I took to travelling a year-and-a-half ago. While most of my life, someone or the other has pushed me into things I have later regretted, this time it is working wonders for me; thanks to my best friend Nitin who came to my rescue.
I am Aksshay Pathak and I am a workaholic traveller. Sounds complicated, right? In five years of my professional journey, I had hardly managed to travel. At one point, my work was becoming an all-consuming presence taking over every other aspect of my life. That’s when the blissful experience of travelling was introduced to me. Lately, I discovered most of the people around me hardly venture out owing to the perception that travel is expensive. The objective of sharing my experience is to motivate everyone with a passion to explore new places to pack their bags and travel more often.
What if I told you I managed to pull off a trip to Goa in under Rs 5,000 – well, almost. Yes, that wasn’t a typo. I really meant Goa under Rs 5,000. Here’s how I’d sum up my experience – four beaches, five days, one hack and no regrets!
Arriving a Goa
I landed in Goa, waited near the taxi stand to see if someone was booking a taxi to Anjuna. Soon, I found 10 people who were headed to a place nearby. I hitched a ride with them and reached by destination paying only Rs 250 for the taxi ride. If you are familiar with the astronomical taxi rates in Goa, it may seem like a marvellous feat to you. But all it took was some smart manoeuvring.
For my stay, I booked the famous The Funky Monkey Hostel, which cost me Rs 300 a day.
The trip coincided with a friend’s birthday, and of course, there was a celebration in the evening, which meant my dinner and drinks for the day were taken care of.
The trick is to plan things right and not just pay for things.
Total Expenditure on Day 1: Rs 800
Chilling and Relaxing
The next day started a little late with a major focus on just chilling and relaxing. I spent most of my time in bed, catching up on some much-needed rest and long-overdue leisure time. However, I did visit the local German Bakery and Curlies after a long walk.
Total Expenditure on Day 2: Rs 790
Stay: Rs 300
Breakfast: Two chapattis, pumpkin curry and cut fruits with curd for Rs 130
Beer: Rs 60
Lunch: Open Sandwich & a summer cooler for Rs 175
Dinner: Pizza for Rs 125
Exploring the Beaches
Well rested from the day before, I headed out to explore the famed beaches of Goa. I drove to Anjuna and Vagator beaches on a hired scooty and spent my time sunbathing and downing summer coolers.
In the evening, I hung out with some new friends made at our den, The Funky Monkey Hostel. We partied in the living area with the good Old Monk to keep us in high spirits.
Total Expenditure on Day 3: Rs 1210
Stay: Rs 400
Scooty: Rs 250 (Rs 500 split between two)
Petrol: Rs 150 (Rs 300 split between two)
Breakfast: Two chapattis, pumpkin curry, milk and cornflakes for Rs 110
Lunch: Noodles and beer for Rs 140
Dinner: Open sandwich and watermelon juice for Rs 160
Off to South Goa
The day started with a twist, as my business partner and I decided to explore the southern part of Goa. We head directly to Palolem beach. Fortunately, we got a good deal on our hotel room and it took us 3 hours to reach there. South Goa is like a whiff of fresh air after the highly commercialized vibe of the northern side of this coastal state. For me, it was love at first sight. Their streets here still have that inherent Goan charm, with melodies escaping from roadside houses and life moving at its own leisurely pace. If your idea of a Goa holiday is to unwind, this is the place to be.
Total Spends on Day 4: Rs 1,085
Stay: At Woodstock Hotel for Rs 1,000 a night, split between two, so the cost per person was Rs 500
Breakfast: I got a breakfast coupon from a hostel mate who wasn’t interested in the hostel food so breakfast was sorted at Rs 0
Lunch: Coconut Water for Rs 50
Dinner: Daal& Roti for Rs 185
Petrol: Rs 350
Our flight back home was in the evening, and so, we decided to make the most of our last day in Goa and started off kayaking at the Palolem Beach. After two hours on the boat, I lazed at a shack and wound up the trip with a beer for the road.
Total Spends on Day 5: Rs 515
Breakfast: VadaPav and Coconut water for Rs 80
Lunch: Burger for Rs 250
Dinner: Crew meal (Hack alert*)
Drive to the airport: FREE. My business partner and travel buddy on the trip dropped me to the airport.
Taxi from Airport to Home: Rs 185
Hack*: Always ask the flight staff if their card machine is working. More often than not, it isn’t. Tell them you don’t have any cash on you and ask them if they can share a crew meal with you.
Total Expenditure in Goa: Rs 4,700
Flight Tickets: Rs 1,200, thanks to my dad who works in the aviation sector. To cut back on flight costs, keep an eye out on special offers rolled out by airlines from time to time. Just recently, Indigo was for offering flight tickets to Goa for Rs 999.
Adding up all my expenses, the trip cost me around Rs 5,600, inclusive of tickets. A total win-win!