I’m writing this post because when I was packing for India I googled just that, ‘what to pack for India’, and didn’t find anything particularly helpful.
If you’re keen to know what beauty items to pack you can check out this post I wrote, ‘What to pack For India: Beauty’.
I guess you can’t really write a post about clothes packing and expect it to be useful to everyone, so with that in mind, you’ll find this post helpful if:
- You’re a female.
- You’re going in summer (I went to Kerala in Feb/Mar).
- You plan on doing some yoga while you’re there.
- You’re thinking about spending time in an Ashram.
- You’re keen to visit some religious sites.
You’ll probably still find it useful if you’re none of the above.
Okay, let’s do this!
What To Pack For India: Clothing
This is not what I actually packed, it’s what with hindsight I should have packed for 30 days in Kerala. You WILL wear the same stuff over and over again no matter how much you pack. Trust me!
*Adjust according to length of stay, seasons and activities.
- 3 x light plain cotton T-shirts: It gets ridiculously hot in India in summer and it is so very humid. All you want to do is walk around in your bikini, but that would be culturally offensive to many locals and absolutely forbidden in an Ashram. Covering your shoulders is an absolute must, and you shouldn’t wear anything too low cut. I packed Boody Bamboo T-shirts because they are so god damn breathable, they’re hypoallergenic AND they dry super fast (you’re going to be washing clothes a lot). If you stay in an ashram you’ll need to do yoga in a t shirt or long sleeved top. For yoga t.shirts I’d opt for a high neck. The ladie spill out in downward dog if you’re not careful!
- 2 x singlet: If you’re staying in a resort or touristy town like Varkala or Kovalam, then you’ll get away with exposing your shoulders. You’ll be thankful that you packed a couple of singlets.
- 2 x loose cotton full length pants: You can’t wear shorts in most parts of India (except the touristy towns like Varkala) and if you’re staying in an ashram you’re not allowed to practice yoga in leggings. Loose cotton pants are your safest bet. If you don’t have any, wait until you get there to buy some, they’re everywhere (and so cheap). Otherwise Tree of Life have some great affordable options.
- 2 x maxi skirts: I took three. That was excessive. Your favourite one plus a lightweight extra skirt is plenty. It’s so hot, so it’s nice to have a bit of a breeze down there without having to expose your legs.
- 1 x maxi dress: I suggest a plain colour. You can mix it up by adding different scarves, jewellery etc.
- 2 x light weight scarves: Never go anywhere in India without a scarf in your bag. They are so handy for covering yourself in religious temples and if you find yourself in a conservative part of town. I’m not talking winter wooly scarves though, it’s HOT. Think light cotton summer scarves.
- 7 x pairs of cotton undies: That’s all. You will need to do washing at least once a week, which means you shouldn’t need more than 7 pairs. Also, opt for cotton or bamboo. They’re breathable and will dry faster. I took Boody bamboo classic bikini briefs.
- 1 x pair of slides or thongs: You are going to be taking your shoes off a lot in India. In fact most houses, religious sites and even some shops will ask that you remove your shoes before entering. Bending down to undo your shoes each time is a punish.
- 1 x pair of comfortable walking shoes: I took some sand shoes with me but wished I had packed some more supportive walking shoes. There are some beautiful treks in India and it would be a shame to not explore them. When I stayed at the ashram, we went on a meditation hike up a mountain one morning and it was all kinds of magic.
- 1 x leggings: Not all yoga places have strict dress codes and will allow you to wear leggings. Take something 3/4 length and breathable. Did I mention it was hot. I know I keep dropping their name, but Boody leggings were great. They are so thin, dry fast and are seriously lightweight.
- 2 x loose long sleeve shirts: I opted for very thin, cotton, flowy, bohemian shirts. They’re great for night and for covering your arms up without over heating.
- 2 nice items of clothing: I was under the notion that I wouldn’t care what people thought of me while I was travelling solo through India. I didn’t imagine myself going out for dinner or having to worry about looking nice. This was a mistake. When I stayed in Varkala I went out for dinner with (new) friends every night and wished I’d packed something nicer than my basic tees.
- 1 x cross body bag: Great for walking through markets and keeping all of your belongings close tpo your bod.
Because I’m such a fan of Boody products they’ve been kind enough to offer readers of this blog 15% off when you purchase their products online. Simply enter code THEINSPIREDTABLE at checkout.
Got any questions about your pending India travels? Email me any questions, I don’t mind! firstname.lastname@example.org