Beyond the basics: 9 essential items you can’t forget to pack for your big move to the US.

Gaining admission to a top-tier American university or landing a promising job opportunity is certainly a notable achievement, but embarking on this journey comes with a number of preparations and considerations. Beyond the euphoria of success there is a practical aspect of moving to a foreign country, ready to embrace the academic or professional pursuit that attracts you.

As departure day approaches and your visa approval materializes, the mix of excitement and nerves intensifies.

The United States, with its cultural diversity and opportunities, is poised to become your new home, a place where dreams will take shape and milestones will be reached.

Amid the excitement, it is essential to address the logistics of the transition. Making sure you have packed the right items can make adjusting to your new life significantly easier.


These crucial belongings can be familiarity anchors that support you as you enter the unfamiliar territory of a different country and unique way of life.

The relocation process involves embarking on an adventure and maintaining comfort and convenience in the midst of change. In this intricate process of transformation, the art of strategic packing comes into play.

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Explore what Desis needs to pack before traveling to the US.

1. Essential medications and prescriptions

When traveling to the US, it’s critical to remember that many people require prescription medication on a daily basis. To ensure a smooth trip, having the necessary prescriptions on hand is essential to avoid complications at the airport. The United States has strict regulations regarding medications and pharmaceuticals, and without proper documentation, there is a chance that even common medications could be confiscated. Additionally, basic treatments and tests in the US can be expensive and difficult to schedule, so it’s important to carry essential medications that always suit your body.

Basic medications include:

AntihistaminesAntacidsAntinauseaIbuprofen or aspirin for headachesAntibioticsCold and flu medicinesCough syrupHydrocortisone cream for rash reliefDiarrhea medicine

2. Keep your Indian SIM card active to receive OTP notifications.

Make sure you have a working SIM card in the US for your OTP requirements. Purchase a mobile plan with international roaming or prepaid connection packages that allow you to receive SMS for OTP while in the US. Check that you can easily change or manage your mobile plan online if a problem arises.

3. A complete medical checkup

It’s worth noting that US healthcare costs are the highest in the world. Finding a doctor and explaining your entire medical history can also be time consuming. Also, drug formulations differ between the United States and India. These factors underscore the importance of having a complete full-body checkup before you move. The US healthcare system is noticeably more streamlined than India’s. You will gradually become accustomed to your health care services as you settle in.

4. Adapter for Indian devices in USA

When you prepare to move to the US, don’t forget to bring an adapter for your Indian electronic devices. US power outlets and voltage standards differ from those in India. An adapter will ensure that your devices can be easily charged and used without compatibility issues. This simple accessory can save you the hassle of dealing with power-related issues and keep your devices running smoothly during your stay in the United States.

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5. Carry adequate emergency funds while traveling


Having sufficient funds is crucial. Bring a few US dollars for immediate spending and open a local bank account once you arrive. Carrying enough money is essential to face any unforeseen emergency during your trip. While cash can be susceptible to theft or loss, using cards is generally safer. Ensuring that you can access funds through cards can give you peace of mind and financial security in unexpected situations.

6. Indian Embassy Contact Details – A Crucial Resource for First-Time Travelers

For those venturing into foreign lands for the first time, it is not uncommon to encounter various challenges and unexpected situations. This is where having access to information from your own country’s embassy is invaluable. For Indian travelers, it is essential to know the contact details of the Indian embassy. Embassy officials are equipped to help Indians who find themselves in difficult or crisis situations while abroad. This readily available information can provide you with security and support during your travels.

7. Bringing the Taste of Home: Kitchen Essentials for Indian Travelers


While the United States has several Indian restaurants, genuinely capturing the authentic flavors of Indian cuisine can be a challenge. While everything is available in the US, it’s best to bring the essentials as they could be expensive to buy.

During an extended stay in the US, many Indians crave the comfort of home cooking or genuine Indian dishes. Packing compact, portable kitchen utensils to prepare quick and easy home-cooked meals is a good idea, satisfying those flavor cravings.

Here is a list of 10 essential kitchen items that Desi should consider bringing to the US:

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KnifeCutleryCutting boardPortable grinderBowlPlatesPressure cookerMeasuring cups or spoonsBottle openerStorage containers

8. Provide a homey touch: elements to overcome homesickness abroad

When embarking on a trip to a foreign country, it’s common for feelings of homesickness to surface as you adjust to a new environment. Consider packing items that remind you of home to help counteract these emotions and create a sense of comfort. These treasured items can serve as a comforting connection to your roots and give you a sense of familiarity, making your stay abroad more enjoyable. Bring pictures of your loved ones, family and friends. These visual memories can be a source of comfort and a reminder of the people who matter most to you.

Small trinkets, crafts, or artifacts with cultural significance can bring a piece of your homeland with them. These items can start conversations, connect you with other expats, and give you a sense of pride in your heritage.

Familiar smells: Certain smells can trigger powerful memories. Carrying your favorite perfume, incense or spices with you can evoke the comforting scent of your home and enhance your living space.

9. Traditional Clothing:

Packing some traditional clothing can help you celebrate your culture during special occasions or events. Wearing these clothes can connect you with your roots even when you are far away.

Even if you find it difficult, keep in mind that you are not only beginning a physical journey but also a journey of thoughts, emotions and spirit. With the essentials you’ve packed, you’re ready to tackle whatever lies ahead with confidence. So, move forward into this new phase, take the essentials with you, and seize the opportunity to shape a life that reflects your dreams, goals, and adventures that await you.

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