Miscellaneous: Wherever you wish to travel in India please make sure that you carry a mosquito repellant cream with you day or night ! You can probably buy a local product like 'Odomos' which will be far more effective than many other brands . There are the slow burning mosquito coils available in the market which generate a lot of smoke.Then there are several electric repellants like 'Goodknight','Mortein' and the like. If you carry a combination of more than one of the above , better still .
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Lynnehamman is a VTer who's a frequent India visitor and in one of her tips, she recommends the use of Travelan to prevent 'Delhi belly' or traveler's diarrhea. It's not a drug but a supplement made of bovine colostrum. Colostrum contains antibodies that can ward off enterotoxigenic E. coli, the bug that causes diarrhea. Unfortunately, it seems to be available only in Australia (where Lynne lives) but you could probably buy a similar product of a different brand in your country. I took 2 capsules twice a day and never had a bum stomach throughout my trip. It has no approved therapeutic claim and you still have to take bottled water, avoid salads and peeled fruits. But at least you've got an extra 'line of defense' to consider.
Luggage and bags:
Take a pack (Rucksack). Nothing more.
Oh I take a large bumb bag (worm to the front with straps) that carries my Camera, lenses and books pens etc. (About 5 litres)
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sandals (and a pair of sneakers if you visit the Himalaya)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I bought everything I needed in India (but then I am a male) save insect repellant.
Photo Equipment: I bought with me, a small canon ixus 4200 for portability and snaps.
Canon EOS 3 with a 28-300 lense
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I bought none of that with me.
Miscellaneous: Clothes I bought light cotton clothes in India. A lungi is a good oneif you are one the beach (it triples as a towel and an extra blanket). For the Himalaya you need Long pants, a jersey and a parker. Trekking equipment you can hire. Boots (you'll need to bring if you are going Alpine)
India is a Hot country... PACK LIGHT! A pack according to weher you are going to be. Don't carry
mountain clothes around Rajasthan, and don't wear only cotton in Kashmir and Jammu.
Everybody brings a camera.
Why not take a recorder too???
THINK AUDIO PICTURES!
*Markets *Street Peddlers *Mosque calls to prayer *Temple bells *Children singing *Birds *Processions *Traffic *Trains *Radio ads* Weddings and more
I recommend a recorder with a counter for easy editing. A separate microphone is not necessary.
For best playback fidelity when you return home, use a two or three plug (see photo) wire- put the single plug into the recorder and the other plug(s) into the IMPUTS of your amplifier - you won't believe how "big sound" will send you right back into the middle of your trip.
You can use the recorder to take notes about photos and museum exhibits, for personal reminders, travel directions, and on the fly observations. You use the recorder in place of a pen and diary.
NOTE: If you plan to transcribe your notes develop the habit of saying "END" after each recorded item so you know when to pause.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Take your favoruite garments that fit you really well and have them made up cheaply and quickly by the numerous tailors in Mumbai. I even took materials that I had collected over years and turned them all into magnifent garments for a fraction of what I would have paid in SA
Ladies - have something at the ready to cover heads and shoulders (although easily and cheaoly purchased once in India).
Backpacking I went for the "disposable clothes" system - took old clothes and threw tham away as I went.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Baby wet wipes. They are so versatile, easy to pack & carry and stand up to whatever job they are needed for!
This may seem a little stupid to but do NOT leave your basic medical supplies in your hotel room... so many people (including myself until recently) take their medical supplies abroad and leave them in their accommodation! If you have a medical emergency they will not help by sitting on the bathroom shelf... and India is a dirty country where you really do want to be prepared (as my husband proved when he cut his head open in Delhi!).
Photo Equipment: the needs of the photographer are mostly catered for but I would advocate ordinary disposable batteries (if your camera permits) to back-up rechargables... how many nights did the powercuts mean failed camera battery charging....
Miscellaneous: With the many power cuts you will "enjoy" in India, nothing will seem such a worthy item as a small, wind-up (batteryless) torch... especially for those nights when te scurrying of small rodent feet tell you you are not alone :-D
Luggage and bags:
I only ever travel with a smallish rucksack, and one small bag for hand luggage (which at the start of the trip will fit inside the main bag if necessary).
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes are a good idea if you're going to do any trekking, or lots of walking between sights. Sandals are best for anything else, although flip-flops can be picked up in most places in India for 100-200 rupees. You can buy chappals in places like Calcutta too (although sadly mine didn't last very long - walking on beaches destroyed them!). You won't need to bring lots and lots of clothes, maybe some hard-wearing trousers for walking in and a jumper for cooler evenings, perhaps a good coat if you're heading to the Himalayas, but again you can find clothes easily in India.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can buy most things that you might need in India. However, if you're female and planning on travelling for a while (say a few months), instead of taking tampons or pads, a mooncup is a good space saver (and more ecologically sound too).
Photo Equipment: You'll find a good camera a must have. We actually found it quite easy to get extra memory cards (certainly in Calcutta and Rajasthan where we needed them), or you can burn photos to a disk in lots of internet cafes.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bring a swimsuit as they can be difficult to get hold of, though I saw some for sale in the Andaman Islands. Again things like sunscreen can be found easily in India.
Miscellaneous: Bring a torch. There are frequent power cuts, and a torch can be a lifesaver!
Another useful item is a plug adapter - Indian sockets will take European plugs, but not British or US.
Luggage and bags:
A suitcase on wheels, or a backpack. are easiest............ a money belt....essential...TAKE A TORCH. A small back-pack for day trips. Its very important to secure your bags (especially while travelling in trains & buses) so a lock with a small chain is needed. I also found that a very small back-pack to wear every day while out looking & shopping was better than an oridinary hand-bag.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable jeans......T-shirts, a cool skirt & top to match.(for special occasions!) Good comfortable walking sandals (wear them in first, new ones can chafe). A warm jumper, or jacket for evenings.Most of these things can be bought in India, anyway, so take MINIMUM of clothing. You will need to buy extra bags if you take too much stuff. Sun hat. A shawl for covering head in places of worship.(socks are a good idea too)
For ladies- I suggest packing a sports bra (in case you have a camel-ride, or a horse-ride)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Wet-wipes are essential....also hand deodoriser gel. A good small first-aid kit with pain tablets , plasters & sunscreen. A small pair of scissors. Most other needs can be bought in India. But WITHOUT a doubt, the best thing we take are tablets called TRAVELAN, which are taken with every meal......you will NEVER get Delhi-Belly taking them. Mosquito repellant.
I always take anti-malarial tablets, but that is a personal choice, so get medcial advice.
Photo Equipment: Camera & Batteries......Camcorder
Adapter for above and other electrical appliances
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I don't camp.
Miscellaneous: TAKE A TORCH............it will be a much used item. Take along a few boxes of pencils,scribbling pads, crayons. These are items that children love, and they are delighted to get.And get all immunisations up to date. Malaria tablets are recommended for parts of India,esp in summer.A small folding umbrella is a good idea too.The sun gets very hot.
Always keep your passport locked up in a safe, along with other valuables. If this is not possible, keep it in your handbag. Never leave it lying in a hotel room. AND ALWAYS CARRY A TOILET ROLL, WHEREVER YOU GO IN INDIA. Very very few toilets have any sort of paper.
Gifts for Indian children
I have been to India twice and on my first trip, I followed the tip that the single most popular gift for village kids are pens. I bought several packages of brightly colored, decorated pens but I was using one of my own with a US company logo and that was the one every single kid wanted. Any pen with an American logo and/or US advertising on it is a prized possession to be taken to school and shown off. The next year I bought only pens with American logos. They flew out of my hands.
Miscellaneous: Take a mosquito net that has been treated with Deet. Not all hotels have them and as we discovered mosquitos can come through air coolers/air con units. This only happened a couple of times, but it was enough.
Luggage and bags:
NO! Batteries are NOT hard to find! On the contrary, they are ubiquitous! In fact, you will find almost anything you need in India. Pack a small flashlight. Don't forget your iPod! For charging iPods, if you are not carrying a laptop, purchase the adapter that plugs directly into the electric socket. Make sure that the iPod adapter or any other electronic item you take says '110-240 V', or else, you will need to purchase a 220 V transformer. You wouldn't want your electronics burning up! You can either take a flat-to-round pin adapter with you, or buy it at most places in India quite cheap. If you bring a laptop, make sure you have a GOOD power surge protector.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: RUBBER sandals, or at least, waterproof, and a light raincoat. Don't bother taking an umbrella. It is bulky. Moreover, they make excellent umbrellas in India.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring your Tylenol, Advil, and Aspirin. Not that you will need it, but just in case, as the medicines in India have names different from those back home.
Photo Equipment: Going to India without a digital camera and, perhaps, a camcorder, would be the biggest waste and a colossal mistake which you will regret forever - even if you plan again to visit often in the future. Each moment is special, different, and unique, and you may miss it.
bring limited clothes,since --
you could buy new ones for cheap prices;
you could get them washed for a very reasonable amount of money
clothes dry soon unless it is winter or monsoon season
you would easily get swim wear,raincoats;umbrellas,shoes etc in major cities
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: easily available in major cities;medicines are available in towns also
Photo Equipment: available in major cities
Miscellaneous: Always carry mosquito repellent;
mineral water is available almost everywhere,but just make sure that the seal is broken in front of you
dress conservateily in loose cotton clothing especially if going into villages and small towns. big cities anything goes but if you're expsoing too much skin you're only asking for trouble. do not show stomach or legs in particular. dont' wear tight or fitting clothing accentuating your figure you'll have a hard enough time fending off guys when you're fully clothed.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toilet paper and tissue is not very common there. Strongly recommend you carry a roll when travelling. You can buy it there...usually coloured unfortunately.
Take mosquito repellent, malaria tablets, sunscreen, it's available there but not any cheaper and don't know about the quality though.
Photo Equipment: don't flaunt valuables, you're bound to hassled, ripped-off, picket pocketed, etc.
Miscellaneous: take handwipes, hankerchef....trust me it'll come in handy. i never opened anything w/ my bare hands, always used a scarf or hankie.
Luggage and bags:
For BACKPACKS...Long and narrow is best. Overhead racks on buses rarely give you more than 25 cm of space between the rack and the roof. If your bag is too big, you will have to store it forward near the driver or else carry it on your lap. Unlike many other countries, luggage is rarely placed on the roof of the bus.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: SHOWER CLOTH: Japanese and Korean grocery stores sell a Japanese made wash cloth (SALUX) about 1 meter long by 30 cm wide made out of a nylon and polyester mesh that cleans more thoroughly than a loofa, gets a good lather out of soap in the hardest water, and dries really really fast. They weigh THREE GRAMS and compress super itty-bitty. They come in a variety of colors and are very durable. Search the Internet for 'salux' See a photo in General Tips
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: MALARIA I strongly recommend Royal Perth Hospital for latest information in English, French and Spanish.
You can also visit my Malaria Tip in WARNINGS for a quick review of PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
WORMS/PARASITES/AMOEBA: Better than Melandazole is ALBENDAZOLE 100mg which you only need to take once; unlike Melandazole which needs to be taken several times. Again, CONSULT A PHYSICIAN.
Photo Equipment: 1) POLARIZER filter. Hold it in front of your lens but don't overdo it unless you really want intense saturated skies
2)ALWAYS TEST BATTERIES BEFORE PURCHASING. And take your dead batteries and the packaging with you when you leave the store- you may save a less wary tourist getting ripped off.
3) CLEAN YOUR CAMERA FREQUENTLY get a squeeze bulb air blaster from a photo store.
4) DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY You will not find wideband services widely available- be sure to bring along plenty of storeage media.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: SNAKE WARNING: Never enter an enclosed area in a rural area that has straw or other material that might attract rodents for nesting. You may accidentally corner or scare a snake into striking. I got a blood-curdling warning hiss and discovered I know how to fly!
Miscellaneous: A large COTTON BANDANA or hankerchief will find many uses. These are available locally.
Also, an small BLACK EYE SHIELD VISOR (like they give on airplanes) to cover your eyes when trying to sleep when street or hallway lights flood the room.
EAR PLUGS will be useful- guaranteed.
MOSQUITO COILS: useful, but most people don't use proper ventilation.
Luggage and bags:
Usually people go to India thinking about the shopping possibilities and tend to travel with a light luggage, what we did is to ask some friends and colleagues if they had children clothes to bring there. We end up travelling with a few things for ourselves, but we packed our luggage with lots of things we brought to an orphanage as soon as we arrived in Delhi. You won´t have trouble finding one because unfortunately India is full of them.
I don´t think this is a big effort however it´s an easy way to help all this people who do not have too much help, I am sure you´ll feel a little bit better after that.
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