USA is a preferred travel destination for a varied list of reasons. However, it is important that the visitor needs to be thoroughly prepared while visiting a distant land such as United States of America. This article primarily would help those travelers pack important items while traveling to USA.
First Time Travel To USA From India Checklist
Every country has mandated instructions for any visitor visiting the country which needs to be followed by visitors in order to avoid any discomfort or complication in the distant land. While packing the bags for USA the first time travelers from India to USA even with family, the following checklist should be followed:
Passport (in original): Passport is the most important documentary proof of identity, especially nationality, of any individual. Therefore, the original passport just cannot be left behind.
A copy of the Passport: Passport is the most important documentary evidence, some copies of the same should be carried for the entire tenure of the visit. However, it might not be safe to carry the original passport always. Therefore, a copy of the passport along with an electronic copy (soft copy) of the passport should be kept with the visitor.
Visa: Visa is another important document which precisely defines the purpose of the visit (defined by the type or category of visa given to the individual) to the country (USA in this case). Therefore, this is simply not a document which can be missed.
Flight Ticket: Flight ticket would be required to carry on the journey from India to USA smoothly.
Essential Documents: Some essential documents such as identity proofs, address proofs, and contact details of people in USA (friends, relatives, or travel agent representatives) should be kept handy. It is always better to carry a soft copy as well (in case of theft or loss).
Essential Medications: Medicines are important, especially if somebody needs regular medications. Such medicines, especially regular use medicines such as tablets for the common cold, fever, body ache, and regular prescription medications must be kept handy.
Get Essential Vaccinations Done: According to the US government regulations, entrants into USA need to be vaccinated for diseases such as Hepatitis A & B, Polio, Measles, Rubella, and Varicella.
- Get clothing and accessories but do not overload yourself since these are available easily in US (however carrying belts, wallets, sunglasses and eyeglasses are advisable as these can be costly in US). Carrying woollens from India might not be advisable since they merely add to the weight while cheaper and convenient versions are available locally at USA.
- Carry specific utensils such as pressure cooker (they are not available and used in USA) and Indian cooking spices and certain food items should be carried to USA from India in case you plan to stay longer in the USA since the ones available there are not as good.
- Travel Insurance is a must have while traveling outside India even if you are a short time visitor abroad.
- Foreign Travel Card (Forex Card) issued by your bank would come in handy during your trip to USA
- International Calling card would be needed to stay connected with family and friends back in India.
Checklist For Parents Traveling From India to USA
Though the checklist would be almost the same, parents traveling to USA from India need to specifically check the following while packing their bags for their trip to USA:
- Passport since this is their identity and citizenship proof
- Visa (parents will be issued a B-2 visa) for which they need to fill up Form DS-160 and prepare very well for the visa interview since this is a mandatory document.
- Tickets and flight since parents need to have comfortable seats for such a long journey to USA.
- Travel insurance is a must for the parents since medical expense in USA is too high.
- Arranging proper assistance in case-parent/s is disabled and certainly, make them aware about the most important commands (in case they are not fluent with English) so that they don’t face any problem during travel.
- Make them aware about maps of the place and available public transport facilities while staying in USA and write down important contact numbers so that such contacts can be reached out easily in case of emergency.
Things to Take to USA from India for Students
Students traveling to USA need to follow the below checklist:
- Important documents such as Passport, I-20, Admission letter and other documents from the program, and necessary Certificates since they are mandatory.
- Sufficient Money required for immediate expenses such as arranging kitchen supplies and bedding.
- Books and stationeries such as Backpack, Textbooks, Stationery (notebooks, pens, pencils, scissors, stapler, tape, glue stick), Calculator, USB drives/ Portable hard disks since the students would require it from the first day.
- Personal use stuff such as Clothes, Winter jacket and woolens, Toiletries, Medicines, Umbrella, shoes (sneakers, formal shoes and slippers), and Bedding to make life easy in USA.
- Basic kitchen stuff such as utensils, plates and other essential tableware, few ready to eat packets, and basic supplies of rice, lentils, and spices for the initial days (while settling down in USA).
Checklist For USA Travel From India On H1B
Apart from all the mandatory stuff, things which are important for people traveling from India to USA on H1B include:
- Health Insurance for Travel to US since this would be the most important thing in case of emergency
- Be ready for the Port of Entry (POE) processes and carry the entire important documents according to the checklist
List Of Items Not To Carry From India
According to international travel norms, there are certain items which are prohibited and some items which are restricted in terms for being carried out of India to USA. These include:
- Prohibited Goods such as Narcotic drugs, Psychotropic substances, Obscene materials, Antiquities, Wildlife products among others.
- Restricted Goods include Gold and silver other than ornaments, firearms and ammunition, live birds and animals, endangered species of animals and birds, certain medications and drugs (even if required not more than 90-day supplies can be carried), vintage products, sandalwood among others.