How to Travel Light to India

How to Travel Light to India
India is a vast country where inexpensive, if spartan, travel is very possible. Most of the time, going the route of the budget backpacker has much to recommend. It will require a minimum of several months to see everything India has to offer. Few wield the resources to do that while staying in mid-range hotels the entire time. Backpacking for long stretches means bringing along the bare minimum, and that means giving what is brought some careful thought.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1 pair of durable sandals 3 shirts 2 pairs of underwear 2 bottoms Lightweight voltage converter Two books Pocket digital camera with high capacity flash disk
  • 1 pair of durable sandals
  • 3 shirts
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bottoms
  • Lightweight voltage converter
  • Two books
  • Pocket digital camera with high capacity flash disk
Step 1
Bring only one pair of shoes, and make those durable sandals. The heavy-duty Keen hiking sandals are ideal, but anything that is durable and features a closed toe will work. You will not really need socks in India, and more than one pair of shoes occupies too much space and weight.
Step 2
Bring only three shirts or tops. One is for wearing while one is being washed and dried, and the third serves as a back-up for a dirty, sweaty day. Anything more than this is a luxury.
Step 3
Bring only two pairs of bottoms and underwear. These are not as prone to soaking up sweat and filth as your shirts/tops. Wear one while the other is being washed and dried.
Step 4
Think seriously about what you absolutely do not need. For example, why haul a can of shaving cream around when you could shave with soap and water? Look at every single item you are bringing. Ask yourself if you can make do without it. If you can, then make do.
Step 5
Ask yourself if there is a lighter replacement for assembled items to bring. A common item in this category is a voltage converter, since many travelers need them to charge batteries and iPods. Why have one that weighs two pounds when you could have one that weighs half a pound? If you can afford to replace the heavier model, do so.
Step 6
Bring only two paperback books. Do not try to carry hardbacks or too many books. You will need reading material for long train and bus journeys in India, but there are places to trade them in backpacker areas. Furthermore, English is the language of India's educated classes, and there are English books available in all major cities. You can get more books if you need them. Don't carry so many around.
Step 7
Do not bring a big camera unless you are seriously pursuing photography. These are heavy, fragile, and will need to be carried almost everywhere to prevent their theft. Pocket digital cameras are much easier to manage. Get a flash disk for the camera with the biggest capacity possible, so you do not need to burn photo CDs and then need to carry them around, too.

Tips & Warnings

This guide covers most of India, but those going into Himalayan India--in places like Dharamsala, Sikkim, or Darjeeling--will necessitate cold weather clothes. Likewise, those going to Goa, Kerala or Tamil Nadi will want to bring along swimwear and possibly snorkeling gear.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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