The Ultimate India Packing List 2.0 - The Minimalist Edition
In 2014 I wrote The Ultimate India Packing List for Women and kept it updated with any changes and my best recommendations. This is based off long-term travel with a full-sized backpack.
My fourth visit to India is different, and I'm only taking carry-on luggage. This includes my overhead piece plus my "personal item" which is my daily handbag.
This means no liquids over 100mL, no sharps and no over-packing! A minimalist, zero-waste dream because there's no room for anything I won't definitely need and I have to leave space I need to leave to bring back any goods I pick up along the way.
I have to buy and wear local clothes for my work which is kind of cheating, so if you can fit an extra 2 changes of clothes in - go for it!
Below is my full packing list for 5 weeks in North India.
On my body
- Blue jeans
- Scarf (for modesty)
- All jewellery I'll be taking
Hard case carry-on
- 3 undies
- 1 bralette
- Dress (knees and shoulders covered)
- 2 tops (sleeved)
- Pjs (I packed shorts & a tshirt)
- Socks (for the plane)
Toiletries & first-aid
- Bar of soap in travel case (Dr Bronner's citrus for me)
- Tooth powder (DIY recipe here)
- Bamboo toothbrush in travel case
- Shampoo bar
- Comb (less space than a brush)
- Immunisation records
- Ibuprofen, cold & flu, charcoal, anti-diarrhea & malaria tablets
- Talk to your Doctor about the malaria options across price ranges because the cheap options come with side effects, I paid $80 for Malarone
- Spare hair ties
NB: I'll be using my Dr Bronner's for face wash, body wash and hand washing.
- Spare memory cards
- India adaptor/s
- 1 book
- Cloth bag (for shopping)
- Travel documents
- Passport, flight ticket and copies of all your bookings, insurance and spare passport photos
- Wallet (preferably loaded with local currency)
- 1 book
- Phone + charger
- Prescription drugs
- Menstrual cup
- Collapsible reusable water bottle
- Liquids bag, ready for the security check
- BB cream (Natio vegan BB cream, $15)
- Mascara (Toofaced Better Than Sex, $35)
- Pawpaw ointment
- Rosehip oil
- Deodorant paste
- Hand sanitiser (Aqium is vegan)
- Peppermint oil (for dabbing under your nose in smelly places)
And that's it!
Things to pick up in country:
- Coconut oil. It costs $1.50/L so I'll pick some up as body moisturiser.
- Insect repellant. I've chosen not to buy any this trip because I use coconut oil instead, but it's definitely available here more affordably than home, and you won't go over your liquids quota.