Be honest. How many times have you thought of just packing your bags and going on an impromptu trip to Goa with your friends? Maybe dozens of times but probably it never panned out. But, what if one fine day the plan is on and you find yourself packing to go on an unplanned trip to Goa.
Unplanned trips often turn out to be the best trips ever. But, if you do find yourself in a situation where you go on an impromptu trip, you need to prepare well for it. If you don’t, your trip could be quite disastrous. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for an unplanned trip to Goa.
7 Tips to Prepare for an Unplanned Trip to Goa:
1. Travel Light
No, you don’t need those fourth pair of shorts, five extra t-shirts and three pairs of shoes. Travelling light is the best way to travel, even if it’s a planned trip. But, when it’s an unplanned trip, make sure you carry only the essentials. Don’t overstuff your backpack with everything you like or you think you may need.
Packing light is a skill and it will be a major advantage when you find yourself packing for an unplanned trip. If possible, travel with a backpack half full. This will give you the flexibility to buy something in Goa and bring it back easily without having to carry extra bags.
2. Have a Basic Checklist
Unplanned trips shouldn’t throw you in a frenzy about what to do and how to prepare for it. Make a basic checklist of all the things you need for the trip. It is alright if you forget your toothbrush or a t-shirt. But, make sure you carry important things like your ID, prescribed medicines if any, credit or debit cards, car documents, and the like.
Before you start packing, take a pen and paper and jot down all the things you need for the trip. Have a clear mind and don’t get flustered. Start with the essentials and then move on to your clothes.
Some travel essentials that you need for an unplanned trip include:
- A sturdy backpack
- The right kind of travel shoes such as shoes for hiking and flip flops for the beach. Ditch those heels and sandals.
- Camera to capture the wonderful memories of the trip
- Rain gear if you are planning to visit Goa in the monsoons
- Toilet kit
- First aid box
3. Always Stay Connected
People have romanticized the idea of ‘cutting off with everyone to connect with nature.’ You don’t need to do that to have a good trip. It is always a good idea to stay connected with your family or friends when you are travelling, especially when it’s unplanned.
Let someone know where you will be staying, your travel itinerary, hotel address, activities that you are planning to do and other travel details. This will assure them where you will be at any point in time and connect with you if something unexpected arises.
An unplanned trip to Goa sounds like the best idea but you must travel responsibly. No matter how grown-up or independent you are, always stay connected to your loved ones when you travel. It doesn’t mean you have to talk to them every night. Essentially, they should be able to contact you in case of an emergency and vice versa.
4. Be Open to Plan B
The beach you wanted to go to is super crowded? Go to another beach. Your favourite restaurant is closed? There are tons of wonderful restaurants and cafes that you can explore in Goa.
Things don’t always go according to plan, even for trips that you had months to prepare. And with unplanned trips, there will be instances where you will have to adapt to changes.
Don’t be rigid and opt for plan B when the original plan falls apart. Be open to changes that can further improve your travel experience.
5. Use Money Wisely
Regardless of what kind of trip it is or where you go, it is important you spend money wisely. Consider the length of your trip and budget accordingly. Another thing you need to consider is how you would pay for services.
It may be easy to just grab your debit and credit cards before leaving for Goa. But, remember to carry cash as well. In remote areas of Goa, the card machines might not work and some stretches may not have ATMs. This will leave you in a tight spot. Also remember, not every store or restaurant will accept cards. So, cash will be essential in such situations.
You can also use mobile wallets and payment apps if you don’t want to carry too much cash. A lot of places now accept transactions through online wallets. So, download such apps before you leave for the trip.
Use discount aggregators or coupons where you can to save money on accommodation or food.
Also, choose where you want to spend the money. If you want to spend on experiences like paragliding and water sports, don’t go crazy with shopping.
You don’t need to spend an insane amount of money to have a good time in Goa. You just need to spend it wisely and you will return with a ton of memories.
6. Use Apps
Do you know that your smartphone can be a great aid for unplanned trips? If you did not have the time to research where to go, which restaurants to eat or which places to party, use apps that help you do the same.
The ‘explore nearby’ or ‘near me’ options on the map apps will help you find whatever you need. They especially come in handy when you are looking for ATMs, petrol pumps or hospitals.
Some apps give restaurants suggestions and allow you to book table reservations online. You can use them to search where to eat in Goa or on the way to Goa.
Download all such apps before you leave for your trip.
7. Don’t Book Rooms for the Whole Stay
One great tip for any unplanned trip is to book short stays. Staying in one place can be quite limiting. If it turns out to be a bad stay, you will be stuck with that place for the entirety of the trip.
Rather, book a place for just a night or two. If you like the feel of the place, you can extend the stay. If not, you can book someplace else.
If you book a shorter stay, you have the flexibility to move around the town and spend a few days in a different part of Goa. If you love a place, go ahead and stay there for your entire trip but it is better to test the waters first.
These tips will ensure that you enjoy your trip to the fullest. Don’t make rigid plans and consider doing ‘normal’ stuff also like going on walks, sleeping in late and just soaking in the Goan culture. You don’t have to hit every pub and restaurant. Take it slow and savour the experience of an unplanned trip. And yes, make sure you drive safe.