Before moving onto our next adventure we thought we’d post some helpful pages for those travelling to India. So starting off; what to bring to India….
- Hand Sanitiser
moThis will be an essential part of avoiding getting ill in India. Use it, well, all the time. Public transport, handling money, before eating and shaking hands being the main culprits.
- Smart Phone
We were very close to not bringing our smart phones and I’m so so so glad we did. Almost all our research was done through our phones with Internet cafes not available in most small towns. We also found that locals weren’t that great at giving travel advice as many of them have never left their home towns so travel forums were an essential part of deciding where to go next.
- Sleeping Bag Liner
This will save you from dirty sheets or chilly rooms without blankets. Sometimes you just don’t want to sleep in someone else’s sheets and having your own liner will really put your mind at ease.
- Towel x2
Two towels aren’t essential but I found it so much easier having 1 beach towel and 1 shower towel. When not on the beach I used my beach towel as a sheet on sleeper trains to avoid the dirty beds or as a blanket.
Probably obvious but hot countries can give you killer headaches. Obviously stay hydrated but if the pain won’t go painkillers save the day. They also help if the Indian food is giving you stomach cramps .
- Duct Tape
Duct tape is hands down the most used thing in our bags. We used it to hang up mosquito nets, dry towels, secure washing lines, adjust mirrors on motorbikes bikes and most importantly to plug up holes in walls that let mosquitos through. Most Indian rooms have ventilation by having big gaping holes in bathrooms or your bedroom and duct tape saved us so many times from being eaten alive.
Make-shift washing line must and takes up zero space. We had so many odd jobs that string helped fix.
- Head Torch
A lifesaver for night buses and trains and more importantly power cuts! India has loads of power cuts and our head torches were the only source of light for sometimes hours. If you are going to buy a new one I would recommend an
MLED one you can charge.
- Driving License
If you are going to rent a motorbike make sure you have your driving license. The police stopped us and thankfully we had them as it can result in a fine (and the people renting you your bike won’t remind you).
- Sensible wear
Again, hopefully an obvious one but women need to dress sensibly. Cover up below the knees and shoulders making sure that you don’t wear tight fitting tops.
- Overseas Debit Card
If you have time, apply for a debit card that doesn’t charge overseas ATMS. These will give you the best currency exchange without commission fees. We were given STA travel cards which we quickly found out have awful exchange rates so our debit card is our go-to.
- Bag Locks
Indian trains have metal loops you can lock your bags to so make sure you have a cable lock or chain you can secure to your bags. Similarly, most hotels or hostels after check out will store your bags in a communal bag room; cable locks mean you can lock your bags to beds/each other to ensure a dishonest traveller doesn’t make off with your stuff.
We also had padlocks for our zips. Sometimes the cable locks aren’t necessary and a simple lock on your bag will suffice. Most thieves are just looking for an easy steal and India is so unpredictable you don’t know when your bag might be stashed somewhere just out of reach.
This was my go-to blanket on trains when I didn’t want men staring at my bum. I also used it to wrap around my head to make it less obvious I was a white tourist with blonde hair while sleeping just for some extra privacy. It also works well as a sun protector and beach dress/ towel.
Last but not least, imodium! When travelling India you need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We’ve heard some real horror stories around Delhi belly and Imodium is something you definitely want as a back up. We managed to be really lucky and avoid any major illnesses but are still thankful the Imodium was there if we had needed it.