Making an India packing list is hard.
India’s incredibly hot, brutally cold, dripping wet, bone dry, packed, and desolate depending when and where you are. India is also amazing. This massive country asks a lot of the travelers that visit—health concerns, massive seasonal changes (monsoons!), logistics, language barriers—but every trip to India is its own reward. Take on the challenge with a new India packing list for every season and every reason.
Author’s Note: This India packing list is a general use template for travelers likely to stick to some of the more popular spots like Delhi, Agra, Goa, and Mumbai. It’s not for everyone, so feel free to add or subtract to customize your needs.
The India Experience
I’ve been to India twice, both for extended trips. I’ve danced at a wedding in the far north in Kashmir (on the Pakistani border), slept on the beach in Goa, sipped tea in Nilgiri, prayed in Chennai, and cruised the lazy rivers of Kerala. I’m visiting India again this April to participate in the Adventurists Rickshaw Run, where a buddy and I will drive a 7hp rickshaw 2,000 miles down the west coast of India. It’s gonna be great. And terrible.
My point is that India is complex, varied, ever-changing, and I still don’t have a great handle on it. You won’t either, which is kind of what makes it great. India is one of the most populous countries on earth, yet it features some of the most remote places you’ll ever experience. The mountains in the north are the foothills of the forbidding, frigid Himalayas while last year the Western deserts recorded the hottest recorded temperature on earth. Ever. Seriously, it was over 150 degrees fahrenheit. That’s nuts. It’s a place unlike any other. So pack accordingly.
India Packing Tips
The biggest tip is to tailor your India packing list to a very narrow set of goals. If you’re going to a wedding, don’t pack for a jungle trek, a mountain hike, six temple visits, and three weeks partying in Goa. You’ll bring too much useless stuff. Pack for the wedding and see what else you can bring along. Make your life a thousand times easier and stick to a carry on. The Outbreaker travel backpack is perfect for India, and water resistant which is super important during a monsoon. You’ll be fresh and nimble enough to enjoy all the India has in store for you. So let’s get into the essentials of what to pack for your trip to India! Click to continue…