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Packing For India: How To Travel Across The World For Two Weeks With One Suitcase


As I write this, I am now 12 days away from leaving. Or not I, but "we" since it's actually 13 of us! Lucky 13, right? :) Between the textile making, pottery, yoga, and cooking lessons, we have a good mix of activities planned--- but it seems the main goal for the clothing items on the trip (and let's be honest, my life in general) is comfort and function first.

I've sort of started packing, but then I stop, because "this can't be this easy, right!?" Let's be honest here-- my wardrobe isn't that big. And with the exception of a handful of bright dresses, I like to wear the same staple pieces over and over again. And with the weather being similar enough, I'm pretty much equipped. So in my world, packing is sort of easy. Especially that it's only me and not the three of us packing. And on top of it all, I'm OCD enough where I've already packed in my head 10x over ;) Funny enough, I'm actually expecting to be on the cold side in India. As I've been checking the temperature every few days, I'm realizing that southern florida is warmer than india during this "winter" season.


1. scarf (from here)
2. a passport AND visa, duh.
3. light tanks for layering. (I like these or these)
4. blue plaid pants (from here, but no longer available) / rainbow pants (from here, similar) / zig zag pants / black white pants / my only pair of jeans.
5. a heavy cozy sweater (mine was thrifted, here's a similar one)
6. a larger carry-on bag for your more necessary goods + one outfit in case your other luggage gets lost (mine here, on sale)

A SCARF.
A scarf is a great multifunctional purchase for traveling. You can use it to shade your head from the sun while exploring cities, to cover your shoulders when entering a temple, or to keep warm in the chillier evenings.

VISA.
Lisa and I already mentioned this in our International travel post, but please please be sure you look into what paperwork you need to enter a country. For india you need a travelers visa. Also, as mentioned, it's really valuable to make copies of all paperwork to keep with you. One for you, one for someone trusted staying back home.

LAYERS.
It's all about layering. All my clothes are relatively lightweight anyway--- it's good to have breathable lightweight layers. Think cotton or natural materials as much as possible. A few tank tops, long sleeve tops, one light sweater and one thick one.

SHORTS VS PANTS.
I live in shorts. You guys know that. It's certain I'll at least get one comment about me wearing pants when it happens. With the exception of a few days this winter, me in pants is like a mystical unicorn. But it's important to keep other customs and traditions in mind when traveling. So with that said, I'll be leaving my shorts at home. It's customary to be pretty covered up in India. Long pants and long sleeves. Could I wear a tank top? Maybe, but it's good to think about what you'll be bringing with you that can help access that place you are in by assimilating and not standing out. You're already a tourist, it's better to just stay comfortable and keep others comfortable by respecting the norm. So pants: yes. Shorts: nope.

A SWEATER (& SWIMSUIT TOO).
For as long as I can remember, I've always had the rule that I must bring both WHEREVER I travel. You just never know, right?!? The temperatures can drop pretty deep at night in india. Much colder than here anyway. And flying across the world can bring some pretty cool temperatures on the plane too. Always bring at least one comfortable sweater. A swimsuit? In India? I questioned it. But for our trip specifically, we actually upgraded all the ladies this week (and ourselves, duh) to a pretty amazing 5 star hotel--- with a gorgeous pool area. While much of our trip is planned out, everything is flexible. So our ladies have the opportunity to skip a workshop or skip yoga and just lounge in their room or by the pool if wanted. And while it's appropriate to be covered up with pants in the city, within hotel grounds, a swimsuit is completely acceptable. And a swimsuit doesn't take up much space anyway.

A TRAVEL BAG
I think my biggest difficulty in packing is just figuring out a bag situation. I don't want to pack or carry too much. When traveling anywhere, it's important to have a closed top purse (if any purse)for your day to day. In life thats generally a good rule. I splurged on a weekend bag last week. I've been needing one for a while now anyway. This one was vegan, beautiful, and even Marlowe pointed it out that it doubles as a pillow, haha!

BRING VS BUY.
It's not a crazy idea to plan of "packing" extra space for things-- especially for things you don't already have. You always want to remember to be practical about your purchases, so if you don't need to buy it, don't plan on it.


1. reusable bag
2. hand sanitizer
3. sunglasses
4. a camera
5. facial wipes
6. comfortable, easy wash shoes

EARTH FRIENDLY
No matter how you travel, you're leaving foot print behind. So while traveling, it's important to think about how you can leave a lesser impact, like you would at home. I like to travel with a reusable bag. It's good if you go shopping or if you just need to carry random things along the way. Also, we will be market shopping for food for our cooking lessons, so it'll def. come in handy then!

STAY HEALTHY
I'm bringing hand-santizer, soaps, pain relievers, my women's multi-vitamins to last the week, among other things. Germs are everywhere. So bring the things you might personally need to keep you extra healthy. Stomach aids, tissues, whatever.

SUNGLASSES
I'm bringing at least two pairs. Sounds crazy, one is really all you should need, but for me, I have the most sensitive eyes ever-- why I got Lasik. My eyes water in the overcast light, so pure sun? Forget it. I'm bringing two incase I lose or break one.

CAMERA
Duh. With lots of memory. And my computer to dump photos--- and work there too, hopefully maybe. probably.

FACE WIPES
Lisa and I went back on forth on how we feel about facial wipes. On one hand its great to clean the dirt of your face, on the other, we then have to reapply sunscreen. Either way, they're good, even just to help you skip a face wash. I found these (in photo above) that are eco-friendly and support a good cause. I also like to bring witch hazel wipes when I travel since witch hazel is a part of my regular routine.

SHOES
You need to worry about two things here: comfort and ease. We're going to be doing a lot of walking and exploring so the shoes need to be comfortable and keep you blister free. But they also need to be easy to slide on and off since it's customary to remove your shoes at a lot of places. Another thing to consider: how easy are my shoes to clean? A little silly, but I love jelly shoes. I still have the same pair from when I was 13! I found the pair in photo above, HERE, on clearance (they were even cheaper when I purchased them). They're super easy to slide on and off, they're comfortable, and you can just hose them off if they get dirty. Perfect for our pottery day! I'll bring atlas one other pair of shoes, sneakers or flats.


Wow, this was significantly longer than I thought it would be-- and I didn't even touch on everything! :) We've been putting together lots of packets (and some gifts) for our ladies. It's coming on so fast, it's crazy!

I was supposed to do a cooking demo this weekend, but ended up turning it down for fear of taking on way to much before my trip. I already have my own flight anxiety to deal with, haha ;)  I still hope to stop by the festival though :) Other than that I just hope to make this time leading up to the trip an amazingly busy fun time.

I hope you guys all have a fabulous weekend! If you have more travel must have's, favorite travel shoes, luggage, whatever, please feel free to leave them below! 

18 comments:

  1. In India, if you will be walking around, you should wear closed shoes...

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    1. I wrote I'll be bringing one pair and one pair of jelly's :) Plan to be prepared with both.

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  2. It's also really helpful to scan all your important documents and passport and then e-mail them to yourself so you have access to an electronic copy should the need come up (which hopefully it doesn't).

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    1. Yes! someone mentioned that to me two days ago and I forgot to write it down! Thank you!

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  3. You sound beautifully organised, it's getting exciting now, not long to go. CJ xx

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  4. great tips!!

    xx nikki
    www.dream-in-neon.com

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  5. What part of India will you be in? We have friends living in Nepal and it is very cold this time of year! I've never been to India, but I have been to Nepal. I would recommend wearing a scarf at all times. I know in Nepal they consider you not fully dressed if you are missing a scarf and they come in REALLY handy for covering your mouth and nose. The dirt and pollution there is horrible! I would also suggest taking peroxide and an antibiotic, we use Cipro when we go over. You do not want to put your toothbrush in the running water! You will pay for it!! The peroxide will come in handy to clean your toothbrush just in-case you do accidentally get it wet. Have fun and be safe! I can't wait to see all your beautiful pictures!

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  6. I can't wear jelly shoes because my skin gets chafed very easily. It's such a pain to find sandals that won't rub my sensitive foot skin the wrong way. I can't wait for the next time I get to travel, but I know it won't be for a year or two. For now I love seeing what other people pack and where they go :)

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  7. get ready to feel completely disorganised as soon as you enter the country. i had everything perfectly packed for my nine week trip across india. that country is cray-zy. don't pack your sneakers, it will be boiling hot. i was on flipflops all the time, in spite of the cowpoo EVERYWHERE. you can buy amazing hippie pants for 2 dollars and you'll probably end up wearing those everyday. get ready to get dirty and annoyed. that being said: it is an amazing country. you'll be amazed everyday. god i miss india.

    ReplyDelete
  8. get ready to feel completely disorganised as soon as you enter the country. i had everything perfectly packed for my nine week trip in india. that country is cray-zy. don't pack your sneakers, it will be boiling hot. i walked on flipflops all the time, in spite of the cowpoo EVERYWHERE. you can buy nice hippie pants that you'll probably end up wearing everyday. i had all my nice (maxi)dresses packed and never took them out. get ready to get dirty and annoyed. every single day. that being said: it is an amazing country. you'll be amazed everyday. god i miss india.

    ReplyDelete
  9. get ready to feel completely disorganised as soon as you enter the country. i had everything perfectly packed for my nine week trip in india. that country is cray-zy. don't pack your sneakers, it will be boiling hot. i walked on flipflops all the time, in spite of the cowpoo EVERYWHERE. you can buy nice hippie pants that you'll probably end up wearing everyday. i had all my nice (maxi)dresses packed and never took them out. get ready to get dirty and annoyed. every single day. that being said: it is an amazing country. you'll be amazed everyday. god i miss india.

    ReplyDelete
  10. get ready to feel completely disorganised as soon as you enter the country. i had everything perfectly packed for my nine week trip in india. that country is cray-zy. don't pack your sneakers, it will be boiling hot. i walked on flipflops all the time, in spite of the cowpoo EVERYWHERE. you can buy nice hippie pants that you'll probably end up wearing everyday. i had all my nice (maxi)dresses packed and never took them out. get ready to get dirty and annoyed. every single day. that being said: it is an amazing country. you'll be amazed everyday. god i miss india.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Packing is the best, man. You'll be glad you took long stuff - I lived in gauzy palazzo pants from Topshop when I went, and not only was it appropriate, but I basically felt like I was in pajamas the whole time. Still wear those bad boys every summer.

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  12. pajamas! my first trip abroad i totally forgot pajamas! luckily it was just my boyfriend and i. they are good for sleeping (duh), and when i'm on trips i like to go out during the day for sightseeing, come back to the hotel to chill and freshen up and lounge in pajamas before heading out for dinner/drinks/mischief.

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  13. As for the camera, would you be covering it Drea, as you may want to take pictures in the Holi festival and it can get a little colourful and messy.
    I love the pants galore, the colours are intoxicating. Have a great weekend, guys xx

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  14. So exciting! I look forward to seeing pictures and hearing about your adventures.

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  15. Love your post this is so cute! India has been on my list forever and now that they have finally switched to visa on arrival (getting rid of all that paperwork) hopefully I'll be taking a trip soon.

    Your post is very inspiring and helpful : )

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