Travel with Children
Goa is probably the most family – friendly state in India.
Apart from the beach – which is enough to keep most kids happy for
weeks – there are boating facilities, a science park in panaji, and
hotels that are used to accommodation children.
Children can enhance your encounters with local people, as they
often possess little of the self – consciousness and sense of the
cultural difference that can inhibit interaction between adults.
Dangers & Annoyances
Goa is essentially a safe destination for travellers, but this is
India and the tourist industry carries with it a few inherent
dangers that you should be aware of . Touts, pressure sales
» Tips for Safe Travel
While the majority of travellers in Goa will have no serious or life
– threatening problems, tourist have occasionally been the target of
theft or assault. There are some common – Sense step you can take to
minimise the risk :
• In your hotel room, never open the deer to someone you don’t know.
Don’t sleep with your windows or door unlocked.
• Any time you go out at night, do so in the company of a friend or
a group of people, rather than alone.
• Avoid poorly lit or quiet streets or lanes. Always walk with
confidence and purpose.
Have something handy that can be used as a weapon in an emergency,
and be determined to use it to defend yourself.
• Use noise to attract attention if you are threatened – yell as
loudly as you can or carry a loud whistle. Local will usually come
to your aid.
• If you are being sexually harassed or assaulted on public
transport, embarrass the person by complaining in a loud voice and
report them to the conductor or driver.
• Women should avoid returning male stares; Just ignore them. Dark
or reflective glasses can help.
Tactics and minor scams are annoying, More worrying is theft,
harassment of women and the occasional muggings that occur.
In recent years there have been a number of robberies (some of them
violent) on tourists in Goa. Much more disturbing have been recent
attacks on women (see Women Travellers earlier in this chapter).
Goans are understandably concerned by these incidents and blame them
on criminals from neighbouring states. Some measures have been
introduced, such as limited street lighting and security patrols on
some beaches, but it’s probably still not a good idea for women to
go to beach shacks alone at night.
It plays for everyone, not just women, to be wary. The busy resorts
are safe enough when there are people around, but late at night
anyone can be vulnerable. Quiet resorts with poor street lighting,
such as Benaulim, have proven to be risky for travelers wandering
alone at night. If you are staying in a reasonable hotel or similar
facility, leave your passport and travellers cheques there rather
than carrying them around. For more information see the boxed text
‘Tips for Safe Travel’.
People visiting in the low seasons should avoid staying in isolated
accommodation near the beach.
Never leave valuable (eg, passport, tickets health certificate,
money and travellers cheques) in your room; they should be with you
or secured in a hotel safe. Use a money belt that goes under your
clothing. Never Walk around with valuable casually slung over your
shoulder, and take extra care on crowded public transport.
One scam involves groups of teenage pickpocket posing as students
with sponsorship forms. One of them engages victims in conservation
while the others pick their pockets .
The unfortunate part is that there are also a lot of genuine
students who may stop you with a questionnaire or something similar.
From time to time there are also drugging episodes. As tempting as
it may be when you befriend someone, don’t accept drinks or food
from strangers unless you can be solutely certain it’s safe.
Beware also of your fellow travellers. Some make their money go
further by helping themselves to other people’s.
Remember that backpacks are very easy to rifle through – don’t leave
valuables in them. Remember also that something may be of little or
no value to a thief, but to lose it would be a real heartbreak to
you – like film or journal. Finally, a good travel insurance policy
helps give you peace of mind as well as some compensation.
If you do have something stolen, you’ll need to report it to the
police (see the boxed text “Reporting Thefts to the Police”). You’ll
also need a statement proving you have done so if you want to Claim
If You find yourself in a sticky legal predicament, Contact your
embassy (see Embassies & Consulates in India earlier in his
chapter). Carry your passport with you or keep it in a hotel safe.