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PACKING: IT'S AN ART!

This is all just advisory and should be altered depending on which places you’re visiting and at which time of year. Please contact me if you need any further help packing!

 

1) Large back pack – Traveling with a backpack is super convenient when taking trains as they are smaller and easier to carry. If you travel with a backpack you can clip things onto the side, like your yoga mat, walking shoes and neck pillow!

 

2) Small back pack – To be carried on your front on travel days which can double up as your day bag. It's good to keep your valuables in here so that you can keep a close eye on them when travelling.

 

If you don’t want to bring a backpack, that is absolutely fine. Please bring a medium sized suitcase – not a large one! Trains don’t always have standing luggage racks so we are limited to the overhead compartments. My rucksack is 50L and fits in the overhead rack.

If you bring a suitcase, please make sure your hand luggage is nice and compact (a small rucksack would be ideal) so that your hands are free...

 

Carrying lots of small bags is very inconvenient and in my opinion the juggling act will distract you and may increase your risk of being pick pocketed.

 

Indian train stations are very busy with staff, commuters, travellers and homeless people. For this reason it’s very important that you have a close eye on your belongings. This is another reason why backpacks are good as everything will be strapped close to your body and your hands will be free.


3) Money belt - the best way to protect your valuables is in a money belt which keep your money/phone close to your body. In your handbag or day pack you can then just have your water bottle, sunglasses, journal and any other "less valuable" items.

 

4) Tote bag – they fold up nicely and are good for pottering around places (if used with a money belt of course!)


5) Earplugs and headphones - India is very noisy place so these will help you rest well at night and if you want to nap on the train/mini bus.

 

6) Neck pillow and eye mask - good for the flight and for trains.

 

7) Travel adapter with two pins, just like you would use in Europe (220v – if you’re coming from the UK you don’t need a voltage converter, but if you’re coming from the USA you’ll need a voltage converter as well as an adapter).
 

8) Water filter bottle - save money on drinking water and save the environment too! I highly recommend Water to Go (https://www.watertogo.eu/75cl-bottle.html/) designed by NASA it removes 99.9% of all bad stuff! I used it for 7 months and didn't get sick once. I even drank from the River Ganges and a lake in South India. In India most restaurants provide filtered water but it gave me extra peace of mind knowing that I could filter it again myself.
 

9) Cash - bringing your home currency and exchanging to Indian Rupees is by far the easiest way. Indian rupees cannot be purchased outside of India. Bank cards are also an option but sometimes international cards are rejected at the ATM so is the easiest way.

 

*amount entirely depends on how much shopping and additional activities you want to do as almost everything is included. There are a few meals not included  - you can expect to pay approx 200-300₹ for a meal in a nice, clean, touristy restaurant which serves Indian and Western food. You’ll also have plenty of free time. For a two-week Bhavana Experiences tour 20,000₹ will be more than enough to pay a contribution towards a kitty for tips, eat like a King during your free time and explore and shop as much as your heart desires in your free time!

10) A book or an e-reader (we have 2 long train rides and lots of time for reading on the houseboat and in Goa!)


11) Mosquito repellent

 

12) Toiletries - Although you have luggage and are not restricted to 100ml bottles I highly recommend bringing small sized toiletries – your bag will be lighter and you’ll have more space for shopping!

 

13) Hand sanitising gel (India isn't the cleanest place in the world and most times public bathrooms don't provide soap).
 

14) Small packets of tissues (most public bathrooms don't provide toilet roll).

 

15) Clothing - conservative clothing is a must! India is a very traditional country and it’s important that we respect their culture. Although it will be hot, shoulders and knees should be covered. Try to find lightweight, loose fitted clothing.
 

16) Sun hat, sun cream, sunglasses and maybe even an umbrella for shade - it's going to be hot!
 

17) Swimming costume - both my Northern and Southern tour have at least one hotel with a swimming pool.

 

18) Journal and pen - you'll want to remember this trip!

 

19) Sweetener for tea and coffee if you prefer this to sugar.

 

20) Tampons if you prefer them to pads which are not available in all the places we are visiting. Pads can be bought easily and cheaply.


21) Supplements and tablets:

You all must have heard of people getting sick or 'Delhi belly' whilst in India. Most people will experience some degree of upset stomach whilst in India. It all depends on how sensitive your stomach is. Taking supplements is a good way of trying to prevent this from happening to you.
 

Taking probiotics to keep levels of good bacteria up is a good prevention of Delhi Belly or other stomach upset https://www.bodykind.com/product/1925-optibac-probiotics-for-every-day-extra-30-capsules.aspx (I’ve chosen these as they do not need to be refrigerated, whereas other brands do).

 

Just in case you do suffer any problems it's good to have re-hydration sachets on hand, such as Dioralyte - available at Boots, Superdrug and probably even cheaper places like Home Bargains. 

Antihistamine tablets (I recommend Benadryl Allergy Relief) and bite relief cream - just in case of allergic reactions 
 

Imodium (diarrhea tablets, just in case!)

Clothing:

The quantity of clothes for a fourteen-day trip is very difficult to generalize. Basically, it depends on how clean you want your clothes to be and how comfortable you are re-wearing your clothes without washing them! India is very dusty and clothing gets dirty easily. You’ll be able to have laundry done at a nominal cost in all hotels.

Anyway, here’s a rough guide:

  • Underwear and socks x5 if you want to wash your smalls by hand or x14 if you don’t!

  • Pajamas

  • 1x outfit of exercise clothing which you can wear for yoga and hiking

  • 3/4x loose, light-fitted breathable trousers covering your knees (ladies) – the less you bring the more you can buy here. Loose fitted trousers can be bought easily and cheaply in India

  • Approx. 5 tops which cover your shoulders OR vest tops with a scarf to cover your shoulders

  • 1x pair of shorts and a vest which you can wear at the campsite and if you chose to go rafting (they can be short shorts, the campsite is private and you can dress how you want to)

  • 1x jumper/fleece for the flight and air conditioned trains

  • Comfortable shoes or sandals for daily wear

  • Trainers/walking shoes for hiking – we will do one hike which is all downhill from a temple to a waterfall so shoes with good tread are important!

  • Breathable socks for hiking

  • Swimming costume – we are looking for a hotel with a pool in Amritsar but it is yet to be confirmed. However, you can swim in the waterfall at the end of the hike. (Ladies – when I went there were no Indian ladies and lots of staring Indian men. Lots of western women prefer to swim in full clothing to prevent staring but you can wear regular swimming stuff if you want to as it is a very touristy place)

  • Travel towel or sarong to dry off after the swim in the waterfall

  • Light weight water proof jacket just in case. The rains end at the beginning of September but it's better to be on the safe side

  • Something warm for Wayanad if you are coming on the Southern Tour, days will be pleasant but evenings will be chilly.