5 Minimalist Backpacking Tips to Make your Travel Experience in India Better

5 Minimalist Backpacking Tips to Make your Travel Experience in India Better

A 70L backpack is a signature of a long term backpacker who wants to explore India on a 15 day trip. But the more you explore this country, the more you’ll realize that you don’t need a lot of luggage and will slowly realize that it is a smarter idea to reduce it.

Switching to a 30 or 40 litre backpack is the best thing that can happen to you while travelling in India.

Here are some minimal backpacking tips that will make your travel experience in India better and smarter.

Reduce attachment with the items in your backpack

Leh to Srinagar bus timings

Over the time, I realized that I carry some stuff just because I think I’ll use them but never did. Over the time, I reduced the number of books from 3 to 1 and the weight came down. The number of jeans also got reduced to 2 and now I only carry cargo pants as they are lighter.

The first rule of minimalist backpacking is to have a different outlook towards the items in your bag. So when you are packing your rucksack, try keeping the essentials that you simply cannot live without in one side, and anything else whose absence will not matter during your 3 month backpacking trip to India in another. The burden on your backpack will come down by atleast 20%.

Get a smaller backpack


When we have a bigger backpack, our psychology is to fill it till the top so that no space is empty. This is why when you have the only option of a smaller backpack, you’ll carry less item and will still manage to survive despite a substantial portion of items being cut down from the carry-weight.

It is all about psychology associated with the size of the bag. Sometimes one winter jacket takes all the space in the rucksack and then you can fill your bag with t-shirts but you’ll still find empty space in your bag.

Buy less souvenirs and always opt for home delivery


Don’t buy a lot of souvenirs while you’re travelling in India.

Yes, India has diverse market scene and it makes sense to purchase some items for the sake of memory. But if you have a 40L backpack, it doesn’t make sense to go on a shopping spree.

Buy some fridge magnets, some traditional small jewellery and it should be enough to cross souvenirs from India trip from your bucket list.

In case, you want to buy heavy clothing, spices and art works, it is a better idea to ask the shopkeeper if they provide home delivery option. It works better because the product reaches your home no matter what country you are from and you are saved from carrying extra weight, paying additional charges at airport and ruining your entire travel experience in process.

Reduce your camera gear


If you love photography then you will find India an amazing place for photography. It will surely add some burden on your luggage. By reducing your camera gear, you’ll enjoy travelling more and in a better way.

You can also replace your DSLR with a Go Pro and a point n shoot camera which will bring down your camera gear size to 40%. If you are a DSLR user then ask what kind of shots are you looking to click. You can either carry one 18-55 lens and another zoom lens or if you have a higher budget then you can also consider buying a 18-400 lens to get everything without the pain of changing your camera gear over and over again.

Choose a hostel to dump extra luggage


When you are travelling in India, you’ll come across a number of hostels and many of these will become your abode while backpacking.

Most of these backpacker hostels provide a room to keep extra luggage while travelling. Some charge for it and while it is free at other places. If you are on a long term backpacking trip in India, use this facility, keep your luggage at some place, assuring that your return ticket is from the same city.

This works better in a city like Delhi where you have planned to travel between mountains and hotter regions so you’ll return to the city atleast twice. Sort your luggage, remove your warm clothes and move towards your trip to the plains of India.

Hope these minimal backpacking tips for travelling in India helped you plan your trip in a better way.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. sarahemjames

    Some great tips there – you are spot on about the psychology of filling a bigger bag just because there is room!

  2. Two’s company

    Some great tips here to help with backpacking, when I did my 3 month backpacking trip in SE asia, I massively overpacked. I wanted to make sure that I had ‘options’ but I only ended up actually using about a third of what I packed. So I always try to keep this in mind when packing now.

  3. Great tips! At our ages we’re a bit beyond our backpacking days, looking for a little more comfort. But, most of the tips apply to packing suitcases too!

  4. Sarah

    I always struggle to travel lighter, but these are great tips. When carrying a backpack all the time it definitely helps to only be carrying what you really need to save your back!

  5. Tanya Bindra

    Great tips.. I especially love the idea of carrying a smaller bag. When you have a bigger one, you tend to fill it to the brim. Traveling light is like the most underrated practice that can literally transform one’s travel experiences!

  6. Zarina Rimbaud-Kadirbaks

    I’ve never been backpacking but I can imagine this is a great way to explore a country like India! I like your travel hacks nonetheless as you’re right that we’re inclined to carry too much with us whilst travelling. I will try to implement some of your tips (like having sent the souvenirs home, less chance of breaking too!) on my own future travels, one day again 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sandy N Vyjay

    These are good tips for backpacking. Letting go of things that are not really useful on your trip is really important.

  8. Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions

    Great tips, and many of them can be applied to backpacking in other countries too. The advice about cutting out things you don’t need and clothes you don’t wear is so true. And yes, choosing small souvenirs or sending them home via mail is another great idea!

  9. josypheen

    I think these are great tips for travel in general. Life is always more pleasant when you are not weighed down by a massive, heavy bag.

    The only thing I would find it hard to part with is my camera and big lens.