Kerala packing list

Kerala packing list - Flat lay of piles of packing on the floor

It’s a short one today, Wanderlusters. So many people have asked me what they should pack for a trip to Kerala with kids that I decided to write a whole post about it.

Kerala, for us, was overwhelming in every possible way – from the things we saw to the rather busy Kerala itinerary we had made for ourselves to the sheer reality of travelling with really small children… it was a lot.

Travelling in Kerala (and doing it with kids) requires a certain type of packing. For starters, you need to pack for different types of weather – the highlands have a different climate to the coast plus heavy rains can be followed by scorching sunshine. Kerala, much like the rest of India, is quite a conservative country. You might not be thrown out of a mall for wearing tiny shorts (as can happen in very conservative countries) but if you want to be considerate of local customs then you need to pack accordingly. Finally, travelling with kids throws up another angle – particularly when they are little. For some extra tips on packing with little ones head to the bottom of the page.

Kerala packing list notes:

Rather than tell you exactly what to pack, without knowing the first thing about how long you’re going for or what you’re planning on doing, I’ve written this list on a per-day basis and then added optional extras e.g. in case of hiking or a fancy dinner. Longer trips will also afford you the option of doing laundry in one of the towns you are visiting.

Kerala packing list – adults

Must-haves

  • T-shirts – 1 per day plus a 1-2 spares 
  • Long-sleeved tops – 1-2 depending on exact destination/time of year/weather forecast
  • Jumper / cardigan – 1 per 7 days 
  • Shorts / skirts / dresses – enough for 1 outfit per day
  • Trousers – 1 per 7 days 
  • Underwear / socks / nightwear
  • Clothes for travelling
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Comfortable footwear – flip flops / sandals and closed-toe shoes e.g. walking shoes / trainers
  • Wet weather gear (including umbrella if wanted)

Optional extras

  • Swimming costume – as many as you want!
  • Workout gear
  • Smarter outfit for evenings (depending on plans)

Kerala packing list – kids

Must-haves

  • T-shirts – 1.5 per day
  • Long sleeved tops – 2-3 depending on destination / time of year / weather forecast
  • Jumper / cardigan – 1-2 per 7 days 
  • Shorts / skirts / dresses – enough for 1-2 outfits per day
  • Trousers – 2 per 7 days 
  • Underwear / socks / nightwear
  • Comfortable footwear – flip flops / sandals / jelly shoes and closed-toe shoes e.g. walking shoes / trainers
  • Clothes for travelling
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Wet weather gear
  • Nappies and nappy cream if using 
  • Wipes 
  • Bottles 
  • Favourite snacks 

Optional extras

  • Swimming costume – as many as you want / have
  • Goggles
  • Floating aids if needed
  • Clothes for evenings (depending on plans)

Kerala packing list – general

  • Toiletries
  • Makeup 
  • Haircare – brush, straighteners (if using) and products (note most hotels had hairdryers)
  • Towels if self-catering or heading to the beach – we love microfibre towels
  • Suntan lotion and aftersun 
  • First aid kid
  • Insect repellent – cream / spray / bands / patches – whatever works for you!
  • Commonly used over the counter medications
  • Prescription medication (I always travel with the prescription too – just in case)

Kerala packing list – hand luggage

General

  • Passports 
  • Wallets 
  • Phones 
  • Travel details 
  • Books or kindle 
  • Camera and extra memory card
  • Video equipment
  • Laptop
  • Chargers, extra power bank and travel adapters (can be in regular luggage)
  • Anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitiser
  • Small amounts of medications / all medication that can’t be lost in case of lost luggage
  • Change of clothes – 1 per person (including adults) per 10 hours flying 

For the kids

  • iPads Activity / sticker books
  • Stories
  • Favourite toys 
  • Lovies 
  • Bottles if using milk 

Kerala packing list – extra tips

Travel cot

We found it hard to travel with really little kids in India and the first issue was sleeping arrangements. In every place that we stayed, there was a problem with the cot for Thing 2 who was 15 months old at the time. On one occasion it wasn’t set up in the room on arrival at 5.30am when we had specifically booked the room for the night before so we could guarantee early check-in. Other issues included a mouldy cot, a crib instead of a cot (three times) and the unavailability of a cot (we were told we could go out and buy one). Despite having triple confirmed our requirements, it was such a pain everywhere we went. It seems dramatic to take your own travel cot but honestly, it would have been easier especially since we had a driver for the duration.

Phone

I think it’s always worth stopping to get a local sim card in any destination so make sure you have an unlocked phone with you.

Gadgets and technology

You’re a better judge of what you’re going to use than I am. All the things I’ve included in hand luggage would fall into this category and I’d say all are optional depending on you and your family. For example, we don’t make videos so that’s just not something we would take away with us. We also used to take a million cables and adapters with us “just in case” but hardly used them so now we only take what we absolutely know we will use.

What else would you take Wanderlusters? Anything I’ve missed?

Emma Morrell
Emma Morrell

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