This Info might be useful
Duties not free
Duty-free in European Airports is overpriced and should be avoided at all costs. Many familiar brands of alcohol and cigarettes are available in Goa for half the price or less. Connoisseur of tobacco and alcohol claim that it’s not the same and I would have to agree but I doubt they will be around long enough to complain much.
Get the best exchange rate
Don’t exchange money with the exchange bureaus in the Indian airports as high rates of commission/low exchange rates are the norm. Outside exchange shops may try the old misdirection trick to shortchange you but you are a tourist so fair game. An ATM machine is available outside the arrivals terminal building in Goa, ask an official for directions better still wait till you get to your destination and exchange there if the shops are open.
Driving in Goa
If you’re planning on hiring a vehicle bring your driving license with you. The local Police make it a point to stop tourists and fine those that are unable to produce documentation. That said any documentation will do even if it’s your dog’s inoculation certificate. You are permitted to drive in Goa for the first 7 days of your stay using your native countries Driving Licenses. Officially you require an International Driving Permit. If the police stop you, it’s worth remembering no matter what your crime may have been you may still be able to bargain.
The Indian Driving Test, basically, involves starting a vehicles engine so a lower level of competence is understood, and the theory is nonexistent. When driving in Goa always expect the unexpected, especially odd is how right of way is given to vehicles entering roundabouts or exiting small side roads.
Mosquito Repellent is available in most shops in Goa, and I’ve found it to be more effective on Indian mosquito than imported products. The Indian options will leave additional cash in your wallet for beer. It is always recommended to take Malaria tablets before, during and after your trip, so it is of course wrong that I have never felt the need to do so.
If you’re new to India, your sensitive stomach will react adversely to the smallest microbe, so I recommend that you drink only the more expensive brands of bottled water, unless it’s Casa Da Praia filtered water because we care. Every year the Indian government closes bottled water companies due to malpractices so you’ve been advised.
Discard your native countries sim in favor of an Indian one and text your friends the number. The sim will cost approx. 500 Rupees plus top up charge. Calls to other countries mobiles cost about 20 Rupees a minute see links page for currency converter.
Medicines are readily available for all your holiday ailments, and you’ll find most local pharmacists are happy and extremely capable of performing an on the spot diagnoses. Many people now come to India for treatments/operations (especially dental work). This is mainly for financial reasons, but also because they have grown accustom to Indian practitioners.
Gratuity in India
Gratuity in India is normally not expected and after travelling around India, I’ve realized it’s actually unexpected. However, In Goa it’s become commonplace due to tourism, and in general 5% should be sufficient but I always give 10% if I intend to return because like elephants staff never forget.
The heads up on flights
These days we have many carrier options and you will know what best for you, I always fly scheduled due to the increased leg room and luggage allowances.
If you’re flying out, as a couple or group, on Saturday evening get to the airport at least 4 hours in advance or you’ll not be sitting together on the plane unless you’ve checked in of course. Some airlines will allow check in up to 8 hours before the flight, so you’ll find some crazy people spend time in the overpriced airport restaurants and bars.
If you’re on a charter flight your baggage allowance is probably only 20kg so pack light, It’s very likely that you’ll be taking something back that will look completely out of place in your lounge. Airlines charge approx. 1000 Rupees per Kilo for excess baggage so don’t go mad in the flea markets.
When leaving Goa make sure you get to the airport at least 3 hours in advance or you’ll find yourself at the back of a very slow check in queue, created by excess baggage charge ignorant holidaymakers.
Airplane food has a bad reputation and Indian airplane food could possibly help with weight reduction. Be aware that the food served on most flights is prepared at very low cost and on a return flight from India, it should only be consumed after advice from a medical professional or if required as an enema. Alternatively, why not order food/sandwiches at your favourite restaurant the night before.