Although you might not think of Goa in India as being a budget destination for a winter sun holiday, once you’ve sorted out the cost of your flights spending time in the southern state can be very cheap indeed.
In fact, even getting to Goa can be more affordable than you may imagine if you take the time to search for the best available deals. To give you an idea of what’s on offer this winter, check out the packages at Monarch Holidays – this will give you a good starting point.
What to look for in a deal
When you start looking at the various options for travelling to Goa, try to find a package that includes your flights and accommodation, as these will be the most expensive parts of your holiday. Getting these at a discounted rate is great, but being able to book them in advance and know exactly how much you’ll need to fork out for the bulk of your trip is another advantage to organising your break in this way.
If you opt for an all inclusive hotel, check exactly what services feature under that banner and if there are any activities you’d like to try that aren’t part of the deal, consider looking elsewhere for a package that’s more suitable.
Why is Goa cheap to visit?
One of the main reasons why Goa is a good destination for thrifty holidaymakers is that its main attractions are its beaches. These don’t cost anything to visit (unless you want to hire a sunbed or parasol) so they’re great if you’re trying to cut down on your expenses while you’re away.
Pack a few good books, cover yourself in suntan lotion and simply enjoy relaxing on the golden sands with the sound of the waves in the background. There are lots of stretches of sand to choose from in Goa, too, so whether you’re looking for somewhere lively to work on your tan or would prefer peace and quiet, its coast will cater for you.
For instance, in north Goa around Calangute and Candolim you’ll find a wide selection of bars, clubs and restaurants, not to mention the beach shacks that dot the sand. Head to a more secluded spot like Palolem Bay or Sinquerim, meanwhile, and you’ll find fewer crowds and more tranquil spots to lie back and relax.
The food is another reason why Goa is great for those on a budget, because it’s relatively cheap to eat out here and the local dishes are delicious. The beach shacks may look basic but many of them serve up tasty Goan specialities that you simply have to try – Goan fish curry and pork vindaloo are just two of the meals that are associated with the region. The inclusion of meat and fish in many of Goa’s dishes is unusual given that so much of India is predominantly vegetarian, but this is down to the strong Portuguese influence in the state from the colonial era.
If you can bear to drag yourself away from Goa’s stunning beaches, you’ll discover a selection of other natural attractions inland, including areas of forest, wildlife sanctuaries and waterfalls, where you can see a different side to the state, usually without having to spend too much cash. Go for organised tours if you’re unsure about arranging your own transport, as this will be less stressful and mean you get more enjoyment from the trip.