India has a wealth of breath taking views, rich cultural destinations and incredible sights. One of the most rewarding ways to experience them all is on the wide open road. But while road trips can be a truly exciting and immersive way to explore every crevice of the country, it can also pose some real difficulties when it comes to preparing for your holiday.
If you’re planning on heading off the beaten track, then there are a number of things you need to consider when packing. From essential technology to healthcare products and even everyday comfort wear, here are the top ten items that should be making their way onto your Indian itinerary.
1) A reliable backpack
India is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, so it goes without saying that the streets are bustling with busy crowds. Travellers will therefore be thankful for a reliable backpack that lets them easily carry all their worldly possessions over their shoulders. In addition, it’s also worth bringing a few sealable plastic bags along for the journey, as they are a quick and convenient way of protecting all your food products and toiletries from pesky insects and sand.
2) A sturdy pair of shoes
The streets of India can often be an extensive obstacle course of bad footing and unsanitary sewer spillages. A sturdy and comfortable pair of shoes is therefore a vital addition to your inventory. Opt for a design that will help you keep cool in the heat and humidity, while also offering plenty of protection from road surfaces. An extra pair of flip flops will also serve you well, from leisurely strolls on the beach to idling around your hotel room.
3) Earplugs or music players
Such a vibrant country is always full of life and while that may be appealing through the day, it can be a real challenge when you’re trying to drift off at night. Keep a few pairs of earplugs close at hand or alternatively, bring a music player and power adaptor. You can listen to your favourite tunes as you browse the streets or download a white noise app to help drown out the hustle and bustle when the sun goes down.
4) Thermos cup
With temperatures reaching highs of 47C in some parts of the country just earlier this year, hydration is vital. A thermos cup is a crucial piece of kit, letting you carry a constant water supply at a satisfying temperature. Shop around for a durable and watertight thermos to keep your drink protected, no matter how perilous your journey may be.
5) Hand sanitizer
Coming down with any sort of sickness can instantly ruin an otherwise amazing trip. To avoid this, always carry a bottle of hand sanitizing gel and a pack of tissues with you to ward off any bacteria you may come into contact with. It’s also advisable to invest in an ultraviolet pen. These use the light to sterilise your water and eradicate common waterborne bacteria, which are one of the most common causes of travel sickness.
6) Insect repellent and sunscreen
A bad burn or bite is one of the worst souvenirs you can bring home. Buy a high SPF sunscreen and always apply whenever you are out in the heat. No matter how fair or dark your complexion may be, the Indian sun can be pretty intense. Similarly, swarms of insects can pose a serious threat, with some mosquitos carrying dengue fever and malaria. In addition to essential and advised vaccinations, take an extra precaution with repellent sprays and creams.
7) A lightweight sleeping bag
A lightweight sheet sleeping bag can be a lifeline when it comes to long car, bus and train journeys. It can also put your mind at ease when staying over in questionable hotel rooms. Choose one that easily packs away into a compact space or clicks onto your external backpack straps.
8) A small, secure carry bag
During day trips, you may want to leave your backpack behind in your hotel room. This is where small, secure carry bags can really come in handy. Money belts that attach across your waist or daypacks that are held under your arms offer convenient hands free storage for your money, keys, camera and phone, while protecting your valuables from potential pickpockets.
9) Cable locks
It’s worth spending to ensure you have the best quality cable locks for your backpack. They will prove an absolute essential when it comes to locking your bag in place on trains and busses, or keeping it safely attached to heavy furniture in your hotel room.
10) Comfortable and modest underwear
While modest clothing is recommended for anyone travelling in India, it is particularly important when it comes to bras. Comfortable underwear can be particularly difficult to find in India, so you won’t regret stocking up on a selection of different pairs. Wave goodbye to your frilly and lacy numbers, and instead opt for cotton bras that provide full coverage and support.