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
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 Victorias 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.
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.
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, its too slimy!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Normally, I take myREI 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.
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Rachel Jones is an American who left a career in nursing to live on the beaches on Goa, India two years ago where she is now a Thai masseuse, candle-maker, and travel writer. Her award winning website gives advice on the other 28 countries she's been to but has become the go-to site on India travel, focusing on off beat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine & was voted by Flipkey as one of the top 25 female bloggers to follow this year. You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google plus.
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