Here is complete checklist for items to carry for India travel. This is practical advice from years of travel. You will have to customize your travel packing list according to duration, time of year and places you are visiting, hotels you are staying.For Hotels , I have stayed in 15 days in Kolkata ,Shimla, Amritsar. I found Booking.com to be cheapest .
USA to India Adapter Plug:
Buy this pack of 4 adapters for full family for 8.99 . No more fighting for that 1 travel adapter.
India’s pick pocketer are so skilled that you will not know your pocket is cut and money is gone . Use these bra secret stash for women and this pickpocket proof underwear for me . That way you can travel to India peacefully.But still be careful , not that careful that you miss the fun , but generally be little aware.
Make sure you unlock your phone to enable you to swap your SIM card during your stay in India. It’s pretty much next to impossible to use your smart phone to pull up your contact and use an old Nokia phone that has been lying in your closet for over a decade to make local calls back in India. I learnt my lessons the hard way, I happened to loose my cell phone on the day of marriage and couldn’t do much about. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on unlocking your phone (that’s if you got it recently under a two year contract). Here are some links to able to breeze smoothly throughout your stay with these cheap yet reliable Smart Phones less than 100$.
Yes lock all your stuff. The minute you land in India my funda is to keep everything locked right from the the time you get into the taxi to the God forbid your extended bus travel for couple of hours, you want to secure your stuff by locking all your bags! Also you don’t want to get into the mess of keeping a tab on the keys as I always like using keyless locks. I use the same code for all the locks and that’s it I am all set to go 🙂
Yes I know..I know… You’re wondering that you can totally without this fan. But trust me after the torturous 4-6 months of harsh winter if you planning to visit your home town during summers YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THIS FAN. Dealing with power cut offs, auto rickshaw-ride, waiting in the queue for your favorite chat/chai tapri this handy fan is going to come to your rescue. Make sure you take enough batteries with you like a pack of 24 batteries! I am so addicted to these fans cannot survive without these especially in the month of May, June and October…pheww!
If you don’t want to be ripped off to get a decent pair of shoes for activities like a small trek, for any activity that will need you to walk over 20 mins you need a comfortable pair of sport shoes. Last year I was totally ripped off at a Addidas Showroom as I had forgotten to carry my pair of sport shoes. According my research you’ll be paying 20-30% more for the same pair. Be wise to carry a pair with you as you may need them even during your travel especially if you have a transit. You want to run around the airport in your comfortable Nike sport shoes for men/women as chances are your feet are sore already! All thanks to the never ending flight to India.
Last but not the least, you will feel helpless if you don’t bother to carry a pack of international (world wide) adapters, as you’re going to need them not only during your stay but also during your layover. Make sure you order one before your travel. I quite really don’t need to emphasis on the need for these adapters as we are all cell phone/laptop/tablet addicts.
Lint Roller : I don’t know why people don’t use Lint Rollers in India , May be Lint Rollers are useless compared to amount of dust we have there but this is a must specially if you are planning to wear few clothes for several days HERE .Scotch Brite makes the best one for decent price.
Blue Tooth Wireless Speaker : This is good pastime items specially if you are planning long bus or train rides . You can just play music for everyone .My friend gifted me this one .
Thermals : If you are planning to go in cold months which are typically between November to Feb, North India gets very cold . I will never go in summer in India , As I am typing this , I am currently in Calcutta and I was reading this news that 355 people died of heat in few days . Here is the screen shot of the news . Winter are the best months but people even die in winter . North India + Winter=Warm Clothes Needed
Anti Pollution Masks : Not sure why but you get very tired at the end of the day in India , It must be the pollution . Get yourself a good anti pollution mask specially if you are allergic to pollen and take anti histamines to suppress them .This one will do a good job
Sun Glasses : Its very bright ,sunny and unpredictable in India , You will definitely need sun glasses specially if you are planning to check out sunrise and sunsets in various part of country which are beautiful.
Liquor : If you like to wind down sometimes with a nice glass of wine or scotch , make sure to take small cans as they are extremely expensive in India . Indian duty free is quite reasonable. Guy asked me Delhi airport to buy 2 bottles for him . It was like 32 bucks for 1 bottle of JD.
Travel Waist Pouch
Its not very common in USA but most asians use travel waist pouch for travelling to keep money and valuables safe since its always tied to waist. Its little inconvenient for walking but considering Indian pick pocketers and other people eyeing your valuables , its almost a must.
Bengay / Tylenol /Hot and Cold Patches/First Aid Kit : India is very dangerous country when it comes to small injuries. They don’t take care of small stuff such as nails and screws protruding out . Just yesterday , I was going from my sisters place in Gurgaon to Huda Metro station in Delhi and my skin got peeled as a screw was out and damn rickshaw goes thru so many potholes , you feel like you are sitting on Texas bull horn ride .
Men and Women Slippers: In India Slippers are equivalent of floaters in USA .Most people wear them inside home and outside, Don’t be surprise if you see nice suited guy with pair of slippers .
Consider Birkenstocks for Indian Conditions .
Torch and Battery : You might not need it but its best to keep it and Indian electricity is as fickle as Sarah Palin . Its comes and goes even in most modern cities. These days I have seen most place have battery back ups.
This External Battery Charge for 15.99 is a must .This will save your ass when you need it most . If you are planning more than 7 days trip , you must carry this.
Mosquito Repellent :
I am not sure if American mosquito repellent will work on Indian mosquitos.. Go ahead and buy atleast 1 bottle of mosquito repellent. You should be more afraid of mosquitos than anyone else in India , Just for fun Check out Indian mosquito repellent Kachua Chap Agarbatti , Its pretty cool , design and the way they work , I am sure you would have never seen those.
Toilet Paper :
No need to any explanation, Carry a very small one with you ,specially important for the road and rail . If you plan to stay in nice hotels only then you wont need it but it rarely works . So toilet paper and paper soap are must .Be prepared to see some real nice toilets in India 🙂 .Its an experience
Paper Soap :
If you are American, I am sure you have never head about paper soap , Its because you never need it in USA . But in India , you will get in some serious trouble , Please don’t ask me why ? , You need to experience yourself .Here is how paper soap looks . Just buy . You can also get it any local store . I would highly recommend to get few of these as soon as you land , they are freely available in all local shops.
Here is picture of my adapter , It’s a universal adapter , Just buy this one and you are all set for anywhere in the world . Its been 1 year and its really nice and sturdy . Bought this on Amazon for , I believe like 12 or 13 dollars.
For all us who are self-obsessed and make people jealous of how much fun we are having, selfie stick is must. Generally whenever I go to India ,we always go on a small vacation, I am going to try selfie sticks this time .
Here are some of the popular US models and compatible selfie sticks
Universal Wall Home Charger
If you are carrying multiple gadget , you might need additional universal wall home charger , Laptop does not have that much juice to charge as fast as you would like sometimes . Great if you have vacation planned and will be travelling a lot. This model is popular
Hot and Cold Reuseable Ice Pack
This one is really useful for minor aches which you will bound to have in India , Completely optional, I generally carry one and then just give as gifts to relatives before coming if not used 🙂 . Smart thinking
I would recommend getting sun screen in USA , Its a must if you are going to vacation in any months other than October to Feb
Hand Sanitizers /Hand Wipe
You probably know by now that India has very low health and hygiene standards . You must carry your hand sanitizers /hand wipes at all times .
If you are confused on what to take to India, take few essentials and then buy them as you land and throw them when you ready to come back . I hope I was able to solve your What should I bring to India dilemma .
Digital Luggage Scale
This is pretty cool digital luggage scale , its useful and portable. You will probably need this for very long time , so might well make one time investment of 16$, If you are travelling with in India , they only allow 1 carry one bag with weight limit of 7 kgs and 1 check in bag with weight limit of 15 kgs . This scale should come handy, I had to pay quite a bit of money few times because of the weight.
Heading to Beach in Goa
If you have any other suggestions, kindly leave it in comment box and I would add that to the list