Sunday, October 30, 2011

Packing for India

Packing for India really isn't much different than packing for any of my other trips oversea. I have the usual toiletry items, passport, money and so on. But I have made a few slight changes to what I would normally take;

Clothes - I'm packing very few clothes as I've read and been told that clothes in India are relatively inexpensive. So I'll just get what I need when I need it there. This way I avoid packing clothes that I probably wouldn't have needed to take whether it be shorts, jackets or whatever.

Power adapter/converter - All of my travels in the past have been to countries that have the same electrical power as we have here in the states, 110 volts ac. But in India the power is 220 volts ac so I'm taking a few adapters and one small converter so that I can safely use the 220 volts to power my 110 volt items such as my netbook, electric shaver and cell phone charger.

Lonely Planet Guide Book - Normally I don't travel with a guide book, I usually do a lot of internet research at least to get me started and then wing it once I'm in the country. But with India being so big and seemingly intimidating I decided to bring one along on this trip. Since it's heavy I may decide to ditch it somewhere down the road if  end up not using it.

Nopikex - I found this insect repellent in Panama and it is by far the best repellent I have ever used. It is a bar of soap and one just washes their skin with it, leaving the lather on the skin where it quickly dries. It does not leave behind an oily film or clog the pores as most sprays do, and is odorless. It contains 22% deet and usually lasts the entire day. I'm taking two small bars but I probably should have brought three.

Acidophilus - This is a probiotic which is naturally found in yogurt and is used to aid in digestion or calming an upset stomach. Acidophilus is a natural bacteria found in the digestive system but when one eats questionable food the bad bacteria can overwhelm the good bacteria causing 'delhi-belly'. I've been traveling with a probiotic for years and it works great. Anytime my stomach starts to feel queasy I'll take one or two and usually will feel better in less than an hour.

Money Belt - I normally don't travel with one of these but because I'll be traveling for three months I felt like I might need one. I also got a new wallet with a chain on it to help foil pick pocket attempts should that be an issue. Probably all over kill, but why take a chance.

Lock and Cable - Again, this is something that I usually don't travel with but so many people recommended one for keeping bags safe when traveling on a bus or train in India.

Here is a short list of items that I always travel with;

Nokia phone - this is an unlocked phone that I take with me everywhere. For a dollar or two I buy a local sim card, put it in my phone and add minutes to it for a reasonable fee. This allows me to call taxis, hotels, and even back to the states for a very reasonable cost. From India to the US it is less than 10 cents per minute.

Camera - who travels without a camera? Not me! I recently sold my beloved Pentax digital SLR camera and assorted lenses and purchased a Canon SX40 HS point and shoot camera. While the Canon takes great photos it isn't near the quality as the Pentax DSLR. However walking around with a large DSLR and a few lenses isn't always practical, actually it's a pain the butt. I believe the Canon will fulfill all my needs. I also have a small Olympus that I'll take as it is a pocket size camera and I can take it with me every day to capture those unexpected moments.

I got a new tetanus shot yesterday so all of my immunizations are up to date. I took a quick check at my flights online yesterday and so far there haven't been any schedule changes (it happens once in a while). So I'm packed and ready to go!! Just need to wait another 7 days before I board the plane.

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