A vast country of endless diversity, India is the second largest nation in terms of population, with more than 1 billion people! What makes it truly unique is the way in which majestic architecture, widespread landscapes, festivals, languages, religion, wildlife, Bollywood, cuisine and a rich history co-exist perfectly. No wonder there were 1.3 million visitors to the country from the United States in 2016 alone, a number that has grown by over 27% till 2019, according statistics by Business Standard.
Things to Bring to India from USA
Keeping in mind the health concerns and drastic seasonal changes, traveling to India might seem challenging. So, here’s a simplified checklist of what you should bring with you.
Passport and Visa
First and foremost, put all your important travel documents together, without which entry to India would be impossible. Other than these, make sure you keep your flight itinerary, identity and address proofs of where you will be staying in the country handy. It is best to keep printed as well as electronic copies of the travel documents with you.
During the peak winter and summer seasons, cities like Delhi, Rajasthan, Kolkata, etc., experience extreme harsh climate. It is recommended to carry long-sleeved clothes to protect yourself from the heat as well as the cold. It is always best to pack according to the season. Breathable and loose garments are best for summer. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes and some strong sunblock too.
Don’t forget to get insurance.
It is recommended that you get travel insurance when traveling to USA, as medical expense (even for common flu) can run into hundreds of dollars! Here are some of the best insurance for US visitors.
India is congested and polluted. No point hiding the truth. So, bring your personal asthma inhaler and other medication that you might need in case of an emergency. Over the counter medicines are much cheaper in India and easily available. You could also consider bringing malaria medicines, since mosquito-borne ailments are common. Carry Pee Safe products too, since public toilets tend to be unhygienic.
Carry a camera and accessories like tripods etc. A camera is one thing without which half of the essence of traveling to India would be lost. To keep your memories of the country afresh, don’t forget to capture the moments as they occur. Bring your personal earplugs and power bank too. India is a hoarder of duplicate items. You might be fooled into buying low quality electronics, believing them to be the real thing!
You can bring limitless foreign exchange into India. However, if your currency exceeds $5,000 and checks exceed $10,000, you will need to inform the customs authorities in the Currency Declaration Form. Again, you can convert your currency at the airport itself, without any limitations.
You might wish to travel by train. Don’t forget to bring little pouches of toiletries like hand sanitizers, toilet paper, soap and so on for such journeys. Keep bug sprays and your personal electronics handy. Carry plug adaptors for your electronic devices because these would be unavailable in India. Lastly, bring books or a good playlist to kill time. The concept of punctuality here is very different from that in Western countries.
While this might not be a complete list, it does cover the basics that you will need during your Indian travels. Making your own checklist and ticking off items as you pack can help you avoid missing out on any necessities.