Preparing for India & Packing List

This packing list should be used as a guide only. Any other items that you wish to pack are at your own discretion.

Travel Documents

Passport with at least 6 months validity after your dates of travel
Tourist Visa (Click HERE for info on obtaining an E-Tourist visa)
Travel insurance with emergency contact telephone and policy number
Flight tickets, e-ticket
Photocopies of important documents like tickets, visa, passport, etc.
Travel vaccination certificates (vaccinations are not required, but are advised. Click HERE to read the CDC's suggestions)

Luggage

- It is advisable to carry your luggage in a large backpack or luggage with wheels. 
- You will also need a daypack/backpack to carry a water bottle, camera and other personal needs for day trips.

Packing List

First aid kit – band aids, skin cream, cotton gauze, tweezers & bandage
Personal medication/prescriptions
Prescription glasses and sun glasses
Contact lenses and solution
High protection sunscreen (50+)
Lip balm
Sanitary pads or tampons
Insect repellent creams or lotions
Anti-histamine/insect bite skin cream
Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer gel/wipes
Vitamins
1 course of broad-spectrum antibiotics  (625mg / 1 gm tablets)
Antibiotic Eye drops / Ear Drops
Chewable antacid/anti-gas tablets
Imodium AD tablets
Sealable plastic bags in all sizes
Electrical converter

Currency

The currency used in India is the rupee, which is divided into 100 paise. Rupees are available in the following denominations: Notes: Rs 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000. Coins: 5, 10, 20, 25, and 50 paise. You are unlikely to come across paise, but conversely you will find that many people will have difficulty giving change for notes larger than Rs 100.

Please exchange money in the U.S. before traveling. You can do it at the airport before boarding your flight. In India, there are Authorized Foreign Exchange dealers in most big cities.

A good way of getting rupees in India is via an ATM, but know your bank fees beforehand, both from the bank providing the ATM and the card-issuing bank. It is never a good idea to rely solely on taking your bank card. If this gets lost or stolen, you could be stuck without funds far from home. Bring a balance of cash and debit/credit card. U.S. Dollars are very easily exchanged almost anywhere in India.

Easy Sleeping

We will be traveling a lot by overnight train, so these items may come in handy for the journey.
Eye mask
Ear Plugs
Inflatable neck pillow for comfortable sleeping
Travel blanket

Clothing

We recommend fast-drying and easy-wash (sink) clothing. Women should bring a skirt that covers their knees and a scarf for visiting places of worship. 
3 pairs of loose, thin trousers
4 plain t-shirts or cotton shirts / 2-3 tank tops
1 long skirt or cotton dress (optional)
3 pairs of leggings (make sure your tops are long enough to cover the leggings just above the knee)
2 long-sleeved tops (for evenings when mosquitoes are out)
1 thin cardigan for air-conditioned travel
2 large scarves to cover your head and shoulders when visiting religious places
Socks/underwear
1 lightweight, waterproof, windproof jacket with hood
1 pair of sandals
1 pair of comfortable walking/hiking shoes
Hat/wide-brim hat

Travel Accessories

Cell phone & charger with international adapter multi-plug
Camera, memory cards & extra camera battery with charger
Empty water bottle
Journal/pen
Tablets: Wi-fi is fairly easy to find. Avoid carrying a laptop as it's bulky, risky to get stolen or broken and you can’t carry with you while visiting historic monuments like the Taj Mahal.

Personal Items

Shampoo and toiletries (in small bottles)
Shaving razors
Hairbrush / comb
Deodorant
Hand / Face lotion
Facial cleansing wipes
Toothpaste, Toothbrush
Tweezers / nail clippers
Feminine products (difficult, but not impossible to find in India)
Small packet of tissues
Hand sanitizer
Toilet paper (keep a roll in your daypack, as you never know what the facilities might have)
Bath towel (camping style - lightweight and fast-drying)
Protein bars / granola bars and other snacks

Extra Tips

- Make sure every piece of luggage, including your daypack has a strong, waterproof tag on it, with essential contact information.
- Rolled clothing takes up less space than folded clothing.
- Bring a lightweight duffle bag rolled up in one of your bags to hold your purchases on the way home.