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The time has finally come to pack your bags for India! That trip you’ve been looking forward to for so long. Since you don’t want to spoil the event with a silly detail, let’s think together about what to pack for a trip to India, Maharashtra in particular. First of all, there’s no need to rush: we’re going to take you through the stages of your journey, one after the other, from your home right now to your return, including your accommodation in India, of course.
This checklist is not the kind of travel checklist you’ll find on the Internet for what to pack. Indeed, I won’t insult you by writing “Remember to pack underwear and a toothbrush”. Especially as forgetting them wouldn’t be too serious. Buying them on the spot is a no-brainer.
In truth, this dossier provides you with a list of important things not to forget, and above all, some food for thought about what to pack. You’ll also find a few tips from a tour guide who lives in India for 6 months of the year and is used to packing for both sides of the trip.

What to pack for a trip to India?

Before deciding what to pack, let’s take a look at the most practical luggage for your trip to India.

The right luggage for every activity in India

If you’re setting off for a mountaineering event or a trek in the Himalayas, a sports backpack is a must. In this case, technical equipment takes priority and is not the subject of this article. Needless to say, socks, hats and fleece clothing are essential. On the other hand, if your trip to India is part of a classic tourist circuit, the question arises of the backpack: the travel bag or the suitcase proper? From experience, I’d advise you to pack an assortment of containers.

  • The light backpack for the journey. This will serve as your carry-on bag on the plane. This hand luggage will provide you with the minimum essentials for stopovers when your main suitcase is stuck in the hold or the luggage compartment… Or if it gets lost in transit. Once you’ve arrived in India, you’ll be happy to use it for city tours or nature excursions. You’ll be able to pack your day’s essentials in it without being restricted in your movements.
  • The rigid suitcase for your stay in India. We’ll see later what to pack in this wardrobe-substitute suitcase. The wheels of a trolley will save you the trouble of carrying it to the airport. In India, on the other hand, they won’t help you on rough streets. That’s why you need a size you can carry when the suitcase is full.
  • Instead of a handbag, I recommend a shoulder bag or fanny pack. Both have the advantage of being very close to the body, so you can keep your papers and means of payment close to hand without tempting pickpockets and other snatchers.

Luggage weight and dimensions for a trip to India

It’s imperative to check with your airline regarding the weight and dimensions of your luggage for the flight you’ll be taking. Indeed, for the same airline, standards can change depending on the flight. Above all, don’t try to cheat or fill your suitcase “willy-nilly”, as boarding personnel will check how much it weighs. If your baggage exceeds the weight recommendations, you’ll either have to give up part of your load, or pay a surcharge for the extra kilos.
Likewise, beware of maximum dimensions. If they pose a problem, the solution is even more troublesome. You’ll probably have to abandon your luggage. In extremis, your cabin baggage may be accepted in the hold, but at an additional cost. In this case, you lose all interest in your cabin baggage for your trip to India. You didn’t have to think so hard about what to put in your suitcase!
What’s more, make sure your handbag isn’t considered as extra baggage. Low-cost airlines have a habit of overcharging. That’s why it’s best to leave this fashion accessory at home. From the outset, make do with the close-fitting pouch recommended earlier. As you can never be too careful, a padlock will protect your suitcase from thieves on the sly. However, it’s still a suitcase, not a safe. What’s more, a strap around the suitcase will prevent it from opening on impact and emptying anywhere. Please note! Identify all your luggage with a double label: your home address and the address of your destination. This will increase your chances of recovering it in the event of loss.

Travelling to India: what should you pack for your trip to India?

You’re probably 100% focused on your destination: India, Maharashtra, Aurangabad. But as Monsieur de La Palisse would have said, as long as you haven’t left, you’re still here. In this context, your cabin baggage will ensure the transition. Of course, you’re not leaving naked, so your travel attire will be adapted to the French weather of that day.

Blowing hot and cold on your way to India

Your bag must be able to cope with the two extreme situations you’ll encounter before arriving in India.

  • Waiting at the airport, in the large transfer halls, the crowded waiting room and the long boarding lanes. Depending on the stopover, you may have to spend a night on a bench. So wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Above all, take at least one small sweater, a windproof or waterproof jacket, and a scarf or shawl. You’ll keep them with you on the journey to India, but choose them so that you can use them at your destination too.
  • Anticipate thermal shock on arrival. Your trip to India takes you to a tropical country. As a result, temperatures will rise as you travel. Think of your outfit as a well-cooked artichoke. In other words, a succession of independent layers that you can modulate by easily removing or reapplying. For example, in the “I’ve got everything on” version, you’re dressed according to the European weather at the time of departure. Whereas in the “I keep only the minimum” version, you’re perfectly dressed for your arrival in India. In absolute terms, it would be ideal if all the layers of clothing you progressively take off would fit into your bag, so as not to burden your arms. This way, you’ll be less likely to put them down somewhere and forget them. Which would be a shame at the start of your vacation. As for the airplane cabin, it’s double or nothing: either chilly or overheated, or both, depending on the moment. But don’t worry! What we’ve just prepared to put in your carry-on suitcase is suitable for both cases.

Important papers to keep with you

Here, I’ve drawn up a precise list so you don’t forget anything. Pack only emergency photocopies, and keep the originals in your carry-on bag.

  • Valid passport
  • Travel insurance: your assistance contact, policy number and policy certificate
  • Transport and accommodation reservations
  • Means of payment, cash and credit cards

Little extras not to forget

In addition to the list of products absolutely forbidden on a plane, let’s take a look at what you’ll find useful in your carry-on bag. Pack the bare minimum in your toiletry bag, including cosmetics! On the express condition that each container is less than 100 ml. And don’t forget that the total is a maximum of one liter, with only one pack per person. In fact, most travel kits on sale today, with full or empty bottles, comply with these conditions, and will not be confiscated at boarding control.
As for your medication, be sure to include your prescription in your first-aid kit. On the subject of contact lenses, consider the hot, polluted air you’ll be exposed to during the journey and on a daily basis during your stay.

Is it really a good idea to take them?

And don’t forget to take something to keep you busy during long waits or downtime. The best way to do this is on paper. Possibly a sketchbook and a simple pencil with sharpener. On the other hand, avoid pens and felt-tips, whose liquid ink may leak due to pressure variations during the flight between your country and India.

Safety restrictions

It goes without saying that you want to travel to India in an aircraft that guarantees a high level of safety.
In this context, anti-terrorist and hijacker vigilance imposes restrictions on objects and products carried in the hold and cabin. Nothing that could be used to detonate a bomb or injure personnel is accepted. Don’t try your luck, they won’t get past the checkpoint.
For example, you’re carrying your embroidery kit with miniature scissors, smaller than your thumb? The inspector sees a sharp, metal weapon. Does your water spray to cool your face look innocent? The security guard suspects it contains a toxic liquid that could burn the eyes of a flight attendant in a savage attack. And so on!
In the cabin, the official list of prohibited items and products is constantly evolving. Be aware that airlines have the right to be stricter than national regulations. The same applies to checked baggage.

Travel to India: what to pack, what’s useful when you’re there?

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. From now on, your choices will be based on the reality of your stay in India.

What Western clothing should you pack for a trip to India?

First of all, global meteorological data reveals that, whatever the season, minimum temperatures in India are higher than maximum temperatures in France. This means you’re bound to be hot throughout your stay in India. For this reason, it’s a good idea to pack summer clothes.

But be careful! This means light fabrics, but definitely not short clothes!

Indeed, to visit monuments and religious sites, “proper dress” is required. This means that legs and shoulders must be covered, and sometimes even the head. This automatically eliminates skirts, short dresses, strapless dresses, any neckline other than crew neck, tank tops, shorts and Bermuda shorts. The latter are forbidden for both men and women.

On the other hand, long dresses or skirts and pants are no problem for either gender.

I can hear you sighing “it’s going to be hot” in every sense of the word.

So here’s your tour guide’s tip: for the ladies, the scarf or shawl that protected you from the drafts during the trip will cover your Western summer outfit lightly but modestly when you’re in India. So don’t dress as usual, but take your scarf with you wherever you go. It will also protect your breathing from dust when traveling by tuk-tuk or train. For gentlemen, a mask replaces the scarf against pollution. When it comes to drafts, it’s up to you to decide.

As a general rule, choose natural, absorbent fabrics that are easy to wash, dry quickly and don’t need ironing.

Sportswear to pack for your trip to India

When you think of India, you think of yoga. So, if you’re already a regular practitioner, you’ll want to experience yoga at its source. Many ashrams invite you to share in the teachings of Indian masters. What should you pack for your yoga sessions in India? Certainly not your usual outfits! Tight-fitting leggings and short bras stay at home. After all, they don’t meet the above criteria of decency. Sport or tourism, the rule remains loose-fitting clothes that cover arms and legs.

Typical Indian pants, for example, are both very loose and tight at the ankle, giving you all the comfort and ease of movement you need for your relaxation and meditation exercises. Buy it on site and take it home as an authentic souvenir.

What to wear on a trip to India?

Quoi mettre dans votre valise


Now there’s a good idea! Instead of packing a pile of clothes in your suitcase, travel light and buy the same clothes as the locals. Thanks to the very favorable currency exchange rate, you’ll pay just a few euros for clothes adapted to the Indian lifestyle and climate.

  • Sari: this simple strip of draped fabric has been the national costume of Indian women for centuries. You’ll find them in all styles, qualities and, above all, prices. Above all, learn how to dress it properly (link to drawing or video tutorial). Different methods are used for different purposes. Obviously, once you’re back home, your sari won’t be much use to you. Unless you convert it into a curtain. With a length of 5 to 6m and a width of 1.2m, you’ll have enough to cover both panels of a glass door.
  • Kurtas: A long, straight tunic, elegant in its simplicity. In India, both men and women wear them over pants. Back home, women can easily wear it as a dress.
  • Pants: the simple straight model or the more or less baggy model mentioned above. Of course, you don’t want to make a fool of yourself with a folk costume. After all, you don’t wear a headdress and clogs every time you go to Alsace or Brittany. So it’s best to avoid the tourist stores. Instead, ask your guide or hotel receptionist to point you in the direction of a store where he or she buys his or her own supplies. An Indian store for Indians, at Indian prices.

Pack your swimming gear

I almost forgot: swimming gear! Take your bathing suit and a beach towel. With them, you can cool off in the hotel pool or by the sea. And don’t forget your sun protection kit: sunglasses, protective creams, soothing and moisturizing creams.

A solidarity suitcase to travel light

Depending on your financial means and your desire to show solidarity, you have two other options when it comes to packing clothes for the outward journey and the return journey.

  • Option 1: You pack Western-brand clothes that are not available in India, or that represent luxury items there. There, you use them as currency or gifts during your trip to India. Yes, that Zara T-shirt you bought for a few euros at the 2nd markdown during the sales is out of reach for that charming lady whose family is hosting you for an evening at a “chez l’habitant”. What you pay for the meal and the night’s stay, allows them to live, but not to afford such a superfluous item.
  • Option 2: you buy everything on the spot, at such ridiculous prices that you’ll have no regrets about giving it to the needy at the end of your stay. Your Indian clothes will be of more daily use to an Indian than to you, on the “never get to wear them” shelf of your wardrobe or in the textile recycling bin at the end of your street. What’s more, I warn you: the dyes in Indian fabrics are not fixed like those in European clothing. They bleed with every wash, throughout their entire existence. If you don’t wash them separately by hand, they’ll ruin the colors of all your next washes. You might as well give them to someone who knows how to look after them.

Shoes to pack for a trip to India

As you can see, comfort is your only salvation.

  • Sneakers will take the place of seven-legged boots both on the way to India and during your visits there. Sturdy enough to hold up on long walks, even over rough terrain. Closed to protect you from the cold when needed, but also reduce the risk of bug bites in the wild and limit dirt in urban environments. Pataugas or similar models are my favorite for combining style, comfort and safety, but a lightweight hiking boot is also a good choice.
  • Sandals or flip-flops for sunny days on the beach or lounging at the hotel.
  • In general, opt for flat soles and forget pumps or any other form of high heel.

What to pack for the holidays?

Your program of visits to India surely includes a traditional ceremony, which you’ll attend in appropriate attire. Everything we’ve planned together so far will enable you to present yourself with dignity at a local festivity. People know you’re a tourist and understand that you don’t have your entire wardrobe with you. So any effort at elegance will be appreciated.

Ask your guide what you need to do to respect the event’s dress code.

As far as the Holi festival is concerned, I’d advise you to wear head-to-toe white so that the thousand-colored powders can express their full potential as they fall on you. Their photogenic beauty will give you more beautiful images against a white background.

The pharmacy you need to pack

It goes without saying that long-term treatments must accompany you on your trip to India. Make sure you pack the right amount for the duration of your stay, without forgetting a margin for unforeseen circumstances. At the same time, it’s a good idea to stock up on occasional treatments for minor ailments that can be a nuisance when you’re on the move: constipation, diarrhoea, migraine, allergies, insect bites, dressings for blisters and small cuts, etc.
Once again, remember that a doctor’s prescription justifying each medication is required to pass through airport checkpoints.

Beware of the sun when traveling in India

Even if you’re dark-skinned, you’re not as used to the sun as Indians. And over there, the sun beats down harder than it does here. So it’s a good idea to pack a full set of sun protection gear:

  • Dark glasses
  • Head cover, hat or cap
  • Anti-UV cream in large quantities, but within the limits of the volumes allowed on the plane
  • Protective lip balm
  • Soothing ointment in case of sunburn

With this in mind, long garments will protect your skin better than those that leave your arms or legs uncovered. It’s all about “lighter than short”.

Toiletries: take them or leave them?

Shampoo, toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant… Let me put it bluntly: do you need all these beauty products and all this quantity for a few weeks’ vacation? Is it essential to pack them in their usual format? It’s likely that you won’t use the entire contents of the bottles. Which means you’ll be loading up your luggage with unnecessary items. You might as well not pack them at all.

Your cabin bag already contains the essentials for your stopovers, in sufficient quantities for both the outward and return journeys. So take advantage of your stay in India to use Indian products! Not only will you be supporting local industry, crafts and commerce, but you’ll also have the opportunity to discover new galenicals and scents. And when you bring them home at the end of your vacation, you’ll still be enjoying India until you’ve finished them.

For the ladies, don’t forget to pack some sanitary protection. You’re unlikely to find any in India. Add the antispasmodics or painkillers you’re used to for painful periods. You know how they can spoil the best of times. So don’t take any chances!

For all of you, remember that you’ll be living for a few weeks in a country where toilets are a rare commodity. So a roll of toilet paper in your rucksack will save the day in the wilderness. On the other hand, avoid disposable wipes, which are too polluting.

All the accessories you need to pack for a trip to India

As a 21st-century traveler, you’re always thinking about electronic devices. Okay, for your phone charger and other digital tools. But what about adapters for electrical outlets? Essential for staying connected internationally!

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or not, make sure you have a Polaroid camera and a large supply of cartridges. What’s the point? Quite simply because Indians rarely get the chance to see each other in pictures. So you’ll make them very happy by giving them a portrait of themselves as a souvenir of your encounter, whatever the occasion. In the same vein, postcards of Paris or of your region will be small gifts that will also please them. Miniature perfumes or bracelets will leave a lasting impression on the recipient. The power of macaroons or calissons on Indian gourmets is worth packing in your suitcase, without skimping on stock.

In short, you’ll be discovering another culture with Indians who are themselves curious about yours. The small gifts you pack in your suitcase will give you the opportunity to forge links with the local population.

The return journey: what to pack after a trip to India?

Have you noticed that since the beginning of this dossier, I’ve been urging you to pack as little as possible? Or at least, things you’ll be leaving behind in India, like clothes and trinkets.

How do you pack souvenirs from your trip to India?

The truth is, I recommend that you leave some empty space in your suitcase. After all, you’re going on vacation to a wonderful country. Logically, you’ll be amazed by everything you see. So you’re bound to want to buy souvenirs.

That’s why you’ll need room in your suitcase to bring back exceptional fabrics, new clothes, handcrafted trinkets and typical decorations.

If your suitcase is already full to the brim on the outward journey, you won’t be able to add anything on the return. Just think, a hand-woven rug takes up half an ordinary suitcase. Likewise, a statue of Shiva fills the space with its many arms, as does a paunchy Buddha. What’s more, these objects are too fragile to travel in a soft bag. It’s best to wedge them in with the dirty, crumpled laundry you’re bringing home.

Tea, spices and incense are enthusiastic guests in your home. To make them feel at home, plan ahead for their transport. Try to save as much space as possible.

The thrill of home

Sadly, when it’s time to return home, the question of what to pack for a trip to India arises once again. The problem is reversed because of the weather.

Take your multi-purpose outfit from the outward journey and stow it in your cabin bag. Toiletries for stopovers and entertainment activities also go back there. For example, you now know when to take one out and when to put the other on. The course of the first trip guides you in the order in which to put things in the bag. Basically: what you’ll take out last, when the plane has landed in France and you can sigh: “It’s over, I can’t wait for my next trip to India”.

To sum up: what should you pack to enjoy your trip to India?

An expedition of this kind calls for meticulous preparation to ensure that you pack the essentials and are prepared for any real-life situations you may encounter. An assortment of luggage for every purpose:

  • The backpack for the journey.
  • The suitcase for your stay in India.
  • A shoulder bag or fanny pack instead of a handbag.

Then the essentials to pack for a trip to India

  • Administrative papers
  • Strict minimum of toiletries, including cosmetics
  • Medication and prescription.
  • An occupation
  • Long, light summer clothes
  • Scarf or shawl
  • Swimming gear
  • Anti-sun gear: sunglasses, protective creams and soothing creams.
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Party wear
  • Feminine sanitary protection
  • Charger for your phone and other digital tools.
  • Adaptor to electrical outlets
  • Polaroid camera and refills
  • Small gifts

In any case, if you’re not sure what to pack, please contact us.

Akvin tourism

Author Akvin tourism

I have been passionate about history and religions since my adolescence. I devoured the courses on Egypt and ancient Greece. For 5 years, I fell in love with a region of India, Maharashtra. Every day, I research its history on its culture. With this blog, I would like to introduce you to an extraordinary region through its history, its men and women and its culture.

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