What to Bring to India

What to wear, money, and health

Dress code

You are an artist and Rajasthan is a kingdom of textiles, so have fun.

It is unacceptable to wear shorts or strappy singlets in most places. Mumbai and parts of Delhi are more accustomed to this now. (Generally though, this is the equivalent to us walking around in underwear) and it is better to mostly cover your shoulders and wear skirts or shorts at least to the knee or trousers.
There will be pools in some of the places we stay so it is best to wear your bathers in the pool area only, cover up going back to your room.

It will be cooler at night and averages 27 to 30 in the day.
We will be travelling in an air-conditioned bus so you may need a layer or wrap for this sometimes.

Shoes

We won’t be hiking but will be walking around villages and towns so wear comfortable sandals.

Shopping

You will want to shop and shop, so it is best to bring as little as possible to start with.You can always buy another bag in India to carry your purchases home with you. There are the most stunning fabrics and jewellery. Always, always barter.

Looking after your money

Some people like to wear a money belt. I have a small leather bag that I wear across my body so that it sits in front of me and I keep my hand on it if I am in a crowded area. It holds my money and my phone/camera. I carry a small wallet in there just for my Indian money so it is easy to access different amounts without pulling out a wad of notes. For your passport and remaining cash, you can leave it in the hotel safe if you prefer.

Kamlesh is our banker. He carries Indian cash and exchanges it for Aussie or US dollars. You can change some money at Delhi airport if you prefer to have some when you arrive.

We have a group kitty for tips, lunch and dinner and all put cash into that, which amounts to about $250 to $300 AUD each. Much of your shopping will be done with cash, having said that, many stores do take credit cards too. I bring about $1000 AUD cash for spending and then it doesn’t matter if I don’t use it all or I use my card if I need more.

For your tummy

I recommend not eating meat when you are in India and no unpeeled fruit or salad. You cannot drink the tap water ever or clean your teeth in it.
Bottled water is fine. Make sure it is sealed.

I also suggest taking the homeopathic Arsenicum, one pillule a day starting a week before you leave and every day x 3 when you are there. The first sign of anything feeling a bit strange in your tummy take 5 Arsenicum straight away. I have had no problems during my last three visits to India.

I will be carrying a first aid kit with medicine for an upset tummy but you may want to bring a small amount of Loperamide just in case you get busy in the night on the loo. Better out than in usually though.

A few extras

Mosquito repellent. Best to cover up too.
Handwipes or small bottle of antisceptic cleaner like sanitol