Brazil Immersion Trip Packing List

Please check carefully our suggested list of what to pack below. It is very important to pack as light as possible. Please try to limit your personal belongings to one suitcase. This will allow us to move more quickly in our traveling. It is also important to remember that you will be visiting during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter. We suggest wearing clothes that can easily layer – a lighter shirt that you can wear with a sweater or jacket.

What to Pack (Passport, Passport, and also….)

No packing list is comprehensive. It may all be obvious if you have traveled before. If you pack all of these things, much of it may turn out to be superfluous. You could also pack every last thing on this list and still find once you get there that you need a few things not on it. With that in mind, please find below our list.


  • The Brazilian Domestic Flight (GOL Airline) limits checked luggage weight to 23kg (50lbs) and carry-on to 5kg (11lbs). The sum of an item’s dimensions (length + width + height) must not exceed 157 cm (61.8 in.)Your international flight would allow for more, but since we have nowhere to store extra luggage, we ask that you plan for the weight limit of the Brazil domestic flight. Avoid bringing big, bulky luggage. Ideally, pack all you need in a small suitcase. Enough clothing for the whole trip without doing laundry.
  • A small backpack or shoulder bag for a day-pack.
  • Bring a money belt, and/or a fanny pack for money, if that is how you usually travel.

Documents and other

  • Passport, plane ticket, Brazilian visa, prescriptions for your prescription medication, and extra pair of glasses for those who use them.
  • Keep a copy of the first page of your passport in your carry-on, and leave a copy with your family. Also make a copy of your plane ticket to leave at home.
  • You will need to bring proof that you have had a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a country in the last year that has yellow fever.


  • Bring what you normally use: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, soap, deodorant, razor, prescription medications (in the original bottle). Travel sizes are great. (3oz)
  • Small packet of tissues.
  • If you are sensitive to low humidity, eye drops are recommended
  • A washcloth (if you use it) and flip-flops or plastic sandals for showers. (Bath towels are provided by the retreat center).
  • Sunglasses
  • A small flashlight and a small lock for your luggage might be good to bring.
  • Sunscreen (high SPF), lip balm (if you need it), and insect repellent. There have been increased cases of Dengue in Sao Paulo, and avoiding mosquito bites is the only prevention.
  • Small notebook and pen, a couple of Ziploc bags to keep things dry.
  • Small Nalgene or other good quality water bottle, such as a biker’s bottle.
  • Hand wash-sanitizer or wipes for times when there is no water to wash.


Brazil is informal – clean jeans or casual pants, nice t-shirts or polo-type shirts, are appropriate for ministry visits. Women can also wear skirts or capris. Brazilians do wear shorts, but not as commonly as people in the U.S. Also, you will be traveling in winter, which means temperatures will vary. It could be sunny and quite warm, or cloudy, rainy, and cool. Winter in Brazil is typically very low humidity, even on rainy days.

  • Even if rain is not predicted, it is highly recommended to bring lightweight rain gear and an umbrella.
  • Fleece/Sweatshirt/sweater or two, and a nylon windbreaker or other jacket.
  • Something warm to sleep in, unless you can just use some of your clothes. It will be chilly at night, and there is usually no indoor heating.
  • STURDY SHOES – wear something comfortable that is already broken in (a good pair of walking shoes, sneakers, or sturdy sandals).

Extra accessories

  • Camera, and spare batteries (and extra SD cards for storing pictures and extra batteries).
  • Photos of home and family to share with other participants and the people you visit.
  • Reading Material for the airplanes and down time.
  • Journal, Pens, Addresses (for letters/postcards).
  • ENCHUFEVoltage is typically 110 in both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The retreat center is 110v. (Some buildings or outlets may be wired for 220). Adapters to change from the flat US prongs to round pin outlets are a good idea.

We suggest you bring the following medications:

  • Some diarrhea or stomach medicine
  • aspirin or equivalent that you use
  • bandages and Neosporin
  • any other medication you are taking.

Keep in Mind

  • If you would like to use your cell phone or smart phone, check with your provider. There are several ways of doing this. You can request overseas roaming service, or another way is if you have your phone unlocked, you can purchase a Brazilian chip to use locally here.
  • There is a computer lab at the retreat center, where you would have internet access.
  • Leave expensive watches, jewelry and electronic equipment at home.
  • Bring extra money if you plan on buying gifts for friends and family. You may want to check with your bank to see if you can withdraw money from an ATM machine in Brazil. You will get a better rate if you exchange money in Brazil, and not in the US. We recommend using ATM debit cards and credit cards while here, you will get the best exchange rate that way. However, check with your bank about foreign exchange fees – these can go up to 3%. You may want to look into getting a debit or credit card that does not charge this type of fee, such as some types of Capital One cards. We have found that HSBC and Bradesco banks in São Paulo allow us to withdraw from U.S. banks, and they do not charge and extra fee for this (though your bank might). You will be able to use a credit card for some things here, but many places still only accept cash.
  • In addition, it is helpful to have some snacks with you, peanuts, crackers, trail mix etc…

If you have any questions about what to bring, please contact me at

Remember, pack light, pack light!

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