What you need to Know before travelling solo to Goa
This year has been challenging for everyone globally. As the New Year approaches, we should make a fresh start and connect with ourselves. And what is there better than Goa? It is a one-stop place where you meditate and party at once, where you can try the best of seafood and have a little organic garden of yours at once, where you can indulge in the wilderness of wildlife and watch the sunset for hours at once. Goa is perfect for backpackers who are also thrill-seekers, adventurers, beach lovers, history lovers, and all those in between!
Travelling brings out an unforeseen side of you. You will end up surprising yourself that how much you enjoyed in your own company. So without further adieu, prep yourself up to connect with yourself on this one beautiful trip to Goa. Here is what you need to know before travelling solo to Goa.
Also, girls, on your visit to Goa, if you discover something new, exciting, and unexplored, then do tell me in the comment section of this blog.
Read my guide – 21 essential safety tips and advice for solo female travellers.
Right here, right now is the perfect time to travel to Goa
Goa is famous for its winter carnivals, Christmas celebration, and fests. Every year Goa accounts for 30 percent of foreigners, mostly from Europe and the UK. You will be signing up for a memorable trip if you visit Goa from October to February. It is the peak season, and while strolling around, you may spot one or two of your favourite international bands or singers.
Getting around in Goa
Honestly, I find travelling a bit of a pickle in Goa compared to the rest of India. You do not have many options but to pay extra and avail of the service. Since Goa’s Dabolim airport is situated at the city’s outer and is 30kms away from Panjim’s primary capital, it is best to go for a pre-paid taxi. While you stand in the long queue to claim your baggage, look around, and you can find private and public cab stands. You can easily rent a scooter or a bicycle for traveling within the city as most locals use this for travelling. Or if you think you’re good with public transport, check out my blog on 25 Tips for Using Public Transport in India as a Solo Female Traveller
Unique landmarks to visit
Goa is full of aesthetic beauty. You will feel the old charm of fisherman colonies to Portuguese culture, from adorning the churches’ architecture to galleries’ art. It will interest you more if you are an avid history lover or a photographer. Calangute and Saligao are two Goan coastal villages where you will find fresh fish and dry fruits in various forms. You can meander around Tobacco Square, Mint House, and The Holy Spirit of Church and then proceed to Monte Hill. Likewise, there are many places to visit in Goa! All you need to carry for this day out is a good pair of sneakers, a water bottle, and your camera.
Turn on your non-vegetarian avatar when you are in Goa. You can expect exotic fish, cocktails, and salads around beach shacks and with street vendors. Ensure that you are not allergic to any protein or nuts as these are widely used in the curries and starters.
No language barrier
Since locals and foreigners dominate the city, so English is the preferred language here. Though the local language is Konkani, you will find no interaction problem, as everyone here is familiar with English and their accents.
Stay with a view
You don’t have to chase and travel distances for scenic beauty here. Just turn around, and you will see a beach or a lush green valley. I will suggest you find accommodation around Calangute, Baga, Vagator, and Anjuna as they are the hot spots for food, cultural evenings, and nightlife.
Refrain yourself from indulging in unlikely experiences
Though Goa is safe, you need to know this before you travel solo to Goa to be cautious. Avoid going to crowded or extremely secluded places. Stay away from anyone who is trying to sell in black or illegally. North Goa has more drug dealers and raves parties, so it is important to double-check and be alert on that side of the city. Avoid arguing with taxi drivers and don’t board one if you sense that they under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Read my 14 awkward first-time solo female travel moments: How to tackle them to stay confident throughout your solo trip.
Manage your belongings
I will especially warn you here as I suffered in this aspect. Do not trust the shack owner or a stranger sitting nearby to keep an eye on your stuff while you go swimming in the sea. I will suggest either not carrying expensive electronics like speakers, headphones, and laptops or not a massive sum of money. Another common way to secure things is to pack it all in a plastic bag and dig it under your mat.
Urgent go-to contacts
In an emergency, you can call at 100 for the police or reach out to any resident as they might turn out to be helpful. It will also be an added advantage if you buy a local sim from the airport or any local vendor. The internet connection is not that great in forest areas and around beaches, so having a direct calling number will help you a long way.
Hostel or Zostel experience
When you travel solo to Goa, staying in a hostel or a Zostel is a fantastic experience. It lets you connect with other solo travellers from different parts of the world and share experiences. I got to know about the city’s upbeat and pulse when I stayed there as they shared the list of places that are not very popular yet have the heart of Goa in them.
If you are into painting, sketching, drawing, you can carry your canvas and sheets as they are quite expensive here. You will find many local artists, but most don’t have the raw material for the selling point of view. Carry your particulars and color the sky red with your imagination!
Travel around Goa?
If you plan your trip to Goa, you can keep at least two days as a buffer and visit Hampi, Karnataka. It is another new spot but has beautiful and ornate temples. They have ruins from history and enormous statues by the beach. Elephant stables and Lotus Mahal are a must to see. You can reach this ancient city on an overnight bus journey.
You can visit South and go to God’s city Kerala – My Ultimate Travel Guide to Kerala.
Carry your medicines
Since you will get exposed to the sun a lot, ensure that you stay hydrated at all times, and if you have any heart-related ailments, then double-check your supplies and carry them with you. There are instances to be known that same medicine with certain salts is not available. Due to its low population, they don’t have many alternatives.
Away from conservatives
Like the rest of India, Goa is not orthodox and conservative in its approach. No one will stare or judge you for wearing anything exposed or strappy. On my first day, I wrapped a sarong around my bikini as I felt conscious, but I realized there is nothing to mind here. So you can still carry a shrug or a sarong to the beach as it will work as a makeshift blanket in the sun and protect you from tanning and heat.
Invest in a sturdy footwear
Since you will be walking a lot around Goa, buy a sturdy pair of sandals or sneakers. They will support your heavy backs and refrain from having a blister. You can try puma or addidas for the best footwear range.
Cash is king here
Your credit cards will not take you far on this trip until you have booked your stay and travel in advance. But to enjoy the real essence of Goa, you will end up shopping and eating at the local shops where they accept cash mostly. The US dollar is still acceptable at a few restaurants, but you will suffer currency change rates. So it is better to get cash from the airport or a dealer wherever you find the best rates.
Don’t be a scapegoat
Commonly, you being a solo female traveller, the shop keepers will overcharge you. Play smartly and negotiate the amount. Don’t pay if it is not worth it. You might find the same object elsewhere in another flea market. Goa has a very excellent night market culture, so keep your eyes open.
Go-Organic is the mantra here
As opposed to culture in North India, locals in Goa strictly follow the no-plastic rule. They are heavily dependent on home gardening and growing the pulses and vegetables organically. So carry paper bags or a tote bag whenever you go out shopping.
Since Goa relies on tourism for its thriving economy, it is unlikely that you will feel isolated. People are quite warm and friendly here, and you will find the local culture very open and receptive. Apart from this, I think it is a sin if you don’t experience this beautiful trip to the core of its beauty!
Maintain washroom hygiene
Carry pee safe, tissue roll, and sanitizer with you since you will use public washrooms around beaches or local markets. Ensure you don’t get infected or have UTI. Otherwise, it will be a barrier on the trip.
Don’t fall for the tour guide
If you have made it to Goa on your own, you are smart enough to explore it by yourself. Instead, I suggest you get lost in this place’s greenery and explore different ways to reach back. Since Goa is a predominant tourist hub, there are many guides available, but honestly, what fun is it to gather information from them? Be curious and find the answers to your why’s and how’s by yourself.
Rest and reset
Goa is a place where untamed forests meet gorgeous beaches and hippies indulge in meditation. Don’t miss this opportunity while you can avail yourself of it. Spend time yourself and reset your power buttons to face challenges ahead. Before traveling to Goa, all you need to know is to know that you are in for a relaxing and yet adventurous trip.
Goa is colorful, beautiful, chaotic, and inspiring in its ways. All I wish for you is to Eat, See, Explore, Repeat!
Check this out for insight from an insider.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.