While travelling, it is always advisable to pack light. Especially when you’re travelling to or within a vast nation like India and more importantly, when you’re a female traveler. Whether you are a solo female traveler or travelling in a group, it’s always useful to know the packing essentials for a light travelling and not being a burden on your fellow travelers as well. Phew!
A traveler’s luggage should carry the essentials as per the nature and norms of the country she’s travelling in.
As Mariellen Ward, a freelance writer, yogi and an Indophile writes, “It is not really a good idea to wear scanty clothes in India”, unless, of course, you’re heading to Goa!
Also, India has varied weather conditions across different regions and times of the year for which you’d be required to carry all that would help you pull off even the longer trips peacefully. It has been a famous female predicament, as to What to carry, What NOT to carry, and at the same time travel light.
We, hereby try to solve your problems and provide to you a packing list of essentials for India for both Foreign as well as domestic female travelers.
1. ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS
- For Foreign travelers – Passport, Visa, Travel insurance, e-tickets, travel vaccination certificates, photographs, photocopies of tickets, passport, visa or other important documents. A travel itinerary must be properly updated with and a guide map of India should essentially be carried with you.
- For Domestic travelers – Tickets and travelling itinerary and a guide map if travelling to remote places should be carried along, just in case you lose your way.
Travelling in India with a backpack is most convenient, sadly because the country does not have proper infrastructure and well equipped roads. A backpack can be worn both at back and front and makes the luggage seem lighter and is easier to carry. Big travel bags and suitcases with wheels are a big No No, for you would have to eventually lift them up on your own. A satchel/sling bag is recommended to keep wallet and other essentials handy. Do not forget to carry plastic ziplock bags.
Your bags should have enough space to hoard things bought from India as well, as Christina Ricchiuti, National Geographic Channel Producer and Travel Blogger writes, “…leaving your suitcase light with plenty of room for souvenirs!”
- Yoga pants/ leggings– These would prove to be multipurpose as you can obviously perform Yoga wearing them, don them for hiking or with a tank top on beaches and also sleep wearing them.
- Loose shorts– Loose knee length gym shorts may come handy when you can’t decide what to wear. You can wear them while sleeping, hiking, or just chilling around with friends.
- Jeans– 2 pairs of jeans are sufficient, as you would mostly require them during Winters.
- Scarf– Scarf should always be carried along which you’d require while visiting temples, Gurudwaras or Mosques and would save you from the scorching heat of the sun during Summers in places like Rajasthan and Gujarat.
- Tee shirts– Tee shirts look cool and go along well with everything, be it a pair of jeans, yoga pants, leggings or shorts. Make sure the tee fabric is cotton so that it is easy to wash and air dry it. A long sleeved tee is also recommended for Winters.
- Sweater– A long sleeved thin sweater must be carried for Fall winter months of October-November, when it’s too hot to wear a jacket and too chilly to loiter around in tee shirts.
- Pajamas– Loose pajamas are most comfortable while travelling, unless you’re trekking or it’s too cold. You can carry 2-3 pairs of them, as they are light weighted and do not occupy much space in the bag.
- Jacket– It is important to carry a good windcheater because you can catch cold up on the hills even during Summers.
- Denim Shorts/Dresses– If you plan to go to Goa, then it’s advised to carry shorts and dresses to bask in the sun wearing them. Wearing jeans on the beach would be awkward!
- Tank tops– Tank tops are comfortable, can be worn on the beaches and normally while travelling after covering them with a scarf, if you feel too exposed in India.
- Socks– 3 pairs of regular cotton socks and 3 pairs of warm socks for winters should be packed. It is suggested to roll up the socks into a ball and stuffed inside the shoes so that they take up less space in the bag.
Moreover, you can always buy clothes of different culture while travelling around, Indian markets are flooded with varying types. Kurtis and suits are oft-worn clothes by women in India.
- Bras– 3-4 pairs of bras in case you’re too sweaty otherwise 2 pairs are more than sufficient. Do not forget to carry a sports bra if you are planning to go for arduous sports like rafting, trekking etc.
- Underwear– 6-7 pairs need to be carried if you’re setting on a long journey. Carry cotton panties so that they easily air dry up.
You can also carry a small pouch bag to keep all your undergarments at one place.
- Flats/Sandals– These would be required with those cute dresses and shorts, if you plan to go out at night.
- Flipflops– Whether you want to take a walk by the beach or use it while going for a shower, flipflops would be very useful.
- Sturdy shoes– Shoes can be worn with jeans, leggings, yoga pants and you can walk comfortably for miles wearing them. They would prove to be a boon on hikes and treks.
Even Chacos or Teva(as advised by the famous female blogger, Adventurous Kate) are a great choice for travelling in India.
- Shampoo cum conditioner to save the hassle of carrying two bottles
- Deodorant, because you might start stinking in hot Indian weather during Summers
- Moisturizer, to be used wisely during winter
- Sunscreen, to save yourself from the Summer tan
- Wet wipes, to keep your face fresh if you plan to walk for long hours
- Hair ties/headbands
- An extra pair of eye lenses in case you are a contact lens user
- Some makeup including kajal, liner, foundation, lipstick and eyeshadow
- Tampons/ Divacups for periods
- Insect repellant
- Your laptop and charger with a 3g modem because you might need to do research while on your trip.
- Camera along with memory card.
- Cellphone with charger
- Powerbank as a battery backup
- Ipod or mp3 player
- Multiple point plug
- Earphones/ Headphones
- Various plugs and wires
- Water bottle or thermos flask
- SteriPEN water purifier
- Small mirror
- Notepad with pens
- Novel/books for reading
- Clothes line
- Medical first aid kit
It is advisable not to pack much and rather buy stuff while travelling as and when it is required. Only the essentially personalized stuff should be carried while travelling which you think you won’t be able to buy in the market or do not wish to spend your money on again.
HAVE A GOOD VACATION WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS!
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A third year student of Economics from Miranda House, University of Delhi, Anima wants to have a taste of everything in life. With her interests ranging from the love for singing to the passion for sports like basketball and volleyball, she wants to test her abilities in the maximum spheres of life.