Ultimate Packing List for India

Last month we shared our top tips for creating the ultimate packing list for South America. This month we’ve got some handy hints and great advice about what should be on your ultimate packing list for India…


There’s nothing worse than getting to the airport and realising you’ve forgotten the essentials. Before you even begin thinking about outfits, toiletries and whether or not to bring the camera, consider the following…

  • Have you organised travel insurance? An essential safety net when travelling overseas, this is something that could be absolutely indispensible should you get yourself into a sticky situation.
  • Vaccinations and malaria prevention. What vaccinations you require and your malaria risk will depend on where you wish to travel and where you have previously travelled. Consult a doctor to ensure you stay as healthy as possible on your trip.
  • A visa. Unfortunately, you won’t be going anywhere without one! Apply for one well before you leave, otherwise this could really put a spanner in the works…


It’s easy to be overwhelmed when packing for a place like India. With a diverse range of climates, landscapes and places to explore, one certainly does have to be prepared! However don’t panic, our India Tours & Travel Specialists have shared their essentials to pack for when they visit India…

  • Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts such as button-downs, although counter-intuitive, will protect you from both the sun and heat (which can be sweltering at the best of times!)
  • Loose fitting and breathable clothes– think flowing pants and long skirts, traditional Indian kurtas (tunics) and light shawls.
  • Modest clothing– unlike in Western countries, short shorts and tank tops aren’t the go-to attire. Make sure you dress comfortably and conservatively, especially when visiting temples.
  • Scarves– these are the perfect for throwing on during a cool night, when things get a little dusty or when entering a temple.
  • Comfortable and breathable shoes are essential for walking. With much to explore, you’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing and good quality shoes are a must. If you’re partial to hiking, bring hiking boots and a pair of sandals for the beach!


India is a spectacular country, but it is one where you will want to exercise a degree of caution. We recommend leaving any unnecessary valuables such as jewellery and watches at home and keeping essentials such as passports, cash and mobile phones in a secure pouch. An anti-theft backpack also makes a great daypack and gives you that extra peace of mind.

Top Tips

  • Bring bug spray from home. Western brands tend to be stronger, and this can be really handy to ward off those buzzing mosquitoes!
  • Pack your favourite toiletries. You will find that even in the city it can be hard to find your preferred brands or products, so it is recommended to bring your own. Similarly, whilst over-the-counter medicines are available in India, they can be hard to identify as a tourist. Bring your own and avoid the hassle.
  • Bring earplugs. Although this may seem like an odd one, the noise pollution in India (particularly in large cities) can be severe. Especially helpful for sleeping, you’ll be thankful you brought these!
  • Carry a water bottle for filling up with filtered water and if you’re venturing further out from the cities, a personal water filter. Tap water is not safe for drinking in India and it is important to drink either filtered or bottled water.
  • Bring a book! Whether you’re travelling by train, road or plane, you’ll find that you have a lot of down time. If you’ve been meaning to make a start on the bedside pile of books, there’s no better occasion…
References: Thank you Trip SavvyIntrepid TravelThe Broke BackpackerTravel Vaccination ClinicWWWNC 

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