melbourne vegan

Jaclyn McCosker

Blogger, social entrepreneur & freelance copywriter

Australia

The Ultimate India Packing List for Women

The Ultimate India Packing List for Women

This is a packing list refined over 9 months of travel around the Indian subcontinent. This includes things I missed and excludes those things I did pack and didn’t need. Pay attention to the things left on the first aid kit list, I used them!

Take note: This packing list took me from below zero in the Himalayas to the fifty degree Thar desert. I purchased clothes I needed in the cold areas then discarded them because they were too bulky to cart through the jungle.

Wearables:

The rule is to cover your shoulders and knees at all times. You can get away with tight clothes, but if you’re wearing a tight top remember your shawl in conservative areas or sacred sites. If you’re wearing tight bottoms, try to pair them with a long loose top.

  • 4-7x undies
  • 2x bras
    1 sturdy and 1 that can go under anything
  • 1x singlet
    For layering and pyjamas
  • 3x t-shirts
  • 1x linen blouse
  • 1x warm long sleeve shirt
  • 1x maxi skirt
  • 2x long pants
  • 1x dress
    Shoulders and knees!
  • 1x pj bottoms
    Your pick
  • 1x shorts
    If you’re in Goa, otherwise… maybe leave them home
  • Swimmers
  • Sunglasses
    Do not expect to find a pair there
  • Shawl
  • Carry-on/day bag
    You don’t need two different bags
  • Daily wear sandals
    India is a barefoot nation, try a pair of Vegan Birks 
  • Sneakers
    One pair of running shoes can work for hikes, exercise or long days sightseeing
  • Socks
    Easy to buy there, so pack at your own discretion

Left off: evening sandals and thongs, really you only need the one pair of shoes.

NB: Jewellery was deliberately excluded. Leave it all at home. “Even if it has sentimental value?” Especially if it has sentimental value! It makes you a petty crime target, and you’ll want to adorn yourself in Indian jewels anyway.

Toiletries and personals:

  • Personal medications
  • Makeup essentials
    - BB cream
    - Waterproof mascara
    - Lip balm
  • 1-2 toothbrushes, tooth powder and a toothbrush cap
  • Dental floss
    You will not find it there
  • Solid shampoo bar and conditioner
    I take an intensive moisture hair mask as conditioner because my hair doesn’t “do” humidity
  • Face wash 
  • Soap
  • Deodorant paste
  • Hand sanitiser
    Aquim is vegan
  • Face wipes
    I hate single-use products, but you’re catching an international flight to a hot dusty country, so treat yourself to vegan facial wipes (wotnot.com.au)
  • Comb
    Less space than a brush
  • Rosehip oil
  • Peppermint oil
    To dab under your nose in smelly spots
  • Straightener
    For those with nice hair that think this is a shallow luxury, some of us just weren’t born that way!
  • Razor with spare heads
  • Travel sized moisturiser
  • Menstrual cup
    India has poor sanitation and squat toilets, so you don’t want to be changing regularly
  • Insect repellant
    Ask for your doc’s recommendations when you get your shots
  • Sunscreen
  • Condoms
    You know, depending…
  • First aid kit:
    - Malaria medication
    - Immunisation records
    - Bandaids
    - Rehydration tablets
    - Anti-diarrhoea tablets
    - Cold and flu tablets
    - Antiseptic cream
    - Antibiotic cream
    - Nail clippers, tweezers and scissors
    - A small bottle of apple cider vinegar
    A better antibiotic than what the Doctor prescribed, take 1:3 with water on an empty stomach when suffering diarrhoea

Practicals:

  • Backpack
    I have a 65L Osprey Porter Deluxe Pack, 2014 ed.
  • Travel wallet with all documentation and copies of travel documents
    Send a copy of your insurance details and itinerary to at least two people back in Australia, on top of registering at smarttraveller.gov.au
  • Torch
    Freak snow storms? They happen
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Travel towel
  • Inflatable neck pillow
  • Ziplock bags
  • Padlocks
    For all buses, trains and hostels – don’t forget to lock your bag before checking in at the airport
  • Carabiners
    To secure your bag to your bunk on overnight trains
  • 1-2 small paperback books
    Pack only what you’re willing to swap or discard, carrying more than two books at a time is just dead weight

Electronics:

  • iPad mini with bluetooth keyboard case + spare case
  • iPhone (unlocked) with sturdy case and screen protector
  • Camera and 2x memory cards
  • iPod shuffle + headphones
  • 2x Australia to India adapter plugs
  • Disposable cameras
    For the mems
  • Memory card > iPad adapter
  • Electronics grid (storage)
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