One of the biggest questions I had when getting ready for India was what to pack. I wanted to make sure I brought enough essential supplies to pack. It’s not as easy to just run to the store to buy something if you forget it as you can in other countries. Here’s what to pack for India for your next trip.
With the exception of nice restaurants and hotels, almost none of the places I went to had soap. With how many people are in the country, you’ll want to wash your hands after being in public places. This is also important because usually there’s none of the next item on this list…
This was my first country I experienced that only had toilet paper in hotels for the most part, and even then it was in very small amounts. It’s best to assume no restaurant will have toilet paper and bring your own to be prepared. You can either bring this in advance or just take it from your hotel room each day, like I did. It seems like a strange thing to carry in your purse, but you’ll be happy you have it when you need it.
I usually bring wipes everywhere I go in case I get sweaty walking around all day, but you’ll definitely need them in India. By mid-day your face will feel pretty grimy if you’re in one of the bigger cities due to the heat and pollution. Use these to touch up midday or before dinner.
Should you get sick, you’re not going to want to try to find a pharmacy, which aren’t easily available. Have these on hand so you’re ready to rehydrate yourself. On that note, I’d bring any medication you regularly take so you don’t have to worry about searching all day for it at the store. Their pharmacies have basic supplies, but that’s about it.
India can get really hot, especially the further south you go. Be prepared and slather on sunscreen before you go out for the day to be safe. The last thing you want is to get sunburned and trying to ask for medication at a store where the worker doesn’t speak English.
Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines, but even I had a hard time having naan and curry for breakfast each morning. Most places offer eggs and toast as well, but I ended up bringing my own protein bars and oatmeal from home. Sometimes you just want a simple start to the day after all those spices.
I wrote about this in detail in my last post, so check it out here.
I have one of those “worldly” adapters that has never failed me no matter what country I’ve been to – until India. India uses 230 volts, which has three round pegs. Make sure your converter includes that so you don’t have to keep borrowing someone else’s like I did.
If you’re going to different cities in India, expect lots of traffic. Now’s a good time to catch up on the latest book you downloaded on your Kindle. If you prefer real books, bring a long one to read. I didn’t mind the long drives because sometimes it’s nice to just zone out and get lost in a good book.
India is a loud country, so sleeping can be difficult. From horns honking to dogs barking, it never really stops. Get a pair of good headphones to help you fall asleep faster. That way you’ll sleep soundly through anything (including Indian weddings, which can have fireworks at 1 AM).
What to Buy There:
One thing I loved about India was how cheap their water bottles were. You should easily be able to buy one for 30-50 rupees, and they are huge. Since the water isn’t safe to drink otherwise, stock up on a few at a time when you see them. They’ll be offered in every restaurant and almost all street vendors sell them. Just double check that the cap is sealed when you get it (indicating they didn’t refill it with tap water).
Snacks are also really cheap and can be found at a vendor’s stand on almost every block. They’re mainly chips and nuts, but it’s nice to have on hand during a long day of sightseeing. I especially loved the Bombay Mix!
Part irritating, part fun, hassling can be done almost anywhere. If you’re persistent, you may be able to get some really good deals on clothing. Always offer a lower price than what they tell you, and if they say no, walk away. Chances are they’ll end up yelling at you to come back and agree to your price. Many vendors sell similar items and they know it, so you can just go down the street if you don’t get the deal you want.
You can get really inexpensive SIM cards in India, so don’t waste your money on some international plan. The data will take you pretty far, but be aware there isn’t coverage everywhere (like if you go camping). Overall, this is the way to go if you want to stay connected.
What’s one item you always pack with you?
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