Travelling in Monsoon: What to pack
The Monsoon is that time of the year when nature is at its peak and everything comes alive – from lush greens to the pollution free air. Depending on what you may choose to carry with you, travelling in monsoons can be a pain in the ass or your best vacation ever. While the monsoon season is definitely one of the best times to visit a place like India; expect lesser crowds and cheaper accommodation among other perks, it sure comes with its share of challenges. Through this guide, I hope to prepare you for your next fun-filled trip during the rainy season.
The world is made up of water: No surprises here! Monsoons = water. It will rain most of the time and when it stops, the streets will be logged with water (yes a lot of the taxes you paid were not spent on the welfare of your city). But you are a tourist and brave one at that and you must not let the rain bring you down; carry with you rainwear like raincoat or umbrella at all times to eliminate the hindrance caused by the uncertain weather. Protect your phone, camera, money and important documents like your Visa and passport by choosing water-resistant backpack or zip-lock bags.
Expert tip: Waterproof your outdoor shoes DIY style by rubbing beeswax on them and then blow drying them. However, this would minimize breathability and is not recommended for longer durations. Always carry your flip-flops.
Mosquitoes suck (literally): Mosquitoes are bad and can carry with them a host of diseases. What’s really a big concern here is that monsoon is their spawning season which means that they will be in abundance. There are several mosquito repellent creams and sprays that will help you get through.
Entertain yourself: If you’re travelling to metropolitan cities, chances are you’ll find yourself stuck in traffic jams that could even go on for hours. Take an interesting book or iPad with you to stay entertained (and not lose patience).
Carry your own food and water: Infections are on the rise during monsoons so be aware of what you drink or eat. Since, you can never be too sure of the quality standards maintained by the road-side pakora wala. Carry a water bottle and some packed food with you just in case.
Dry clothes: You certainly don’t want to travel on the streets without a shirt or pants on. Yes, you don’t unless you want to find yourself on YouTube. Opt for nylon or polyester, it’s the perfect fabric for the season – it is breathable, prevents abrasion, dries quickly and does not absorb moisture, the only downside is that it may not be as soft on the skin as cotton. For better comfort, go for a cotton/polyester blend as it offers the freedom of cotton with the high performance of polyester.