India is a developing country and is still very traditional in a lot of ways. So dress code can be pretty important when you are thinking about traveling here. The hardest part of travelling is figuring out exactly what to bring with you. You don’t want to be lugging around your backpack with unnecessary items. Here we can help you by listing some suggestions on exactly what to take with you.
Firstly, it is good to think about what type of luggage you will want to bring. It depends on you and what type of travelling you will be doing. A suitcase is fine, however you must remember that the streets in India can be quite uneven and sometimes a bit dirty. Also some streets can be very narrow that even a car can’t fit down them! If you are wheeling a suitcase around it may be a little uncomfortable trying to avoid all those obstacles!
A backpack is more effective, depending on the time you stay, depends on what size you would like. During the day a day pack or something sturdy and not easily opened will be fine, beware of some pick pocketers! Make sure it is big enough to fit the essentials, like a water bottle, passport, wallet, etc.
A lot of travelers will want to do shopping in India so they can adapt to a more local attire and there are many shops you can purchase these clothes in for very decent prices. India is slowly becoming more westernized so you will see the men and women in most of the bigger cities, like Delhi, wearing more western style clothes. In the smaller cities and villagers it is a respectful idea to blend in and keep you legs and shoulders covered, for women, keep the chest covered also. In the bigger cities and in the South, places like Goa, it is okay for women to wear shorts and to have there shoulders shown.
Ladies can bring long skirts, dresses, long pants and jeans and then you are able to buy tops in India like a kurta. This is easy, pretty and respectful! Very easy to wear over jeans and pants. Strapless tops are only acceptable in places like Goa. Try avoid wearing tight tops also, you can cover this by wearing a pretty scarf over the top. You will definitely see Indian women with their bellies out when they are wearing their saris, but this is traditional attire and is very different.
For men, any type of shirt is fine and long pants will do. Try avoid wearing shorts purely for the fact that you may draw more attention to yourself. So if you aren’t comfortable with people starring at you then just stick to the dress code we have written here. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you wear here, but if you want to be respected by the locals then a conservative dress style is more appropriate. Also, if you aren’t too keen on people wanting photos with you, then again, its better to just stay covered up. Happy shopping!
I’m sure everyone wonders what exact medicine to bring without bringing a mini doctors surgery with them! It is very accessible and cheap to purchase medicine over in India, as long as you have a picture of what you need. Unless you need some kind of prescription medicine then it is better to pack you own. Common medicines such as vitamin C, painkillers are not so difficult to purchase from a pharmacy here. The food is very different here so make sure you bring some medicine to deal with any type of upset stomach. Carbon tablets for diarrhea. Aloe Vera and sunscreen for the heat.
In all big cities there are ATM’s and cash machines readily available at all times. In major shops, hotels and restaurants you can pay by credit card but its a good idea to have cash with you at all times. Many ATM’s will charge a fee for overseas cards so having cash is better. You can also use US dollars in major tourist attractions so be sure to keep a small denomination of this too.
Any type of toiletry item such as hair care, sanitary items, deodorant, makeup, soap etc are available ti purchase all throughout India and very affordable. Obviously bigger brands will be more expensive but you can find the items you need at a corner store for cheap. You will want to pack your own personal items that you usually use at home.
An important item is mosquito repellent as western brands are usually stronger than the ones in India. If you use hair wax or hair spray, these are difficult to find, so bring your own. In most bathrooms there is no toilet paper as Indian people do not use this. It is a good idea to always have a pack of tissues or anti bacterial wipes with you to use if you need the bathroom!
OTHER USEFUL ITEMS
A torch or flashlight, sunglasses, hat, padlock for luggage, earplugs are all useful. Anti-bacterial wet wipes are super useful for many situations also. A battery pack for your phone and other electrical devices are also useful for long bus rides. A couple of books and notebooks are also super handy as you may be doing a lot of waiting around, concept of time is very different to western countries. If you are taking long bus or train rides to other cities then having a book to read is a great way to pass the time.
Lastly, you will want to bring some sturdy footwear. The streets can be very uneven and not so clean in some areas so you want something that will help you get around these obstacles. If you are doing a lot of walking and exploring then you will want some sneakers or sport shoes. For ladies a cute pair of sandals will do for nights out and short day trips, trendy and easy to get on and off. There are an abundance of shops selling shoes and its a nice idea to purchase a beautiful pair of traditional Indian shoes while you are here.
Below is a list of essential items you can pack to India:
- 2 x long dresses
- 2 x long skirts
- 1 pair of loose pants
- 1 pair of jeans
- 3 x shirts
- 1 tank top (for nights out)
- 2 shirts (that you shop for in India)
- 5 x underwear
- 2 x bra (one sports bra one normal)
- 3 x socks
- 2 scarfs
- lightweight sweater
- 1 x sneakers
- 1 x sandels
- 1 x pair of shorts (if you are visiting South India)
- wet wipes
- essential medicine
- water bottle
- dry shampoo (there is not always hot water)
- bug spray
For men it is obvioulsy about the same excluding the skirts ad dresses, unless that’s what you’re into!
SO now you’ve got the gear, its time to start your adventure! Happy packing.