India is commonly described as a whole different experience, even for seasoned travelers. That’s no lie, and there is a lot of stuff I wish I’d taken!
1. Cold Medicine
Yes, India is well known for causing stomach issues. The pollution gave me a wicked bad sinus infection. Be prepared for both, and make sure you take something for cold relief! You can even find the whole first aid kit I took on my round-the-world trip.
2. Baby Wipes
I wish I’d thought to take some baby wipes with me. In India, I was outside a lot and often felt gritty and grimy. And there were a number of things I would have liked to wipe down. Baby wipes are a lifesaver.
I had my Chacos, but honestly, they were uncomfortable and I hated them. I wish I’d taken some Tevas with me – they are so much more comfortable! And with some of the stuff on the roads in India, you’ll want something that’s got a bit more foot protection than flip-flops.
4. A Sari
Yes, you can buy saris there – but there’s no guarantee they’re going to be cheaper. Honestly, they might be more expensive. Depending on which tour group you’re with, and how good your Hindi is, it’s likely you’ll be taken to a sari shop especially for foreigners. And those are expensive! The ones at the shop I went to were upwards of $100 US. If you buy before you go, you can make sure you get a cute one that’s just right for the pictures you’ll want!
5. An Indian Tunic
Same thing with the sari – an Indian tunic would have made for way cuter pictures, but alas – I didn’t think ahead for it.
6. A Super Absorbent Swimming Chamois
I was introduced to these when I was diving in high school. Swimming chamois are towels that absorb crazy amounts of water, then you wring them out, and then you can keep toweling off with them. When they’re truly dry, they actually get stiff! These are super useful for having in your backpack to towel off after a sudden rainstorm, or if your hotel towels are not so absorbent.
7. A Really Good Daypack
I was silly and didn’t think to bring a good backpack for during the days with me. I regretted this greatly! You’ll have a ton of stuff you’ll want to carry (cameras, water bottles, toilet paper, etc), and it’s worthwhile to invest in a decent daypack.
8. Gray or Black Socks
I am a giant believer in Balega socks – they’re super well-cushioned so you don’t get blisters, and they clean really well. Except… I took white socks. Don’t take white socks to India.
9. A Sunhat
I did not think to pack a wide-brimmed sunhat. Thank goodness I packed sunscreen. But I would have been a lot more comfortable with a nice sunhat!
So don’t make my mistakes, ok? Make sure you pack well for India, and you’ll have the time of your life exploring!
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