From beautiful beaches to sacred holy lands, India offers an endless variety of amazing sights and experiences to visitors. In 2015 alone, India welcomed over 8 million international tourists, which makes the country one of the world’s hottest vacation destinations.
If you’re considering booking a trip to India, however, don’t forget to pack these essential items to ensure that your journey goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Personal Water Filter
While bottled water is generally available in highly populated areas of India — and it’s always easy to find near the largest tourist hubs — it’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan. Consider picking up a water bottle with a built-in water filtration system. If you find yourself in a place where local water is the only readily available option, these water bottles can filter out bacteria and other impurities that may otherwise wreak havoc on your digestive system (and your trip).
2. Power Adapter
If you plan to take any personal electronics along — whether a cell phone, tablet, or laptop — you will need an Indian power adapter. India uses types C, D, and M outlets with a standard voltage of 230v and a frequency of 50hz. Having the right power adapter will ensure that you never miss a photo op on your fully charged camera phone.
3. Bug Spray
India, much like America, has an incredibly diverse climate, ranging from deserts to rainforests to snowy alpine climates. Many of the most popular tourist destinations are damp, and if you travel during the hotter months, you will need to take your favorite bug spray to ward off any pesky (and potentially disease-carrying) insects. Stow it in your checked bag, as bug spray won’t make it through airport security checkpoints in your carry-on baggage.
4. Passport Pouch
Obviously, you will need a passport and visa when you travel to India, but a good passport pouch is almost as invaluable. A passport pouch protects your most important travel document from the elements, and hides it away from prying eyes or hands. It’s also a safe place to carry money and credit cards.
5. Dust Mask
India’s massive population and atypically dry urban centers make for a very dusty atmosphere. When in highly populated areas, it may be a good idea to wear a dust mask to protect yourself from inhaling harmful particulate matter. If you don’t want to wear a dust mask, a bandana or a cloth can serve the same purpose.
6. Toilet Paper
If you plan to travel outside of the standard tourist locations in India, toilet paper will be hard to come by. Most of the country still doesn’t use it, and finding a roll to buy may prove a more difficult task than you’d expect. If you plan to do your business the Western way, pack some travel rolls so that you’re always prepared.
India’s largest cities are noisy — cars honk their horns at all hours to signal their location to other drivers. If you visit a temple, the bells and religious chanting can get quite loud as well. A set of earplugs can help to drown out the noise and allow you to sleep peacefully in India’s bustling metropolises.
8. Sunscreen and Hat
Unless you want to spend your entire trip as red as a lobster, a high SPF sunscreen and a wide brim hat are must-haves. Don’t plan on buying sunscreen locally, as the topical ointment is rather expensive in India.
The hot and dry weather of India can quickly lead to dehydration, and if you have the misfortune of catching a food-borne illness during your travels, this too can lead to severe dehydration. Electrolyte tablets help keep you hydrated in all possible situations, so be sure to stock up before embarking on your journey.