I am traveling for the first time to India in May 08 (arriving New Delhi). I am traveling a very 'comfortable America' at the moment and the idea of India just sends me into a whirl of what to bring?
Does anybody have any suggestions for an odd last minute thing they brought to India that turned out to be the best move they ever made? I was told zip lock bags are in-expendable.
I didn't bring them unfortunately, but the best last minute thing you could get would be a box of ear plugs so that you have a chance of getting some quality sleep. Without them in any of the big cities you will struggle to sleep through the 24/7 constant noise.
Bring some sun block. It really blazes down there. U can probably buy it there, by now, but it is good to bring some with u, just in case.
And mosquito repellant. Probably also available there too, but India is confusing, so it is good not to have to go out and search for these necesities, while u are still trying to get used to the place.
Hello!, Sorry just looked back at what i've written and its quite a lot but couldn't help it!
Ear plugs are definitely a good idea as ceiling fans are also increadibly loud in some places.
My major tip wouldn't be what to bring but what not to. I'm in India at the moment, and im about to post my massive back pack home and just use my small day bag.
You need very few clothes, laundry is very easy and if you do it yourself everything dries whithin about 10 minites anyway. I just have 2 shirts and 2 trousers (and some boxers) and its plenty, and the sort of clothes you need you can buy out there.
Its true that you can get just about everything out here toiletries-wise. In dehli there'll be plenty of pharmacies where you can buy almost everything for very little and buying all those things cheap really does add up to a saving.
Unless you're trekking somewhere very cold you will not need a sleeping bag, particularly as May will be asoutely boiling up North (and not much cooler in the South). I havn't used mine at all and i can't foresee using it, a light inner sleeping bag liner or mummy bag is all you need.
On the same note don't bring a jumper. If its urgent you can get one out there for a couple of pounds, but apart from mountineering you won't need one.
Also don't bring designer clothes or trainers. Lots of people say walking shoes are pointless as well, i wore mine a bit but really sandals are all i need and my shoes are going home, despite being a sceptic of this idea at first.
Just a tobacco tin with some pills plasters and some hypodermic needles (which you should be able to get from a doctor), and some anti septic for first aid.
Don't need a compass, if you have a watch you can find North using that little watch-north-finding trick.
You don't need a phone, there are payphones everywhere, usually with internet cafes, STD is for local calls, and ISD is international.
Sorry this has gone on for so long, its was only sposed to be a quick note ! and i don't mean to sound like one of those no-it-alls TELLING people what they'll need, its just theres a lot that you may end up carrying which is just dead weight. But even if you take a big bag it is definitely much nicer to be travelling lighter rather than lumbering around a massively heavy bag. Anway! Enjoy your trip!
I definelty agree with velourfog - don't take anything you dont need. You can get away with very little in India, and you can buy everything you need there without a problem and for a fraction of the cost in the US. When you are getting of an off crowded Indian buses, walking around a town looking for a hotel, or attempting to fit into a rickshaw you will be glad that you've packed light.
My most valuable item was a clothes line. Any solid but thin rope will do, and if it has some sort of hooks on the end for easy tying its even better. Avoid those elastic travel clothes lines with the little suction cups that travel stores and airports attempt to sell. They aren't good for hanging anything heavier than a pair of socks. Anyway, with a clothesline you can buy bars of laundry soap for about 5 rupees and do you own laundy in your bathroom sink. If you do it every night, your clothes will be clean and dry by the morning. This means you can travel with only two or three shirts and a couple pairs of pant or shorts.
Thanks for all the suggestions, a clothes line is something I wouldn't have thought of, all with needles and to limit my amount of clothing. I made that mistake when in Eastern Europe, I packed way too heavy. Big mistake when you are walking in summer for kilometers on end.
Thanks a lot, more written the better!
ANOTHER thing, lol, which is quite useful if you are bringing a mosquito net, is those sticky back plastic clothes hooks. It can be very difficult to find somewhere to hang a net from in many hotels, so they're pretty helpful too
think about a head scarf - really useful for getting into various religous sites but more importantly to stop some of the attention you'll no doubt attract. I don't agree about leaving trainers / walknig shoes behind, but it depends on your itinerary.
Other than that, take some patience and leave any ideas you have about personal space back at home.