Heena In The Wonderland

Day 1 of the 8D-7N Goa Itinerary – Stay, Cost, Flight Price, etc 

Heena dressed up for Day 1 in Goa. Flight tickets in hand.

When North India gives chattering teeth, cherry noses, slowly-moving fingers, seemingly frozen wet hair, and burning earlobes, one must either HIBERNATE… 

or RUN FOR LIFE. Serious. 

I did the latter and travelled to a warmer place – GOA! It is hands down the perfect respite for travellers looking for a summer amour. 

And because I am inclined towards exploring places more than most people, I love when life showers its blessings (disguised as trips) on me. In a parallel world, maybe I am Dora The Explorer! (Insight – I have had this magazine holder for 12 years now. It’s been repaired six times, and the cardboard leaves sawdust by kilos daily, yet I don’t have the heart to discard it.)

Heena's 12-year-old Dora The Explorer Magazine Holder

My deep connection with travel explains why I ABSOLUTELY CHERISH the sound of baggage wheels clacking on moving walkways, the beep of boarding passes being scanned at the security checkpoint, the poof of air at the aeroplane’s entry gate, and the whir of wings when the plane takes off. 

The love I have for road trips is equal. Looking out of the car window, silently absorbing whatever is around, reminiscing, contemplating, understanding… and concluding that life is (has always been) beautiful indeed. 🙂 

Day 1 of my Goa Trip had all of this. A road trip, a flight journey, and a respite from Chandigarh’s cold weather. 

8th Jan 2023, Sunday | In A Nutshell

9:30 AM – Left from Chandigarh for Delhi via cab.

3:30 PM – Reached Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).

5:45 PM to 8:25 PM – Flight Journey.

10:00 PM – Reached De 12 Villas, Anjuna (the villa we had booked for 3N-4D).

10:30 PM – Toured the villa and settled in. 

11:00 PM – Snores.

I booked my flights from Delhi because the flights from Chandigarh were either getting delayed or cancelled. Foggy weather was the culprit! 

How Much Did I Pay For My Last-Minute Goa Flight?

I booked SpiceJet DEL-GOI non-stop flights for INR 5,730. About my return flights, I didn’t book them because I wasn’t in the mood to put in so much effort. I was like, “Heena, see if fog lets you reach Goa first.” I’ll cover more on this in the Day 6 blog. 

Insight – I booked the tickets ONLY two (yes, 2) days before the journey. Seriously, why so soon, right? Because I, along with 17 people, had already lost (approx.) INR 12,500 when we cancelled our Thailand Tickets. *silent sobs*

Background – For the sympathetic hearts who would want to know the story, we had to cancel our Thailand tickets because the Indian government declared Thailand a high-risk COVID country on 24th December 2022. The changes in guidelines were rapid and confusing, scaring our families since we were a group of youngsters planning all this. 

Thailand trip cancel but Goa trip On

Failed Plans – I tried doing a solo trip to Thailand, thinking this is what life wants me to do, but I soon realised I didn’t have the heart. International solo trips are scary, ma(h)n! Thoughts of being robbed, catching a fever leading to COVID, and being caught by police for doing nothing wrong clung to me like a disease.

Questions – Plus, how does one deal with the pressure of handling parents? Yes, I am that 28-year-old independent woman whose life decisions are STILL based on her parent’s approval. I, therefore, want to take this moment and propose a toast to the women who pull off solo trips. Can I ever be THIS woman with solo-trip experiences in her piggy bank? I’ll let life unfurl it for me. 🙂 

Destiny – While we had our Thailand tickets and itinerary ready for 7th Jan 2023 to 14 Jan 2023, destiny had another plan. And who has ever been able to defy destiny?

What Did I Do While Travelling?

  • Slept
  • Munched
  • Chit-Chatted 
  • Ticked off airport formalities  
  • Clicked pictures (of course)
  • Admired the beauty around
  • Complained about my popping ears
  • Read The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
  • Thought about this short story about life that was actually a random conversation I had with a friend.
  • Clapped for the pilot (along with the kids in the plane) for a smooth landing and thought how full of life kids are!

Children get excited about the littlest of things. And, honestly, that’s how we should all live our lives. Why do we even grow up? Peter Pan was right, “Growing up is a trap!” Is there a way we can nibble the strings of this mesh that tie up our innocence? I’ll let you know if I find out. Please let me know if you do. 🙂

Insights/Tips To Know Before You Plan Your Goa Trip

1. GoaMiles 

Choose the GoaMiles app to travel within Goa since no cab-booking app (Uber, InDrive, and Ola) is available.

The taxi monopoly is pretty evident in Goa. To avoid getting duped, use GoaMiles for genuine taxi prices. From Dabolim International Airport to De 12 Villas, we paid INR 1,350. Please note that hiring a taxi from the airport is much better than renting a car since the locals know their way around the place well.

I’m saying this because GoogleMaps showed 2 hours as the time gap between the two destinations, but we reached in 1. Some un-updated shortcuts!  

2. Renting A Vehicle 

You can easily rent a car at INR 1,000 and a scooty at INR 500 (per day basis).

We rented both at different times, and I loved the scooty experience more. Our experience of renting a car wasn’t too good because it was gently hit by a truck. It was more like a kiss, but kisses by a truck do the damage.

Secondly, it didn’t start at the nick of time when we had to leave for the airport on the last day. Consequently, we had to book a taxi. From Ourem Palace in South Goa to GOI Airport, the taxi took INR 2,000 from us. 

3. Damaging A Vehicle 

Don’t panic if you damage the rented car or scooty.  

These guys take INR 3,000 as a security deposit. You will end up sorting things based on the amount of damage and negotiations you do. Also, please don’t let this leave a dent in your feelings for your Goa Trip. It’s all okay!

Two months down the line; you’ll laugh it off. These are the memories worth cherishing. 

4. Carrying An Identity Card

Don’t forget to carry your identity proof. It will be needed if you want to rent a vehicle in Goa and even otherwise. 

You can carry your Aadhaar Card, PAN card, or driving licence. 

5. Planning Less, Living More 

You can plan and plan and plan some more, but things will never be the same as you picture them in your head. So plan well but be open to spontaneous changes, so your tender heart isn’t hurt. 

My plan had: getting dreadlocks done, exploring at least one bookstore cafe (Read about Day 3), buying jewellery, and eating good food. Extremely basic!

I came home ticking everything off because this plan was way too less for an 8N-7D itinerary. 

Heena In Dreadlocks of pink and green colour.

6. Value Your Interests

When in a group, make sure you put your interests forth even if those interests don’t make sense to most people. 

I was sure I had to explore the local Portuguese roads and at least one bookstore. This inclination hardly made sense to the people around me, but I would have done it any which way. The heart wants what it wants, so it’s okay if you offend a few.

Just remember, it’s your trip as much as it is theirs. Make the experience count for all, including yourself. 🙂 

De 12 Villas, Artjuna, Anjuna Tour 

Now that we know so much, let’s tour the villa (De 12 Villas) I stayed at. It was feels, I tell you. 

We had 2 villas booked with 4 rooms each. Each of the villas had a room with a jacuzzi. Of course, I took the jacuzzi one, but did I use the jacuzzi? No. Nope. Nah. Nada. I should have though, but…

Anyhow, here’s the villa tour. (I know I haven’t done a great job, but well, I tried to bring my amateur blogger out. Doing what my heart wants to do, one day at a time. Yay!)

How Much Did It Cost Me To Stay At This Luxury Villa?

The 2 villas with 8 rooms combined cost us around INR 40,000 per night, making it INR 5,000 per room per night. But because it was on a sharing basis, I paid around INR 7,700 for 3 nights and 4 days, bringing it to around INR 2500 per night. Too many calculations, but pretty reasonable, right? Perks of travelling in groups! 

Why We Chose De 12 Villas For Our Stay?

  • Distance of Anjuna Beach from De 12 Villas – 1.4 km 
  • Distance of Ozran Beach from De 12 Villas – 2.7 km 
  • Distance of Chapora Fort from De 12 Villas – 3.6 km 
  • Free wifi and parking space
  • Beautiful Swimming Pool
  • Luxury 

How Much Will I Rate My Stay In North Goa?



After the villa tour, food, and chit-chat, I snored my way to Goa’s beach and cafe exploration. You might want to read about the beautiful Artjuna Cafe in Goa I went to. Yes, I didn’t explore anything that day because my back was about to split into two (thanks to all the travel). And I like living slow; I like experiencing more than exploring more; and I like my likings. 

But for someone with high energy levels, the other end of the beaches would have been the limit. To each his own, I’d say.

For me, Day 1 of my 8D-7N Goa itinerary was as satisfactory as it could have been. Here’s a BIG thank-you to life for this trip and to everyone who took the time to read the blog. Readers are why bloggers do what they do! And it’s beautiful to have you. 

Please don’t hold back if you have any suggestions or experiences to share. I’d love to make this space interactive. Aaaand, until I write and upload the Day 2 blog, I hope you have sparkling sweet days. Enjoy! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Day 1 of the 8D-7N Goa Itinerary – Stay, Cost, Flight Price, etc ”

  1. Loved reading it. Also inspired me to write down about my Goa trip, maybe soon. But for now I am going to enjoy Goa through your lenses by reading all these blogs. 🌻

    1. Heyyy! So, so glad that you enjoyed reading it. And yes, absolutely. I would LOVE to read about your experiences. They are always a treat. And thank you so much for the comment. It was an instant boost. <3 Means a lot. Love and more love! :))

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