Packing list for a conservative country

When visiting a conservative country, it is important to make sure you strive to do everything to fit in with the culture of the country. Firstly because as a tourist you are a guest, although we like to think we should be treated in the same we are in our country, we just have to understand that women around the world are treated differently.


It is better, safer and politer to try and fit in with the culture of a country you are visiting rather than trying to wear your normal holiday clothes. After all aren’t we there for the culture?

So I’ve put together some clothing choices that I found worked really well in India!

A shirt

When I was first packing, someone suggested that I that I took a long sleeve shirt, and I thought It was a bit ridiculous. How often would I wear a shirt? It turns out pretty much every day!

A button up shirt is great to throw over a dress, t-shirt or anything else to keep you covered up and cool at the same time. I love wearing it over a maxi dress, it’s a really easy outfit but looks stylish too.

A scarf

I am a strong believer that you should always bring a scarf on holiday, they are great to have on hand to keep you warm in the evenings, to use as a pillow, even to dry your hands when you need to!

When you are travelling around a conservative country, scarfs are super important, if you are visiting any holy spaces or monuments then you will often need a scarf to cover your head. They are also great if you want to blend in a little bit more when you’re fedup with all of the stars you are getting.


A plain T-shirt is great, they cover your shoulders, and as long as it’s not too low cut can be perfect for a more conservative country. I even used my T-Shirts to cover up more revealing clothes. I took white tops with me, but they get dirty really easily.

So I would take a couple of dark coloured tops so that they stay looking clean and fresh long after they really are!

Long skirt

Like I said earlier, one of the keys to dressing conservatively is to wear things that are below the knee, I found long skirts were great. Ones that fell to just around my ankle meant I could get around easily carry my backpack and get on and off transport without having to worry, but also meant the stares I got as I walked along the street were much less!

They also looked very stylish, kept me cool and were so easy to wear! I bought some really pretty ones while I was travelling as I decided to just take trousers with me and I love them. Next time I would pack lots of skirts.

Maxi dress

Similar to the long skirt, the maxi dresses kept me cool in the harsh humidity and kept me covered. I often wore a maxi dress with either a shirt or T-shirt covering me to protect my arms from the sun.

They were super easy to throw on at 4:00 am when we had an early start and were super comfy to wear on 12 hour drive days!


Thin trousers

I took what I thought was thin trousers with me when I went to India, but in the high heat, they just weren’t thin enough. I still wore them and did decide to purchase a thinner pair, but for me skirts won out.

This is defiantly a personality thing, I just wear more skirts and dresses than I do trousers and found that I felt more comfortable with dresses in the heat. However, most people on the trip lived in trousers and did fine. So whichever you prefer is fine- or take a mixture.


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