Well everyone, I am mostly packed up to go to India tonight! Yes, TONIGHT! Packing for India was a little different than packing for my other trips to Europe and to various cities around the U.S. In the past, I have “backpacked” with a large suitcase, and lots of clothes, usually because I had been living in one place for a long time overseas and just had accumulated a lot of things, and still wanted to travel. But this trip will be different for me as I am not going overseas to live, just to travel. This means I can pack much lighter and that alone is freeing.
India is also a very different location for me. I often travel to places that are a little cooler in weather, and also I am used to having many Western conveniences that won’t be readily available, (like toilet paper) or easy to find during my trip. So this time, instead of packing a lot of clothes and few supplies, I have packed my bags almost entirely of supplies, and with very few articles of clothing. Plus, once my supplies and donations are depleted, I’ll be traveling with a really light pack, and will have room to buy fun new clothes throughout the trip.
I consulted a few lists to make my list, and put them together based on what I think I will need. I have mostly packed for India as I am going there first and spending a lot of time there, but I have kept in mind a few things I will need for the rest of my travels. Though I am unsure of my travel plans, I do plan on hitting Europe towards the summer, so I packed my euro outlet converters for example, and will bring my little cross body purse that I may not use in India, but will be happy to have during a European summer.
As for clothes, I am bringing only a few basics, and I plan on buying clothes as needed while I am traveling. Since I don’t totally know where I am going, what the styles will be, and where I will end up, I’d rather not be bogged down with additional clothing I might not need. In India and SE Asia there will be plenty of cheap clothing options to choose from, and different styles that are not necessarily available at home. In Europe, there’s always H&M, or I can dig through my friends closets when I arrive (you all have been warned). Or, I figure I’ll just keep wearing my Indian clothes and attempt to find work as a yoga instructor. Gotta dress for success right?
So, here is my Packing List for India:
Here are my bags. I have an Osprey Ariel 65 Backpack, and a duffel bag as a carry-on. I am also bringing a small cross body purse that can be stored easily. I have a lot of donations in my bag, so once I ditch those in Kolkata, I will be able to fold up the duffel bag and just use my backpack.
- 2 pairs of Leggings
- 2 pairs of loose “Indian” style pants
- 3 bras – I am bringing cotton sports bras, they take up less room and are more comfortable
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 1 large – I plan on buying many there, but I love having a scarf on the plane to use as a pillow or eye shade.
- 1 jacket
- 6 shirts – 1 long sleeved white, 2 tee shirts, 2 tunics, 1 tank top
- 4 pairs of socks – my shoes go without socks
- 1 bathing suit – I am bringing a bikini even though this won’t be as useful in India where more conservative suits are required, but I will use this is SE Asia and in Europe.
- 1 Sweater – for the plane ride over, and in case I go north.
- 1 pair flip flops
- 1 pair Toms
- Shampoo and Conditioner – small bottles, I’ll buy more on the road
- Bar of Soap
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
- Contacts, contact solution (two big bottles) and glasses
- Razor and a few extra blades
- Brush and hair ties
- Diva cup and tampons
- Medicines I usually avoid Western medicine, but I am bringing a few just in case. I have anti-diarrhea, and in my first aid kid I have some tylenol and stomach calming medications.
- Quick drying towel
- Wet wipes
- Tissue packets, to use as toilet paper
- Plastic bags – for wet and dirty clothes, or for trash
- Hand sanitizer
At home, I use a variety of oils and other natural remedies and medications during the rare times that I ever get sick. Some of these items are new to me, some I use very regularly. I also will be in the South of India for sometime, and they are well known there for Ayurveda, which is an Indian medicinal science that utilizes many plants and herbs as medication. So I think I will be in good hands, and I really don’t want to get sick, and if I do get sick, these medications should help me get better quick!
- Oregano Oil – very antibacterial, works wonders on colds and congestion, also used to clean cuts
- Grapefruit Seed Oil – taken in water to prevent any stomach bugs
- Charcoal – in case I feel the onset of a yucky stomach thing and need to flush it out
- Melatonin – for the plane, let’s hope it works for me I have never tried it
- Echinacea – for immune support, take at the onset of a cold or fever
Food and Supplements:
- B12 – for vegans this is essential
- Green Superfood – I am bringing a few trial sized packets, in case I need an extra nutrient boost. The one I use contains probiotics as well!
- Snacks – LaraBars and nuts, for transit and just in case
- Food containers – to repack my own snacks from the market like nuts, fruits, sandwiches
Protection from the Elements/Safety:
- Bug repellent
- 2 mini flashlights
- 1 blow up lantern
- small knife for cutting fruit
- 1 basic first aid kid
- Camera and charger
- Tripod, I got a GorillaPod flexible tripod for Christmas! I can’t wait to try it out!
- Ipod and charger
- Netbook and charger – I decided to take a small netbook instead of my new laptop, just in case something happens to it.
- Unlocked phone and charger
- Small power strip
- Steri Pen and extra lithium batteries – for sanitizing water
- External Hard drive – to back up all of my photos
- Flash drive
Bye big, nice laptop, hello little work computer!
- Gifts for the girls – on my tour in February we will be visiting the homes of rescued girls, and later a school for boys, so I have stickers, crayons, medical supplies, and hair things for them
- A money belt – I didn’t bring a money belt because I never end up using it, but I did get a cool little pouch that attaches to your bra, the right size to hold folded bills. I figure this is small enough not to bother me, and also convenient for going out. No more worrying about the money falling out of your bras ladies!
- Lock and cable
- Copies of Passports/documents
And there you have it! I think that is all I packed, and I though my bags feel really heavy, I know I will have much less as I use things.
Here are a few bloggers and other lists that helped me out with this list:
What essential item do you bring on your travels? Have I forgotten anything?? (Let’s hope not).