Do you know what’s the hardest part about moving? It’s this little prick called packing. Like, what must you bring to survive? Making a list of things sure is a good way to tackle this issue. But what if you are indecisive on what to bring? Fret not, for here are 10 essentials that you need to carry for your international move.

Passport/ Documents

Photo by wellingtonstravel, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Yeah, your passport is definitely your utmost priority when going to another country. If you are a student, ensure that you have the I-20 documents. Whereas if you’re going to work in the US, make sure that you have your I797 form documents in hands. Trust me, having these vital documents in your hands is a time saver at the immigration checkpoint. Other than that, be sure to bring your driver license so that you can rent a car in the US.

Universal Charger

Photo by Uri Tours, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As you can see, India and US have different sockets. It’s so different that even your iPhone adapter can’t live up to its name in the US. In other words, your charger is unusable. So, how do you mitigate this situation? Easy, bring along a universal charger prior to your move. You can always buy a US charger after settling down.

Warm Clothes

Photo by Dom J, licensed under CC0 1.0

If you are a student, you are going to arrive in the US during the fall season. You’re going to dive into the beginning of autumn, which is quite cold as compared to India. Thus, it’s better to bring along a pair or two warm clothes first. Then, you can stock up your closet after familiarizing yourself with the new environment. Or, after you find the perfect place for shopping.


Photo by Drew Tarvin, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hygiene is surely number one when it comes to civilized human. As such, you must remember to bring a travel kit along for convenience. Toiletries is a basic necessity but that doesn’t mean you should overload your luggage with them. Plus, you can always buy more toiletries at Walmart or Target. They are cheaper, anyway.


Photo by Max Pixel, licensed under CC0 1.0

A nice bedding sure makes you feel at home, right? But bear in mind that you should stray away from taking bulky bedding as it’s going to fill up your suitcase with its humongous volume. For the time being, just bring the lightweight ones for the initial week. Forget about your fluffy comforter for now. Remember, you can always buy them in the US.

Pressure Cooker

Photo by Didriks, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Even though you can technically get an electric cooker, every Indian kitchen needs a pressure cooker. You can use it for cooking rice, lentil dal, lentil soup and other authentic Indian cuisine. Its multipurpose use can get rid of your homesickness by helping you to make food that tastes just like home. Also, cooking at home can save you a lot than dining outside.

Indian Masala/ Spices

Photo by Alex96903, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, there are plenty of Indian stores in the States but you might have a tough time finding one initially. And chances are, those stores may not be located nearby. So, it might be wise to pack a sufficient amount of masala or spices for your first few months in the US. After all, you can’t cook Indian food without Indian spices, right?

Chakla & Belan

Photo by Caduser2003 at Malayalam Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a fan of Indian flatbreads, then bringing Chakla and Belan should be on your top list. If possible, bring your mum’s Chakla and Belan so that your food can taste just like hers. By having these rolling pin and board, you can easily make chapattis anytime you want. Craving for chapattis and Indian curry at 1 am? Just take out your rolling pin and roll on!


Photo by Fotokannan, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tava is basically a flat frying pan that is used to cook chapattis. Albeit you can still buy them in the US, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack when it comes to buying the one that you used back in India. Therefore, just stash tava in your suitcase and you’re good to go!


Photo by Andreas Lischka, licensed under CC0 1.0

Let’s face it. You can’t make the great Indian chai without Channi. You can’t have a sip of those irresistible flavored tea beverage without using the small sieve called Channi. Even so, Channi is more than just for straining the tea. Just like a pressure cooker, it has a plethora of use such as for sifting flour, sieving ghee and draining washed vegetables.

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