Wish for a little peace, love and happiness and find yourself on a flight to Goa. This state, known around the world as a hippy-haven, became a hot-spot destination in the 1970s for flower-power travelers seeking a bit of respite from the chaotic and overly-influenced Americanized world. Peace-loving nomads booked cheap flights to Goa for all-night parties and sun-soaked days on the beach. Today, those same cheap flights to Goa are now booked with backpackers, business travelers and first-time tourists to India.
Goa’s allure remains the same today as it did decades ago. It’s distinctness from other India states lies within its Portuguese and India influences. The state is laid-back and welcoming – the casual attitude on the flight to Goa remains intact throughout the visit. After a tour of Goa’s mansions, ancient alleys and garden-clad villas, take a siesta with the rest of Goa and rest up for a night out in Goa’s trendy downtown district.
What was once a city flooded with Birkenstock-wearing Bohemians is now a high-fashion destination spot for tourists. From luxury home interior design stores to specialty retail clothing boutiques, Goa remains a haven for trendy travelers. Make sure you plan ahead if your flight to Goa descends over Christmas or New Years – you’ll be spending the holiday with thousands of other tourists and Goa flights and accommodations are pricey. Just because the hippies have moved on doesn’t mean India’s premier party destination has lost its cool.
Its Arabian Sea location infuses humidity into the air year round, but the heat hits in May when temperatures reach into the 90s. Rain is certainly something to consider when booking cheap flights to Goa; monsoons take the stage in June, when the city averages 118 inches of rainfall. The two months leading up to monsoon season are not pleasant either, when hazy skies, strong winds, and bright lightning act as warning signs for the coming storms. The fishing industry stops entirely, and most people store enough food and supplies to provide for days of staying indoors. Once the monsoons make their great escape, though, temperatures remain pleasantly in the 80’s through September, and cool down to the 70’s in January.
To get the most out of your trip, book flights to Goa before or after monsoon season to avoid driving rains and dangerous conditions.
Peak Season: Most travelers book flights to Goa when temperatures cool down in the winter. Especially around Christmas and New Years, the city glows in celebration, and its tolerable temperatures draw people to enjoy the outdoors and have fun in the streets. If you’re planning a holiday destination trip, be sure to book your flight to Goa in advance to ensure that you’ll secure your spot in the fun.
Off-peak Season: Aside from the monsoon season, summer sizzles with extreme heat and skyrocketing temperatures. Although most people avoid the roasting stretch between June and September, it’s also a great time to find deals on accommodations and cheap flights to Goa.
By far, motorbikes are the most popular mode of Goa travel. Whether you’re on a bike, scooter, or motorcycle, stay aware of vehicular traffic, and always carry identification. If you don’t have your information on you, you may get pulled over and fined by police, who are known to pick on foreigners and receive kickbacks (called baksheesh) for fines they collect.
Another option, although not coveted by most tourists, is renting a car or jeep. However, driving here isn’t recommended, because of small streets and misunderstood traffic laws. A better bet is to either hire a driver (which can be costly) or to use a taxi or auto rickshaw. The latter are cheaper and use meter systems to determine fares. However, if you notice there isn’t a meter, negotiate a potential fare to eliminate the risk of being overcharged.
Buses are a great way to see the city without committing to a destination, because it’s easy to hop on and off as you please. Express buses are the way to go for fast, reliable service to a more distant location. If you’re sick of traveling by land, top off your flight to Goa with a little fun on the sea. Boat cruises can be booked in advance, and are perfect for dolphin watching, island cruises, and snorkeling trips.
Festivals: With so many holidays on Goa’s agenda, it’s a mystery how locals get any work done. In addition to Hindu holidays like Diwali and Holi, Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter also take priority and call villages to stop everything and celebrate. The city relies heavily on the lunar calendar to acknowledge festivals and feast days, so if you book a cheap flight to Goa between the months of November and March, you’ll be able to experience more parties than you can imagine.
Basilica of Bom Jesus: Built between 1594 and 1605, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is the perfect day trip for religious and historical enthusiasts booking flights to Goa. Francis Xavier, one of the original seven founders of the Jesuit order, remains the patron saint of Goa. His corpse is reportedly well preserved (although one arm and one toe are missing) and his silver casket rests inside, next to the altar. Also on the grounds are the ruins of the Church of Saint Augustine and the Chapel of the Weeping Cross.
Nightlife: If your first day in Goa seems too good to be true, just wait until the sun sets. Most travelers booking flights to Goa follow the locals at night and head to beach clubs and open-air venues. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing lounge ambience or a hip-hop haven, the nightlife in Goa won’t disappoint. Underground dance parties and raves make up the recently trendy hippie culture, where 20- and 30-somethings keep places packed all day and night. When you’re finally ready to go home, make one last stop at one of the many late night snack joints to feel completely satisfied.
Shopping: Your travel isn’t complete without a bag full of souvenirs to take with you on your return Goa flight. Make sure to wander through the Wednesday Market in Anjuna, where the echoes of bartering locals and native musicians create an eclectic soundtrack for your shopping experience. Stock up on everything from rave gear to hammocks while you meet new people, absorb interesting music, and taste authentic cuisine. Spend a few minutes with a fortune teller to gain a new and exciting perspective on your trip. If you haven’t had enough, wait another day and head to the Friday markets, where fresh vegetables, pork sausages, and warm bread will tantalize the senses and appease your appetite.