Thanks to Anu for sending this list of items to pack for travel to USA as student with women in mind.

She used List of Items to Pack for USA for Students and made her version of the list. Hope, you would find it useful.

List of Items to Pack for USA

I always wondered why the lists that are provided on the internet only satisfy the needs of men and never women for their journey to USA.  I discovered that it’s because no women has taken initiative to write about it. So here I am with an article that would cover most of the inquiries about items to be packed in the luggage by women.

Also I have tried to cover the differences in individual eating habits, because despite having a good hold on cooking, I brought lots of Spices which I rarely use. I should bring it to everyone’s notice; due to enormous work pressure in US, least time is devoted to cooking.

Indian food which takes little longer to cook than soups, pasta, noodles, burgers and sandwiches will soon be out-listed from the weekday’s menu. However, in the weekends Indian food remains to be the favorite choice of Indians as well as Americans.

  • Note : This list is pasted “as-is” and in coming week, this list will be updated. Gals reading this list, if you’d like to improve on it, send an email or add a comment.

List of things to Pack to US

Group Item Quantity Comment
Stationery Mechanical pencil 3-Feb 0.5 mm is available in India but try getting 0.7 mm as it is extensively available in US although 0.5 mm is also available
Pencil Eraser 3-Feb I don’t like erasers found here. You might like it
Stapler 1
Stapler pins 1-2 boxes (whole year) Stapler pins here are giant sized. I like the cute Indian size.
Cello tape with cutter stand 2-Jan I brought it without the cutter and always wish to buy the cutter stand. I use cello tape very often. Also to pack sandwiches.
Pens 1 pack (12) Not much writing here. Also stationery items are free. No need to bring many pens.
Notebooks Nil Buy from here
Files and folders 5-Apr You will still have to buy. Do not bring 2 pin files. 3-pin files are used here
Pages Few A4 size paper is not used in US. The US letter size paper will be used for submitting assignments.
Markers and colored pens Bring them if you use them Expensive here
Year planner Highly required
Utensils Pressure cooker 1 Mandatory
Extra valves, rings and whistles 4 Do not avoid bringing it. I know a friend who cannot use his pressure cooker as its valve is not working and it is not found in US.
Pans and pots 2 You can avoid bringing it. Its not very expensive in Walmart
Spoons 4 Its good to bring though not very expensive here.
Bowls and dishes 1 For yourself for the initial days. Later you can manage to get it for free from Student associations
Scissors and knives 1 each Would be fine
Spices and cereals Dals 250g each Bring your favorite dals only. No one cooks what they don’t like.
Hot red chilli powder ½ kg MUST
Green chilli sauce 1 bottle MUST
Turmeric pwdr 250g
I don’t use it much. Depends on your food habit. (100gms is enough)
Nutmeg/Jaifal 2
hing 1 small pkt I have not usedit yet
Javitri 25g I love biriyani and butter chicken. You might be using it often.
Dalchini 50g Very expensive here
Elaichi (bari and choti) 50g each
Sukhi lal mirch 50g Not very expensive here
Black pepper corn 250g I am a pepper lover
Tej pat 10g Required in cooking almost all Indian meals
Dhania pwder and jeera pwdr 100g each I have used it twice since I hanve been here
Methi dana 10g Makes my dosa batter ferment faster
Anice (saunf) depends Depends on the way you use it
Sabut jeera 250g For whole year
Sambhar powder 100g I don’t eat sambhar regularly. Bring more if you love it
Salt and sugar NIL No need to bring
Tandoori chicken masala 1 pkt
Meat masala 1 pkt
Garam masala 1 pkt
Eatables Biscuits Needed very much in the initial days
Rice 250g Bring it
Pickles Bring only if you eat them. I have not consumed pickles since I have been here.
Maggi 4 in one Trust me, will be needed
Knorr soups Get all your favorite flavors
Instant meals Few You will realize its importance in US
Papad Few types You wont get it here.
Clothes jeans 8 Laundry is chargeable and will be done once in 15 days. So bring clothes for atleast 15-20 days
trousers 12 You will end up buying jeans here as trousers cost the same as jeans in US
Thermocot suit 2
sweater 2
shawls 3 It is the most comfortable when at home or in University. Also adds style because its very expensive here. Starts from $25 here.
Caps/scarfs nil Buy from here
muffler 2 Expensive here
Indian wear 2 Will be required if you are social. Bring one sari and salwar suit.
Skirts 2 I feel much comfortable in skirts
Night dress 4 Very expensive here
Winter jacket 1 Buy it from U.S.
Shoes/ sandals Leather shoe/boot 1 You will still have to buy…coz we are ladies
snickers 1
sandal 1
walker 1
Accesories Belt 3 1 leather, 1 cotton and 1 fancy (chain)
Nail filer 1
Foot scrubber 1
Pumic stone/ body scrubber 1 Very expensive in US
Nail cutter 1
Hair pins/clips 2 sets
Hair bands/clutcher etc Bring as many as you can …you will still buy…. hihihi
Safety pins 2 sets Safety pins in US are different in size
Hanky 12-Jun
Socks 5, 2 woolen I don’t like wearing socks but I have to as I feel cold
Stockings 4 Indian size is difficult to get. Best ones for winter
Sanitary napkins For 2-3 months
Washing soap for clothes 3-Feb Wheel/Rin etc
Washing detergent sachet 2-3 small pkt For home washing of clothes
Cosmetics Moisturizer 1 Bring according to your availability of space
Shampoo 1 small Cheaper in US
Conditioner 1 small Cheaper in US
Makeup items 1 each Very-very expensive in US
Lipstick As many Lipsticks are very expensive here. Also you can’t try them before buying. You will not find any moisturizing lipstick like ELLE 18 brand here.
Nail polish and nail base Indian ones preferable
Nail polish remover Small pack of acetone. Get it from pharmacy store in India. Nail polish removers in US are alcohol instead of acetone. Acetone is good for nails while alcohol is not.
Lip moisturizer 3 Too expensive in US
Bathing soap 3
Coconut oil Large container For hairs, very expensive here ( Pack it carefully so it won’t leak)
Mustard oil Small container Glowing hair and split hair treatment
Jewelery Bring matching jewelery as much as you can. It’s too expensive here. Nothing less than $5 for artificial ones
Purse/Bags handbag 1 For flight purpose
Backpack with laptop space and trolley 1 We ladies hate carrying. Use the same as your carry bag.
Electronics CDs/DVDs If you like to listen to Hindi/regional language music. Bring that.
Cell phone handset NiL If you have one and you want to use it, you can. I am using my Motoming handset from India. It has Us pin point
Pin converter 1 Indian Items with Indian pin point can be used only when converted to US plug point. I got my electronic Tanpura which needed that. But it is always good to have one. You never know you might need it. Most of my Indian friends borrowed it from me.
USB printer port 1 If you are interested to buy a printer. It is more expensive here
USB Phone port 1 Cheaper in India
Others Bed sheet 2 Double bed/twin bed (single bed)
Towel 2
Shoe brush 1
Shoe polish 1
Pillow cover 1 Large size
Allopathy Medicines Vitamin tablet with more than 5mg Magnesium 2 strip Will help you feel little less pain. Only for ladies.
Antiseptic cream 1 sofframycin
Antihistamine cream 1 Antiallergy, can use after any bug bite for relief.
Pain relieving cream 1 Eg volini
Voveran 1 strip fever
Antibiotic tablet (broad spectrum) 1-2 strip 5-6 courses, mainly it should be effective against cold and throat infection
Pain-killer 1 strip
Bandages 4-Mar
Anti-diarrhoeic 1 strip Eg metrogyl
Seven seas (VitE) 1 bottle For good glowing skin, very expensive in US
Homeopathy medicines Kali mur 12 X 1 bottle Liver
Glonoine 200 1 bottle Sun stroke, can be taken before going to sun
Rhus tox-200 1 bottle After getting drenched, prevents cold, also after exposed to snow
Borax-30 1 bottle Acne
Sepia-30 1 bottle Leucorrhoea and anemia. To be taken in the morning.
Arnica-200 1 bottle Antitetanus effect after wound. To be taken within 24 hours after wound.
Cold treatment (2 weeks or till cold persists)
1 Belladona- 1 bottle Once in a day, every night before sleeping
2 Bryonia-200 1 bottle 3 times a day
3 Hepar Sulph-200 1 bottle Once in a week
4 Phytolacca-200 1 bottle Once in a day, every morning before eating anything
Cramp or Mild fracture treatment Black board Chalk, turmeric powder and mustard oil Soak chalk in water till it makes a paste. Add turmeric powder and mustard oil, heat till color changes. Apply warm on affected area. It relieves pain and heals wounds.

Thanks to Anu for taking time to prepare this list. Many would appreciate your effort (especially women).

Not every items listed above is must. You pretty much can get everything in U.S. but try to have a priority list and get those items. Again, remember this, you can get all the items listed above in U.S. but for a student it will initially look expensive.

Winter clothes, try to buy from here. Winter cloths from India will not be of much help for weather here. If you have additional student travel tips, share it with us.

See Also : My Flight to USA and Two Big Time Problems in the Airport


  1. Aditi on June 24, 2018 at 12:22 AM

    What about the waxing?
    I have heard it’s costly to get it done from parlour.

    • Yashi on August 10, 2019 at 4:57 AM

      It is better to carry veet removal creams and strips from India or they are available in Walmart and target at a very reasonable price.

  2. Gulnaaz Afzal on July 20, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    Hey! This was an awesome list of products — very holistic and realistic. Thanks, girls! I always wanted someone to give me a list like this for us, women, but no one did. And all the other people reading this, I have been staying in the US for the past one year now, and I absolutely feel that this list contains everything you’d need to get from India! Cheers!

  3. Ajita on July 21, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    Great job Anu and Naiya! That’s a very useful list .
    M relocating to Charlotte North Carolina on work Visa .Should I get a lot of formal wear and shoes from India or is it better to buy it there

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 21, 2016 at 9:43 PM

      People tend to wear comfortable casual work shoes in IT. We wear sandals and shorts to work 🙂

  4. Uma on January 30, 2016 at 3:39 AM

    Do rice , sugar and salt allowed to carry ..

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 30, 2016 at 10:14 AM

      Don’t take them.

  5. Nandine on December 2, 2015 at 11:54 AM

    If I live on campus will I have to bring utensils,spices & food grains??

    • Raghuram Sukumar on December 2, 2015 at 12:03 PM

      Oncampus apartments are usually not furnished. dorm will not have space for you to cook. If you are renting an apartment, then you have to bring utensils.

  6. Revathi Reddy on September 28, 2015 at 8:13 AM


    This post is amazing. Thanks to Anu for writing a big post on what to carry and what not to carry while travelling to USA. This blog is really helpful for women as it is clearly sorted in category wise and as well it clearly explains about the expensive items not to buy in USA. Thanks to Anu once again.

  7. Revathi Reddy on September 28, 2015 at 8:00 AM


    This post is amazing. Thanks to Anu for writing a big post on what to carry and what not to carry while travelling to USA. This blog is really helpful for women as it clearly sorted in categories wise and as well it is clearly explains the expensive items not to buy in USA. Thanks to Anu once again.

  8. Sayantani Mitra on July 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Thanks for the info. Just one point. It seems pressure cookers are not allowed anymore after Boston event. Just check-up and please let us know. It is an excellent list.

  9. Udita Patel on July 14, 2014 at 3:13 AM

    hey thnx for d info ….

  10. subha on May 14, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    very useful for first time travellers

  11. Shru on December 9, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Anu, thank you for this list. Really helps to have a list form a women’s perspective .

  12. sharada on July 19, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    hi all i m travelling this august , which type of suitcase should i buy ??? n which company/brand

    kindly let me know ??

    • Revathi Reddy on September 28, 2015 at 6:31 AM

      There are different types of suitcases are available, but you need to findo ne which suits your needs:

      “Spinner luggage” with wheels that can help you to twist 360 degrees and allows you to have a greater control and ease of movement. Even you can try for duffel bags which are no longer just serve as a device but have accessories like wheels or retractable handles and these bags are often called as travel bags.

      Choose a carry on bag with no larger than 45 inches(length plus width plus height) and a checked bag with no larger than 62 inches(length plus width plus height). These are standard measurements in the majority of airlines in USA.

      Note: Don’t buy travel bags, try to shop for travel bags offline. You will find branded travel bags in departmental stores like D-Mart, Wall mart etc.

  13. meggy on May 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM


    • Revathi Reddy on September 28, 2015 at 6:42 AM

      Yes! One can carry rice cooker or pressure cooker while travelling to USA. Otherwise, you can buy an electric rice cooker in USA which is not so expensive. Try to buy a pressure cooker which can accommodate an Idliy stand and it might be an ideal choice for students who might want to make idlis. Do not forget to get 2-3 spare gaskets or safety valves or other wearable /replaceable parts that suit the pressure cooker you may bring.

  14. chinu on December 14, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Thank you 🙂

  15. Rajeshwari Solanki on July 29, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Wow…it s helpful 🙂 …. thanks

  16. Anu on May 27, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Thankyou for all your appreciations!!

  17. AB on February 11, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Lol! to see someone brought homeopathic "medicines" along. This person will meet lots of like minded fools in the US.

  18. prat on June 26, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    formal wear is cheaper/nicer in india or US ?

    about sanitary napkins … should i buy it here or there ??

    • madhuri on February 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      it depends buddy just dont worry too much on napkins they dont weigh much just bring initially and for the formal wear its affordable in US like $6-$25 and even above …u can bring 1-2 pairs for inital days (for going to formal parties or interviews in the beginning) if not just get them here

  19. nikki on June 3, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    good job anu..its very useful

  20. Diksha on April 3, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    I would like to know…Why a few things have been striked out?? Are those things not required?? Please clear..

    • HSB on April 3, 2010 at 2:24 PM

      List was sent by Anu. Things thats striked-out are not required (my view).

  21. Diksha on April 3, 2010 at 3:34 AM

    Thanks..! The list is of great help..!!
    Good work!
    I'll keep vistin the site…!! 🙂

  22. madhuri on March 14, 2010 at 4:36 AM


  23. rahul patwa on March 14, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    looks like a big list !

  24. Not a Scammer on March 10, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    good work !!!
    But make sure airlines doesnt allow more than 50kgs( some airlines).

    According to me buying all the above stuff is useless. You will end up herousily. U can get everything over here( If you live around indian community)

    • Naiya on March 13, 2010 at 2:56 PM

      My advise: Try to bring as much as you can… you will find evrything here but payment is in dollars..and it hurts on f1 visa.

      50 kg + cabin luggage – 8kg + small handbag for women

      Choose light weight items..

      Wear shoes, jacket so it doesn't take space in bag

      Don't bring electronic items.. they are cheaper here…

      most of the student buy laptop in usa..

  25. grace on March 10, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    whats the weight limit for total and hand luggage?

    • Revathi Reddy on September 28, 2015 at 7:05 AM

      Hand baggage must not exceed the following dimensions(i.e., 55*35*25 cm or 21*13*9 in) which includes pockets, wheels and handles.

      Note: A suitcase also considered as one standard baggage item.

      Besides hand baggage, you may also transport one accessory that may include:

      Notebook computer
      Hand baggage must not exceed the following dimensions(i.e., 55*35*25 cm or 21*13*9 in) which includes pockets, wheels and handles.

      Note: A suitcase also considered as one standard baggage item.

      Besides hand baggage, you may also transport one accessory that may include:

      Notebook computer

  26. pink on March 10, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Its very nice list.very useful.but arent the items too many to carry???whats jan and feb?do i have to buy the laptop in india or us?

    • Revathi Reddy on September 28, 2015 at 7:19 AM

      Electronic items are relatively cheaper in USA when compared to India. Don’t take the burden of carrying your laptop to USA. Most of the Indian students will buy laptop in USA.

  27. Naiya on March 10, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    Few more things…
    Spectacles – 2 pair
    Hairband or rubberband accesories
    10 toothbrush – so u dont need to buy it frm here…
    toothpaste, soap, shampoo – 1 for initial days

    innerdelicates – it is tough to find my style here
    small table clock
    wrist watch
    international driving licensce – it is good if u can
    All degree certificates and transcripts
    Get cents/quarters – u might need at airport

    small size napkins -3
    scotch brite to clean utensils

    stiching material – thread white and black, buttons, needle etc

    business formals – u need at the time of interview

    Avoid gold jewelleries

  28. manpreet on March 10, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    awesome work. thanx a lot for this.

  29. Darshika on March 10, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Thanx Anu!! Great Post!!

  30. madhusudhan reddy on March 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    i am applying for H1 for apr 2010. is it lottery method? how can i know?

  31. Vivek on March 10, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Hey! cheers guys for posting a useful list …

    How much bags allowed? & also it's weight ?

    • Revathi Reddy on September 28, 2015 at 7:50 AM

      Hi Vivek!
      Most airlines allow a total of three pieces of luggage free of charge for each ticketed passenger – One is carryon bag and two are checked in items. One can check the two big bags at check in. At the time of check in, they will take these bags for transport and return them at your final destination. Generally, the total linear dimensions (i.e., length+height+width)o f each checked in baggage must not exceed 158 cm(i.e., 62 inches) and weight of each bag should not exceed 23kg(i.e., 50 pounds).
      Apart from the two checked in bags, one can carry their hand bag where you can keep all your important visa documents which might need at immigration at the port of entry.

  32. Niharika on March 10, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Well it is very useful indeed!! wats jan nd feb written in d quantity column?

    • Rajmathi on March 10, 2010 at 8:43 PM

      Great job Anu and Naiya!

      Niharika – Jan & Feb is Excelsheet problem I guess.

      If 4-2 is entered in the excelcell, it would take it as 4-Feb. Just that…

      • Shilpa on March 12, 2010 at 4:51 AM

        thanks Rajmathi for clearing jan, feb confusion in quantity column.

      • Niharika on March 12, 2010 at 9:35 AM

        @rajmathi- Thanx for clearing it up 🙂

  33. Mohammad on March 10, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    LOL,it is like shifting the whole house!

  34. Kamal on March 10, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Check with your airline if travelling with acetone..its flammable!
    Keep all sharp implements in your large carry cases – not smaller cabin bag!
    Do remember to declare your spices at airport customs, as your bags will be redirected for re-scanning of all your bags!!!

    Comprehensive list otherwise!

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