Important Tips For Your Goa Trip
Planning to spend your vacations in Goa? Being one of the major tourist destinations in India, Goa is a perfect place to holiday. So if you have already packed your bags, just go through these useful tips to make your trip memorable.
- Respect Holy Places and the Goan Culture
- While visiting the places of worship due respect and proper decorum should be maintained. Always remove your slippers/ shoes before entering any place of worship.
- When visiting churches, temples and museums kindly switch off your cell phones or you may turn them on silent mode.
- Dress appropriately at all the holy places you visit. Also, it is advisable to cover your heads while visiting Temples, Mosques and Gurudwaras.
- Don’t idolize the culture, but treat it with respect.
- Important Documents
Travelling with important documents such as Passport, driving license, visa, etc. ensure that they are kept safe in your hotel room lockers. You should instead carry attested copies of your passport, driving license, visa while travelling.
- Money Matters
- Refrain from carrying large sums of cash, instead carry plastic money as they are more convenient or you may also carry traveller’s cheque as they are readily exchangeable in most locations.
- Don’t leave any cash or valuables in your hotel room.
- Double- check all your hotel and restaurant bills for any errors.
- Do not flash large sums of money or jewelry.
- If you are a foreign national, don’t exchange money in the black market. Always get a receipt when changing money at an authorized money exchanging center.
- Always remember to carry small bills for public transportation and tips.
- There are many places such as museums where photography may be restricted so before flashing your camera just look out for signs saying “No pictures” or “Photography Restricted”.
- If you want to click a photo of another person, kindly take his/her permission before. Most people don’t refuse if you ask politely.
- It is advised while visiting the caves, temples, forts and churches take a photo of a sign board with the name of that place, as it would be hard to remember later when you reach back home.
- If there are sign boards saying “No Flash”, make sure to use camera without it.
- Charge your camera batteries every night.
- Mind What You Eat
- One of the great joys while travelling in India is eating street food. But if you have a sensitive stomach or not used to spicy food, don’t indulge in it. It would be better to be safe than sorry.
- The cuisine in Goa is not just limited to the Goan variety. In many places, you may find International cuisine such as Continental, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Tibetan and even Portugese dishes on the menu.
- Fresh seafood items are some of the tastiest food dishes you would like to enjoy.
- Drink only bottled water and, always check to confirm that the seal has not been broken.
- Carry wet tissues and hand sanitizers.
- No Nudity
Being a conservative nation, nudity in any form is not acceptable in India. Nudity on the beaches and public places is forbidden and punishable under law. Also, public display of affection in public places should be avoided.
- No to Drugs and Other Illegal Activities
Possession and trade of drugs are illegal in India so stay away. There are hard penalties in India and no bail for any drug offense. You may fall in deep trouble if caught trading in animal skins, ivory, fur or any other illegal items as these require a legitimate sale certificate or export permission prior leaving the country. Also, dealing with articles made from rare and endangered species of animals are banned and a punishable offense.
- Planning to Rent a Car
Carry your driving license along in case you are planning to hire a rental car or a motorcycle to drive. While driving, do not break any traffic rules or disrespect the Goan traffic.
- Do not drink and drive.
- If you are a foreign national, International Driving License would be required to drive. Traffic circulation in India is on the left side, foreign nationals who are not habitual to drive on the left side should opt for taxis.
- Shopping in Goa
Goa is a well-known destination for all shopping lovers. Every year tourists visiting the country buy various items like handicrafts, jewelry, cashews, spices, alcohol, wooden artifacts, etc. Barter to strike the most perfect deal on products. Goa is the perfect place to test your bargaining skills.
If you are a foreign national, be warned that you will be quoted some truly exorbitant prices of the products and the rate might still seem cheap to you due to currency conversion. However, always check with multiple sources before striking a deal. Government emporia and handicraft centers are some shops for quality products and reasonable prices.
- Beware of Touts
Even though the people of Goa are very friendly and helpful refrain from talking to strangers, especially if they seem suspicious to you. Women who are travelling alone needs to be more careful.
Also, beware of the touts, present at the most tourist spots who would readily offer to provide you anything at anytime you wish.
- Goa at Night
- Goa is a famous for its night life. But, while you are partying and enjoying yourself, you should be extra vigilant. Do not accept any drinks from strangers.
- Avoid walking alone in deserted and poorly lit areas at night.
- Avoid using narrow alleys across the town at night.
- Swimming at night is a bad idea as a lot of cases of drowning have been observed in the last few years. Also, avoid poorly lit beaches at night.
Visit our Night Life in Goa page to see the places where you can enjoy the night.
- Women Traveling Alone
- Do not indulge in talking to strangers. If a person tries to harass you, don’t hesitate to make a scene as it would grab attention of people around and help would come.
- Be wary of accepting snacks and beverages from new acquaintances. Also, never leave your drinks unattended.
- Be self -reliant and well prepared. Carry a street map, a guide book and a phrase book and use only legal and reputable taxis. Also, never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
- Emergency numbers should be kept handy at all times.
- Inform your friends and family about your whereabouts by phone or e-mail.
- Miscellaneous Tips
- Do not litter.
- If you are travelling on any public transport, don’t leave your baggage unattended.
- Use Public Pay Toilets available at most places.
- Do not smoke in public places and public vehicles.
- Keep an identity card with your name, contact number of a relative or a friend, blood group details with you at all times, especially if you are traveling alone.
- Within India dial 100 or 108 for police and 101 or 108 for any medical or fire emergencies.
- Do not entertain any strangers while travelling by train. Chain-lock your luggage for safety.
- Do not indulge in tipping beggars as it is a money making scam.
- Packing Essentials
- Pack up your flip flops as they would be your best friends throughout the trip.
- Swimwear/ beachwear as per your requirement.
- Pack up your cotton tees and shorts as they would be comfortable due to the climatic conditions of Goa. Also sunglasses and a hat or a scarf is a must.
- A bottle of sunscreen and mosquito repellent are quite essential.
- Carry your iPod and relax while listening to your favorite song, or if you are a reader, pack a book or two for light reading.
Goa is not only famous for its beaches and nightlife, but also for its Portugese architecture, heritage homes, wildlife reserves and rich culture and tradition. So pack your bags and travel to Goa for a wonderful trip.