The evergreen tourist resort of Manali is everyone’s favourite. From hooneymoon couples to adventures junkies, Manali has something in store for every kind of traveler. Therefore, here is a super handy list of things to pack for Manali for those who are visiting for the first time.
Based on travels to Manali multiple times, I am curating a super useful list of things to carry for Manali trip. This is will ensure, that as a first time-traveler you’ll have no hassles when it comes to packing for Manali trip.
Things to Pack for Manali – A Super Handy List
Manali enjoys a cool climate throughout the year. With November to April being quite cold. So packing warm clothes is essential.
Monsoon is when the temperatures are at the highest and it can get quite sulky. But even then packing light woolens is a must. The weather is capricious in Manali and mountains in general.
By the way, here is a detailed blog on things to pack for Himachal for a Winter trip. I am sure it will be of a great to you guys.
Clothes to pack for Manali Trip
Here is a comprehensive list of clothes to pack for a trip to Manali. By the way, if you are a first-time traveler to Kasol, here is a detailed list of things to carry for a trip to Kasol.
Trousers/ Trek pants/ Shorts
Trousers or trek pants are the best when it comes to a trip to Manali or mountains in general. They are very breathable and easy to move in.
This is the reason why I avoid jeans or denims. Not very easy to move around, not even comfortable while hiking and exploration. 2-3 trousers or trek pants should be enough for a week long trip to Manali.
Shorts can be worn during the summer and monsoon months. Generally the temperatures are highest from June to August in Manali.
Shirts/ Tshirts/ tops/ Dresses/ Indian wear
Men can wear Shirts or Tshirts depending on their liking and comfort. While women can choose from Shirts, tshirts, tops. dresses, Indian wear.
‘Of course, dresses might not be very good idea during the winter months. But they can be definitely worn during the summer and monsoon months.
I personally wear exclusively tshirts and layer up depending on how cold it is at the moment.
Warm Clothes to Pack For Manali
Since the climate Manali is quite cold for most part of the year, packing appropriate warm clothes becomes of utmost importance to protect one from Cold.
Barring June to August, Manali is quite cold. Even the late spring and Autumn months are cold during the mornings and nights. Winter months are severely cold with temperatures plummeting to sub-zero levels frequently.
By the way, here is a detailed blog on things to pack for Lahaul valley which has lately become popular due to the opening of Atal Tunnel and its nearness to Manali due to the same.
For most part of the year you actually do not need thermals, but if you are visiting Manali during the winters make it a point to carry thermal inners. Thermals essential to keep you warm during winter months.
I personally make it a point to carry thermals even in Summers. I don’t use them often but you never know when they can come in handy.
Ensure that you carry at least one of them no matter what the season. One layer might suffice during summers and monsoon. But you might need a couple of them during the winter months.
So ensure that you pack appropriately as per the season you are visiting. I personally used this fleece layer during my winter trip to Kinnaur and Barot, and I must say it was quite warm.
A decent Winter Jacket
From Months November to March a decent winter jacket of course with multiple layers is quintessential to protect your from the cold.
Temperatures are sub-zero during the night and early mornings so a decent winter jacket which can sustain negative temperatures is a must.
I use this quechua winter jacket and I must say its very comfortable and easily protects you from cold in negative temperatures. Of course with other warm layers.
Woolen Socks, Gloves, Caps
Again realistically you need them only during the peak winters. That is from November to March. Apart for that I personally feel there is no need for woolen socks, gloves at least.
But there is no harm in carrying them. You never know when you need them to be honest. Like lets say if you were visiting Upper reaches of Kullu near Manali, they might come in handy.
Footwear To Carry For Manali Trip
Carrying if appropriate footwear becomes quite important if you are going to hike around and explore the trails.
So here is what I would recommend you carry as footwear for your trip to Manali.
Flip Flops or sandals are good enough if you want to move around the place of your stay. Wearing them is not really advisable while exploring places in and around Manali.
I personally carrying sandals so that I don’t have to wear shoes every time I want to move in and around the Homestay.
Normal Shoes/Casual Shoes
Normal shoes are suffice when you want to just go on exploration villages, shorts hikes. They work just fine. So as per choice and comfort you can pack them for your trip to Manali.
If you are looking to trek for multiple days in Lahaul, then a pair of good hiking or trekking shoes will be advisable. You can find decent options at Decathlon.
Essential Items to Carry For Manali trip
Here are some essential that you should make sure you carry them on your trip to Manali.
If you are planning a trip to Spiti in the near future, you should definitely check out my comprehensive blog on things to pack for Spiti. I am sure this will be of a great help.
Although you can pretty much survive without cash in the age of UPI and digital payments. But carrying a bit of cash is always advisable in the mountains.
ID Card is sort of mandatory to carry these days to be honest. Whether you stay in hotel or a homestay you have to produce a Government ID card to establish your identity.
So make sure you can carry while going on a trip to Manali. Any one of Driving License, Aadhar Card, Pan Card and it will be suffice.
Instead of buying packaged water, I would advise on carrying a water bottle. You can refill it every time you want. There is no dearth water sources in Manali or even if you are hiking or trekking around Manali
In fact, the water you get in the mountains is so much better than packaged water bottle.
Another important item, that is a must in my opinion. Whenever outdoors like hiking or exploring in and around Manali, a day pack will come in quite handy to honest.
I personally use a 10 litre day pack to carry fruits, water bottles, or packed food whenever hiking or exploring outdoors.
Sun can be quite harsh in Manali especially during winters and Autumn. If you are visiting snowbound areas, carrying sunglasses is always advisable.
Make sure you carry a Poncho if you are traveling to Manali during Summers and Monsoon and will come in handy at the time of rains.
Toiletries to Pack for Manali Trip
Pack these toiletries on your trip to Manali in order to avoid hassles and to ensure that your trip is smooth.“
If you are going to stay in budget hotels and hostels in Manali, then do not expect them to provide you with toiletries.
Of course, sometimes you might find basic toiletries, but carrying Soap, Bodywash, Facewash of your own choice is always advisable.
Manali is a touristy resort. So finding such things might not be as difficult as in the remote valleys of Himachal. But it’s always better that you carry things like moisturizer, Sunscreen etc of your own choice beforehand.
Sunscreen and Moisturizer might come in handy during a trip to Manali. Due to cold weather and direct sunlight at an altitude.
Menstrual hygiene products
Again, Manali is a touristy town. So finding menstrual hygiene products might not be difficult as it is in the remote valleys like Lahaul or Spiti.
But packing them before is always advisable to avoid an emergency situation like if you are out on a hike or exploration trip away from the main Manali town.
Medicines to carry on a trip to Manali
Ensure you carry basic over the counter medicines for common ailments, basic first aid and your own medicines for aliments specific to you. So here is a comprehensive list for the same.
Basic first aid like antiseptic liquid, medical bandage might come in handy for small wounds. So make sure you carry them.
Medicines for Common Ailments
Make sure you carry basic over the counter medicines for cold, fever, headache, bodyache, allergy etc. Dolo 650 is one such over the counter medicine for fever, body ache etc.
Over the counter medicines for cold and sore throat include Wikoryl. You can also carry basic over the counter medicines like Avomine for motion sickness.
Medicines like Cetirizine or Atarax can be helpful in case of itching, allergies and other ailments. But make sure you consult your doctor first before taking any of these medicines.
Medicines for AMS
While chances of getting AMS in Manali are almost non-existent, but if you are visiting places like Lahaul or Rohtang La, or going on a trek from Manali, you might want take Diamox and Dexamethasone.
Here is all you need to know on how tackle AMS in the high altitude valleys. Proper acclimatization is the only and the best way to prevent AMS.
To conclude, I am sure now you have a clear idea on what to pack for Manali. For most of the year it remains fairly cold so make sure to pack appropriate warm clothes.
In case you have any queries regarding things to pack for Manali, reach out to me in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help you out.