Updated: Apr 22, 2020
20 things you need to pack for a trip to India for girls travelling solo:
After taking numerous trips to India, I realized that I’ve created a list of essentials that I can’t go there without. Some of these things are pretty obvious, like breathable clothing to wear in the hot weather, while others might be things you never even dreamed of such as electrolytes to keep you hydrated.
Some of these products I used way more than others but each item was essential in making sure I was able to enjoy all of the beautiful things to see and do in India.
Check them out yourself and make sure you don’t get on the plane without them.
1. Breathable Clothing
As I mentioned above, the weather in India is often hot and humid. You’re going to want to keep the tight tops and faux leather pants at home or you’re going to be extremely uncomfortable. Instead, opt for breathable, loose-fitting clothing that is airy and will keep you cool. Linen is my material of choice since the structure of linen fabrics will keep it away from your body, allowing airflow, and keeping you cool. Keep in mind that long sleeves do a better job in protecting you from the sun than short sleeves or tank tops. They’re also helpful if you plan on visiting religious attractions since the shoulders and knees of men and women should be covered.
2. Toilet Kit
No matter if you’re out and about on the busy streets of Delhi or staying at a rural village in Karnataka, chances are that the public toilets will not be anywhere near what you’re used to. Honestly, some of the toilets in nicer hotels aren’t even up to standard sometimes. Toilet paper is nonexistent and will most likely be replaced by a bucket of water, while at times, even the toilet itself might be replaced with a hole-in-the-floor squatty potty. This is why you cannot go to India without creating your very own toilet kit. Mine includes toilet paper, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer.
Coleman Camper’s toilet paper comes in a three-roll pack for only $5.99. It’s biodegradable and safe for septic systems, which is a plus. I also suggest these unscented baby wipes that are perfect for any age as well as this 36-count of travel-sized hand sanitizer.
3. Activated Charcoal
Though it’s become extremely popular as a natural teeth whitener, activated charcoal can be used for much more during your trip to India. In addition to its detox qualities, activated charcoal capsules can also stop diarrhea and prevent dysentery. No one wants Delhi Belly to ruin their trip but you can’t truly experience India without eating all of the delicious curries and street foods that are available.
Be prepared with a bottle of Swanson Activated Charcoal and take two capsules when your stomach starts feeling a little queasy.
4. Roller Carry-On Luggage
With all of the things you’ll want to take with you and most likely buy while in India, having only a backpack can soon become bulky and heavy. I learned this the hard way when I ended up having to buy an extra duffel bag in the middle of my trip to fit all my stuff. Learn from my experience and take along a tried-and-tested roller carry-on luggage so that you’ll never have to worry about the weight of carrying it yourself. I pair it with a small anti-theft backpack that I keep in the luggage until I need it.
Try out this Hardside Spinner from Amazon-basics for only $49.99.
5. Sleeping Bag
If you go to India and don’t get on a train once, you’re missing out on an integral part of your travel adventure. I got to take the Konkan Railway from Mumbai to Goa and it is one of my most cherished memories. You get to sight-see with your travel buddies, meet locals you might be sharing bunks with, and even feast on local snacks sold through your window during stops. The one thing I truly cherished having with me at that moment was my sleeping bag. It added extra comfort and also security as I had all my important things zipped up with me while I slept peacefully. My sleeping bag actually proved to be useful during several other instances such as when I didn’t fully trust the bed-sheets at a hostel I was staying in.
Grab this soft and lightweight REDCAMP sleeping bag today.
6. Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
I find mosquito repellent bracelets to be much handier than bug sprays or lotions. One, the sprays irritate my skin and two, the lotions always melt into slime because of India’s humid weather. A mosquito repellent bracelet, on the other hand, can be worn around my wrist or ankle and lets me enjoy the outdoors without the pesky bugs. In addition to being bug-free, wearing a bracelet will also keep away the disease-infested mosquitoes as malaria and dengue have become prevalent in India.
Be bug-free with this six-pack of waterproof mosquito bracelets for only $16.99.
7. Power Adaptor
Standard electricity in India is 220 volts and is known for having surges of power which can fry your electronics if you’re not careful. Most outlets only accept a grounded three-pronged plug which is vastly different from what I was used to in the US. Having a power adaptor ensures that you can charge all of your electronics such as smartphones, cameras, and laptops, while also making sure that you don’t destroy them beyond repair.
Click here to purchase yours today.
8. Silk Liner
If you’re backpacking through India, you can’t always carry a full set of bed linen with you. Because I’d planned on mostly staying at hostels, I opted for a lightweight protective silk liner instead. That’s not to say that a lot of the sheets and stuff I came across were not clean, but I felt a lot better sleeping on my liner.
This silky smooth sleeping bag liner is not only extremely lightweight, but it also kept me cool during the hot Indian nights.
9. First Aid Kit
A personalized first aid kit should be in your luggage no matter where you’re going in the world. I usually fill mine with items for pain, burns, minor scrapes, allergies, and other common accidents. Though you’ll probably find these items at local pharmacies across India, I still suggest taking them because they might not always have the brand you prefer.
Start with this 120-piece FDA approved first aid kit from Amazon.
If you travel for months on end as I do, you know that it becomes extremely easy to forgo your usual exercise routine. A friend of mine suggested this TRX All-in-One full-body workout that lets me burn fat and build muscle no matter where I am. I used it while hiking through the jungles of Ranthambore National Park and camping on a beach in Goa while I was in India.
You can anchor it to trees, poles, and outdoor posts. Click here to get yours now.
11. Proper Footwear
I cannot stress the importance of taking proper footwear with you when you’re traveling. When visiting another country like India, you’ll spend hours on your feet sightseeing attractions like the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, or the Amber Palace. If you like the outdoors as I do, you’ll be on your feet a lot more!
12. Feminine Hygiene Kit
I mentioned above the importance of always having a personalized toiletry kit when traveling in India. Because of the country’s limited public toilets and their questionable levels of cleanliness, I also suggest you all the feminine hygiene products you’ll need for your entire stay. Menstruation can still be somewhat of a taboo subject in rural India and you may find it difficult to find sanitary napkins; it’s almost impossible to find tampons or menstrual cups. I have a friend who swears by female urination devices which allows you to urinate while standing - this seems to be a discreet and effective alternative to using public restrooms in India.
I found the GoGirl Female Urination Device on Amazon for only $9.69.
13. Anti-Theft Day Pack
The first step toward traveling smart is acknowledging that theft and pickpocketing happen all over the world including in India. Keep yourself protected by carrying an anti-theft day pack as I did during my trip. A travel buddy of mine was bummed when he realized that a snack vendor walking through the train during one of the stops had lifted his wallet without him even realizing it.
The Travelon Anti Theft Classic Backpack has a designated RFID blocking card and passport slot and comes in several colors.
As a budding photographer, one of the main reasons that I travel to exotic countries such as India is so that I can capture all the colors, people, and natural beauty that I see there. Even if you’re not as interested in photography as I am, I still suggest taking a camera. You’ll want to capture the towering mountains in Ladakh, the intricate patterns in the Adalaj Stepwell, and of the ivory marvel that is the Taj Mahal.
The AKASO EK7000 has built-in WiFi and HDMI capabilities, is waterproof, and has a wireless remote and long battery life.
15. Water Filter
No matter how nice the hotel is or how clean the restaurant looks, only drink sealed bottled water when in India. If you’re planning on journeying through more rural areas where bottled water is not available, carry the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. The award-winning gadget can remove 99.9999% of bacteria and parasites in water and is a lifesaver!
Hopefully, you never have a case of Delhi Belly during your trip to India. If you do, you’ll be glad that you took along electrolytes which can prevent dehydration. Even if you don’t get diarrhea, just traveling on a plane or being in India’s hot climate can dehydrate you as well.
Always be prepared with Nuun Electrolyte-Rich Sports Drink Tabletswhich can replenish essential electrolytes lost through diarrhea or sweating. You just keep a tube with you and drop a tablet in a glass of water to power you through.
17. Ear Plugs
I grew up in hustling, bustling New York City, and let me tell you, I was not prepared for the noises of India. During my first night in Mumbai, I heard cars, truck horns, vendors shouting over megaphones, and even cows. If you need absolute silence for a good night’s sleep, take earplugs with you.
The Mpow 055A Ear Plugs will protect your ears from the loud noises around you for only $9.99.
You really need to protect your digestive system when traveling in India. It’s not to say that the country is dirty; it’s just that most of our immune systems are used to a more protected environment and we get sick more quickly when exposed to new bacteria. These doctor-approved probiotics will support your digestive system and are 100% natural.
19. Passport Pouch
Perfect for all of the exciting things you can see and do in India, a passport pouch will protect your most important documents while letting you be carefree. I like to carry my pouch around my neck and under my clothes; in addition to my passport, I also add a paper with important phone numbers, credit cards, and a bit of emergency cash.
The Venture 4th Travel Neck Pouch is lightweight, RFID blocking, and also water-resistant.
20. Waterproof Phone Case
Boat rides, rafting, swimming - if you’re going to be around the water in India, you’re going to want a waterproof phone case. I swear by mine and even use it for day trips to the waterpark. The clear pouch usually comes in a universal size so it doesn’t matter which brand of phone you use. The material around lets you utilize touch screen features if you need to, even when fully submerged, allowing for some amazing underwater photographs.
Click here to get the Mpow 097 Universal Waterproof Case which is designed for extreme conditions and will last you several years.
With all of these things by your side, you’re bound to have an amazing trip to India. Since I’ve taken care of your packing list, why don’t you spend this time planning all of the amazing places to see while you’re there? Some of the places I suggest are the Chandni Chowk Market in Old Delhi, the Raj Mandir Cinema during a movie premiere, and the Golden Temple in Amritsar. I hope you have an amazing experience, and until next time,namaskar.
Frequently Asked Questions
On my multiple visits to India, these are some questions I get asked all the time.
Q. Do I need feminine hygiene products?
Yes, highly recommend because of sanitary issues.
Q. Can I buy over the counter malaria medication in India?
Yes, in any pharmacy of choice and way cheaper than back home.
Q. Do I need to bring a hand sanitizer?
Yes, it’s a convenient way to stay germ free.
Q. Do I need a lip balm with SPF?
Yes, to prevent lips from UV rays.
Q. Should I bring with me Birth Control pills?
Yes, it’s better to bring your own because they might not have your type.
Q. What is the cost of Malaria Pills in India?
23 Rs, which is not even a dollar.
Q. What are the side effects of malaria pills?
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, loss of balance.
Q. What essential oil to use as a mosquito repellent?
Q. Do I need to bring with me sanitary napkins?
Yes, highly recommended because India toilets have none, people simply use water.
Q. Can I buy parts for my electric toothbrush?
No, better to bring extra parts with you.
Q. Is the toilets in unsanitary conditions?
Yes, most of the public washrooms have sanitary issues.
Q. Should I bring my Active Roots Microfiber Travel Towel?
Sure, it’s lightweight and more convenient than regular towel.
Q. What toilet paper is best for travelling?
Coleman camper’s toilet paper.
Q. Can I buy pain killer without prescription in India?
Q. Is it better to drink filtered water or buy bottled water?
During my stay I was doing both. At times when I couldn’t buy bottled water I would use Live Straw filter to clean the water.
Q. Do I need to take motion sickness pills with me?
Yes, if you feel sick during flights or in the bus.
Q. Do I need Travel Insurance?
Yes, highly recommended.
Q. What is the best insect repellent to bring?
Mosquito bracelet. Way more convenient than mosquito repellent sprays.
Q. Can I buy turkish towel in Delhi?
Yes, you can get it from any bazaar in Delhi.
Q. Can I drink the tap water?
No, if you don’t want a Delhi Belly stay away from drinking tap or any unsealed bottled water.
Q. Where do I keep my dirty laundry?
I used Miamica Travel Laundry bag.
Q. What is the best cream for aching muscles?
You can get Dabur oil from pharmacy in India.
Q. How to cure delhi belly?
Take 2 to 4 capsules of activated charcoal.
Q. Which silk liners are the best to buy?
The Friendly Swede silk liner
Q. What to do musty room?
Take a look at this page.
Q. Is there a laundry services where I can wash my dirty clothes in India?
Yes, laundry services are cheap almost everywhere in India except big hotels.
Q. Do you recommend any dopp kit?
Check this one on Amazon.
Q. Do I need a mosquito net?
Yes, because of malaria issue.
Q. What should I include in my packing list to India?
Check the article above.
Q. Is bottled water safe to drink?
Yes, sealed bottled water is safe to drink.
Q. When is monsoon season in India?
From June to September.
Q. Should I bring a surge protector?
Yes, often a guesthouse has one plug in the room.
Q. Do I need a cell phone protector case?
Yes, if you are going for a boat ride and other activities.
Q. Which lightweight pants are the best for hot and humid weather?
Linen pants are the most breathable.
Q. Do I need a sleeping bag liner?
If you are going to travel by train bring sleeping bag liner.
Q. Is harem pants lightweight and breathable?
Yes, they are.
Q. What combination lock should I bring?
I used this one.
Q. Is India a conservative country?
The society is conservative.
Q. What travel clothes should I bring?
Loose breathable linen shirt and pants.
Q. Should I wear tank tops or long sleeve shirt?
Get a breathable long sleeve linen shirt.
Q. What other packing tips do you recommend?
I’ve covered everything in the article.
Q. What are Average temperatures in India?
Temperature average around 32-40 C.
Q. What travel essentials should I bring to India?
Check the article above.
Q. Is there a power outages in India?
Yes, it’s quite common.
Q. Do I need to bring a rain gear during monsoon season?
It might be too hot to wear it.
Q. Do I need a plug adapter?
Yes, because indian plugs are different.
Q. Is comfortable to wear yoga pants in India?
No, it’s too hot in there.
Q. Can I use local SIM Card?
Yes, it’s easily accessible.
Q. Should I bring flip flops?
No, buy them in India.
Q. Can I get a rain jacket in India?
No, bring your own.
Q. How is the local culture?
Honestly, it’s great.
Q. When is the hottest time in India?
From March to May.
Q. Do I need to bring warm clothes?
Yes, if you are going to Northern areas during winter time.
Q. Can a female traveller get unwanted attention?
Yes, starring and unwanted attention are common.
Q. Do I need a voltage converter for India?
Yes, because voltage in India 220 volts.
Q. What are the Essential Items to bring?
Check a list above.
Q. Can I buy clothing in india?
Yes, you can buy it from bazaar.
Q. Can I buy cargo pants in India?
No, buy it in your hometown.
Q. What are the best time to travel in India?
The best time to visit India is between October and March.
Q. Which travel adapter are the best?
Ceptic India Travel Plug Adapter
Q. Is it safe to eat street food in India?
It’s safe to eat what is made in front of you and the vendors looks busy.
Q. Do I need Virtual Private Network?
Yes, it’s essential to get VPN because you can’t get an access to all websites as usual.
Q. Do I need silk liner in budget hotels?
Yes, hotel sheets might be dirty.
Q. Should I buy Chaco Sandals for India?
Yes, because you’ll do lots of sightseeing.
Q. Do I need to bring Basic First Aid Kit for India?
Yes, it’s essential to bring basic first aid kit.
Q. What travel documents do I need for India?
You’ll need a passport with valid visa.
Q. What should I include in a small first aid kit?
Pain killers, band aids, small bandages, tweezers, scissors, sterile gauze pads.
Q. Is heavy rains common in India?
Yes, during the monsoon season.
Q. What are the hottest months in India?
The hottest period generally from April to mid June.
Q. Should I wear a spaghetti strap shirt or a long sleeve shirt in India?
Loose long sleeve linen shirt is better.
Q. When is the Rainy Season in India?
From June to September.
Q. Can I buy linen shirts in India?
Yes, you can look for it in bazaars.
Q. Do I need Money Belt in India?
Yes, wear it under your clothes.
Q. Is it safe for solo female traveler in India?
Yes it is despite all the warnings.
Q. How do you deal with travel agents?
If you pay them small commission they will give you the best service. It will save you a lot of extra cost and give you peace of mind.
Q. Can I use credit card anywhere?
I would suggest you have cash on you all the time.
Q. I want to book through AirBNB and I was wondering if houses have hot water?
Most places I have been in India through AirBNB has water heaters. Even cheap hotels have it.
Q. Should I bring waterproof shoes?
Well unless you plan on walking during the monsoon but it's not needed.
Q. How are the hotel rooms in the cheap ones?
They are decent, you shouldn't expect five star but they are ok.
Q. Can I find western brand clothes and other stuff?
You sure can in some places but don't expect it everywhere.
Q. Are there a lot of scam artists?
You should be watchful because you never know who is trying to scam you. Remember, everyone is trying to make a living there and while most people won't scam you. There are always few bad apples.
Here’s an infographic you can download for all the 20 things to take: (scroll down if you can’t see it)
Originally written and contributed by an inspirational Canada born female solo traveler Ms. Julia Dudkovska, published by India's favorite women travel group - Wander Womaniya
At Wander Womaniya we organize women travel groups for solo female travelers within India & abroad to ensure safety & security.
Checkout all women's special blogs by Wander Womaniya or let us know if you need help with a customized holiday with a female travel companion.