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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the tips one should keep in mind while travelling to Goa?

Ravinder Malik DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

As a traveller, knowing your destination well can make all the difference to your trip. You can easily stay out of harm's way and enjoy your vacation without a single moment's worry. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you make the most of your Goan holiday:

  • Reservations
    Being a very popular tourist destination among Indian and international travellers, especially during the months between November and February. Make sure you get your Goa holiday package booked pretty much in advance. If not going by the package, then make your hotel and travel booking in advance to get good rates, particularly if you're taking a trip during the festive months of December and January. Also carry a printed confirmation of your accommodation booking and reconfirm your booking once before you begin your journey.

  • Cash
    Money managing is also another aspect of planning a trip. Keep some amount of hard money with you all the time, but don't carry too much. There are plenty of ATM's all across the city which allow you to withdraw cash as you need it. Most of the beach shacks, watersports vendors, shops at flea markets, and restaurants in Goa, do not accept credit cards, so be sure to carry sufficient cash before heading out to the beach.

  • Driving
    If you're planning to hire scooties, bikes or cars in Goa, make sure they have licensed, yellow number plates (for commercial vehicles). It is illegal to hire a private vehicle on rent and this may even lead to challans (fine) while travelling within the state. Fuel stations are few and far between, so make sure to tank up before taking one of those beautiful long drives. For those of you travelling from bigger cities, you'll find the roads to be quite narrow, though largely well-maintained. Make sure to stick to your lanes and avoid overtaking too much.
    Parking is usually available easily near most major beaches, but it can be quite a hassle if you're travelling to one of the more popular beaches (Like Baga and Anjuna in North Goa) for night beach parties. For a hassle free experience, try reaching bit earlier than when the actual party crowd starts pouring in.

  • Clothing
    Light cotton clothes will largely sail you through most of the seasons in Goa. If you travel during December and January, you might need a few full-sleeved clothes to ward off the slight nip in the air. You'll find plenty of places at beaches which give out swimwear and beach towels on rent, but it's better and more hygienic if you carry your own.
    Sunscreen lotions are a total must if you don't want to end up with your skin having golden-brown tint. Use a broad-spectrum one to avoid sunburns and rashes, especially if you're heading out to the beach during the day. Usually, SPF 50 is ideal for the face and around SPF 80 or 100 is sufficient for the rest of your body. For your specific SPF requirements, consulting a dermatologist will be ideal.

    Make sure to carry light slippers or sandals for walking on the beach. Unless you plan to go for a jog, shoes are not a great idea as you might be spending a lot of time getting the sand out of them later.

    Nudity is prohibited on all beaches and at public areas and is punishable under the state law.

  • Water and Adventure Sports
    If adrenaline is on your mind and you're planning to indulge in some thrilling water and adventure sports in Goa, ensure your safety before anything else. Lifejackets are a must for all watersports and boating, no matter how well you can swim. It is advisable to take one of the instructors with you as a matter of precaution and unless you're very sure, don't venture out alone. Reaching earlier in the day, say around 11am or so, will allow you to get good deals for watersports at beaches, so be sure to bargain. If you opt for a number of activities at the same time, the operators tend to give you a good deal. Also try and speak to 2 or 3 operators at the beach before settling on a price.

    It would be a good idea to tell the watersports' operator if you don't know how to swim, so that they're a little more vigilant about any unfortunate accidents.

    If one of you can't stay back at the beach to take care of your belongings, you can leave them safely with the operators themselves. They're usually reliable, but it would be better to speak to them beforehand and get an assurance from them about the safety of your belongings.

  • General Guidelines
    The constant air of party and celebration must not lead you to believe that Goa is free of all rules and regulations. The state and central laws governing the region must be kept in mind to avoid any untoward incident and stay safe. The legal age for consuming alcohol is 18 years and though drinking in public and at beaches is allowed, any public nuisance is frowned upon by the locals and the police.
    Unlike beaches in other countries, nudity is prohibited under law at the beach or in public areas.
    The people of Goa are usually very warm and welcoming and may even join you in your party spirits. But it is advisable not to get into any tiff with the locals as they consider it to be a disrespect to their hospitality.

With these tips in mind, you can plonk on a beach bed, leave your worries behind and let the sea make your heart soar. Are you ready to have the vacation of a lifetime?

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