Heading to India and a bit overwhelmed with deciding what to pack? Follow this simple girls packing list for India and you’ll be set!
1 -2 scarfs
I probably wore a scarf every single day in India. I used my scarves to help cover my shoulders and chest…or any other curves. If you are blonde, you may even want to wrap your scarf around your head to void stares – good luck!
Since you will be wearing a scarf a lot, I suggest bringing two so that you have options – one in a bright fun colour and one neutral. When you get to India you can also buy a scarf – it will be the most practical souvenir you buy there!
1 Light sweater
In some areas (such as the desert) the temperature can drop at night so you will want to pack a light sweater with you. A sweater is always a must when traveling – hello freezing airplanes!
2 maxi skirts (loose-fitting)
Another God send! A maxi skirt will allow for some breeze to flow through while keeping you covered – plus they are just darn right cute. Just make sure that you don’t purchase one that is skin-tight, the last think that you want to do is show off your curves.
3 pairs of long loose pants (can buy more in India. These are great for night trains)
These will be your saviour. In Northern India – and many other places – you need to cover your legs. Obviously, India is extremely hot so pants are not ideal. My go to were loose, flowy pants. My favourite ones, I had actually purchased once I got to India. Go for a fun colour – your in India after all (and it makes for cool photos)!
2 Cotton t-shirts
Breathable is key here. A simple cotton t-shirt will be your best friend in the heat. Chose two colours that will go well with the bottoms that you are packing – ideally something simple without logos, writing, or patterns.
1 crop top
Doesn’t seem like a good idea for a modest country such as India? Surprisingly, showing your stomach in India isn’t actually considered that risqué. You will never see legs, but will see plenty of belly’s rolling out. Embrace it! The last thing you want in hot and humid weather is more fabric – so opt for a crop top instead. Plus these will go great with the maxi skirt you are bringing along.
2 tank-tops (a.k.a singlets)
People will typically tell you not to wear a tank top because you are exposing your chest and shoulders. However, I would wear a scarf over my tank top and voila – covered! These tank tops will also come in handy if you travel to Goa and don’t need to worry as much about keeping covered.
2 pairs of shorts
This really depends on where you are planning to travel in India. If you will be up North (Golden Triangle) then shorts are not appropriate – not will you want to draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. However, down south in Goa shorts are A-Okay. It’s more of a beach town vibe down there and event though I wouldn’t walk around in a bikini, shorts and a tank top are fine. It was so nice to finally get to wear shorts again and let my legs breathe!
2 cotton bras
In India in the heat the last thing that you want to do is put on a bra in the sweaty heat. In all honesty if I could go completely without on I would. But we all know we gotta give those girls a little support. Bring thin cotton bras – no underwire – if you need the support. Keep your bra as breathable and light as possible! Even a sports bra felt too suffocating but this would be a better option if the cotton bralette doesn’t give the support you need.
5 Pairs of Underwear
It’s not my place to tell you what type of underwear to wear, but if you have no preference opt for thongs. I say thongs for two reasons. 1. They take up barely any room 2. The less fabric the better – your butt will be sweaty enough as it! You can wash your underwear by hand as needed.
It’s too hot to wear proper sneakers so make sure that you buy a good pair of sandals. You will be walking around a lot and won’t want to rely on a cheap pair of flip-flops as your footwear. Chose a pair that will work with most of your outfits.
1 – 2 bathing suites
If you will be heading down to Goa then bring 1-2 bathing suites with you (depending how long you plan on staying there). Despite what you might read online, bikini’s are completely fine. Yes, men might look at you a little longer than you would like, but that happens when you are fully dressed too!
Instead of a beach towel, just throw a sarong into your bag. Sarongs are great because they are very light and take up very little space. Plus, it’s so hot in India that you never need to wipe down after jumping in the ocean – the water will evaporate off you in minutes! The sarong will come in handy when you need something the lie down on at the beach – and doubles as a cover-up.
1 Travel Towel
If you don’t yet have one of these bad boys in your travel essentials – you need to get one!
1 Blow up Pillow
I loved my blow up travel pillow! It takes up no room in your bag and when you need a pillow you simply whip it out and blow it up. A pillow will be very useful in India because you travel on a lot off different trains and buses.
Sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner for the trains
If you like having your own sheets then bring a sleeping bag liner with you to India. A liner is all that you need – plus it’s tiny. I found my liner useful when taking a night bus ect.