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What to bring to India

VISA– Visa is REQUIRED for travel to India. Online e-Visa option is available.  This visa can be applied for completely online, costs $30-$80 depending on which country you come from, and has various time options such as 30 day, 1 year, or 5 year.  You fill out the application at Indian Visa Online  and will be emailed your visa which you must print and bring with you on your travels.  This can be applied for with minimum of 4 days before traveling, as processing is fairly quick. However, we recommend doing it sooner rather than later. For further questions about Visa application, please contact us directly. To Print your E-Visa- go to the Indian Visa Website, select check status, and enter your ETA and passport numbers and click print status.  Please print in color and bring a couple copies. WE WILL SEND YOU A DETAILED EMAIL END OF JULY ABOUT HOW TO WORK ON THIS SO DON’T WORRY OR START IT UNTIL THEN 🙂

PASSPORT – An obvious one for international travel. We recommend you to make  a couple photo copies of your passport to bring along just in case- you never want to risk being stranded across the world with no way to return… you probably won’t use these but it doesn’t hurt to be extra safe!

SUITCASE/TRAVELERS BACKPACK – When choosing the bag you are going to pack in the most important thing to consider is that we have 4 domestic flights while in India. If your bag is over 15KG (ONLY 33 LBS) you will have to pay for the extra weight. It’s about $6 per 1 KG over or $6 per every 2.2 LBS. Keep this in mind because we fly 4 times the extra weight expenses can add up. We can always ship some heavy purchases if you make them while in India home to prevent this but ideally consider a very light bag when packing if you want to save money. The size doesn’t matter so much, but the weight is what they will check. It’s totally okay to be overweight (we probably will be too) but aim to be as light as possible if you want to save money.

CLOTHES – Light, comfortable, modest clothing is optimal. Especially for women, because the culture there is so different, it is not recommended to bring tight, form fitting clothing. Save yourself the discomfort of harassing stares or situations by bringing loose, free fitting clothing, ideally with both your shoulders and knees covered for ladies. Trust us, it’s worth it. Some temples will require covered heads and or shoulders for both men and women, so bring some light scarves (you can also buy these there). Keep in mind you will want to buy things there- great prices on super beautiful items, so pack light!  We will have access to laundry service at the hotels for an additional fee, and you can also wash your own clothes in the hotel if you bring some soap to do so (there is bar laundry soap that works well for this). We recommend bringing no more than a weeks worth of clothes because you will be able to wash them, and that helps you pack light. Our weather will be very hot, you will only need a sweater for indoor areas really… and one sweater will be enough. 😉

COMFORTABLE SHOES– Lots of walking and exploring to be done, make sure you have whatever keeps your feet happy!

SMALL EASY TO CARRY PURSE/FANNY PACK– Preferably with a zipper or something that closes effectively… Just to keep your rupees all in check 😉

JOURNAL/SKETCHBOOK – Some deep processing may be done. Some awesome memories may need to be recorded. Give yourself the chance to take notes. If you’re not a journaler no need for this one, but it is nice to have if you like to write down memories.

CASH – You will be able to get out rupees from ATMs around (mostly… Rishikesh in particular tends to have ATMs ‘not working’ so before we get there definitely pull out some extra rupees), but sometimes having dollars to exchange is helpful as well. When choosing dollars be sure to bring the “new bills” as they get a better exchange rate. $100 will get a better rate than $20 also. So ideally bring “new” $100 bills meaning the new design with the blue stripe not the old design. Everyone asks how much cash we really recommend and that’s depending on your spending habits, but you will need around $200 cash for local tips alone, and then market shopping could be around $300 through out the whole trip but could also be $3000 depending on what you’re buying lol but most places with big ticket items will allow you to pay with credit card…. so cash is really for local markets and such…. street chais…. 🙂

GIFTS FOR CHILDREN – A really sweet thing… So many beautiful children, many living in extreme poverty, who have never seen or rarely seen foreigners. Having something simple to give them to remember you will truly touch your heart. Little chapsticks, pens/pencils, key chains, etc… anything from your country, and these kids just light up! We will be visiting an orphanage at the end of our trip, so any supplies for the orphanage as well that you want to bring (coloring books, crayons, toys, stickers etc.) feel free to bring and keep safe in your bag until the end of our stay where we will leave them in this beautiful children’s home and school.  Keep in mind you will have to carry around these gifts until the end of the trip, so make sure it’s small items that you can manage.

HAND SANITIZER – YES! You will need it all the time. Trust us, bathrooms are not always in the best conditions and you will definitely want to purify.

TOWEL/LIGHT YOGA MAT – We will be practicing on the go, and you will benefit from having something to practice on.  However, it’s best to travel as light as possible, so you may not want to bring your heavy duty manduka mat.  We recommend a light yoga mat (you can even purchase these at Walgreens) or a light towel that folds up easy into your bag.  Whatever you chose, make sure it’s easy to carry around.  We bring yoga straps to carry ours.  Something like this for example — yoga mat strap.

SNACKS – Having some bars, nuts, or whatever to keep you fueled and energized can make a big difference during long days.

MOSQUITO REPELLENT – We may encounter some buggy areas; particularly Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh at the end of our trip. Good to have a repellent you can rely on.

SUNSCREEN – They don’t call it the Indian Sun for nothing.  Protect your skin.

PORTABLE UMBRELLA – It will be the transition out of monsoon season which may bring some rainy days.  A little umbrella can go a long way.  This is also available to purchase in India for very cheap if you don’t want to bring one from here.

SMALL FOLD-OUT FAN – This goes along with the whole ‘Indian sun’ thing.  It’s India; it’s hot.  Having that extra breeze from your small hand fan can add an extra bit of comfort on our sight seeing excursions.  Again, you can purchase this in India easily at next to nothing cost if you don’t want to bring one from here.

EARPLUGS – If you’re a light sleeper, bring some plugs. The bigger cities like Delhi will not be forgiving for you.

SWIMSUIT – There are a few hotels that have a pool.  Ladies bring the most modest swimsuit you own.  Indian women wear full wet suits when swimming, and while it is a hotel with fellow foreigners we want to respect the culture as much as possible. To give you an Idea, Indian women will wear a full body suit to swim typically… obviously we don’t need to do that but please don’t bring your Miami Beach bikinis. Ideally full coverage on both your bum and your breasts, stomach out is okay.

COMPRESSION SOCKS – The long international flight can be painful on circulation.  Compression socks can make a world of a difference! Carry them on the plane with you and put them on right before take off.  You’ll thank us!

LIGHT CLOTHESLINE – Every city offers laundry through the hotel service at a reasonable cost so you can wash clothes during your trip. However if you do want to do any of your own laundry you’re going to need a way to dry it. Also nice if you get wet or rained on for any reason and can hang up your things overnight.

ELECTRIC PLUG CONVERTER – You will need a converter to charge your precious smart phone. You can get one there too, but sometimes it’s just better to be prepared.

EMERGEN-C – India may use it’s magic to wreak havoc on your immune system. Traveling can be tough- be prepared.

ELECTROLYTES – We will be out a lot in the heat and we recommend you to stay on top of your hydration so you can feel your best! Those little electrolyte packages or tablets can really help to drop into your water and boost your hydration beyond just regular water.

GINGER CANDIES – One of the best recommendations we’ve had- the Indian road conditions + car qualities can make for quite a bumpy ride. Nausea may ensue and a little ginger candy can really do the trick to keep you feeling well. Plus they are yummy!

PEPTO BISMAL – While getting super sick in India is not common as long as you follow our recommendations on diet/food choices (we will help you while we are there) a little bit of adjustment and funny tummy feeling is normal as you get used to the spices and flavors of the food. Pepto bismal is the most common used medicine to help your tummy gently readjust to the food. Great idea to have some on hand.

DIARRHEA MEDICINE – Of course, natural medicine is always the best. However, there may come a time where you will be thankful you brought your strong Western Imodium. Trust us, been there, VERY grateful.

GENTLE NATURAL LAXATIVE- On the flip side we’ve had some travelers come along have the very opposite issue where the change in diet causes them to experience some mild constipation. Something gentle to assist you on having a healthy bowel movement will make you feel so much lighter… literally 🙂

COLD MEDICINE– We’re talking decongestants.  If you for some reason get stuffy or head pressure nothing is worse than still having to travel onward.  Best to just be prepared with any medicine you may need because Indian pharmacies will not have our Westernized strong options. Also, we ask all our travelers to PLEASE BRING A MASK WITH YOU for situations like this… if one person gets sick we do want to protect the group so everyone doesn’t also catch it. Having a mask available to wear on our travels (especially plane/bus rides) will help us take care of each other so we don’t all end up coughing and sneezing. We are traveling in a group and ask everyone please be considerate about this and bring a mask in case you do catch a cold to protect your fellow travelers.

E-CIGS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN INDIA- No vaping devices are allowed on ANY of our internal flights throughout India. They can’t be in your checked luggage or in your personal carry on. They will review your baggage, they will find it, and they will make you get rid of it, and not only that but this slows our whole group down when we go through the security together. We will help you guys before each flight explain everything that is safe in your checked luggage and that is safe in your personal luggage to help you distribute properly before we get to the airport, but it’s important to know vaping devices of any kind are not allowed in either luggage when flying.

BEFORE THE TRIP – Beef up your immune system at least 2 weeks prior to travel with probiotics, garlic, vitamin c, and what ever else you use to get your immunity nice and voluptuous.  The stronger you are before, the better chance you have of staying healthy.  Of course we will take all the proper precautions while we are there, such as brushing teeth with bottled water and avoiding street food, but it’s still good to close up any holes you have in your immune system before traveling so that there isn’t a lot of room for viruses to get in.