Goa Packing List – What to Pack for a Goa Trip

by - April 27, 2019

I had visited Goa for the first time with my family back in 2008; we were a bunch of 13 fun-loving people and I was just in 8th grade then. I was fascinated by seeing the bikini-clad women and a foreign couple kissing right in front of me. Since I was in school, Goa became a whole lot of a deal. Later after nine years, in 2017, I went again – not just once, but twice in the same year. (Again in February 2021, I stayed in Goa for 15 days. We would go out everyday and partied almost every night.) I understood the science behind what to pack for Goa and thought of sharing a Goa Packing List with you.

I shall try my best to exclude obvious items and share only a Goa-specific list for you to pack. You can use this article as a guide to packing your bags, however, do add your usual stuff to it such as medicines, undergarments, makeup, water bottle, comb, etc. 


Tank tops/Cotton t-shirts
Tanning is inevitable in Goa so you might as well wear something that would be comfortable in Goan heat. I recommend tank tops especially as they can be availed in many designs and look extremely adorable on a pair of shorts. For those not comfortable in a tank, funky cotton t-shirts should be your pick.

Wearing a pair of shorts does not just let you beat the heat but you can easily dip yourself till knee-deep water if you're wearing shorts and I think they act really functional. Apart from shorts, you can try skater skirts or slit skirts that appear like a sarong and look sexy in Goa.

On the days of exploring, throw on a cute, floral sundress. Whether it is maxi or above your knees do not matter. Alternatively, stripes look really classy too!

Clubwear, why? Because you'll be visiting night clubs and most of those have a strict dress code. For guys, shorts are not allowed. So make sure you carry a pair of partywear to get access into Goa's happening night clubs. (Same goes for the shoes, check out the 'Accessories' section to read about it.)

I'm sure you're reading this post only to find out whether you can wear a bikini in Goa, and the answer is a resounding yes! You definitely can wear a bikini on the Goan beaches. However, cover yourselves until you reach the beach. Another tip would be to look out for spots with a decent public. I would suggest exploring offbeat beaches to beat the crowd. 

Ah! A Goa Packing List is incomplete without cover-ups I'd say. Even if you wear the same top, layering it with two different kimonos will produce two different looks. They act as a sun protection factor and also a good cover-up if you're wearing a bikini. I would suggest packing kimonos as well as kaftans as they look really hot! 

Avoid block heels, and go for flats instead. Whether it is a pair of beach flip-flops or tasselled sandals, your outfit looks twice cuter with these. I'm not much of a sneaker fan when it comes to styling for a beach, but you might need a pair while you're sightseeing to avoid tanning on the feet. 

Heels - UPDATE!!
Seriously? Heels in Goa? Absolutely yes! The night clubs in Goa, as mentioned earlier, have a strict dress code, just like you have in the cities. You will not be allowed to enter a night club if you're wearing anything but heels. So if you have plans of partying in the Party Capital of India, then a pair of heels is a requisite. 

(UPDATE: When we last went to Goa in February 2021, heels were not compulsory. So you can carry a fancy pair of flats instead.)

Goa is known for its hippie, bohemian vibes and any outfit is incomplete without some funky jewellery. Add in those oxidised necklaces and pack some bracelets. You can try nose pins, tasselled earrings, and beaded jewellery.

The sun's gonna get too harsh so carry sunglasses that have a good protection factor, especially during the afternoon when you're out in the open, either sightseeing or playing with waves on a beach. I recommend carrying two sunglasses: dark ones (such as jet black, olive, etc.) and mirrored ones.

Add a large straw hat to instantly emit the beachy vibes. Who said a hat looks good only on foreign beaches? Men too should protect their heads by wearing caps.

Jute tote/backpack
To stash all the beach supplies, a large bag is a must. Depending on the number of places you're visiting and the kind of trip you're having, pack either a tote or a backpack. I suggest those vibrant jute bags as they accentuate a look! If you don't have one, worry not, you get jute bags throughout Goa. (Check out the Anjuna flea market for some bohemian goodies. It's not functional in September though.)

You can lay a towel on the sand while you relax under the shade or during eventide. A towel also helps in drying your bodies, but hey, the scorching Goan heat shall be enough to dry it out ;) If you follow my blogs and YouTube channel, you know how I suggest light towels over those heavy, Turkish ones.

I believe a piece of clothing acts as the best SPF. A scarf has multiple uses. You can wear it like a sarong, a kimono, for covering your face, for laying on the beach, like a blanket, etc. You can protect your face and hair from the sun and pollution by wearing a scarf, especially in the afternoons when you're sightseeing or riding a moped.

Unfortunately, you can't always cover yourselves with scarves so you need a sunscreen with 50+ SPF to protect and hydrate. A waterproof formula works wonders and anything that is oil-free and gives a matte finish should be under your Goa Packing List. 

Hair products: serum, shampoo, conditioner
The humidity, the sea water, and the sand are going to take a toll on your tresses. So it is advisable to use serum post-beach time and after hair wash. Also, carry shampoo and conditioner to bring your hair back to life. 

Driver's licence
If you're not taking your vehicle, then I'm sure you would hire a scooter in Goa – or a car. Don't forget to pack your driver's licence! Goa is best discovered on a moped, I feel!

Blotting paper, tissues or napkin
All the humidity is going to drive you crazy! Unforgettably pack blotting papers, tissues or napkins to wipe off the oil from your face.

Rosewater, wet wipes
For instant refreshment, add in wet wipes or rosewater. Spritz the rosewater to hydrate and feel heavenly! If you're allergic to rose, then buy a travel size spray bottle and pour in water. Just spritz it on your face instead of rosewater! Later, just lightly dab with a napkin. 

Waterproof camera
An action camera is truly a good bet when you're travelling to Goa because you'd most likely store your phone away as you enjoy the water. This has happened to me several times. I've had such fun in the water but no camera with me to capture these moments. So if you can borrow/buy a waterproof camera, definitely go ahead. Also, buy the camera accessories!

What would you add to the list?

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