Air Travel from USA – Taking Laptops, Camera’s To India

Holiday travel tips for students traveling to India.  I think answering question from Kiran should help other students traveling to India for holidays.

I am going to INDIA this december. How many items can I take to india ?

I want to take one new laptop, two new cameras and some gifts like shoes, dresses etc.,

What is the limit to how many items we can take ?

If I cannot take all the above items as gifts, can I open them and say that I am using them as personal items.

Please give me various options to take gifts to india..

Taking Laptop to India from USA

It’s common for students (and others) traveling to India to buy laptop from USA. Its cheap and you have several options to choose from.

You can get great deals on laptops during Black Friday Sale. Here is a laptop buying guide.

Can you take laptops to India?

Yes, you can take a laptop to India. You will not have any problems. I know few of my friends, who took 2 laptops to India (Chennai).

Mac or PC – Story

My relative, doing Masters was visiting us during this summer break. He fell in love with Macbook Pro I was using. But, he already has a Think Pad.

I got him a Thinkpad (Fall 2010) and he was very happy with this ThinkPad.

He’s going to India this December. His brother wanted him to buy Dell. So, he was asking me about Dell.  I gave him a better idea 🙂

Why not give your ThinkPad (almost new) to your younger brother and you can buy a MacBook Pro?

He convinced this brother to use ThinkPad, which has better configuration than new Dell.

It was Tax Free Weekend. We went to nearby Apple Store purchased MacBook Pro 13″ using student discount. Came with $100 Mac Store Credit and Free Wirless Printer.

  • Final Cost : $1199 – 100 – 100 + No Tax + Free Printer

Digital Camera

Can I take 2 digital cameras to India?

If you are buying point and shoot digital camera, you will not have any problems. If you are buying 2, 3 DSLR’s, then you might run into few questions.

2 Laptops, 2 DSLR could attract some Customs attention.

Gifts and Clothes, Dress

Buying 2 to 4 pair of shoes, small gifts, t-shirts, jackets will not cause any problems.

Gift Ideas

  • Chocolates (Kisses)
  • PaperMate or Bic Pen and Pencils
  • Kitchen Knife (for mom)
  • Fossil Watch (relatives, parents, ..)
  • Cheap watches at Amazon (Timex)
  • Backpacks
  • Specific food items (not available in India)
  • Kitchen Timers
  • Shoes – Try to buy from outlets store and use coupons. I usually get Adidas for $15 ($70 original cost)
  • T-Shirts (Nike, Adidas, Fila, ..)
  • Corningware Kitchen set
  • Gillette Shaving Kit or Razors
  • Handbags
    • Relatives, Friends – Find Fossil outlet store, go to back of the store
    • Girl Friend – Coach (she will definitely love it)
  • Wallet for guys

Those were some gifts I had on top of my head.

What if you have Expensive Items

Friend/room-mate went to India. He was determined to take any stuffs and wasn’t worried about Customs in the airport.

He had 2 laptops, like 8 cell phones, camera, ipods,  etc.

His flight was through Dubai. He purchased few  bottles of alcohols, champagne there.

So, his bag was beeping when passed through the x-ray screener.

He was pulled by Customs officer in the airport. He opened his carry on bag and he had like 5 cell phones in his pockets.

After opening the bag and displaying all the items, he smiled at the customs officer and placed one champagne bottle on the table.

Officer, this champagne bottle is for you.

That’s the end of the story. He was let go through customs.

See Also :  10 Tips to Pack Suitcase Like an Air Hostess


  1. Indian Govt. Employees on January 22, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Ha! Indian custom officers are all the same!

  2. Aditya Karva on December 3, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Hi HSB,
    Thanks for informative post. I have one doubt. My room-mate is traveling to india this Jan and he has following stuff along with him all brand new-
    2 Laptops – 1 Macbook pro + 1 Dell ; 1 – Asus transformet tab
    Is this ok to carry along ? Will it be a problem at Customs?
    Please let me know. He will be landing in Mumbai. Thanks!

  3. arun on November 18, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    That was so sensible & easy way i think to get rid of the customs

  4. adenike on November 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    love HSB a lot………………….but is it all about Indians

  5. Sumeet on November 17, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Seriously?? All it took was just one bottle ???

  6. Dewang on November 17, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Last part is Hilarious and educational 😉

  7. tapan acharya on November 17, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    cool i will try this 🙂

  8. Sriram on November 17, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Officer, this champagne bottle is for you.

    This takes the cake.
    Useful post.
    Thank you

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