Goa 2016: quick tips for a great vacation

My sixth trip to Goa happened to be the best ever. Though we went during off-season, it was a better time to be here than December for New Year’s celebrations. Hotels rates are lower, beaches are cleaner and we saw lesser traffic, people and pollution. During our 5-day trip to celebrate our anniversary, we tried out different restaurants by the beach, rented a scooter for two days, got an awesome massage that undid some knots in our muscles, gambled a bit at a casino and just walked around the place. Here are some tips to make the best of your trip. 

Pack less than half your limit when you leave home. There is a hundred percent chance you will bring back loads of tshirts, cashew fenny bottles and memorabilia. Though our combined limit was 30 kilos, our luggage weighed only 16 when we checked in at the airport.

Walk as much as you can. Considering your appetite will swell here, walking between 6-8 kilometers a day will keep the metabolism burning off the indulgence. Beef, pork, sea food, mutton, chicken dishes and other local food goes really well with the weather. So does the local beer- Kings.

Converse as much as possible. Get chatting with people while you are here. You should get some tips from their experience. We got the idea of hiring a scooter from a couple who took the table next to us at the Sunny Side Up restaurant in Candolim beach. Scootering between beaches made our trip so much more enjoyable. We rode around 60 km between Fort Aguada, Candolim, Anjuna and Baga beaches. Our steed was a Honda Activa. It’s also easier to chat up with anybody because Goa is inarguably a happier place than any city you’re trying to get away from.

Carry cash. Most of the shops may not accept cards and that’s the charm of the place. For instance, you will need cash to buy petrol in plastic bottles from local shops – for your scooter! That’s because the few authorized petrol pumps are way too far from the beaches. Tent shops selling interesting tshirts will take cash.

Carry beach footwear. Pick up floaters, Crocs or anything that’s waterproof. You never know which beach you may turn towards- which is the whole point of being here.

Keep a cash and time limit for the casinos. If you recall the line from the Ocean’s Eleven films- the house always wins. That is true. Keep a time and cash limit, and walk way from the tables. Deltin Royale is an addictive place.

​​Lastly, don’t haggle with locals. If you don’t agree with someone’s rates, talk to someone else. You will get what you want. A few greens are not worth arguing over to mess up your vacation. 

Enough talk. Now go have a great time.

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