Finding The Cheapest Hotels in Goa (India)

by Alice Mayer

Goa is a state that is located in the west of India, along the coast of the Arabian Sea. It has an area of 3,702 square kilometers of which 101 kilometers are coastline. Although being the smallest state in India, Goa is perhaps the richest, gaining earnings from mainly tourism but also has crops of rice, coconuts and cashews, plus mining and fishing industries.

Goa was under Portuguese rule for 450 years only becoming part of the Republic of India in 1961. Its beaches along the coast are among the best in India and they attract a lot of tourism. Whether the tourists actually come for the beaches or not, many of them also visit inland to enjoy the wide variety of wildlife, flora and fauna that thrive in the Goa countryside. Old churches left over from the days of Portuguese rule also receive a fair bit of attention from tourism as they are good examples of architecture prevalent in the early days of the Portuguese period of rule over Goa.

Tourism

As with most destinations today, many tourists travel to Goa on package tours. These package tours are arranged by travel agents who take advantage of better rates by booking in bulk. These travel agents who manage to get reduced fares by booking the flights in bulk or chartering an aircraft, can add the cheaper fares to hotel rates that they also received reduced rates on, making them able to offer tourists a fairly cheap package deal that includes both fare and hotel. Although many tourists take advantage of these reduced price deals, I find them a little restrictive, both on timing and variety of accommodations and so I prefer to book my own.

When I look at making my bookings there are two factors that I have to consider, air fare and hotel rates. Once again there are places, this time usually on-line, that can offer both flights and accommodations at reduced rates but once again, I can find these offers also a little restrictive and so look around the net for cheap flights only. Once I have found a cheap flight that suits my timing, I then look for the options available for cheap hotels. I sometimes of course do this the other way around, first book my accommodation and then find the cheapest flight I can to facilitate those dates, depending on what flexibility I can afford in my timing.

Hotels

As with most holiday destinations, there are a range of different accommodations available in Goa. In Goa these choices are; regular deluxe or standard tourist hotels, guest houses or what is often a cheaper option, one used by many returning tourists, is the renting of a house or cottage. Depending on how many there are in your party, the renting of a house can make big savings especially when you consider most will have their own kitchen which will also enable you to cook for yourselves and save restaurant bills. If you consider the option of renting a house remember that the further you are from the beach, the cheaper the rent on a house may be. Often returning tourists will rent a house in a village a couple of miles from the actual beach.

Another cheaper option that is available at certain locations such as Palolem Beach in South Goa and Mandrem and Asvem in North Goa is the offer of a bamboo hut on the beach. As with other accommodations, these bamboo huts can vary in types. Although some may be pleasant and have all the basic facilities others may have shared toilets and showers and being close together with their thin walls, offering very little privacy but to many, the idea of a bamboo cabin on a tropical beach is novel and perhaps romantic. When you consider that some of these cheaper cabins may be available for as little as $2 per night, they could appear more appealing.

One of the main things to consider when taking a trip to Goa is the time of year as that can certainly make a difference to the price of accommodations. Most tourists will try and avoid the monsoon season that is from June to September but even during the other months, prices can vary. The peak of the tourist season is around Christmas and New Year when prices can triple from what they usually are. You will find though, that the earlier or later you are within the holiday season, the cheaper the prices can become.

So where do I look to find accommodation? I once tried applying to the Indian Tourism Authority but they didn’t have details of discounts available and so I look on line and although there are many hotel booking sites available I use http://au.hotelscan.com which I find is probably the best and most efficient way to find the cheap hotel option that I am looking for.