Take half of what you think you will need and...
Peterjones
India > India Travel Basics > India Travel > Packing Tips for India travel
#1
| Senior Member

Take half of what you think you will need and...

... bring an empty piece of luggage from Bangkok or Saigon (cheaper and better made than India, one of the few excrptions) for when you leave.

Why?

A. I don't *need*, and I will just end up stashing it in the hotel of my home base...

- that water ultraviolet purifier. Kolkata is not Amazonia.
- socks and underwear. Firtsly, it's too hot too use either, and secondly, if I have reasons to use either underwear is cheap. Ah, curiously, cotton socks seem to be rare - so maybe bring two pair. I changed my mind.
- umbrella, any kind. You think they don't manufacture umbrellas here?
- prescription medicine, except emergency supply of obscure meds. Everything is available here, and at a fraction of the cost. A whole subject in itself.
- any hotel kitchen items. Everything is available here. Get it?
- books, unless on an ereader. You wouldn't believe how heavy books get.

B. India isn't a place to take things to. It's a place to take things from. Cotton towels, tailor-made clothing, crafts, fabric, electric water heaters, bargain-priced computers, ayurvedic poisons, Nagaland spears festooned with red-dyed goat hair (INR 20.000 in Kohima), rich brown (not golden yellow) ghee that's available only on both sides of the border in Bengal, and Assamese tea. Don't forget souvenirs for your family.

This is adressed to new travellers. Everybody else knows better. Intellectually, I knew this to be the case but only after multiple trips to India and elsewhere, did I finally start acting on my own advise.

11 Replies

#2
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: Peterjones View Post

Nagaland spears festooned with red-dyed goat hair (INR 20.000 in Kohima)


They ripped you off!

Six months supply of Bhuira Guava Jelly - I'm hooked on that stuff. It tastes like the SR guava jelly from Allahabad I knew as a child. It tasted so much better than the KISSAN stuff made by Rahul Dravid's father.



470 gms. - the standard bottle used to be 454 gms. (1lb to the nearest gramme).
#3
| Senior Member

Originally posted by: Golghar View Post

They ripped you off!


Golgar, I didn't buy it, mostly due to packing and security reasons. Maybe it was 2, but I thought the pricetag read 20 thousand.
#4
| Loud Noisy Bird
India isn't a place to take things to. It's a place to take things from.


Ahh... I wish you had told me that twenty years ago! But I wouldn't have listened. I am chronically incapable of travelling light. I don't think I have ever flown without worrying about the excess baggage charge and pleading with the check in staff. And if I was doing that at Heathrow on the way out, you can imagine what it was like when returning to London!

(Actually, these days I take empty cases to London or Singapore and fill them to the brim for returning, but that's shopping and bringing it home, which is different)

I disagree with those who make a fad of travelling without luggage. What is the first thing they will do here? Buy three pairs of underpants. They already own underpants, and their expensive flight ticket already includes the cost of transporting them. So, I say, don't leave at home stuff that you actually need.

On the other hand, don't bring twenty shirts when you know you like Indian kurtas and are going to buy them anyway.

And the major message of your post is so, so true... No, this is not the jungle interior*: it is indeed a place where all everyday needs are easy to find and easy to buy. Medicines? I never travel to London without a course of antibiotics, just in case, but travelling to India? Just put a paracetamol in your pocket in case of travel-induced headache on the way here!



*Except for people who are taking a cab direct from the airport to the jungle interior, of course!

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Life gets aadhar every day.
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#5
| Delicate Daisy

Originally posted by: Nick-H View Post

I disagree with those who make a fad of travelling without luggage. What is the first thing they will do here? Buy three pairs of underpants. They already own underpants, and their expensive flight ticket already includes the cost of transporting them. So, I say, don't leave at home stuff that you actually need.


I agree with this, especially for those who don't have a lot of time in India. Bring your own toothpaste, comb, and other things you already own and will need. Then you can use your shopping time for kurtas (like Nick said) and souvenirs. And that comb you just know you packed, but now can't find. But the point is, if you have a short time in India, there's no sense in spending any of that valuable time buying stuff you already own.
#6
| Member
The clothes on you, one full change of clothes, sandals, a multitool, your travel documents and some money; you're ready to visit Mother India!
#7
| Maha Guru Member
My relatives would not concur. One luggage just for chocolates. Next time I will bring some for the Capn's wife..
#8
| It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
#9
| 10 yrs in India

Originally posted by: Peterjones View Post



B. India isn't a place to take things to. It's a place to take things from. Cotton towels, tailor-made clothing, ...


except if you're health-conscious and pollution-aware. cotton is one of the most, experts say the most, pesticide and herbicide ladden "natural" product in the world.*

* "cotton ... is the most infamous of crops in terms of the usage of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in its cultivation.

It has an enormous appetite for these toxic pesticides and fertilizers and is alone responsible for the consumption of more than 15% of the world’s total production of pesticides." Source

ghee


Ghee from India?[shock][shock] The fat in milk is laced with the toxins ingested by the animal, which in India includes DDT as well as many heavy metals.

I bring clothes from home, also made from Indian cotton, albeit organic! :)
#10
| Loud Noisy Bird
Hey Ho... Now I have to go naked and starve [cry]

What happened to PJ? Maybe he finished his trip in India and on indiamike? I may disagree with a lot of his views, but found his posts thought provoking.

Hope, all in all, he had a great time!
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Life gets aadhar every day.
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#11
| Maha Guru Member
I bring clothes from home, also made from Indian cotton, albeit organic!


My relatives produce the same. They never use more pesticides and herbicides than they need..
#12
| Loud Noisy Bird
They never use more pesticides and herbicides than they need.


I try not to, but I did put too much Turmeric in the pasta sauce this evening.
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Life gets aadhar every day.
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