My Ultimate Packing Checklist for a Hill Station
Hill stations are a popular holiday destination, mainly in the Indian subcontinent. Countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka from the Indian subcontinent are famous for hill stations amidst European countries like Switzerland, Austria, and Denmark. These countries host millions of tourists every year, and you should also visit them at least once. I think the hill stations make a great solo travel destination during any time of the year, but making an informed decision always helps!
Planning for the trip is a big task in itself, and we all forget something or the other when it comes to packing things. After reaching the airport, we realise that we’ve missed out on something or say to ourselves, “I should have packed that too.” It has happened to me too, and A LOT of times. It is not that big of a deal if you miss out on a few things because you can always purchase some from nearby shops. But it is always better to be prepared and not waste time shopping for unnecessary stuff while you are on a trip, especially on a solo trip.
To avoid all the hassle and make your solo trip a bit easier, I have compiled the ultimate packing checklist for a hill station. No, this list doesn’t contain anything that you wouldn’t need but only the absolute necessities. So, this is the only list of travel-friendly essentials you will ever need while travelling to a hill station.
Sweaters top the list while packing for a hill station. Nothing is more important than warm and cosy clothes in cold weather. While they are essential, make sure that you do not stuff your bag with sweaters and pullovers only. Leave some space for the other clothes that you’d be wearing too. A couple of sweaters should do the job if you are going for a week as you wouldn’t need to wash them often.
Not everyone is comfortable wearing a sweater. If you are one of those, thermals are your best alternatives. Also, they are much lighter than sweaters. The reason for their comfort is the thin and soft material. You can also wear them under your clothes when the weather isn’t as cold, and they will keep your body sufficiently warm. Furthermore, you can also wear them while sleeping as they are very comfortable.
3. Leather jacket
This goes without saying. The weather in hill stations is cold for the majority of the year. Even during the summers, you can encounter pretty cold days. And a leather jacket comes in handy in times like these. Not only can you save yourself from the cold weather, but a leather jacket also looks great! Be it jeans, joggers, or even dresses, a leather jacket matches with everything.
Some people might argue that a muffler isn’t required on a hill station. While it is not necessary that you carry one, I would highly recommend that you do. Not only does it keep your neck warm, but it also adds a layer to your basic outfit. You can choose from a variety of colours and stand out from the crowd. And all you need is just one muffler and nothing more.
Playing in the snow can cause frostbites, and that’s not comfortable at all. And sometimes, cold wind can cause frostbites too. To avoid all of this, packing a pair of gloves is a necessity. You can choose from a variety of colours, and that will add a pop to your outfit. If the weather is unbearably cold, you should consider packing a pair of mittens too. You can also purchase from the hill stations as they have a wide variety of suitable quality gloves.
Earmuffs are another essential item that you need to pack. A good pair of soft earmuffs will not only keep your ears warm and protect you from the cold but also look great with your outfit. If you think that earmuffs are not a necessity, try walking outdoors on a cold evening!
7. Woollen socks
Carrying a pair or two of woollen socks is an excellent addition to your regular pairs of socks. They provide a lot of warmth compared to other pairs of socks, and that is what you need during the cold weather of the hill stations. You can also wear them inside your hotel to enjoy an evening on your own.
8. A comfortable pair of shoes
Many of us pack our favourite and best-looking shoes for every trip. While a pair or two of those is fine, you would need a good pair of comfortable walking shoes on a hill station. Also, packing high-top shoes helps as they will protect your feet from the cold weather. In my opinion, carrying a pair of comfortable outdoor slip-proof shoes and a couple of pairs of sneakers should be enough for a hill station trip lasting a week.
Dancing in the rain is great. But the weather on hill stations is highly unpredictable. And when the rain gods choose to shower a spell of rain, you will have to protect yourself from the same. Your best friend will be an umbrella in such harsh weather conditions. Not only that, but it will also save you from snowfall. Make sure that you carry a tiny foldable umbrella instead of a huge one to save some space in your backpack.
Toiletries include a whole host of items. If you are going on your first solo trip, it is easy to miss out on a few items. But on a hill station trip, you will need a few extra things, other than all the regular items. Napkins or tissues are a must as you won’t have access to a handwash all the time. Also, you would need them to blow your nose!
Carry enough sanitary pads/tampons. However, I prefer a menstrual cup to tampons so I can save that extra space in my luggage for other least important things.
Additionally, make sure that you do not forget your skincare items. The cold weather will leave your skin dry, and nobody likes that. What else comes with cold weather? Yes, chapped lips. To avoid this, keep a lip balm handy. In a nutshell, make sure that you carry a moisturiser, a winter cream, a lip balm, and sunscreen, along with your basic skincare items.
11. Dry shampoo and deodorant
Let’s face it. There are going to be days when you wouldn’t want to take a shower because the weather is too cold, or you’re not in the mood, or whatever be the reason. In times like these, dry shampoo and deodorants will be your best friends and make you look your best. Make sure that you pack these to save time and also look good in Instagram posts.
You need to carry the essential medicines not just for your hill station trips but for all trips! Basic medicines like those for cold and motion sickness always come in handy. If you are on any other medications, don’t forget to carry those too. It is difficult to find medical shops or even your prescribed medicines at remote places.
13. First aid kit
Good memories are made on rocky terrains and curvy roads. But you need to be prepared for the worst too. So, a first aid kit is always an excellent addition to the packing checklist. You do not need forty items in a first aid box. Simple things like cotton, band-aids, and bandages will suffice.
Everyone carries a backpack on their solo trip, isn’t it? Well, only some do. If you don’t, make sure you do it while travelling to a hill station. A medium-sized comfortable backpack is a must for hikes and treks. Sometimes, you might plan to spend a night away from your hotel at a beautiful location. In situations like these, it isn’t possible to carry around a large suitcase! So it is VERY important to pack all the essentials required for the hike/night in a backpack. And I know it sounds basic, but you’ll thank me later.
With smartphones ruling the world today, it has become easy to click good-quality pictures from a phone. But nothing beats the pictures taken from a camera. If you have a passion for photography, you’d definitely wish to click pictures of beautiful landscapes with a professional camera. Like, I’m a huge fan of polaroid cameras simply because I can hold on to “aesthetic memories” in the form of photography!
Make sure that you carry a few extra batteries and a memory card/film roll along with any camera. And above all, do not forget to keep it safely to avoid any damage.
Even though the weather is mostly cool and calm, the sun can be out anytime without warning, thanks to the unpredictable weather conditions in most hill stations. Sometimes, the sunrays are pretty harsh on the eyes and cause damage if you do not take care. To avoid such scenarios, a pair of sunglasses is the best option! Not only are they stylish, but they also serve the purpose of protecting your eyes from the scorching heat. I love anything that does multi-purposes!
Yes, you read that right. You need some chocolates while packing for a hill station. What’s the reason, you ask? Well, not only do they keep you happy and curb your cravings, but they also keep you warm in the cold weather. Furthermore, they provide instant energy too. Let’s say you are on your hike but have lost all your energy. Instead of sipping on an energy drink, you can choose to have a bar of chocolate for instant happiness and energy refuel. Speaking from my personal experience, guys!
18. Thermal water bottle
Thermal water bottles are a great resource in cold weather, and yet people forget about them. Instead of carrying a regular plastic bottle, you should switch it up and take a thermal water bottle. You can carry water or even your favourite beverage in it. And while you are out exploring places in the cold weather, you will not have to depend on the food stalls for warm water or beverages.
You might think a thermal water bottle is quite heavy and only a burden to carry on a trip. But you can find some lightweight thermal water bottles, too, if you look out for those. Just make sure that you buy a leak-proof one as you wouldn’t want your favourite beverage to be spilt all over the place.
19. Hard cash
Even though the world is moving towards digitalisation, and hard cash isn’t the first mode of payment anymore, carrying a decent amount is necessary while travelling to a hill station. Why? Well, because not all sellers accept card or digital payments. Also, some small traders would probably not know much about technology in the first place. In situations like these, hard cash is the best way to make payments.
Now you might ask that you can always withdraw some cash from the ATMs, isn’t it? Remember that you are on a hill station where there are a lot of tourists and not many ATMs. And even if you find an ATM, you will have to waste time standing in queues. I don’t think you would want to go through that underrated pain on your trip.
20. Power bank
This is probably in your mind, but just in case! On hill stations, you will be out for long periods of time, and the concept of charging your phone at regular intervals is gone out of the window. If you think that your phone can easily last a day, remember that you will be using your phone longer than usual.
Using Google Maps for directions, torchlight if you are in a dark area, clicking some pictures, playing songs, among other things, are what you will be doing with your phone. All of this doesn’t help the battery at all! When you carry a power bank, you can simply plug your phone onto it, and you will never have to worry about your phone running out of battery ever again.
Have you packed all the travel essentials for the hill station?
Those were some of the most important things you need to pack while travelling to a hill station. Some things might seem unnecessary on this list, but trust me, all of them have a real purpose, and you will appreciate every item on this list during your trip. The best part about all of this is that it won’t add a lot of weight to your luggage either.
Do note that these are only the extra things that you need to carry to a hill station. Along with this, all the basics like your regular day-to-day clothes, passport, identity cards, plane tickets, among others, need to be packed as well. However, if you have never been on a solo trip or do not know about the basics of packing things, you can check out my comprehensive blog on the same. It will solve all of your doubts and guide you on what to pack and what not to pack. All of that said, do not forget to carry the blessings of your loved ones as that’s the most important thing! Well, what can I say? I’m an old-school girl! Happy travelling!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.