What you should pack for a trip to India

When planning a trip to India, it is essential to work out what to take with you so that you can enjoy your time there as much as possible. There are several questions to ask, such as what will the weather be like while you are there – and what type of clothing will be most appropriate? Are there any particular considerations that female traveller should bear in mind in order to fit in with cultural expectations? Where are you staying, and what type of amenities and shops will be available?

Here are five key areas to think about when packing for your dream trip to India.


You should prepare for warmer temperatures on the whole, although this will obviously depend on the time of year you are travelling. India can get very hot from April onwards, so light, layered clothing would be a good idea. Monsoon season (June to September) can catch people out, so pack clothing suitable for getting caught in a downpour. Female visitors should expect to dress more modestly than would be the norm in western countries, such as the UK, in order not to offend locals. Pack a light shawl for visiting religious sites, such as Hindu temples. There is plenty more guidance regarding what women, men and children should wear when visiting India available online.


As well as main outfits and underwear, make sure you pack accessories to help you stay comfortable and safe while you are in India. Sunglasses and a cap or sunhat will help reduce the suns glare, while a belt will help keep your skirt, trousers or shorts up and snugly fitted around your waist. Pack more than one pair of footwear – good options include one pair of trainers for daytime walking and exploring and some flip flops (sliders) for relaxing in the evenings or wearing in the shower. Don’t forget trainer socks to stop your feet from getting all sweaty and slippery inside your shoes.

Essentials and paperwork

Always pack any essential items that you cannot do without, just in case you are unable to purchase or obtain then when you arrive. Examples include first-aid kit supplies, prescribed medication (check procedures and policies for taking these through international security). Small bottles, tubes and containers of toiletries, such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, mouthwash etc. can also help you freshen up on arrival, without having to head out to buy supplies right away. Don’t forget key paperwork, such as money, passports, visas, tickets, driving licence, travel insurance documents and ID.

Gadgets and tech

We live in a world where we rely increasingly on tech to help us handle day-to-day life and enhance our travel experiences. So, don’t forget things like your phone or tablet (plus charger and plug adapter), camera, binoculars and headphones. You may want to have some downtime in amongst all the exploring, so having familiar gadgets to entertain and inform you could be hugely useful and enjoyable. Always jeep tech and gadgets hidden hen walking around in India, as theft can be a problem in some areas. Bring a small bag to conceal items such as cameras or phones when you are not using them. Try not to bring attention to what you have got with you – you are very likely to stand out as a tourist or visitor to the area, and so become a prime target for would-be thieves.

Backpacking bag

If you are not one for luxurious hotels and decadent spas, backpacking may be more your thing. If you are planning to trek your way through India and embrace the joys of outdoor life, packing for a backpacking trip is very important to get right. You may well be even further away from shops and amenities that can help you with essential supplies, so must consider packing everything you may need for the duration of your stay. Choose a sturdy, roomy bag or rucksack that you are able to carry on your back and put on and take off by yourself. Try some backpacking bags out in the shop before buying, to make sure it is roomy, comfortable and robust. Make sure it is waterproof and easy to open and close in a hurry.