Planning for a month or two months or so travelling across India! Here is the list of stuff that you should buy before you start your journey.
India being a very much diverse country from linguistic aspect, religious aspect, cultural aspect, geographical aspect. Within India, an economical night journey can change your geographical location and hence climatic change. Hence it is advisable to pack your bags accordingly so that you can enjoy your journey in any condition. Considering such broad aspect it is advised to pack the bag lightly so that you can plunge easily.
Travelling in India is almost cheap but only if you do it strategically. Almost all the stuffs, say transportation cost, living, market etc ranges from economical to luxurious. It is the strategy that matters and that could save a lot of money.
Being a netizen, generally I prefer to buy stuffs from Flipkart because it delivers genuine products. There are copious amount of market in India from where you can buy stuffs cheaply. But if you are going in normal shops(road side- because it delivers cheap products :p) you may have to bargain many a times to get at cheaper rate. The more you are expert at bargaining, the less cost you will pay for a product. At the same time, you may not be sure about the quality of the product. Also, such kind of shopping takes too much time, so I prefer to go for online shopping. If you are planning for online shopping, you must start buying all the stuffs a week before because it will take around 7 days(being in safer side) to deliver. From my experience, following are the list that you must buy (if you are going in winter season then you should add winter cloth too to your packing list).
(Prices are as of 26th April 2015, it may change. Prices is just for quick reference).
1. Rucksack bag
First and foremost stuff to buy, to keep all other stuff safe. Below are the options(with prices- for quick reference) that I got from extensive research.
- Wildcraft Trailblazer 50 L Rucksack- Rs 3995/-
- Senterlan Backpack 50 L- Rs 1899.-
- Zero Gravity Nature Explorer 60 L- Rs 1591/-
While travelling you may have to face rain. Specially if you are going in rainy season or region that faces heavy rainfall you should also buy one backpack cover to protect your stuffs from rain.
- Quechua 55-80 L bag cover- Rs 440/- Snapdeal
- Quechua 35-50 L Rain bag cover- Rs 652/- This is costlier than above, check out on flipkart and snapdeal both before ordering.
2. Shoes and socks
1 pair of sports shoes- If you are planning to go for trekking, you should buy shoes having good grip. Atleast you must buy shorts shoes. Do not buy sneakers or any other which do not have good grip.
1 pair of flip flops- Wear it to relax yourself when you are in train/ bus. Would be required if you are visiting religious places frequently (easy to put off and wear again).
I would not recommend to add another sandal to your bag as it will only occupy your bag space. Although you may like to pack that too. But sports shoes and flip flops are enough.
4 pair of socks- 2 cotton and 2 warm. Warm would be useful in cold regions.
3. Rain coat
So obvious na! I would not prefer umbrella, as I want both of my hands to be free. It would enable me to take beautiful photos of rainy season, roads, roadside etc. Also, it would help you to roam on roads freely. Specially in crowded place umbrella might not be a good option.
4. Camera and accessories
It all depends on your budget. There are many options in wide range. You can choose any.
- Do not forget to take spare battery and battery charger(if you do not get alongwith camera).
- Camera lens (If your camera is enabled for that). Do not pack so many lens which can make your bag heavy. Pack very basic lens.
- Do not forget to take memory card with enough memory space.
Here is some good deal to take beautiful photos from your smartphone. Lens that could be very much useful to capture good shots without paying much for camera.
Photron Universal 3 in 1 Cell phone Camera Lens kit- Fish eye, wide lens and macro lens. Do not expect for camera like experiences but at the end it helps in capturing good shots.
5. Mobile , accessories and adapters
- Buy one power bank- Mi power bank for Rs 999/- You can charge your fast dying smartphone many times with power bank. Enjoy photography with your mobile ;).
- Keep one non- multimedia cellphone- In case your power bank dies out, you may not be able to charge your smartphone. To be in touch with your family and friends, you may like to have one non-multimedia set that could stay you connected for long.
- 1 universal adapter (extension board) – Take your extension board and charge whatever you want and whenever like a boss. Would be useful when you want to charge your mobile/ camera/ laptop or any of your electronic gadget in train, specially in sleeper class/ at platform. In many sleeper coach, there is lack of plug point in compartments. You will see one/ two plug point/s at extreme side of a coach and there would be too much rush for charging. You can be a boss here 😀
- Ear phone- Music, sleep without getting much disturbed.
Shirts and T.Shirts- 2-3 units of shirts and 3-4 units of T.Shirts would be enough. Prefer to pack dark colored clothes so that even if it gets dirty, it won’t be visible much ;).
Jeans- 2 units of Jeans would be enough. I would prefer cargo pants for more pockets.
Shorts/ 3/4th/ track paints- 1/2/1, in total 4 units would be sufficient. Buy one pant that can be used as 3/4th and jeans both at a time.
Jacket/ windcheater- 1 unit of jacket would be required for the Himalayas Region/ cold region.
Undergarments- Make sure to pack 7 units. You may not get chance to take bath everytime. Even if you get, you may not get place to dry your cloth. Be prepared.
Bed- sheet and plastic- 2 units will be required. In case you do not get beds to sleep/relax, you can use this to sleep at railway platform/ tents etc. Also, buy one big size plastic of size same as that of bed-sheet. Keep the plastic below your bed-sheet, it will not make your bed sheet dirty. You will get plastic mostly at all railway platform.
This will help you many a times. Even if you want to relax for an hour or so, you can do the above without spending a penny.
Handkerchief- 3 to 4 units. Take large sized. You can use it in summer to stay away from heat. Cover your face and head with this. No need to buy cap at high cost.
Soap(washing+bathing), shampoo, tooth brush+paste, saving razor+cream(if you do not require very often, do not waste money much on this. Instead visit some local salon whenever required), deodorant, comb, sun screen lotion (to stay away from heat- it helps a lot).
Torch- If visiting not so common place at night.
Medicine- First aid medicine (soon will add a link for required medicine)
Mosquito repellent- You may require sometime.
Water bottle- 1 L, more capacity will make your bag heavy.
Old newspaper- Pack atleast two units. I use it very often. Want to eat on your berth, want to sit anywhere to relax, want to wrap your flip-flops/shoes to put in bag? Pick one/two sheet of newspaper and use it wisely. Very helpful. Do not miss it. And during your journey, keep buying newspaper. That will update you with city news and later you can use it too well.
Safety pin- Pack 1 dozen. To dry your cloth you would require. If your shirt button goes off, it can serve your need. Helps in many other situation. Multi-functional tool.
Plan wisely, travel cheaply, stay safe and explore India.
Your comments are welcome. Join Pocketful of India for frequent updates.