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Goa: package or independent travel?

Durham, North...
Level Contributor
70 posts
107 reviews
Goa: package or independent travel?


Have just started planning a 2-3 wk trip leaving around Dec 20, and would greatly appreciate some initial advice as I'm still waiting for an updated South India guide book to come out.

Is it normally more cost-effective to buy a package holiday or purchase flight and hotel separately?

Can you recommend a good place for 2 couples in their mid-30's? We would like to stay somewhere with a choice of restaurants, close to the beach, on the quiet side (if this exists in Goa??) Not interested in full or half-board packages as like to leave the hotel and explore. Would also be interested in yoga and ayurvedic treatments.

Might also consider Kerala as a destination.



Jammu & Kashmir
Level Contributor
31 posts
1. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

hi Monica

Its going to be a peak season at that time in Goa so u must book atleast 2-3 months in advance


its always cost effective to purchase flight and hotel separately.....u can just look at each hotel website and send them query about your requirement and book it yourself......

Yah there do exists guiet side in Goa .....North Goa is happenning and u will have more crowds and South Goa is quieter but in DECEMBER u will still get good crowd in SOuth GOA.....

So i would recommend u to stay in South Goa ...u can choose either PALOLEM BEACH as its the more quieter and sexy/lovely beach just search for palolem beach here and study about the hotels in palolem beach u can choose yourself...

....and if u are looking for 3/4/5 star luxury in SOUTH GOA u can try TAJ HOTEL in benaulum beach , CLUB MAHINDRA in VARCA BEACH , Holiday Inn Resort Goa, Cavelossim beach , Baywatch Beach Resort COLVA BEACH , Silver Sands Beach Resort COLVA BEACH & The Leela Kempinski Goa, Cavelossim, Goa ........

& if u want to go to KERALA besides GOA then u can just look at one search KERALA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and study there what u can see and do in KERALA and even u get all the information in this site.......

In Kerala u have to travel more to go from one place to another whereas in GOA u have to travel very less to see everything..

Morever if u want night life and happenning places then u stay in North GOA and must stay in CALANGUTE OR BAGA AREA.......rest u can ask me anything i will try my best to reply u back MONICA


Destination Expert
for Goa
Level Contributor
12,093 posts
86 reviews
2. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

We're going to Goa on 27 December and found it cheaper to book the flight and accommodation separately for that time of year as the tour operators increase the prices of the package holidays substantially over the Christmas/New Year period. We booked our flight through Travel Republic way back in January. However last time I checked on line the flight price had increased by about £150 per person since we booked. Quatar seem to be a popular airline to travel with this year with some good prices. We are staying at Sao Domingos in Cavelossim which is a fairly quiet village with a good selection of restaurants and beach shacks.

Level Contributor
3,056 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

Booking a scheduled flight seems to be the best course of action this year. However there are no direct flight flights to Goa, so you're going to have to fly via the middle east or Mumbai. All of which adds to the actual travel time.

South Goa is quieter than the morths, you can choose from Benaulim, Cavilossim, Agonda, Patnem or Palolem.

Palolem has the prettiest beach but is the most crowded.

Benaulem and Cavilossim, have avregae beaches which aren't as mice as the beaches further south (no prtty backdrop)

Agonda is also very nice and not too busy, Patnem is small but good for families.

Level Contributor
5,642 posts
31 reviews
4. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

Hi Monica, you could try Qatar Airways for a scheduled flight, at the moment they're doing a good deal for flights to Goa. Booking a flight and hotel separately are sometimes cheaper but not all the time, for a hotel try Travel Republic, but it really is a case of just search the various travel companies for the best deal. From what you say your looking for, Candolim in north Goa is probably the best place for you, it has a large number of good hotels and restaurants or maybe somewhere in south Goa but never having been there I can't advise you where. The majority of hotels in Goa are on a bed and breakfast basis and quite a few have Ayurvedic treatment centres based in the hotel

Znojmo, Czech...
Level Contributor
3,124 posts
23 reviews
5. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

benaulim beach or cavellosim beach for me ,its fairly quiet but the weeks you are going are the busiest of the year .i rate benaulim beach as way above average ,yes no nice backdrop behind the beach but its miles long and wide and the sea is nice..definitely best to book room only ,but you need to start booking now ..

Znojmo, Czech...
Level Contributor
3,124 posts
23 reviews
6. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

i just checked some flights on www.opodo.com leaving 20 dec ,returning approx 3 weeks later ..cost about £665 from london on jet . or fly to mumbai and get a cheap internal flight [there are many every day] and cost is £455 on finnair .which is a good price that time of the year..

Level Contributor
3,056 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

Funny how search engines work I got Finnair at 1999GBP.On Opodo............

Turkish Airlines were the cheapest at 502GBP

I'm flying with Turkish Airlines in November (340GBP return)

Level Contributor
622 posts
324 reviews
8. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?


intially we used to get a package but then we were stuck for definate days and with scheduled you can fit the flight to suit yourselves. We book a month and then do a bit of travelling before arriving in Goa. Internal flights are very cheap so you could do Rajestan before your holiday. Qatar Airways site is very easy to use and their prices are changing daily. I looked a fortnight ago from Manchester and it was £580 from Manchester - Doha to Goa. My friend looked the same day and got it for £350 playing around with the dates. I get the latest book from the library as most of the information stays the same. We have also gone through Mumbai then out of Cochin which allows you to play around with your itinery. I prefer Candolim to South Goa as its busier but there are still places of peace on the mile long beach.


Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
543 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?

I've booked Finnair flights, from Manchester via Helsinki, into Delhi and out from Mumbai. They were approx £450 each travelling 19 Dec to 10 Jan. I booked these on Finnair's own website which was great as I could choose our seats when booking so managed to get extra legroom seats on both journeys!

Level Contributor
4 posts
7 reviews
10. Re: Goa: package or independent travel?


I would recommend you travel independently. A taxi from the airport down to Palolem (which in my view, the most lovely place in goa) will cost about £12 ( I think). It's about 1hr 30 to 2 hrs. A lovely place to stay if you can afford it is Ciarans place right on the beach. It is the most luxurious of the beach huts which is why it's expensive but you do have hot running water and a decent toilet. There are loads of places on the beach to stay if you want to be by the beach (you may need some ear plugs 'cos when I was there there were loads of stray dogs on the beach that howl and wake you up, don't walk bare foot in the dark!) Aside from that it is a lovely chilled place.

I think it is sometimes quite partyish on the beach at night but there was a big police presence last year so it was lovely and quiet. There isn't loads to do apart from just chill out. You can investigate a bit of Ayurveda there but I'm not sure how "real" any of it is. there is also some yoga about but I can't recommend any, I'm hoping to experience some in February. Plenty of restaurants and the food was brilliant at all of them.

I would highly recommend Palolem. You could always start off in the North and do the tourist bit and visit Anjuna market first and then head down to Palolem. Travelling isn't that expensive in India, make sure when you agree a taxi price with a driver it includes your luggage. When you pre pay for your taxi at the airport confirm this. One driver tried to rip us off for our luggage in Delhi and wanted more money because he didn't know where he was going and it took him ages. Be strong and don't take any nonsense and you will be just fine.

Enjoy your trip.