Bon Voyage Series: What to bring to India

Hello Volunteers!

We are going to offer a series of post here on the website of things we as a group would have liked to have known when we were packing our bags.  Some of it may be fairly obvious and some a bit more helpful but we wanted to offer a resource to help guide you as you gather your supplies for the expedition.  This week we will start with a basic overview and then provide some more specific posts over the weeks leading up to our departure.

As far as luggage is concerned you will be able to take one piece of checked luggage, weighing 50 lbs or less (there is no extra charge for this), a piece of carry on luggage and a piece of  “personal” luggage such as a purse or laptop bag.  We recommend your carry on or personal luggage be a bag you can use as a day pack to carry your personal supplies during our daily outings.  Remember to make sure all toiletry items in your carry on and personal luggage are less than 3.4 ounces. Placing these items in a 1 quart size clear plastic zip top bag that can be put in the screening bin at the airport security checkpoint will help your screening time go quicker.  Any small, sharp objects should be in your checked luggage (don’t forget pocket knifes, nail clippers, nail files, etc.).  If you would like to bring a water bottle with you in your carry on or personal luggage it must be empty until you are through the security checkpoint.

We suggest bringing between $200 – $600 in spending money, more if you are interested in expensive souvenirs or extra cultural outings.  Consider your personal spending habits and tastes as you create your budget.  You will be provided with two meals each day, breakfast at the hotel each morning and lunch or dinner depending on the day’s agenda.  It would be a good idea to bring some healthy snacks with you that you can carry in your pack to supplement your meals or to tide you over between meals.  You may also like to have small, healthy snacks to hand out to children begging on the street (your expedition leaders will discuss street beggars more with you).  When planning your budget for meals it may help to know that $5 – $10 will get you a nice lunch at local shops but restaurants such as McDonalds, KFC or Pizza Hut will have prices similar to or slightly more than what you pay here.  There will be free time available for shopping and additional cultural excursions that are not included in the cost of your trip.  While the entrance fees for the specifics sites and temples mentioned in the itinerary are covered, your leaders will provides some additional recommendations such as an amusement park with rides and performances or an interactive elephant park that range in price form $50 – $80.

For any electronic devices or appliances you will need a voltage convertor and plug adaptor.  The most common outlet uses two or three round prongs, forming a triangle.  You can find convertor/adaptor sets at stores like Walmart or Radio Shack.

We hope this helps you get started.  Check back later this week for some recommendations on what to wear and what you might want to include in your day pack.  Happy Packing!