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What should I carry to US ? List of things to pack? Costly? USA baggage packing items

I still remember those days when I traveled to US for the first time as international student on F1 visa, where I packed at lot of stuff (three full bags 33 kgs each – Thanks to Lufthansa student promo), which was not necessary to carry. Due to incorrect information and poor guidance I carried way too much stuff than I needed. Typically, most of us, when we come to US for the first time we  try to multiply with our local currency and come up with a number and blindly consider “Oh god everything is expensive in US”. Let’s face it, compare the average salary in US with the average salary in India. The prices are relative. You have to carry only those kind of things that are not available in US or stuff that is very expensive.

This article discusses some of the very common things that are advised to be carried to US and what not to carry.  I am writing this article on List of things to pack to USA based on my practical experience as Student and working professional.

In reality, as a student, you either live anywhere in a shared apartment with few people or in student dorms by yourself. If you are living in student dorms, you do not need any kitchen related stuff. Personal care items and clothes are key.

Items to carry from Home Country ( India)

Health Care Items

Items to Carry to US

Reason to buy in home country (India)

Get over the counter general cough, fever medication like crocin, Benadryl, metacin, etc that you normally use. Be careful and look for expiration date, buy the recent ones with most expiration date.  You may get as much as you want. Recommended 4 strips eachOur physical body is used to generally used to the general medication we have in US. It is a good idea to have our regular medication until we adjust to this weather.
Eye glasses – at least 2 pairs. If Contact lens – based on how often you have to change them. If disposable advised to check online at Wal-Mart vision center  http://www.1800contacts.com/.Eye glasses are expensive in USA; average good pair price is around $150 – 200 USD for normal ones.  Similar case with contact lens, but some disposable lens are cheaper in US.
Medicines along with prescription for pre existing  medical conditions like Asthma, migraine, diabetes, etc.  You may be asked for prescription at the immigration check point if it is not over the counter. There is no limit for the amount of medicine you can carry. Check TSA website for medical conditions carry on list.It is not a good idea to change your existing medication as it is pre existing condition. You may get new prescription after review with doctor.

Personal Care and Toiletries

Items to Carry to US

Reason to buy in India

If you have any specific skin condition, then only get any soap. Otherwise NO need.You may not get the specific medical condition soaps you are prescribed in US right away, you may need to see doctor and get such soaps.
May be any Indian specific fairness creams, cologne that you are used to and not available globally. Gillette, Old spice, Axe, Tag are global brands. No need to carry these brands.You may not get fairness creams in small towns. If in big cities, you may get these items in Indian grocery store.

Clothing & other personal usage items

Items to Carry to US

Reason to buy in India

Undergarments. Get at least 15 pairs. Both tops and bottoms ! You may buy these in US eventually, but it would be hard for the first time until someone takes you to the store.You do laundry once 15 days and there is no concept of washing it hanging it every day. You get in shower naked and wash your undergarments with laundry once in 15 days.
Wallet, BeltsThese are a bit expensive here. But, if you want good brands, just get what you have.
Just one pair of Sneakers/ running shoes, slippers and one pair of Formal shoes.You get better models in US and cheaper too. Only for the first few months.
Just couple of pairs of Jeans and T-shirts, one formal dress( you won’t even use this, just backup)Couple of pajamas and shortsONLY couple pairs and these are only for first few weeks. Clothes are cheaper in US if you buy at the right time in SALE. You have to wear the US brands in US to look cool and trendy!
Couple of Bath towelsJust for first two weeks.  You get better ones here!
One leather or other good material Jacket, sweater and a  formal suit (optional, not needed )This is for first week or day. You should buy snow jackets and other woolen items in US. Indian jackets do not keep you warm for cold weather in US.

You should also read, Should you buy clothes from India or buy in US ?

Kitchen Items ( only if you plan to cook)

Items to Carry to US

Reason to buy in India

Pressure cooker with extra gas cuts and whistle.You do not get our style pressure cookers here everywhere. The ones available  in store are not good.
ONLY Home made Sambar powder, Rasam powder and Garam masalas. Not too much. Just few packs.ONLY HOME MADE Please. You get ready made powders by MTR, Everest, etc brands in US, do not need to carry. You may carry some if you are going to a very remote location in US where there are less Indians.

That’s all you need to carry. You do not need to bring anything. You can buy rest of the items here for cheaper price and better quality too. I will just put some list that you should not bring with reasons.

Health Insurance for Travel to US :

Having visitors health insurance is important for you, when you enter US to avoid any unforeseen health conditions, including when you are on transit to USA and in the first couple of weeks until your employer or school provides you Health Insurance. It is always a good idea to get Health Insurance from a US vendor, who can support you, when you are in US. We recommend Buying Visitors Insurance at Visitors Coverage – Visitors Insurance as they have US phone support and you can compare all insurance plans to buy cheapest that fits your need.

List of items NOT to carry from India

Health Care

Items NOT to Carry to US


Any medication that does not have a prescription on your name should not be bought here unless they are sold over the counter.It is not advisable at port of entry to carry any medication or drugs that do not have your prescription and you may be in trouble.

Personal Care and Toiletries

Items NOT to Carry to US

Reason to buy in USA

Soaps, Shampoo, Moisturizers, Conditioners, Deodorants,  after shave lotion, ear buds, nail cutter, mirrors, comb, perfume or cologne, shaving creams, Razors, etcAll these are very cheap in US and you are better off buying here.Make sure, you get all your current personal care kit to use for the first week. DO NOT BUY anything new, just get what you have.

Clothing & other personal usage items

Items NOT to Carry to US

Reason to buy in USA

NO woolen clothing like thermals, winter jackets, fleece, etc. Maybe just one small one for first few days, if needed for flight.It is good to buy in US, you get good quality. The stuff you buy in India will not stand the cold weather, especially, if you are going to be in zero degrees areas.
NOT more than 2 pairs as stated above about jeans, etcJeans, corduroy, t-shirts, shorts are very common and regular wear. You will get good deals here in US. Also, I believe you should wear local brand to be trendy !

Kitchen Items

Items NOT to Carry to US

Reason to buy in USA

Electric rice cookers or any electric related appliancesDifferent power specifications. Will not work
Non-stick pans, spoons, plates, dishes, tava, knives, any kind of kitchen utensils..DO NOT BUY in IndiaThese all are very cheap here and you get good quality. In reality, when three friends of you sign a lease and start to live in apartment, you all will share the expenses. So, it is good deal.
Masala powders, rice, oil, or any kind of dals. Unless you are going to a very remote place and there are no Indian or international grocery shops around.Everything is available in US! Do not buy these items. They might look high price, please  do not start multiplying everything with 50 !

Overall as someone said, “when in Rome, be a Roman”. Similarly, ‘when in America , be like an American ( at least lifestyle wise) ‘. Do make sure when you are packing for USA not to bring way too much stuff that is not needed.  It is advisable to buy clothes and other stuff here to get along well with the fashion and trend in US.

Also, before you travel, you should take care of things in your home country so that you do not spend a lot once back in US. Read Things to do in Home Country before travel to US

What are your thoughts ? Share your experiences…


Other Articles


  1. Hello all,

    I am Sudhakar, travelling to Eden Prairie MN on 1st June2013.
    I got the ticket form Chennai -> London -> Miami -> Minneapolis.
    What edibles i can carry, as i am travelling with my wife and 1 yr kid.


  2. Hi, firstly congrats for initiating such a blog. It really helps many and is an interesting read too. I have few questions related to carrying my 1 TB hard disk (HDD) to the US. It’s loaded with BBC Documentaries, English/ Hindi movies. But surely no English music in it. I’ve heard from many that piracy most seriously arises when it comes to English music.. so, does that reduces the risk of being stranded/ confiscated and worse punished?
    If not, can I download in the US through uTorrent, Isohunt, etc.? Do torrents actually work in the US? My friend recently returned from Japan and told me that torrents are absolutely blocked in Japan. Is it the case in the US too? There are online bulk storage sites like Box.net, do they come to some rescue?
    Thanks in advance for your help 🙂

    • Adarsh Gupta K,
      I don’t think Torrents are blocked in US, but I don’t know what kind of data ISPs share w/ the government agencies. Rule of thumb is to stay clean in US when it comes to piracy.

      HDD should be ok. To think about it, if you have all that data on your laptop and carry it to US, chances of them starting up the laptop to scan through each folder/file it pretty slim. I would expect the same w/ external HDD. Still you need to be careful about the content you are carrying to US. BTW, MPAA is very particular about English movie piracy (so it’s not just the music).

      • Thanks for replying Saurabh 🙂
        I might not be carrying a laptop, as I’m planning to purchase during some sale season in the US, maybe Christmas or Thanksgiving. But will surely carry 1 or 2 HDDs.

  3. I am going to US on business visa and planning to buy a laptop for personel use.

    I am I allowed to carry two laptops while coming back to India? 1 personal and 1 professional?
    After buying the laptop, If I throw away the cartoon box which came along with laptop.
    Still will It be objectionable?

    Please guide me, how can I get laptop from US?

    Thanks in advance

    • Arjun,
      Although I haven’t done it personally, but people often declare the laptop they are carrying at Indian customs before departing. This allows them to bring an additional laptop back. You should still check w/ others who have done this in the past.

  4. Hi,
    iam B.E graduate of 2008 batch …iam planning to go to us next august….i don’t have any experience…but i attended a course on software testing and planning to show some experience(3 to 4yrs)…will it be aproblem in US?plz reply…iam deeply worried…

  5. Hi Kumar,
    Thanks a lot for giving such useful information. I have gone through each a every comment and all are very useful. I am going to Louisville Kentucky with my husband. I have two questions.
    1. For accommodation, how can I get an apartment on rent? Can I book this online? If not I have to arrange any hotel for few days.
    2. Can I carry my External Hard disk with me because I have some pirated software in that?

    • Swastika,
      1. You can go to school’s website to see if they have any noticeboard/forum where people discuss about rentals etc. You can also look for rentals on craigslist, sulekha etc. You can shortlist few of them, travel to US and stay in hotel for couple of days and after personally looking at the apartments move in.
      2. Piracy is a big crime in US. I would strongly suggest against doing anything that ends your US career even before it is started.

  6. Usefull blog….Thanks Everyone
    Small question,
    Some of my friends suggested to get more indian tops(chudidhar, short kurthas), as we get trendy items there. Electronic ggods other that mixie and pressure cooker, electric cooker what else we need to get from India.

    • Saraswathi,
      Depends where you are heading to in US. If you are going to an area like New York, New Jersey or San Francisco Bay Area, then there are lot of Indian shops available here. However, still people prefer to get traditional Indian clothes from India to get more varieties, sizes etc. If you are going to a place which has less Indian community presence, then its definitely better to get them from India.

      As for electronics, my personal preference is to buy them in US. Wattage is correct (else you will have to use step-up converter) and air travel luggage remains light. Also some items do not carry international warranty and you may want to check that. Pressure cookers are sold in Indian stores along w/ food processors, blenders etc. Still some people may prefer to get these from India based on their personal taste. You can search online on sites like Amazon, Macys to see what kind of kitchen electrics are sold here, along w/ their specifications.

  7. hi
    I am coming first time to US..my visa type is H4 and I would to like to change to H1 …My qualification is M.Tech…How do I search for a job and What kind of job will I get..What are the procedure for it

    • You will have to wait till 1st April 2013 for applying new H1-B petition. This year’s quota is already over. Getting a job depends on your profile. If you are interested in IT related job and don’t have any experience then learn some technology and find an employer.

  8. Hi Saurabh,
    I have been here in US on a business tour, while being here I am planning to purchase couple of electronics gadgets(like Tab, camera, etc.. may be I will end up buying 9-10 products). I just wanted to know is there any restrictions in carrying back these things to India according to Customs???
    Thanks and Regards,

    • Usually people carry laptops, tablets, camera along with them in their carry on luggage and come out of customs without any issue. It all depends on the customs, if they suspect you are carrying to many electronic gadget, then they might stop you.
      I’ve carried 2 personal laptops, DSLR, video cameras once without any issue. Your port of entry also matters.

  9. Great blog and great posts. I have a slightly different question. What do you do you when your company is ready to foot the bill of a 20-40 foot container for shipping stuff from India to US? Now what all should I bring :-D. This question troubles me a lot as I haven’t found a suitable article on that.

    Hope you can shed some light on it.

    • Mohit,
      You can get a lot in that container, but not all may come in handy in US. Think about your location and your apartment space. Then think what will be missing in your apartment which you can get from India. I think you can get lot of lentils and spices (look out for expiry date and your consumption rate, and also list of barred items like jeera), clothes etc. If you have friends in US who want to get stuff from India, then you can be generous 🙂

  10. Hi Dear,
    that was quiet useful article for me..me and my husband are moving to New York(Long Island) for his job….do u get sauce pan and all other utensils that we use in India….and my MIL told me that all Indian masalas are really expensive in US so I got lot of them for us to carry…..what do u suggest should I leave them here….do u get all the Indian masalas in US on reasonable price.?.

    • Pooja,
      “Reasonable” is a relative term. When you are first moving to US, spending 3 bucks on 100gm MDH masala may sound expensive. Once you have started earning here, those 3 bucks may sound more affordable. One can start off by spending 100 bucks on groceries (more recent immigrants can confirm/deny this).

  11. Hello saurabh,

    Above knowledge about the packing list is very helpful, I appreciate that.
    As I m travelling 2 US for the first time & that too for permanent basis,as I got the f3 visa. Now the doubt in my mind is that I sometimes use asthalin(used by asthamatic victims), but in my medical examination I didn’t come positive for it. So I have no prescription of using it.
    Can I bring the inhaler along with me to US.
    Pls let me know asap. As I’ll be travelling on 20th of may.

    • Nitin gupta,
      I am not sure, but I think it would be ok to carry it. However, check w/ others as well especially someone who has done this.

  12. With lack of information you may carry unnecessary things and may end up with no space for packing absolutely necessary things.

    Absolutely necessary things:

    Pressure Cooker
    Extra Pair of eye Glass/Contact lenses(very expensive here)
    initial supplies(few clothes/brush paste etc.)

    for more info check thekapils.com/2012/02/15/packing-your-suitcase-for-us-travel/

  13. Hi,

    All, when i was traveling to USA i read this and it was so helpful.Now i am on H4 visa in Boston.I need a favor from you guys.i have some doubts which i would like to clarify through this.

    1.Iam looking to shift my visa ,is H1 is good or F1.
    2.I did my graduation in India(10+2+3) is that OK fro h1 or for f1.
    3.I have a 7 years of marketing experience(pharmaceutical) in India whether this will help me here?

    Need your help .


  14. Hi,
    I really appreciate da kind of guidance u both provide to all da people …. Really appreciarted !!
    I needed to confirm certain things….. I am traveling 2 da states 4 da 2nd time from my organization for a project for approx 2 months .. traveling to PA
    I have my business visa what is the criteria to apply 4 a job dere and apply to work visa ….


    • Varun Gupta,
      You need to find an employer willing to file H-1 visa for you. This can be filed as long as the quota is open, and along w/ COS (change of status) from B-1/2 to H-1. Once approved, you can start working on H-1 from COS approval date. However, there is a strong possibility that USCIS will question your intent and can consider this as misuse of B-1 visa if it filed within 30-60 days of entering US on B-1/2.

  15. This post is really informative…these days(Feb) their is awesome sale in macy’s for all winter clothes…thank god i didn’t get any winter clothes from india..thanks to bloggers like you for providing info..

      • Sorry now its march almost all stores have kept winter clothes in back….still in some hidden sections of stores you still find some winter clothes!!! but do try your luck in macy’s once you come here…
        Otherwise burlington coat factory is a good option if you can’t find anything elsewhere….

  16. Hi,

    I’m travelling to Miami in a week’s time and would like to know what kind of pressure cooker should I be taking there? Please let me know ASAP as this would really help me.

    Also, homemade food and spices can be carried if properly sealed etc., right?

  17. Hi this article is very good. I am flying Troy Michigan. I am carring first aid medicine like dettol, bandage, hadiplast , along with paracitamol, podinhara and cetrazin without presciption. I want to carry hemeopathy medicine without prescription i regular used to. I want to carry some deo,tootpaste,sampoo for use.

    Can you tell me is this ok to carry.

    • Hey its not recommended to carry medicines(presciption ones) in USA, they may seize ur medicines… why don’t get a presciption from your doctor and stay away from all the trouble..

  18. I loved ur article ,really helps.
    M going with my hubby to US…wht i must carry there …..utensils if then what should i take plz let me know…and even any other things i should carry m travelling to USA-florida tempa for two years .

    • From my experience, lot of stuff is available in US these days, but then that also depends a lot on the location. In a place like Bay Area almost all Indian stuff is available, but I am not sure about Tempa.

      What you can do is go to Google maps and search for Indian stores in Tampa. If you see good enough number of Indian stores then that should give you confidence that things will be easily available there, and you can use your luggage for other things.

  19. Thanks a lot for the information ,if possible please add baggage information like how much we can carry to USA.


    • You can get the latest baggage information on airlines’ websites. Last I checked, they allow 23kgs per bag (max 2 bags) when travelling to Americas in Economy class.

    • Where exactly will be going in US? There are certain areas (SF Bay Area, New York/New Jersey) which have enough Indian stores that you don’t need to carry lot of utensils from India.

    • @minakshi
      Now we get almost every Indian Utensils in USA, was surprised to see “puttu maker, paniyaram pan, safety valve, rubber ring in some of the Indian Online Stores. So you may do some research on the web & shall plan it accordingly.

  20. This is such an awesome list. And for a person like me who is travelling for the first time to US this is extremely helpful. Thanks a ton Kumar!!!

  21. Hi,
    Tx much for creating such an informative zone. I’ll be travelling to US (MN) somewhere in Sep last week. Pls advise the weather as my 4 months daughter will also come along and what sort of wollens to carry.

    • Shweta, winters in MN will rip you apart, or may be freeze you out. 😛
      I am in MN and have never seen the winters here, but I have been warned ample number of times. All my friends with whom I have discussed about the winter clothing have said Indian woolens are useless in US (especially in MN).
      I found a very very nice winter jacket on sale for about 40 bucks the other day but did not buy as I am waiting for the stores to put stuff on display. I think the most amount anyone I know has paid to buy winter clothing is 100$, that too in Chicago. 100 bucks is near about 4500 Rs, for which you get nothing worthwhile in India. Woolens are cheaper and you will find more protection in the clothes brought here. You are coming in the last week, Snow typically starts in 1st week of October so you may want to bring ‘something’ (may be long johns for yourself) but be prepared to buy more. Which part of MN are you up for ? At least Minneapolis has skywalks and if you dont smoke, you pretty much have a lot of mobility in this city.


  22. Hi,
    First of all thanks for this informative blog, i want to ask one thing can i carry ghee(clarified butter) and pickles to US and if yes what is the best way to pack them?

    • Why do you want to cary Ghee? when you can make it over here. The butter here is really good. You don’t have to get ghee from India. Also you are taking a risk with clothes in youe baggage. If you still need to get it get the Amul Ghee that is in a tin.

      • Amul (Cow) ghee tin in Minneapolis cost you 14 bucks. Thats all.
        The shit britannia sells is 10 bucks, but please dont buy that. I have wasted money and time eating britannia ghee

  23. Hi saurabh,
    I will be travelling with my one year old kid,Can I take emergency medications for him which I use here commonly for cold,fever, loose motion etc…. Will they allow these set medications at the PoE?

    • PoE is fine. However you should check w/ airlines and transit airports. Lot of airlines do allow emergency medicines, but I don’t know what limitations they have on liquid prescriptions. You can check that on their website.

  24. Hi all,

    I found all the information here very helpful. I am leaving for St. Louis, USA this friday and woud like to ask few things,

    1. Do I lock my check-in baggage for security?
    2. Do I declare food items in customs? (I am bringing spices ,pickles and home made food)

    Would be very heloful if someone can their experience 🙂

    • 1. You may, but they can break the locks if they decide to inspect your luggage. They usually arrange the stuff back in the suitcase, and put in a note stating that your luggage was opened for random inspection.
      2. The customs are ok w/ certain food items and have concerns for others. They may inspect if it contains jeera (cumin seeds), non-vegetarian pickle etc. Bringing sweets, home made snacks etc is perfectly fine.

  25. Hi,
    Thank u so much for this informative blog!
    I am leaving for Canada as a student. can I take my laptop along with? Since the power specifications are different there compared to India, should I buy an adapter here and go or can I buy there?

    • Usually laptops come w/ an adapter that allows them to work in a voltage range. You can buy that from India or in Canada. However, the socket point may be different in Canada. So it may be better to buy a compatible adapter and power cord from Canada.

  26. Hi Kumar/Saurabh,
    First of all, Thank you once again for this awesome blog. I have suggested it to many friends and everyone just loves it. Its a great resource esp for us, who are going to be new to US.
    I have this important question regarding medication. I have to take prescribed medication. I will be taking 2 months supply at the max. How do i carry the medication+prescription? In hand luggage or check-in? Also does my doctor need to give a prescription stating the 2 month supply or will an old prescription do? Please help me guys !!

    • Glad that information on this blog was of help to you and your friends 🙂

      Here is the official information from TSA: Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

      It’s better to carry them in carry-on (along w/ doctor’s prescription) as your check-in baggage may get delayed or lost, and some airlines have no liability on lost prescription. Also, keep them in their original bottles along w/ labels, so that they can easily be identified in case of any inspection.

  27. Hi people,
    So I was able to bring my stuff here. I have opened my good one kg pickle and have enjoyed it till now. Now, I need to move to another state and I dont know how I can move my pickle. Any ideas ? The Vacuum bags are too over priced at 15 bucks, so I am wondering.

    • How about plastic bottles with alluminum foil in between the lid and jar and a two plastic bags to wrap with a rubber band around it.

      • Hey thanks Thara,
        That is the original plan. Was just wondering on other approaches.
        For ex., one of my friends had to carry ghee (clarified butter) and all she did was to put it in the freezer for two nights. Can pickle freeze ?

  28. Im moving to NJ and carrying home made powders – like sambar powder etc. Could you pls tell me the best way to pack these so that it will not create a problem in immigration ?

    • Make sure you double wrap them with ziplocs or with thick polyethelene bags. Another way to do it is to use three layers of news paper and then wrap them with a thick brown paper and then place the powders in individual plastic shopping bags like, Nalli or Kumaran bags.

      • Queens Packing opposite MRTS Mylapore station at chennai do the neat vaccum packing ofall types of pickles, powders etc. Phone : 24951622/24617699

    • I just carried my sambar power. The way I purchased it from swagruha is the way I brought it. No fancy thing. Just the normal plastic they pack it in and heat sealed. I asked them to seal it twice or thrice just to be on the safe side.

  29. Hi
    My family is going to America for trip for 20 days. Can I checked in MTR Instant food pkets. ( Which are sealed) San franscisco, LA , LW and San diago can we get indian food? What type of food mostly we get there? Help me

    • I don’t know about the brand, but I have seen frozen Indian food in Indian grocery stores and also certain American grocery stores (like Trader Joe’s, Costco) at least here in San Francisco Bay Area.

  30. Hi,

    I loved ur article. I have a question. I would like to know if I shld buy a laptop from India or US? And if u say US, then can yu please suggest me a few brands that will come in the 600-750$ range? Thanks

    • Yes, you can get laptops in US in that range. However, configuration of laptops vary w/ price and I don’t know what type of configuration you are looking at.

      Check out US retailers like best buy, costco, frys to get information on models, configurations and price. Also, depending upon one’s need netbook may also be a viable option (and it starts at a lower price).

      • Well, I want a GOOD laptop. I want it to be light weight, long battery life and min 14-15 inchs. So if u know any brands that will include these features within the 600-750 range, I ll be grateful!

        • Well, you can find Acer, Toshiba, Samsung, possibly HP in that range. Checkout the websites I mentioned above. I haven’t used either of these brands, so I cannot provide any feedback on individual brands.

        • Hi Tejaswi,

          As you can see from the date I am a time traveler from future. Wait till at least 2012 and you can buy an ultra portable laptop. All the best for your future (my present).

  31. Hello,

    Seems like a decently compiled list. I was of the same opinion when I saw people carrying a kilo of rice a kilo of rajmah a kilo of some lentil.. I mean cmmon, how much are you gonna save on the whole, 10, 20, 50.. 100 dollars ? 4500 bucks and so much of effort ? I could never believe the Indian wool (which is no longer wool anyway) can stand the US colds.
    Anyway, I am coming to Boston on a H1b for a 6 month project. My only plans are to get about 7 pairs of inner wear. 6 pairs of formal clothes (pant – shirt) , two jeans, two t shirts and two shorts. 3 cartons of cigarettes, a swimming trunk and some prescription drugs. Anything else you gues think I should add or subtract ?

  32. m going to boston nd albuny for some fifteen days.can u suggest me wat used i look for shopping .i want to know the things which are really cheap in US as compared to india. i hv heard from people that electronics items are cheap there in US but at times they find diffculty in operating them in india …..few says because of lock system,warranty,replacement….etc.can u guide me correctly it would be of great help

    • If you are planning to buy electronics from US, then look for international warranty. Gadgets are typically cheaper and you can find more models here.

  33. Hellloooooooo!! sir or madam who are in usa i wan to come U.S.A. please make me as a friend and give me guidance how to come plZZZZZZZzzzz….

  34. hi
    If you are thinking of travelling west in the near future please take the following items with you.
    1. pressure cooker
    2. medicines
    3. winter clothes
    4. adapter

    rest of the things are usually not required as when you come to USA you can find on craiglist. Most of the people give away beds sofas chairs mattress for free here so just go to
    craiglist.com and enter the city name and find out what you want
    also if you rae worried about utensils for cooking dont be coz a trip to the nearest dollar tree can help you stack up all those favourite spoons and knives and cutlery of all kinds

  35. Thanks Kumar for the info, i am coming to Texas by 18 dec, for 2 years with my 2yrs baby girl. i am worried abt my baby, is she adjust with the climate? what should i carry for her?( regarding medicines, vaccination) Pls guide me.

    • Smitha, this totally depends on the Airline you are flying with. I would call the airline or check with the travel agent. At least, you should check the airline website for full details…

  36. This is indeed a helpful website for students . I am here since 2 years as student and I find this list to very well compiled . However , please don’t mind if I make a small correction . Some of the things like pots , pans ,clothes and few Indian items from Indian grocery stores seem expensive when we are on student budget . After staying for 7-8 months , you do realize that it is , just like you said , reasonable from dollars point of view . But till then , I have seen many students compromising even on food in the first semester .Not that they starve but they eat only rice -dal non stop for 6 months and avoid buying Indian/American food . Don’t do this .. It will distract you from your studies and add to your homesickness for home food !

    Also can I add 2 more things to this ?

    If you are not used to eating Maggi (or any instant noodles ) please get used to do so from India itself . It will save you a lot of time in cooking especially in first semester when you might not like cooking everyday . Also, same case with egg omelette for non – vegetarians.

    Another thing is after reaching US , do look for yard sale / garage sale near your house (since very few of you will have a car ). Many Universities have yard sales at the beginning of semester . You will get a lot of second hand things pretty cheap there especially for your house . We got an armchair , sofa , dining table , study table , a couple of lamps , mixie , 2-3 chairs from such a sale right in the beginning . Except the sofa everything was for $3-$5 . These things are good enough to be used for a year or two when you are a student .

  37. the information you provide is really invaluable and accurate. it is a gift to people who are planning to usa for studies or job and makes theri life that much easier without asking too many people.
    keep up the good work!


  38. Hey kumar,
    Thanks alot for the stuff you mentioned above.Well,i would like to ask you a favour.I am goin to canada this month for studies so the stuff you mentioned above will be the same to carry there.

  39. Thanks.
    It’s a very good blog. Thanks for the information that you have provided me.

    Thanks a lot, Bhaiya..!!

  40. This site is misleading. For most of the items, you have written that it is cheap in US. If everything is so cheap in US then why the hell any Indian need to go to US?

    Clothes are not that cheap in US you crap. One pair of Jeans will cost you Rs. 5,000 approx in US but the same you can get in Rs. 1,500 here. Also Alteration is not free in US unlike India and it costs a hell lot of Money.

    • Did you really read the reason I have put next to everything ? ….Well, I have lived in US for 6 years and have traveled to India quite a bit, I know the price ranges….I always paid only $20- $30 dollars to buy anything. I buy shirts or pants from top of the line brands like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, ANF, Polo…the point is looking for the right deal and buying in outlet mall. Check this article : Why NOT to buy clothes in Fancy Malls? Where can I buy clothes for cheap ? . Also, the brands down here are different, read this : Dress sense in US. Should you buy clothes in US or from India ? Yes, there is no concept of alteration here in US and it is expensive. Honestly, No need to do it…I have never done it in last 6 years.

      The reality is, you have not been here buddy and have just heard from someone or looked at list someone gave you… I was mislead exactly like you when I was in India and carried a lot of baggage that was not necessary….My intention of this blog to share correct and proper info and not to mislead anyone my friend, I do not get anything for misleading someone…

      • I totally agree to you…. shopping from US in terms of clothes , watches , perfumes, shoes is really vry cheap if compared to India…


    • If you dont like the website here and/or the posts, you are very welcome to leave or ignore.
      Do not spoil the good intent of Kumar/Saurabh to help people who are ambiguous.
      I have been living in the US Since 2007 and this is the first time Iam reading these arcticles and found it very usefel even now.

      Clothes are DAMN costly in INDIA. You are saying a pair of jeans cost you 1500 Rs in INDIA, which is close to 35 $.
      For 35 $ you dont need to even look for sale or outlet Malls.

      So far the costly jeans I bought in USA is from Abercrombie and which came down to 24$ during sale period.

      If you wish to buy top notch brands in India like GUESS / CK / LACOSTE go to their stores in india, they charge you whopping 2500 rs bare minimum for anything.

      Know what you are talking and then comment. Just dont express your one odd experience.


      • I agree with you Siva. These guys (Saurabh and Kumar) are doing very good job of giving firsthand information for the fledglings. Congrats to the duo.
        However such comments (Tiger? LOL), that’s common everywhere.. please ignore them 🙂

  41. I am planning to travel to USA in a week and I am very happy to see this page. I went to through some info in different websites, but they were mostly for students. This info is very useful. Thank you.

        • I would be little cautious especially if the songs/movies are pirated (US laws are very strict about privacy). Everything is fine until one is randomly picked by the customs for inspection.

          I don’t know what the rates are in US for laptops, but if you are traveling during US holiday season, then you can get some exciting deals here.

          • Thanq Saurabh!! But all by DVDs are not bought but prepared by myself. I download my favorite songs and movies over the internet and write them into DVDs. Then, does the aspect of piracy arise here!!

          • If you didn’t pay the money to the music company for these songs, then they are pirated songs.

            However, I think the chances of US authorities raising question over these DVDs is pretty small. If you want to take that small risk (of being singled out for custom inspection and being questioned about the DVDs), then you can get them to US.

          • This reminds me…
            I have 100s of downloaded movies and US tv show episodes on my laptop. Now, if I carry this laptop to USA, will the officers at emigration/customs at port of entry check it and could this land me in trouble?

          • Piracy in US a big crime. However, I think the chances of US authorities raising question over these DVDs is pretty small. If you want to take that small risk (of being singled out for custom inspection and being questioned about the DVDs), then you can get them to US.

  42. thanks for the info man..it did expel some of the fads i had about the things i needed to purchase..i will surely refer tyo this page when i go shopping .
    keep up the good work.


      • Very nice info…I also travelled to US with lot of items unnecessarily…It helps everyone travelling to US…
        Im going to carry 3 cameras and have 1 Laptop with me. I’m planning to buy one more laptop. Im travelling thro’ Delhi airport to Chennai. Will it cause any problem in security check?


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