Duffel bags

CarolVanVoorhisCarolVanVoorhis OR NurseMember Posts: 10

Any recommendations from the volunteers on duffel bags? I will be travelling to Senegal next February and will be on board for 2 weeks. I am guilty of always over packing and I know space is very limited on board ship. What size duffel bag works best and would you get on with wheels?

Just want to know what previous volunteers have used and what they would recommend.

Carol V.

Volunteering in February as an OR nurse


  • AndreaSchmidAndreaSchmid Programs Senior Staffing Manager Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 213 admin

    @CarolVanVoorhis Hi Carol! Thank you for being one of our amazing volunteers! We appreciate the sacrifices you will make to serve with Mercy Ships.

    Duffel bags are definitely recommended. Bringing one with wheels is fine.

    This link might be helpful to you. It is a series of YouTube videos created by one of our crew members. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peOC4wpRnog&t=1s

    The information found in the link below is from an Alumni Mercy Shipper, written to be helpful when packing to come as a long term volunteer. You definitely don't need everything on this list for a short time of service, but it might be helpful for you to see it and think about what your own needs are.  Perhaps it will be helpful information as to what type of luggage to use.


    Blessings as you prepare to serve!


    What a beautiful informative message. Thank you so much for your support and experience. Your answer helped me with decisions also in packing. One thing for sure: I will be looking at just one bag and my backpack. But what about going away to beach, what did you take? My purse 👜 is enough or I need something else as you mentioned another smaller pack?

    Excited to be there in December until March

  • jaxie_ryan87jaxie_ryan87 Surgical Volunteer Coordinator Member Posts: 21

    @SarahBurdette, what a helpful and informative blurb of expectations for packing. Thank you so much sharing this. It was wonderful working with you for Guinea. Thank you for being one of our wonderful Volunteers who bring hope and healing!

  • PamPorterPamPorter Surgical Volunteer Coordinator Moderator Posts: 7 - Current Staff

    Great ideas...but if you have a favorite snack, you might want to tuck that in, also. The magnets are a must, for sure and you also, might want to bring a light weight jacket; never know when you might need it. :)

  • GirannieDilchandGirannieDilchand Member Posts: 5

    Hi Sarah,

    I am an OR nurse and will be there the first 2 weks in January.

    I am an alumni and looking forward to being there in Senegal.



  • MelissaMasonMelissaMason Member Posts: 18

    Hi @PERMILADEVIRAM! I'd suggest a backpack for the beach as you'll need to take your towel, water bottle, sunscreen, thongs/flip flops, snacks etc. This is what I used on beach trips and also when going into town for the day. A smaller bag like your purse for going off-ship for shorter periods like dinner or icecream is also handy.

  • CarolVanVoorhisCarolVanVoorhis OR Nurse Member Posts: 10

    A big thank you to SarahBurdette for her response to my earlier questions! The time is getting closer, can't believe I'll be leaving in 3 short months!

  • SarahBurdetteSarahBurdette Member Posts: 33 ✭✭

    @GirannieDilchand - I am looking forward to meeting you in person! It is such fun to connect with people ahead of time and then meet in Africa! My dates are December 27 - January 18. I will definately be watching for you!

  • SarahBurdetteSarahBurdette Member Posts: 33 ✭✭

    @PamPorter - the snacks! Yes. How could i forget! I definitely brought some individually packaged protein bars and other such dry snacks to hold me over. I didn't have any left when it was time to go home! Awesome suggestion.

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