States, so that you can fully engage here. You may want to take this time to bring a book that you’ve been wanting to read or a pencil and puzzle book that you never seem to have time for at home.
PACK LIGHT, AND LEAVE SOME CLOTHES…
It is very important that you pack in one small to medium-sized suitcase. We will be traveling some in vans, and don’t have a lot of room for excess luggage. You might consider bringing some older clothes to wear, that you can later leave behind (we can get them into good hands). This will give you room for souvenirs for the trip back.
We will be paying for all your needs (food, transportation, etc.) through the budget. You will only need money for souvenirs, snacks and other personal expenses. Sometimes you will have to pay a small fee to use a public bathroom as well.
- ATM machines are the easiest way to get cash here. Check with your bank about using your card here – both ATM and credit cards need to be notified about your travel plans, and there may be fees.
- You can also bring U.S. dollars and have them exchanged into the local currency, remembering that local exchangers charge a commission fee.
- Please do not bring traveler’s checks.