January 15, 2013

Packing for India

We've learned - the hard way- is how important it is to be prepared. It's critical to have good medical kit, the right shoes, and most importantly: the virtue of patience. Well, patience can't be packed for, but one can mentally prepare!

Soon we are off to India. We will be visiting Mumbai, Madurai, the Chettinad area, Kumily (Periyar), and Cochin. I'm excited. I'm a little anxious. Preparations are nearly complete...

Our loved/hated luggage

We'll take one international size carry on bag and that's it. The ones we have had for years are 24-inch Samsonite roller bags. We have a love-hate relationship, me and the bags. They are small and filthy, even after a rub-down with sanitary wipes. They have been with us to the rice paddies of Vietnam, intimidating Russian train stations, fjords of Norway, canoes in Burma... no wonder they are such a mess. But they've been by our sides to witness some of our best and worst moments.

Among our packing list:

Clothing
  • Two pairs of shoes each: one sneaks, one Toms
  • Pants: For modesty and mosquito protection
  • Hoodies: Airplane wear and cool nights
Nearly all the clothes I am taking

Medical Kit
  • Antibiotics for malaria and persistent "Delhi Belly"
  • Antihistamines
  • Band-Aids
  • Cortaid
  • Advil
  • Imodium 
  • Sudafed
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Bug repellent with deet

Electronics
  • iphone
  • Google Nexus: Loaded with movies (selections from this trip include Passage to India, Monsoon Wedding, Mulholland Drive and Mamma Mia), electronic magazines such as Vanity Fair and Conde Nast Traveler, and PDFs of travel documents
  • Electricity adapter
  • Headphones
  • Kindle
Don't want to forget anything!

Etcetera
  • Cliff bars and dried fruit
  • Extra plastic baggies
  • US$$ & travelers checks
  • Laundry bag
  • Earplugs
  • Sunscreen
  • Travel Books - A "pictures" book such as Eyewitness or National Geographic, and a "words" book. I like Moon guides the best, but it's most important to buy the most recently published books.
Love space saver bags

One thing I do to save space and weight is cut out portions of the books that are irrelevant to our trip. Why lug books with hotel, food and sight tips about an entire country or region when we are only visiting a few of the places?

Books with info about the places we aren't visiting cut out


Most important things to pack: Patience, kindness and humor. And room for shopping.

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