List of Things to Carry, Pack for USA Travel

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I have created list of things to carry to USA for students who are traveling for first time :  Why read this list of items to carry to USA?

I have been in USA for over 10 years, traveled several times from USA to India and India to USA.

In our recent trip (Oct, 2012) , we took 8 suitcases, one stroller, 3 carry-on bags. I used my experience over the years to create this list of things for students.

I did search for list of items to carry form different Indian Students Association’s website, but its not updated to clearly say what things to buy in U.S. and in India.

If you have specific questions about items not listed here, write a comment to this article, I will update the list.

List of Items to Pack – USA Flight Travel


Jeans 4 India
T-Shirts 10+ India
Shirt – Casual 4 India I like Tshirts more than shirts. So, less number of shirts.
Shirt – Formal 2 India
Coat and Suit – Formal
1 India Coat and Suit are expensive in U.S. compared to India
Shorts/ 3/4ths 5 India
Pants 4 India I don’t like to wear pantsJ. I will go with Jeans
Belts 2 India Leather is expensive in U.S.
Formal Shoe 1 Pair India
Winter Wear U.S. Don’t buy winter wear in India. Sweater, Jackets, are cheap during sale.
Leather Jacket Prefer winter Jacket over Leather. Jackets – $20 to $75
Sports Shoes +  Socks
1 Pair + Few U.S. Nike, Adidas, Rebook.. are cheap. I got Adidas for $18; Socks are very cheap.
Sandals 1 Pair India Its cheap here, but you will need it when you reach here.
Wallet 1 India Get new one before you come
Personal Care
Hangers No U.S. Don’t water your suitcase weight carrying hangers. You will get 13 Hangers for $1 form Walmart
Tooth Brush 2 India
Shaving Kit 1 India Bring what you are using now
After Shave 1 India Bring what you are using now, if not buy in US
Soap 1 U.S. One soap to use first few days.
Wash Detergent U.S. Please don’t carry detergents from India. You are wasting your space/weight.
Combs 1 or 2 India
Hair Oil 50 to 200ml India Pack it well, so it doesn’t leak.
Nail cutter 1 India Pack in Check-In Bag
Small scissors 1 India Pack in Check-In Bag
Safety pins. Sewing kit No I have never used it nor my friends.
Shampoo No USA Get it in USA. Avoid any cosmetics product. Cheap and saves weight.
Towels 2-3 India 1 – Thick cotton towels. 2 towels light in weight.
Napkin/Hand Kerchiefs 6-10 India Depending on your need.
Perfume – Deodrant
1 India You can get it here for cheap after you run out.
Tooth Paste 1 India Get small one. Same Colgate, Close-up is available, but it will taste different.
Mirror Yes India You can carry small mirror.
Razor Blades Few USA Shaving kit is cheap.
Blanket 2 India 1 – Bed Spread. Get Comforter or Plush blankets in U.S. ($20)
Pillow U.S. Pillow costs $4 in Walmart
Songs CD No You can download it here, don’t waster you weight.
Back Pack Yes India To carry books and on trips.
Alarm Clock Yes/No If you are bringing your cell phone, you will not need one.
Cell Phone Yes Cell Phone Buying Guide.
Pen, Pencil, Glue, Cello Tape.. Few Get some pen, pencil, highlighter, but you can find them in plenty here.
Calculator  No Scientific calculator looks different in US.
Pressure Cooker 1 (3 to 7 liters) India Don’t forget to bring pressure cooker, also get extra weight, valve.
Indian Masala/Spices India Try to get as much as possible. Masala items are available, but doesn’t give same taste as moms food.
Rice, Dhal,
U.S. Don’t carry any rice or other dhal items. It’s available here in Indian store.
Frying Pans You can get one ore 2 pans that are light in weight.  Set of pan cost $30.
Serrated Knife 1 US/India Knife isn USA. Get one small.
Spoon, Fork U.S. Spoons, forks are cheap
Vegetable Cutting Board U.S. Its additional weight.
Cups and Bowls U.S. Get one or 2 small bowls, but not many.
Plates. U.S. Plates will be used in Microwave. You can bring 1 plate, but don’t bring more than one.
Peeler U.S.
Instant Food Packets (Noodles)
Few India Carry few packets of Instant food items, that will come in handy for first few days, till you get settled in the apartment.
Elachi, Clove, Cinnamon, Few India Available in Indian Grocery Store in USA
Garam Masala Small pack India Available in Indian Grocery Store in USA
Chilli Powder 1-2 kgs India Available in Indian Grocery Store in USA
Medical Files/Medicines
Fever/Cold Tablets 20 to 30 Tablets India Tylenol for Fever cost about $4. You can buy in any pharmacy or walmart.
Eye Glass/ Contact Lens 2 Pairs India Eye Glasses are very very expensive here. With Eye Insurance I paid $225 for one eye glass. Same would have cost Rs4,000 in India. So, if you wearing glasses make sure you get atleast 2 additional pair.

Please don’t not pack the following items while flying to USA. You are wasting your luggage space and you an get those things here.

  • Tamarind Paste
  • Glass (Mirror)
  • Dal and Flour’s
  • Pencil Box
  • Ink Pen
  • Heavy Winter Jackets
  • Plain Rice
  • Lots of Books

USA Travel tips

USA Flight Baggage

Following will be the usual baggage allowance in flights to USA.

  • Two Suitcase for check-in.  Each 50 lbs (or 23 Kgs)
  • 1 Carry On Cabin Bag (8 Kgs)
  • 1 Personal Item (Laptop Bag or Purse)

Students with I-20 in certain airlines are allowed to check-in 3 suitcase each 23 kgs. It might be worth paying bit extra in ticket if certain airlines allow 3 suitcases.

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