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What to bring when moving to bangalore


What should we bring to Bangalore from North America/ Europe/ Asia/ Middle East…?

A question that is often asked on Bangalore Mother and Expat groups, you may have already been given some great tips from colleagues of your husband or your company or others already living here. If you planned on rocking up into BLR empty handed, then it’s a good thing you came across this post. Here are the answers that are repeatedly given, and while it’s obviously not necessary to bring it all, it’s a good list for you to see to prepare yourself for things that may not be as easy to find.

***While some of the items on this list are possible to find, the quality may be inferior, selection very limited or the price extremely unreasonable compared to what you might have been paying.



  • Haribo Gummy Bears

  • Granola bars/healthy snack bars

  • Favorite cereal (although there are lots of cereal options available, it does always depend on the stock and non-sugary ones are harder to find)

  • Your favorite good chocolate  (while you might find it over here, the price will be higher and the quality may not be the same, it’s good to have some guaranteed great snacks for those times you really can’t be disappointed)

  • Fruit squash

  • Beef/turkey jerky

  • Nespresso capsules (most flavors are available on at a marked up price, have a look at prices before moving to see if it’s worth it for you to bring)

  • Any snacks from Trader Joe’s (or maybe that’s just for those of us who have lived in California)

  • As much wine as you can carry in your suite case 



  • Pure Vanilla extract (sometimes available depending on stock)

  • Any other key baking items you always use including flour, chocolate chips, sprinkles, fine sugar, good salt (all these things are available here, MAIDA is used here instead of flour, but may not be the same quality that you are used to working with)

  • Risotto rice, microwave rice

  • Your favorite spices/herbs

  • Fajita + taco spices

  • Your favorite sauces (HP Sauce)

  • Baking paper

  • Breadmaker + breadmaking flour and yeast

  • Stockpots, gravy granules, casserole and sauce mixes

  • Good broth (chicken/beef stock packets/cubes)



  • Dishwasher tablets (available here but for at least rs. 2,000 a bag)

  • Mild clothing detergent if you have any sensitivities (most of the detergent products here are pretty heavily scented)

  • Good quality Tupperware (plastic containers)

  • Water filter



  • Favorite skincare and cosmetic items that you can’t live without (there is a VERY limited Sephora selection here, MAC and Bobby Brown and Kiehls, Clinique, Estee Lauder, The Body Shop but the selection may not include all the products you’re used to)

  • Over the counter products you and your family use- vitamins, cough syrups, creams, etc. (they obviously have pharmacies here but the selection and ingredients are different, Calpol sachets and Gaviscon are not easily found here)

  • Digestive enzymes for any food sensitivities like lactose or gluten

  • Tampons, and if you have a favorite type of pads or cup you use

  • Dry shampoo

  • Deodorant + perfume

  • Chapstick

  • Vaseline

  • Hairspray (this sounds strange but there are very few high-quality hair sprays available in BLR, even some of the best salons only use L’Oreal Paris)

  • Women’s western clothing (especially formal wear, costumes, lingerie and swimsuits, if you know you may have a big event like a vacation or wedding coming up after your move, be sure to do some early shopping while you still can)



  • Favorite toothpaste and toothbrushes

  • Soaps, body wash and shampoos (especially unscented)

  • Sunscreen with higher SPF

  • Kid’s snacks especially healthy and organic ones (one of the most difficult things to find here with very few brands such as Ella’s, Organix, Yogis. does deliver out here but the hit or miss import tax may just kill you )

  • Cereal (they stock most of the sugary ones here)

  • Granola/snack bars

  • Baby food if your baby is picky (they carry Gerber’s and some other brands but Ella’s Kitchen pouches are pricey at £3 a pack if you can find them in stock)

  • Swimwear including swim diapers (available here at shops like Speedo, Mothercare, Decathalon, H&M, and Gap but offer a pretty limited selection)

  • Favorite toys (it might be a good idea to purchase some new toys for your children for future birthdays, special occasion, treats, etc. as you may not be able to find your child’s favorite at the local Toys R Us or Hamleys, while they do have a pretty good selection, things like LEGO/DUPLO are more expensive and other things like Minecraft are hard to find)

  • A few packs of diapers to transition your baby over to (some claim their kids have had some sensitivity to the ones here)

  • Nappy sacks (which some compounds don’t allow though)

  • Car seat (price and quality will most likely be better than here)



  • If you are bringing a printer from abroad, definitely stock up on ink cartridges as you may not find the same model/make here

  • Voltage adapters/converters if you are bringing over any large appliances that have different voltage



  • Halloween decorations (as it is beginning to become more popular, you can find a few shops that carry some basic decorations as well as, but if you are used to more, definitely plan ahead. The neighborhood kids will thank you!)

  • Halloween costumes (try and ask your kids ahead of time and purchase abroad or on or you might be stuck heading to the local craft store, Itsy Bitsy and making it yourself)

  • Favorite Christmas ornaments and decorations (cheap quality, plastic baubles are available as well as fake Christmas trees and wreaths but the prices are definitely higher than what you would pay at home)

  • Party supplies (if you know you will need to be planning a Toy Story/Spiderman/My Little Pony/Transformers/Star Wars (or any theme) party soon, be sure to stock up on stuff to avoid any disappointment

  • Fillable plastic Easter eggs (it may not seem crucial in the grand scheme of things but if your kids are used to an Easter egg hunt filled with goodies, they won’t be so easy to find- has them but you’ll need to order at least a month+ before to ensure delivery)


VINE TIP: when you arrive in BLR airport, your baggage will be pre-screened before being put on the baggage carousel. Suspicious bags i.e. bags stuffed to the brim with new, unopened items especially electronics, will be marked in chalk with an X on all four sides of the suitcase. This is how customs knows which bags to stop, inspect, and possibly charge import fees on when you walk through to the exit. BE SURE to always check your bags once you get them and if you see those X’s, either walk into the bathroom and use wet tissue or wet wipes to remove them (check all four sides of the bag). We have been marked numerous times yet never have been stopped as we’ve always removed them beforehand!


Did we forget any crucial things? Comment below and let us know!


Photo from Arnel Hasanovic


We love to check out anything from new spots, old favorites, hidden gems, and obvious chains to find the best that Bangalore has to offer! We've been new before, to this city and to many others, but we know that there are always new favorites waiting to be found...



  1. Sophie Atkinson

    It may sound obvious, but for my 2 year assignment I very nearly forgot to pack warm winter clothes (business & leisure) for trips back to Europe in the winter

    • The Vine Team

      Very good point!

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