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Ultimate Packing Guide for Moving to America

Masala Meets Maple Syrup: A Must-Have Packing List for Indians Moving Stateside

Was it tough? The Visa interview? More challenging than the job interview you are shifting to America for? No? I guess you know how to ace interviews. Maybe the move wouldn’t be so challenging then? But packing? Oh, peaches, that is more complex than algebra, which you did in school. But calm your horses down because we roll to your rescue.  

Packing Your Luggage when Moving to America

If this is your first time moving abroad, whether for education or work, you may be confused about what you should pack. You need to know how much would be appropriate to survive in America when you move there. We have laid down steps to follow for things to carry to the USA for international students and workers.

  • Research, Research and Research Again

The first step is obviously to research as much as possible. We recommend that you examine what items you need more than researching the clubs in your area (Yes, Rahul, we know you are searching for them). 

Research the items you require for the first day, first week, or month. 

  • Weather and Climate

The USA has various weather conditions and climates. It would help to research the city’s weather conditions for which you are moving. Factors like precipitation, temperature, wind patterns, and humidity must be considered to ensure you are packing appropriately. You look at websites and apps that offer historical weather data to get an idea about typical climate conditions in the city you are moving to.

  • Airline Baggage Rules

During your research, you must also focus on the number of bags that your airline allows and what weight they ask for. Your airline may have a policy of allowing extra luggage if you show them proof of your going abroad for education. 

The general allowance is two bags of 23 kg and one cabin bag of 7 kg. But if you are a student, some airlines may allow one extra checked-in bag of 23 kg. Check the rules on the tickets, as they may vary from one flight company to another.  

  • Planning

After researching and having a good idea about the weather, climate, and luggage allowance, you can start planning. Because, let us tell you, packing panic is legit. And you don’t want to panic about this thing when you have many other things to worry about (No, Rahul, we are not talking about finding cheap booze in America). Find someone who lives there and can help you pack for your move because they could better tell you about what you buy there and what you need to bring from home. 

  • Lists

After you have planned, you will want to create lists of what you require to ensure you don’t miss anything. You can create different lists, dividing them into categories such as clothes, toiletry, stationary, etc. 

  • Detailed Inventory

Along with the things you need to take with you, you must create an inventory of the items you already own and want to take with you. If they are fragile, valuable, or other, you can put them in different categories. You can refer to this inventory when you start packing. 

When you make this inventory, you could also go through your items of need, declutter, and make sure you pack only the items you really require (Anjali, you don’t need to pack that old tennis ball from your middle school). Decluttering would reduce the volume of the things that you will need to pack. 

  • Documents

Before you start packing other things, the foremost and most important item that you need to take care of is the documents that are required or may be required and that you need to pack. Because of possible changes in immigration policies, you need to make sure that your documents correspond with the latest requirements. 

You must be aware of these documents before you travel to America so that you don’t face any issues when you land. Thus, packing them beforehand and with care is necessary. These documents range from passports to visas and visa approval documents. 

Important Documents To Pack For America || India To States

It is important to monitor immigration policies regularly. This will help you migrate to America without much hassle. 

Packing your Luggage When Moving to America

You need to be sure about the things you want to pack when you are finally packing. We have a detailed list of items that you would definitely need to carry with you. Yes, Anjali, that Chanel No.5 can be counted as a necessity too because you are so obsessed with it. 

1. Clothes

You need to put some effort into making sure that you are taking weather-appropriate clothes with you. As mentioned, various American cities have different kinds of weather, so you must pack clothes that suit the climate. But in general, you would want to pack a versatile range of clothes—a few T-shirts, tops, some pairs of adaptable jeans, some formal clothes, and, of course, your undergarments.

You could pack a few track pants, swimwear, and your favorite one or two traditional clothes (Calm down, Rahul; they know what a Kurta is!).

Additionally, if you are going to a city that is colder than average, you might want to pack a jumper and overcoats or even a muffler. Make sure that you pack enough clothes for at least two weeks so that you don’t have to worry about laundry just when you land.

The thing to remember is winter wear is something you should be buying in the US. For a very logical reason, the climate in India is not as cold as in the US, so the clothes in India are not made to tackle the extremely low temperatures in the US. Huh! Shopping

  • T-shirts (MEN) – 8-10 Round Neck, Polo, henley, short sleeves, long sleeves, oversized, Heck! Who am I to judge? Your Choice. 
  • T-shirts (WOMEN) – 4-5 Ladies, I know T-shirts are too cool for school but for the other places you’re a better judge.
  • Casual Shirts (MEN) – 4-5 Guys! Throw in a mix of solid colors with checks, stripes or prints, but please keep a crisp solid fitted black and a plain white shirt, for those few nights when the round’s on you. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
  • Casual Shirts (WOMEN) – 2-3 I know not all women love wearing shirts but when the evenings on your way back home get a little cooler, they might come in handy and are less space taking than most of the sweatshirts and jackets.
  • Tops/Blouse – 10-12. Now my ladies, I know it might not not be enough and leaving your wardrobe collection behind would be a sin and heartbreaking, but look on the bright side of things, come Black Friday and you can go on a shopping spree buying great brands at Indian prices. Anjali! Anjali! (Snapping fingers!)
  • Jeans – 4-5 (Stick with the classics, Blue and Black)
  • Casual Trousers (MEN) – 3-4. You could go with more pairs of Jeans, but then you might need variety and comfort, after all smart casuals are a great way to go. (If it was me, I would have beige, navy and gray in my collection.) Throw in any shirt/t-shirt from your arsenal and you are ready to roll.
  • Casual Bottoms (WOMEN) – 6-8 Shorts, Trousers, Palazzos, Cargo. You know that you need it.
  • Business Suit (MEN) –1. Your business is your business, none of my business.
  • Business Dress (WOMEN) – 1-2. Atleast. Channel your inner Oprah Winfrey to smash the formal events. Although, nothing beats a confident smile that you wear 😉
  • Formal Shirts/Blouses – 3. (Not too many, eh!)
  • Formal trousers (MEN) – 2-3. Again, might not need much so let’s keep the number down and don’t forget you have a business suit in a color so one of these need not be repeated. (I know you love those black trousers Rahul, but, whatever!)
  • Formal Bottoms (WOMEN) – 3-4. Trousers/Skirts. Your preference of choice.
  • Undergarments – 10-12 pairs. I know, I know the number seems too much, but when you have a plethora of college work on your hands you might miss out on laundry on a certain weekend. So, you know!
  • Thermal Sets – 1-2. You wouldn’t want to miss the warmth of your body in case of an extremely cold climate. Would you?
  • Nightwear – 3-4. Depending on how frequently you change. Although Hollister and nautica give you great deals on nightwear, that wouldn’t be the first place you head to after landing in the US. 
  • Ties – 2-3. For the men in you or the boys in college. Judge yourself. 
  • Loungewear (MEN) – 3. (Shorts, Capris, long bottoms) For those casual evening walks and strolls to Costco/Kroger/Walmart. And, NO! Your night (Mickey Mouse) Pajamas don’t count.
  • Casual Dresses (WOMEN) – 3-4. Comfy and Relaxed, yet chic and elegant. Shimmery and sequinned, yet classy and sassy. Choose your style statement. Maybe mix it up a little.
  • Track pants – 2. For the sake of THALA! Please take ‘em along.
  • Stockings (WOMEN) – Optional. You need it. Keep it.
  • Winter Wear – 1-2 Cardigan,Shrug, Sweater,Sweatshirt, Jacket. Keep what you like but remember it takes up space. Although don’t miss keeping a light jacket, you will need it sooner or later. If you are going to a place which is cold, you might need it more along with mufflers and scarves. Don’t keep too many or Black Friday would be Red Friday!
  • Swimming trunks (MEN) – 1. Your apartment society has a swimming pool more often than not. And, Guys, your Dollar trunks definitely don’t qualify.
  • Swimming Costume (WOMEN) – 1. Bring out the ravishing Raveena in you with ‘Tip Tip Barsa Pani’ playing when you take a dip in the pool.
  • Ethnic Wear (MEN) –1. Throw in a kurta with a pair of blue jeans and you’re good to go. OR. go with a complete set if you want to shake a leg with the ‘Radha on the dance floor’. I mean the choice is yours.
  • Ethnic Wear (WOMEN) – 1-2. Don’t forget to keep your flaring traditional dress. Even KJo won’t be interested in your ‘Bole Chudiyan’ without that.
  • Socks (MEN) – 6-8 Shoes without socks? Naahh! Can’t even think of it.
  • Socks (WOMEN) – 5-6 Essentials. Keep a few pairs to last through a week or two.
  • Handkerchiefs – Guys! It’s a trait of the perfect gentleman to have it handy. Just in case. And Ladies you can always borrow it from your male friends but imagine handing over your handkerchief to a guy because that goosebag doesn’t have one. Wouldn’t that be a sight to behold? Love it.

ESSENTIAL AND STYLING ACCESSORIES

  • Belt – 1-2 Make sure you take the ones that match every outfit and not the ones that are specific to some.  
  • Watch/Smart Watch – If you wear a smartwatch, problem solved, you only need one but if you are anything like Victoria Beckham or John Mayer you’d want it to be a classic analogue watch. Love Steve Jobs? Don’t wear a watch. Period.
  • Eyeglasses/Lens – 4 pairs. Those who need eyeglasses/lenses essentially, please get three to four pairs. These little things cost a lot in the US.
  • Sunglasses – 1. Might need it to stop people from looking into your eyes or you looking into theirs. Oh! Beaches and sunny mornings are other use cases.
  • Jewelry as per your own – My ladies. I know you’ve got different ones for every outfit but you’ll somehow have to manage. Leaving some behind, gives you a great reason to come back sooner.
  • Handbag/Sling Bag – Get a handbag and a sling bag. Yes Anjali! I’ve learned they serve different purposes.
  • Pouch/Wallet – These little fellas help you organize a lot of stuff, money being one of them.
  • Laptop Bag/Backpack – Please see that as a student you’ll have to walk a lot. Get a branded, comfortable laptop backpack, won’t make the walk much easier but definitely makes it less painful.
  • Passport Wallet – To protect your Wallet. Duh! Plus you don’t want the ‘haldi’ and ‘achaar’ to reflect on your US visa. Right?
  • Skull Cap/Beanie – You don’t want the union of your chilly winds with your soul.

2. Footwear

Yeah, yeah, you know what kind of footwear will work best for you, but we are here to help Anjali, so shut up and read.

As an international student, you will have to do a lot of walking, so you must bring good, comfortable sneakers or walking boots. No, Anjali’s long boots don’t count as walking boots. Good News! You get better shoes at a lower price in the US of A. Nike being the most loved brand.  Also you find great brands that are hard to find in India like ON, HOKA, Brooks, and a few others, some of which are affordable and provide great comfort. Here’s what you (might) need.

  • Formal Shoes (MEN) – 1. Please get a decent one and wearing sneakers with a formal business suit might be a style statement but not in the professional environment.
  • Formal Shoes/Sandals (WOMEN) – 1-2. Ladies bring out the pieces that glam up your professional walk.
  • All Weather Shoes (Mid/Long) -1. Get one if you are going to a place where it snows or buy it when you need it there. Your choice.
  • Flip Flops – 1. You would need that while inside. Don’t sweat on it.
  • Flats/Heels – 1-2. Depending on your needs for a party or casual walk.
  • Sneakers (buy in US) – If you have one take the with you best Nike has the best sneakers with something new dropping almost every week.
  • Sports shoes – Just take the ones you have and once you’re there wait for a sale to pounce on HOKA, NIKE, ASICS or the legendary ON (Cloudmonster series)  

3. Electronics

Electronics have now become a necessity, and thus, when you are packing, you need to pack them, too. But of course, you can’t pack everything, but only the important ones. You can always buy them in America, but gadgets aren’t cheap there, and No, Anjali, you don’t belong to the actual Royal Family. 

You can bring your already-owned laptop, and if you wish to buy a new one after some time, you could upgrade it in a Black Friday sale. We’ve curated a list for you to keep in mind. For everything else, Best Buy must be nearby.

A very important thing to be kept in mind, India operates on a voltage of 220 volts, alternating at a frequency of 50 cycles per second, which aligns with the standards of numerous countries worldwide, such as Australia, Europe, and the UK. This, however, contrasts with the 110-120 volt electricity at a frequency of 60 cycles per second utilized in the United States for small appliances. So NO APPLIANCES PLEASE.

  • Laptop – Unless you are on a scholarship from Jobs-Gates-Zuckerberg Foundation and they are offering you one, bring what you have. They are more affordable in the US.
  • Mobile Phone – Bring what you have. Upgrade it later on when you are here. Oppo/Vivo/Xiaomi might face issues with the 5g due to the different bands in the US. Samsung/Apple you are cool. 
  • Tablet/Kindle – You already have one? Carry it along. There is no need to buy one separately. Your first paycheck could cover it.
  • Wireless Headphones/Earbuds – Please carry one that is wireless and with noise cancellation, You don’t want people asking you to keep it low and plus it helps you with any conference call or meetings.
  • Chargers/Adapters (all devices) – Goes without saying. Meh!
  • Power Bank – To keep your phone juiced up while traveling at least.
  • Extra USB Cables – 2. You never know when they might come in handy.
  • Indian to US pin converter – 2 Now this is important. Without these, all you have is a 200gm flat box block of metal and glass in your pocket.
  • Universal Adapter – 1-2 You will love these. They keep your Indian and US bought products alive. So you don’t have to search for anything in the wrong place.
  • Spike Buster (Extension cord) – 1. Usually US homes are not fitted with too many sockets.
  • External HDD/Pen Drive – To keep and transfer data from college and friends. Duh!
  • Scientific Calculator – Make sure you confirm which scientific calculators are allowed in the uni, because programmable ones strictly prohibited for you can do stuff with it that you aren’t supposed to. Casio FX 991MS does the job mostly.
  • Digital Camera – If you love to see the world differently, through a lens.
  • Garment Steamer/Iron (Buy in the US) – You wouldn’t want to be a walking map of Manhattan streets forged by wrinkles on your shirt. So you’ll have to buy it from the US due to the voltage difference. Remember?

4. Personal Care

If you are addicted to certain skincare and personal care products, pack them. It is advisable to do so so that the moment you step foot in America, you don’t go looking for a toothbrush in formals (I mean, that would be some sight, but no). 

Items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gels, shampoo, lotions and much more should be packed. After some time, you could look for those products in America, or if not, you could get their alternatives. Yes, this would also make sure that your Korean skincare routine doesn’t break (rolls eyes).  

Further, if you are a female, hygiene is of concern. Remember to keep your personal hygiene items so that you don’t have to sacrifice sanitation even for one day. And yes, if you are a male and have hygiene products, you ALSO need to pack those. We don’t care what your gender is; if it’s hygiene-related, pack it. We’ve curated a list for you to keep track of the stuff you might need upfront.

  • Toothpaste 
  • Toothbrush
  • Sanitizer
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Shampoo/Dry Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Serum/Spray/ Oil
  • Hair Color
  • Comb/Hair Brush
  • Hair Styling Products
  • Face Cream
  • Sunscreen
  • Body lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Nail Clippers
  • Earbuds 
  • Intimate Hygiene Products
  • Deodorant/Perfume/Pocket Perfume

MEN SPECIFIC

  • Shaving Razor/Trimmer (Buy in the US) – Having your barber constantly by your side is a great feeling. If you still haven’t got the hang of shaving, better get used to it and if you carry a beard it’s better to have these essentials with you as the price of getting your beard trimmed at a salon in the U.S is gonna set you back around USD 10.

You would wanna look crisp for the ‘you never know’ moments. But DON’T BUY THEM FROM INDIA, buy them as soon as you get to the US because in India our appliances work on 220V which is similar to Australia, UK and other European Countries but not in the US. In the US the voltage is 120V. So, you know, unless you want your trimmer to stop functioning half way through your beard trimming session, please buy it from the US.

  • Shaving foam – A small bottle to last you a couple of weeks.

WOMEN SPECIFIC

  • Hair Ties/Clips/Accessories – After all they need to be in place.
  • Hair Dryer/Curler/Straightener – Styling your hair for different occasions is a must and we do understand it. So buy these things in the US. You obviously would need things back in India when you visit, so leave it there. Indian appliances and products wouldn’t last much in the US remember.
  • Razor/Scissors – Get rid of the unwanted hair at a snap.
  • Hair Removal Products – Keep it smooth.
  • Sanitary Pads/Tampons – For that time of the month.
  • Safety Pins – To keep that ‘Pallu’ in check.
  • Face Wipes – For keeping your skin clean on the move.
  • Face Wash & Moisturizer – For keeping your skin fresh and hydrated through the day.
  • Makeup/Cosmetics – Ladies! Your smile is the most beautiful makeup that your face can wear but doesn’t hurt to replicate Selena Gomez’s looks.
  • Makeup Remover – And when you get back to being the most beautiful you.
  • Nail Clippers/File – Keep em sharp. Just the looks I mean.
  • Nail Paints/Remover – Color them with every shade of the Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.

5. Home & Kitchen Essentials

It doesn’t matter if you are living in a dorm, an apartment, or a rented house; you will need certain home essentials. Some of these you could take with you from India and the rest you could buy from America. 

You would want to cook your meals to save money. For those, you might want to pack a pressure cooker, as advised by many immigrants (go research). Of course, you can buy small items like spoons, plates, or cups in America or have a few at your disposal. But you could pack some essentials like a water bottle.

You might want to take at least one bedsheet, a pillow or cushion, and one overthrow. You can buy a blanket, considering the weather. But when you land, you need to have some essentials. (Your soft toy isn’t much of a necessity, Peaches.)  

Here’s a list for you to keep everything in check.

Home Essentials

  • Bath Towels – Get around 2-3 towels, they might be easily available in every store in the US, but could cost you a little more than back home. Make sure you get lightweight towels or they would be taking considerable space in your luggage. I would recommend going for Turkish or microfibre. Psst! They also dry quickly.
  • Hand/Face/Gym Towels – 2-3. For the whole day use, be it to wipe your hand after you wash them or to wipe your nose after it washes you.
  • Thread & Needle (optional). Only if you can sew that button back onto the shirt, or if you are willing to learn to do that. A very useful skill. Learning recommended from BHAIJU’s course, ‘The Art Of Self Screwing’, pardon the typo, ‘The Art Of Self Sewing’, (pun intended). Better yet, learn it from your mother.
  • Bedsheets & Pillow cover – 2 You’ll need them right from the word go. You Land. You Reach. You’re Tired. You Sleep.
  • Blanket/Overthrow –Take a light one might come in handy when you’re camping and getting cozy with, Ahem!, nature. And yes, use it at home daily while napping and clapping. (Oh! Shut Up Rahul.)

Kitchen Essentials

  • Pressure cooker – You won’t find this easily and cheap in the US, so bring one. Don’t know how to cook, no worries, get your butler, ‘Alfred Pennyworth’ with you. Oh! You ain’t Bruce Wayne, then get off your ass and start helping the ladies at your home, they’ll teach you the art of survival in the US.
  • Extra weights and gaskets for the cookers – Huh! If one of these goes out, you’re in a spot of bother again. Please take one extra.
  • Pressure/Fry Pan – If you can get a pressure that uses the same lid as your pressure cooker, Bravo, else buy a frying pan after reaching the US at your convenience.
  • Serving Spoon – 1. Take one and if you need more, wash it and use it again. Don’t carry stuff unnecessarily.
  • Thali/Dinner Plate – 2. What if your friend comes over or you are too lazy to wash it after breakfast, you’ll have one for him or for lunch. Buy more if you have more friends or else share the same plate, ‘love grows by sharing’.
  • Water Glasses – May be a couple to make sure you get through the initial days.
  • SaucePan for making tea – If you are a tea person, this absolutely must have, if not your choice, but it’s useful.
  • Knife –1.  Take one kitchen knife. Use it to cut through everything, even your amazon packages.
  • Spoons/Forks – 2. Must suffice for the first few weeks.
  • Rolling Pin – ‘Belan’ it is. For the Rotis and Parathas. Also useful to chuck it at a friend who’s making fun of the shape of your rotis. Then you can find frozen rotis and parathas for the time when you don’t feel like making them.
  • Tea Strainer – Chai. The best way to feel that you have someone with you. Although it would be better if you really have someone on the couch beside you and not in a cup.
  • Water bottle (preferably Thermosteel) – For cherishing the hot and cool moments.

6. Food Items

You are allowed to carry some food items from India to America. But you need to check before packing what food items are actually allowed and in what quantities. You can take Maggi noodles (Control, Uday,  Control your excitement), ready-to-eat food, rice, homemade sweets, pickles, spices (ONLY POWDERED SPICES, NO WHOLE SPICES), ginger-garlic paste (Hi, Sanjeev Kapoor!!), papads, salts, tamarind, sugar, lentils, and some other snacks.

You can use these in your initial days. And you can get everything at any Indian store in the US like the Patel Brothers. So please do not overstuff it like it’s your last time getting Indian groceries.

7. Medicines

You can’t take every medicine to America. You need a prescription for your necessary medicines. There is also a chance that many medicines that are used every day in India might not be available in the States. No, Rahul, Vicks is not the only medicine in the world. 

You can carry general medicines allowed by American custom, along with prescriptions for medicines prescribed for your health conditions. You can also keep some of these in your carry-on bag for travel. 

Make sure you have medicines for these little bothersome flu and bugs that you carry (We’ve named the sickness and not the medicines, please make sure to consult your physician on what suits you and would be suitable in such cases . However if you need it anytime in the future most of these are OTC (Over The Counter) medicines available at Kroger, Costco or Walmart.

Although we don’t want you to be sick, let’s think of it this way, how cool would it be that someone in your vicinity is sick and doesn’t have these medicines handy, they’ll owe you a breakfast for helping them in the hour of need while saving them a few bucks and some time and you get to decide whether that would be at The Pancake House or Flying Biscuit Cafe or Waffle House or maybe donuts at Kispy Kreme. I love them all. 

  • Fever 
  • Cold and Flu
  • Body Pain
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Indigestion
  • Throat Infection
  • Allergy
  • Nausea & Dizziness
  • Toothache
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Sprains
  • Band Aids
  • Bandages
  • Cotton
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Crepe Bandage
  • Pain Relief Ointment/Spray 

8. Stationary Items

If you are going to the States for studies, you will need some basic stationery because if you are there on education loans, these items could also seem expensive. You could use items like pens, pencils, highlighters and markers, along with stationery such as notebooks, erasers, and A4 sheets. Additionally, office essentials like sharpeners, glue sticks, and cellophane/scotch tape are included, along with organizational tools like a staple machine, pins, and a small ruler.

9. Currency

Before you set foot out of your house to board the flight, make sure to keep some cash. You must have some dollars in hand in case you need them in an emergency. Remember, keep DOLLARS in cash—American Dollars about 1000 USD, with this much amount you could be sorted for 2-3 weeks, heck even a month maybe.

But if you are eager to figure out how the ATM’s work in the US you are most welcome. After all that’s another experience that you can share with your friends and family back in India or even jot it down in your journal(if you do that), ‘MY FIRST ATM EXPERIENCE IN THE US’. Nothing to be proud about but then you know every experience is bittersweet in its own way. You would also want to make sure that your debit or credit card can be used internationally; if not, you might want to change it with a FOREX card.

These are some important items to have when packing your luggage when moving to America. You could twitch these lists according to your preferences and needs. We have also created a printable: A Detailed Packing Checklist for Indians Moving to America, you can download it and use it when you are packing. 

Packing Tips for Students Going to the USA

Here are a few packing tips for students going to the USA to help you further in your packing process. If packing bags were a sport, we would want you to be the Olympic champion in it. 

1. Starting 

The first and foremost important packing tip for students going to the USA is to start packing at least a month before their date of departure. Yes, you read it right. A month. This will give you ample time to get all the items you need. You should also pack systematically to make sure you are not in a mess when you land. 

2. Verification

As mentioned earlier, you need to verify the baggage limit and regulations with your airline, even before you start packing, to help you make sure you know the limit. Hence, you prioritize packing important things first, and then, if space is left, you pack what you love, but not unnecessary things. You can think about filling that Cowboy hat at last, Rahul. IT IS NOT A NECESSITY.

3. Carry-On Bag

You must pack all the items you immediately require in your carry-on bags. We have further described the items that you could pack in your carry-on bag. This will help you to make sure that your important items are in your carry-on luggage so that if your check-out luggage is late, you can still manage. 

4. Overpacking

It would help if you avoided overpacking. Remember, America is a civilized country, and you can always buy things there when and as you need them. Of course, some items might be expensive, and it’s better to overpack but trust us, you wouldn’t want your bag to get overweight or damaged because of your overpacking. 

5. Labeling

Your name and even your phone number should be on your luggage. This will help you claim your luggage in case it is lost or misplaced. If you like, you could also put your address so that your luggage can be delivered to the right place. Might wanna look at the travel insurance that covers lost and delayed baggage as well, you never know you just might be the chosen one. 

6. Donating

If there are items that you find when you are packing which, according to you, are of no use to you anymore, you would want to keep them in India only. Trust us when we say you will not come back to use them, so it is better to either sell or, even better, donate them. 

7. Suitcase

Considering the weight and number of bags allowed by your airline, make sure to have huge-sized bags for your move. If you don’t have enough space in your already existing ones, you can look for used bags or buy new ones.  

8. Airline’s Choice

When you are buying tickets for the move, make sure to research and choose an airline that allows you to carry more luggage than others. This will help you to bring most of the items to the USA. 

9. Weighing

After you are done with your final packing, you must weigh the bags so that when you reach the airport, you do not have to struggle with them being overweight. If you weigh them early on, you could also shift or reduce some weight before you travel. 

Smart Tips for Packing Your Luggage When Moving to America

1. Wrinkles

Make sure that those worried wrinkles on your forehead do not transfer to your clothes. Fold your clothes neatly; this will help you put on clothes more systematically.

2. Space

You can roll some of the clothes that you know won’t wrinkle to save space in the bag. Cylindrical-shaped garments can be packed tighter than the usual flat-folded clothes. You roll (not that roll Rahul- facepalm) clothes like sweaters, jeans, and jackets since they are bulky and thus save space. 

3. Layers

You can layer your clothes so that heavy clothes are at the bottom and lighter ones on top. This way, you can divide the weight equally. Also, make sure that delicate items are not destroyed. 

4. Shoes

You don’t have to pack your shoes just as they are. You can fill them with socks, undergarments, or other small accessories to save some space.

5. Vacuum Bags

Lastly, it would help if you got some vacuum sealer bags. When the size reduces, you can pack more items. You can also get a vacuum pump along with the bags, and then you can seal the items so that they are flattened enough. Hence, this will help you pack more in a limited space.  

What to Pack in Carry-on for International Flight

Have you sorted the Check-in luggage? Now, let’s focus on the carry-on. It is important to figure out what to pack in a carry-on for International Flights since the flight journey will be long and you will require some essentials. We have curated a list of essentials for you to pack in carry-on for international flights. 

Travel Wallet

Travel First-aid kit

Passport Holder

Power Bank

Toiletry bag

Snacks/Munchkins

TSA approved liquid bag

Eye Mask

Prescribed Medicines

E-book/ Paperback

Reusable Pouches/ Bags

Headphone/ Earbuds

Mini Clip

Wireless adapter

Hand Sanitizer

Lip Balm

Valuables

Packing Cubes

Glasses case

Travel/Neck Pillow

Luggage tracker

Travel adapter/converter

Tech Organizer

Light jacket

Reusable water bottle

Change of clothing

The above-given list of items could be tailored according to your needs and convenience. Remember that the items you wish to carry in your carry-on bags should be the ones that you would either need during the flight or when you just land in America. Also remember anything that has a battery in it, shall be in your cabin luggage and not inside the checked-in bags.

You should avoid putting certain items in your carry-on bag. These items are prohibited by the flights to be taken in the cabin like aerosol products (anti-static or pepper spray) and liquids in excess of 100ml. 

Things That Indians Should Not Carry When Traveling to the USA

Certain things should be avoided when traveling to America. This is because you are a smart packer and pack things that make the most sense.

1. Heavy Liquids

It would help to avoid bottled heavy liquids like big shampoo or hand sanitizer bottles. Instead, small quantities that could last for a week or two so that the weight allowed by the airline is not consumed in these heavy bottles. 

2. Books

If you are a reader, this is like taking oxygen away. But believe us, you don’t want to give up that precious space in your bags for some heavy books. You can always buy these books in America and even borrow them from the public or your college’s library. OR, take your kindle if you have one, or download some ebooks on your mobile phone/tablet. Audio books are another way to avoid the FOMO. Although nothing can ever replace the beautiful feeling of smelling the pages.  

3. Snacks

We have advised you to take snacks to help you for at least a week or so. But remember not to overpack. If you think you could pack for at least a month, this will only increase your weight because you will likely find food in America that you feel is appropriate to eat in a week.

4. Valuables

You can bring your laptop, mobile phone, and even a tablet, but you should avoid taking jewelry or other expensive items. This is so that you don’t lose them.

5. Prohibited and Restricted Items

For a full list of Prohibited and Restricted Items please refer to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. My men, make sure you don’t carry anything from the list with you in your bags or on you, as the idea of strip joints might be enticing but is definitely not the same as a strip search, unless you want the hands of the TSA officials all over your body.

Conclusion

So, what did we learn? It would be best if you packed, considering the weight and bags allowed by your airline. And NEVER overpack. It would only make things difficult for you. Our ultimate packing guide for moving to America will help you organize your stuff and make sure that you don’t miss anything important. Now go, Pack that suitcase, and remember, the same Polo shirt in three colors can’t be considered a necessity (humph!!).

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About The Author

Picture of Shantanu Balchandani

Shantanu Balchandani

Meet Shantanu Balchandani, the voice of India to States. Through his concise and insightful writing, he guides Indian immigrants on their journey to the USA, offering practical advice on navigating culture, society, and finance with ease. His passion lies in empowering immigrants to turn their dreams of living in the USA into vibrant realities.
Picture of Shantanu Balchandani

Shantanu Balchandani

Meet Shantanu Balchandani, the voice of India to States. Through his concise and insightful writing, he guides Indian immigrants on their journey to the USA, offering practical advice on navigating culture, society, and finance with ease. His passion lies in empowering immigrants to turn their dreams of living in the USA into vibrant realities.

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