• packing list india female beach

Packing list for a Girly Beach trip in India

Ok, I’m really excited about this post! I get e-mails asking me to do a post on what they should pack. I haven’t done one yet on the full packing list for India long-term backpacking, but that will be coming soon. I recently took a trip that was meant to be a week to a secret little beach in Goa. So what I’m going to do is share photos of what I packed for that trip. A Packing list for India for women, but specifically a girly list for a beach getaway. This isn’t only good for India, to be honest it’s not much different to what I would pack for a beach in Europe or back home. India’s beach towns are very westernized in terms of clothing and culture, compared to the rest of India.

I remind people often that when they come to India they should be themselves in terms of how to dress. While you wander through India it’s great to wear ali baba pants (harem pants) and be respectful by covering up with scarves, etc. (I have 14 tips on traveling as a girl in India you can check out as well). Although, if you dress this way in Goa at a bar or club you’ll actually feel very touristy and out of place. Indian girls and locals dress very western and fashionably. India is safer and more laid-back than you think! I was not prepared for that my first trip to Goa, on arrival I bought a sarong that I wore as a dress more days than not; I love the way sarongs hang, they are great on anyone! So here we go- the first of many packing lists to come!

Packing for a girly beach trip in India

women packing list india beach

I have in order of what you see: two maxi dresses, my high-waisted short shorts (okay for the beach), a cute poncho from ASOS, a Victoria’s Secret running jacket (not because I run, but because the beach gets cold at night!), a pashmina scarf I got here in India because we had plans to see a temple- I always take either a sarong or a scarf, sports bra, cropped yoga pants, pajama shorts, gym shorts, one gym-like tie-dye tank, 5 cute tanks/halters/crop-tops, and 2 tee shirts.

women packing list india beach

Here I have one bikini (L Space or Agua Benita are are my favorite!), 2 bras- I usually don’t pack any but one of the tanks needed one and I couldn’t pick a color… this is bad packing, don’t do that!, 7 pairs of undies, probably unnecessary to take a photo.

women packing list india beach

I take baby wipes every trip I go on in India, and I keep travel sizes of things for when I fly to Bombay. I hate checking a bag on domestic flights! Most items in this photo you can see so I won’t name but make sure you take a better moisturizer than that Nivea one, it’s too slimy!

women packing list india beach

As for make-up it’s different every trip; sometimes I take absolutely none, but if I fly to somewhere like Bombay I take more than this so I can change it up different days. Here it is: Burberry Brit, NARS The Multiple in Orgasm, Sephora Bronzer in Aruba and brush, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose, Victoria Secret Concealer, Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Pout, Laura Mercier Lip Glace (my fave), Clinique Almost Lipstick in Flirty Honey, Lash Power Mascara, and Clinique Moisture Surge(which is one thing I can’t live without!)

women packing list india beachTa-da! That’s all that I put in my bag. 

Now these are tricky. I find them to be a little nerdy but seriously comfortable and the best thing I had when I backpacked India. I wore them EVERY single day except when I was in the mountains. They are Chaco’s that I got on Amazon a year ago. Ranked awesomely for hiking and rafting, I have worn them all through Thailand as well. When white-water rafting they stay stuck to my feet (some companies make you wear shoes which I hate!).  I wouldn’t wear these on a normal day anymore because I don’t do sightseeing on a regular basis, but I take them when I have lots of extra room and I think I’ll be doing something adventurous.If I had to re-order, I would get single strap instead of double.

women packing list india beach

Now for the fun stuff: electronics and what’s in my purse

I used to only have to take my backpack and a small purse, but now that I’m keeping this site active and writing/taking better photos than an iPhone, I have to take more. This was my first little trip taking a laptop and I hate it! Even though I have a small macbook, it’s pretty heavy. Although I have so much space in my small REI backpack, I can’t plan to keep it in there because I know I won’t on overnight buses, trains, or check in luggage on a flight. This pink bag I took was a trial and it was prefect for a trip that I drove to myself, but for a longer trip I’ll need a small backpack to wear on the front!

women packing list india beach

Here we have: Apple MacBook (you can’t get this one anymore; you have to upgrade to at least the ‘air’) with a hard shell coverand soft Sleeve sitting under it, macbook charger, Adapter for 3 prong charger, iPhone 4 which is what I use for everything except calls and have it connected to WiFi most times (I can actually attach it to the hotspot on my iPhone 3), iPhone 4 OtterBox, iPhone 3 (my Indian cell phone since Verizon phones don’t let you change sim cards…I use it just for calls because the camera sucks and it’s really slow), iPhone charger and small black adapter, Beats by Dre headphones (I can’t believe how much better they work), Canon PowerShot SX120 IS with a Lowepro camera case, and lastly a Croma 7 inch tab and charger. Croma is an Indian brand and I got this instead of the iPad (even though I love apple) because it’s just more compatible here and I can put all my shows, movies, and ebooks on it so much easier. So far I really love this tablet except one thing- I can’t get skype to work on it!If I were not in India, I would have gone for the iPad mini . I also pack a military shock resistant Transcend 1 TB external hard drive which I use to back-up my computer once a week.

women packing list india beach

It feels so strange to tell you what’s in my purse, but I emptied it out and here it is: lotion, H&M sunglasses, chapstick, eye drops, Neutrogena sunscreen for the face, candy, little pouch with debit card, birth control, and money, hand sanitizer, glasses, pen, mirror, hair stick, Fossil Heather Watch (the coolest one ever, the band is interchangeable and i love it so much), and of course a passport- you need this at all hotels in India.

women packing list india beach

Normally, I take my REI Crestrail 65L Backpack, but for a week I take my smaller REI Traverse 48L Backpack. I just love REI products and policy. Their packs have never failed me. They always keep things so much more organized. Some hotels are off the path here and having a backpack makes walking with luggage so much easier.  The pink bag is from Fossil and is as soft as a cloud :) I really don’t want to get it dirty though. The white shoulder strap is an old Coach purse, but they stay good-as-new forever and I love their leather bags as well as Fossils’ for travel.

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with the social media links! I’d love to keep giving you travel tricks & tips so feel free to subscribe by e-mail in the big purple box below. Don’t forget you can follow me on facebook, twitter, instagram & bloglovin‘.

*There are affiliate links in here, which means I get a small percentage commission. If you are going be buy any of these items, please do so from these links!


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India almost four years ago where she is now a travel writer. Her website gives advice on the 35+ countries she's been to but has become the go-to site for India travel, focusing on offbeat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine, Tripadvisor, and Thomas Cook. Her blog is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world based on traffic. She also enjoys writing for BravoTV.


  1. Al December 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Excellent! Thanks. Looking forward to the next one.

    • Rachel December 12, 2013 at 5:11 am - Reply

      Thanks! it’ll be up soon :)

  2. Agness December 12, 2013 at 3:40 am - Reply

    Great tips! I always try to pack as little as possible, but my cosmetics are way too heavy! It’s good that India is always hot. You can pack some lite clothes :).

    • Rachel December 12, 2013 at 5:11 am - Reply

      yes, light clothes are a blessing here! i can take double if I want to :)

  3. The Weekend link #2 | Dirty Paws December 21, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

    […] love a good Packing List post and this post by Rachel from a Hippie in Heels has definitely been one of my favourites. I think this packing list would work for South-East Asia […]

  4. […] Pack appropriately. India has very distinct weather in all the regions. You will be blistering hot in the Rajasthan desert and you will want loose breezy clothing that still covers you up. When you head north you’ll need hiking boots, wool socks, a hat, gloves, etc. Lots of this you can buy here. I tied my boots to the outside of my bag while I travelled. It’s so cold up there that you’ll sleep in layers of clothes. With no hot water, showering goes right out the window! You’ll need cute beachy “anything goes” clothes for Goa. […]

  5. Erin January 3, 2014 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Great packing list! No matter how much I travel, I am STILL a horrible packer, so posts like these are a life saver for me. LOVE that pink bag chica!!! Also, have finally got off my arse and am on bloglovin now, which is how I found this post :)
    Love that you took a pic of your undies. So cute!!!

    • Rachel January 4, 2014 at 7:43 am - Reply

      hha yay you’re on bloglovin’ i’ll have to find you!! :)

  6. Clothes and Creativity April 5, 2014 at 4:57 am - Reply

    Great post, Rachel! Quite comprehensive. I stay in New Delhi, so if you’re ever on this side of the country, gimme a shout and we shall have a meet-up.

    PS: Just discovered your blog, and I’m so glad I did. Going to spend my weekend reading up all the good stuff.



    • Rachel Jones April 5, 2014 at 6:36 am - Reply

      Oh that’s great, I’ll let you know when I’m back in Delhi! I often visit Bombay but haven’t been to Delhi in almost a year. Will fly into there before heading to the mountains maybe this monsoon- and I’ll let you know. :)

  7. […] are some of the items I pack while traveling within india: all but the acne cream and comb were bought in […]

  8. […] it comes to packing for the beach, if you are going to Goa or Kerala you’ll find this girly beach packing list helpful, but for Kerala you’ll need to add a few more conservative items as a solo female […]

  9. […] read articles about travelers who choose to pack modesty-focused clothing and others who promote current, American fashions. For myself, I dress modestly they do as well.  and I do in India. It is my choice and, […]

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