India Tour - What to Bring (a checklist)

India has three seasons. Winter starts at the end of October and lasts until the end of February; temperatures are moderate and pleasant, but it will be quite a bit colder in the northern part of the country, especially at night. Summer arrives with extreme heat in March, which continues into June. Monsoon season, which varies in timing and intensity across the country, generally hits in July and August, and visitors will need rain gear and umbrellas during this time. An umbrella is also handy as a sun shield and of course, sunglasses are essential to protect the eyes. Pack a wide-brimmed hat for protection from the intense sun, and long-sleeved tops and full-length pants to avoid mosquito bites at dusk. In general, during any season traveling clothes can be casual and comfortable; light colors such as khaki and white are recommended. Cotton and linen fabrics allow your skin to breathe in hot temperatures --- avoid synthetics, unless they are sports clothes designed to wick away sweat. Also be prepared for chilly mornings and evenings, especially in mountainous regions, by packing layers and long pants.

Other Clothings

In large cities, jeans and T-shirts will be fine in many places, but it's best to dress more conservatively in villages and rural areas. In other words, leave the mini-skirts at home. For visits to mosques and temples, women must keep legs and shoulders covered, so long skirts or pants and a shawl are recommended items to pack. Men should wear shirts with collars rather than T-shirts, and shorts are not recommended for either sex anywhere, but especially when visiting India's holy sites. If you plan to go swimming, bring a bathing suit, as this item may not be readily available for purchase outside of major cities. You'll probably see a variety of swimsuit styles on fellow Western travelers in resort areas like Goa, but in general, if you're visiting public beaches a conservative suit is recommended.


Be sure to pack sturdy shoes with good support. Sandals, preferably closed-toe ones, are a good option, but they still need to support your feet with good rubber soles for extensive walking on uneven surfaces. Sneakers or hiking shoes might be more versatile, especially if you plan to explore rural areas and go trekking in northern India.

Other Essentials

Sunscreen is a must, as it tends to be very expensive in India. Take your favorite brand of mosquito repellent as well, since you'll need lots of it and Indian brands tend to be less effective. Most personal care items are available in major cities, but some antiperspirants and hair products are difficult to find in smaller centers. Other items to consider packing, especially for rural areas, are a 230-volt converter and a good travel guidebook for when digital planners like smart phones aren't useful or easy to recharge. And make sure to bring a journal to record the memories of the trip.