The Ultimate Packing List For a Road Trip In India

Over the years, I have been to zillions of road trips. And no wonder, the best ones are the impromptu ones. Nothing like seeing a new place or new country on a road trip. The unexpected surprises, the changing landscapes, detours and dozens of pit stops not only makes road trips fun but adds an extra zing to the travel experience.

India, no doubt is famous for some insanely gorgeous road trips be it the western ghats, Manali to Leh Road trip or the epic Kashmir to Kanyakumari road trip. But unfortunately, in India, it is not easy as compared to other countries to set you car roll rolling without a proper planning. Blame it on the lack of infrastructure or scarcity of resources.

Here we pop out everything that you should do and grab before you start rolling your car for an ultimate road trip.

– Planning –

The utmost important thing is getting your car serviced and making sure the car tank is full. More than that choosing the right car for the trip depending on the road condition and duration is another major thing that you might take into consideration. If you are planning an interstate road trip then don’t forget to carry all your car documents with you to avoid unnecessary hassle.

If you are planning a road trip on a long weekend or to a touristy place, book your stay in advance so that you don’t end up compromising your stay after paying a hefty price.

( Read: Save Money on Flights & Accommodation )

– ROUTE 

Check the best route and condition before venturing out. Some routes might be closed due to weather or other circumstances so it is better to plan your route well and are aware of the duration.

In India, it is better to ask locals than completely relying on Google Maps. Stop by any restaurant, shop or check with locals in case of confusion.

Downloading Google Maps offline is also a smarter way to make sure you are on the right track as Google maps and GPS might ditch you or may not work everywhere.

 ( Read: Latest Features of Google Maps )

– CASH –

You won’t find ATM’s or bank everywhere in India. Even all the shops don’t entertain payments via card. So, carrying cash comes quite handy. Always carry change as there are numerous toll checks sprinkled all around India and having change will make the process of payments faster.

– Must – Have Essentials –

Hand Sanitizer & Liquid Soap – It is a must as you won’t find the best of toilets while driving on highways.

( Note: The best places to stop for toilet breaks on highways are Cafe Coffee Days or any good restaurants  )

Paper Napkin – It is good to throw few boxes of paper napkins as it might come handy on your road trip.

Straws – Straws are quite essential if you want to stop for roadside coconut water or sugar cane juice.  Having one saves you from using the dirty ones.

Plastic Glass, Spoon & Plates – It is always good to carry a set of plastic glass, spoon, and plates for unexpected pit stops to have home cooked or packed food.

Hand/ Face Towels – Pack one hand/face towel.

Medical Kit – Bandages, dressings, antiseptic cream, motion sickness tablets, basic medicine for cold, fever and dysentery should be kept handy.

Safety Tools – Pack a Flashlight, Pepper spray, Scissor and Knife for emergency or unexpected encounters.

Power Bank or Mobile Charger: Keep your phone charged and stay connected with your loved ones.

 – SNACKING & DRINKING –

Drinking Water – There are numerous cafes these days on the highways but it is always better to carry few bottles of drinking water in your car. You never know when you might need it. Apart from bottled water, we also carry our Lifestraw bottle all the time.

Snacks – Carrying snacks and drinks not only will just fuel you for the day but limit you from devouring unhygienic food.Stuff your car with tons of healthy stuff to munch on.We highly recommend carrying some fruits for your road trip. Energy Bars, Biscuits, chocolates and nuts are also great to pack.

If you want to take a culinary journey and love your veggies, ditch your favorite Lays and pack few packets of tasty silver and black bags of  Terra Chips which has been recently launched in Indian markets.The chips are delish and come in different amazing colors and flavors.

Terra Chips focuses on coming up with a diverse range of root vegetables ( from Sweet potato, Beet, Carrot, Parsnip, Taro, Yuca, Apple, Coconut to Plantain ) with distinctive color and flavors. The Mediterranean series has a Mediterranean twist and the root vegetables are loaded with a generous amount of herbs and a hint of lemon. Original ones come with veggies sprinkled with sea salts and the Terra Sweet Medley are the colorful versions of the sweet potato, purple sweet potato, and Batata.

You can order your packet of yumminess online on Amazon and Big Basket.

– RIGHT MUSIC & COMPANION –

Packing List For a Road Trip In India

Last but not the least, pick your favorite travel companion and download your favorites songs before hitting the road.

 ( Read: Best Road Trip Songs )

– APPS & NUMBERS –

Google Maps

Tripadvisor

Important Numbers –

Police 100
Emergency Relief Centre on National Highways 1033
Ambulance 102

Do let us know if we have missed anything in the below comment box.

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    March 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    My husband and I traveled to India two years ago and I fully endorse these tips. Straws come in handy when you want to drink on the road, especially freshly cut coconuts. I also recommend carrying hand sanitizer and a small packet of tissues since we hardly found toilet paper in public toilets in India.

  • Reply
    Julianne
    March 28, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks for your list of must-have essentials — I definitely wouldn’t have thought to bring straws! I’ve visited other countries where I carried around tissues and hand sanitizer, so that’s become second nature to me, but good idea to bring plastic utensils and plates. I’ve done road trips in the USA, but never in other countries, so I like the idea of doing one abroad!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    March 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I would love to do a road trip in India. I have traveled by bubs only between cities but never on a very long distance. Your list of essential packing is very useful. I would add to it toilet paper. When I was in India that was always our main concern, to make sure we have enough toilet paper (the hotels would only offer a very tiny amount, haha).

  • Reply
    Sidhu
    March 28, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Everything in your list of essential packing is very useful

  • Reply
    Clare
    March 28, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I have never done a road trip in my own car. Its always when I have been visiting a country and rented a car and then I am travelling with all my belongings anyway. I would love to do a road trip around India, it does look like a beautiful country, I might be a bit worried about the traffic though!!

  • Reply
    Bhushavali
    March 29, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Great tips. I’ve done a couple of road trips and yes, the quality of the car is the most important with our varying road qualities!!! The sweet medley chips sound awesome!

  • Reply
    Sonja
    March 29, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I wish I was going on a road trip in India! These are great tips and a lot of them would count for many places I think. And good tip about asking locals instead of just relying on Google Maps. You never know what bonus things you’ll find out!

  • Reply
    Only By Land
    March 29, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    That’s a good tip about asking locals over google maps! For my trips I always take snacks in the car, chips, chocolate coke, etc… Those chips you pictured look like they could be tasty! Getting the right music to listen to is important too especially for the long drives!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    April 1, 2017 at 2:37 am

    A road trip in India can leave you with a couple of bad experiences, from running out of cash to catching a disease. Pre-planning is the best way one can be safe and enjoy the road trip as India has some of the best views to offer.

  • Reply
    Brianna
    April 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    It’s interesting to read the must-haves for a road trip in another country. There are lots of things on here that I would not have thought to bring! Also, how do your like your lifestraw bottle?? I’ve been thinking about getting one for myself. Does it allow you to drink tap water in India?

  • Reply
    sherianne
    April 2, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Great list! I need to start downloading off line maps, I tend to rely on GPS and I swear it takes on crazy long routes that were not the original plan

  • Reply
    Abhinav Singh
    April 3, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I love road trips in India. My packing list is mostly haphazard and unplanned. After reading your blog, I am motivated to change that. It is always better to be well organized. My packing style has also seen a change. I was mostly a backpacker earlier, now I carry suitcases as well.

  • Reply
    Archana Singh
    April 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I love your road-trip packing list. Although I don’t pack fancy snacks and lifestyle products like you do, but i do keep a stock of basics – like energy bars, dry fruits, hand sanitizer etc. In fact since I am alawys on the move, one bag is always packed. I just replenish the stocks πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Suruchi
    April 3, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I and my husband are big time road trippers and we always love to travel through our beast Scorpio. We mostly carry with us what all you have mentioned in your post. Terra Chips are really new to me and will surely try them too. I would love to add along with the car, the important car accessories and snow chains if you are traveling in winters.

  • Reply
    sophie
    April 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    there is actually a very vast difference in the list of things to carry when going on a road trip in india. some great essential things one must carry.

  • Reply
    Parampara
    April 3, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    This is a great compilation! Additionally having ready-to-mix drinks like Tang/Rasna can be of great help! It’s usually hot and always help to have more means of hydrating your body to keep up with the trip!

    Parampara-Parichay
    http://awaradiaries.com

  • Reply
    Soumya Nambiar
    April 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I have stopped relying on only GPS when I am driving on Indian highways. They sometimes lead you to roads that look like someone’s backyard. I would love to check out the Terra chips . Never heard of them till date.

  • Reply
    Wanderlust Vegans
    April 4, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    India would be an epic road trip with so much to see. Offline google maps does sounds like a great idea to save on data. Road trips aren’t complete without having lots of snacks too. I agree with that.

  • Reply
    Jesper, The Biveros Effect
    April 5, 2017 at 6:47 am

    The essentials do for sure vary between countries. I have been on road trips in countries such as Namibia, Slovakia, South Africa and Sweden and even though the basic needs stay the same, there is always something special to bring. In Sweden it is small coins for toilet breaks, Namibia had a greater need for a lot of water in the car etc. Interesting that straws are recommended when traveling in India. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Indrani
    April 5, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Very practical list. I can see a seasoned traveler here πŸ™‚
    Basic needs remain the same in any place of tour. Route maps are must must, lest you get lost and set off on a different travel.

  • Reply
    neha
    April 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    This is a very useful list. I will like to add to it a bag to dump the waste (food wrappers, tissues, juice cans etc.) . As you will not find dustbins until you reach a food outlet or your ultimate destination. We do that all the time πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jitaditya Narzary
    April 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    I generally pack very few things. But that is because I travel on public transport and walk/hike a lot. With a vehicle at disposal, I’d like to carry some good books as well.

  • Reply
    Parnashree Devi
    April 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    I do everything you have mentioned in the post. I agree for the fact that road trips are the best way to explore a destination. I had some great road trips in India. Quite a helpful post.

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