Average mission trip prices
A 1-week mission trip to Eswatini would cost approximately $1799 while a trip to South Africa would cost approximately $999. Mexico would cost only $675, almost as much as it would cost to go for a mission trip in the Bahamas.
So why the huge differences in cost? Well, there are a couple of factors that impact the average mission trip prices of the different mission trips. Let’s take a look at some of these.
This is the first factor that determines the cost of the mission trip. As a missioner, you may be required to pay a registration fee as a way of booking the trip. This cost usually takes care of things like airport pickup, accommodations, meals, etc.
Then there is the cost of what you will be doing in the community. This could be anything from donating clothes and food, to building houses. Obviously, the cost of the project will largely be determined by what you will be doing on the mission field. Building might require the purchase of building materials and tools unlike administering the donations of clothes.
Fares and traveling costs
Apart from the project cost, the travel expense in terms of fare could be the most expensive part of a mission trip. This is especially true if you are traveling to another continent.
When estimating the prices of plane tickets, some allowance has to be made because flight prices have a habit of going up and down without warning. Also, many airlines do not include taxes and other fees in their quotes so this can also affect the overall price of the trip.
Extra baggage will need to be paid for as well. This is an important consideration if you have to bring tools and other supplies for the trip. In case you are traveling far and at least one connecting flight is involved, you may also need to budget for hotels and food as part of the travel cost. The accommodation arrangements at the designation can also influence the overall price of the trip.
Travel insurance is important when traveling overseas. Even though it is extremely rare to need medical evacuation while overseas, the cost can be very high if you have not taken insurance. Some organizations, including Mission Discovery, cover this in the cost of the trip. Others recommend that you make personal arrangements for that.
Some trips like the Tecate mission trip don’t necessarily require flying especially if you are coming from Los Angeles, San Diego, or another place that is drivable to Tecate, Mexico. Nonetheless, you have to account for the gas, meals and other costs you might incur along the way.
For those driving longer distances, you may have to include hotel accommodation as part of the cost. Also, vehicles that seem to have no problems may develop problems when driven for long distances. So you may want to have some emergency money to cover problems like flat tires or any engine problems that might transpire.
Other important traveling costs include visa fees and passport application fees. The visa fees will vary depending on the location.
Most organizations perform background checks on their volunteers. You may want to check with your church to see if your church requires you to do one as well.
Calling back home is important when traveling abroad. As a group, it may be important to have at least one person who can call back. There are many mobile phone carriers that have roaming services for voice, text, and data in the country you will be visiting. It is a good idea to ask for these rates in order to know what it will cost you before you go.
Many major US phone companies have partnered with international phone companies so that you are able to use their service while in another country. This is sometimes called an international travel pass and may be available for as little as $10 per day. This is a great option for international travelers.
Different countries require different vaccines. The CDC has a comprehensive list of vaccines that are mandatory for the different destinations around the world. It is important to check these early enough because some of these vaccines take a while before they become effective. It is a good idea to get all required vaccines three months before the date of departure.
Some mission trips require the hauling of special gear and this introduces two costs. First, the gear and supplies have to be bought and secondly, they have to be transported to the destination. Examples of such supplies include work boots, gloves, tools, books and outreach materials, games, art supplies, camping supplies, cooking utensils, rain gear, water filters, and sleeping bags. You can bring the cost down by purchasing whatever is available at the destination when you get there – unless of course if the amount saved in transportation costs doesn’t make such a huge difference.
When traveling as a team, you can save space in bags by sharing common supplies like Gatorade powder, sunscreen, and bug repellant instead of having each member of the trip to carry their own supplies. However, communication on which supplies each individual is expected to carry and which ones will be shared needs to be communicated properly to avoid any confusion.
Even if the mission trip was to be fully funded, you will still need some pocket money for incidentals. For instance, if medical care becomes necessary, you might need to pay the deductible fees. Also, you may want to purchase some souvenirs and gifts for friends, family, and your partners. In fact, at Mission Discovery, we are likely to leave one day for shopping, sight-seeing and resting when we are planning our itinerary. You may also want to send back a postcard when you arrive at the mission destination and that will require some cash. There are lots of things that could happen that are totally unforeseen so it always helps to have some money on you.
All the above factors will determine the average mission trip prices. At Mission Discovery, we have a team of passionate and dedicated staff members who raise funds year-round to support their role with the organization. That is why we can afford to charge as little as $700 for an overseas mission trip that will last a week.