A Love Affair with Goa !

Our Top Recommendations when travelling with a kid

This place is the Amen, if your soul is praying !

If you ever feel the need to break away from the hectic, mundane & everyday life, all you need to do is head straight to GOA!

Here, you will be welcomed with endless stretches of sun, sand, shacks, greenery, cacophony of effortless tourists, great music, friendly & fun-loving locales, exotic food and a vibe that only your soul can feel. The only problem is, you will end up losing your heart to this place and will keep coming back again and again!

Our love affair with Goa started long before we had Junu and naturally, Goa was our unanimous choice for our (then) 12 week old Junu’s first vacation. Goa is truly a place for people of all ages. Be assured that not only you, but your little one will also have an unforgettable and fun filled holiday. (testimonial from our little champ to yours!)

We recommend a trip of minimum 4nights / 5 days for anyone who plans to visit Goa.

Stay Options: Goa has a range of stay options which cater to all budgets. Personally, we prefer staying at premium beach side, kid-friendly hotels & resorts. When June was younger, we have even stayed at some of the luxury service apartments (with kitchenette) and found them quite comfortable! If you need any hotel recommendations, then leave us a note below and we will be happy to share our personal experiences… 

Things to do in Goa

Goa has a plethora of options to choose from. It has beaches, markets, churches, wildlife, waterfalls, cruises, bistros, shacks, restaurants, etc. Out of these medley of options, here are our top picks for you…

Beaches

Spend your day at the spirited and spunky Baga Beach

Every time we visit Goa; we end up spending an entire day at this beach. 30km stretch of a fine beach coastline, beach side shacks, water sports, dolphin cruises, and the party vibe at this beach attract us to it every single time! Junu enjoys playing in the sand, chasing waves, collecting shells and we enjoy bunking on the beach beds, with our drinks and the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Baga beach might not be cleanest amongst the ones that we’ve been to, but we love it nevertheless.

Have a gastronomic and fun filled day at the Candolim Beach

One of the most popular beaches in North Goa is the Candolim Beach. It is a laid back beach which hosts the famous Sunburn festival in the month of December. It has a number of beach shacks & restaurants that serve tasty sea food and drinks. For all the photographers out there, it has a beautiful backdrop of Aguada fort overlooking the sea.

Relax at the pristine Majorda beach

The palm grooves, the white sand, the clean water and the beach shacks at this beach provide a perfect set up for an impeccable beach day. Near to Majorda beach, you will find Martin’s Corner, a restaurant which serves exotic Goan dishes with some signature cocktails. Do visit!

We hope that all the playing and activity on beach days will ensure an early dinner and bed time for the little one and will give you some time to connect with each other!

Beach Day Tips:

  • Be sure to pack the beach bag for today with all the necessary things like: a sand kit, a beach towel, sun screen, extra pair of clothes, fluids, etc. Will soon post what my “beach bag “holds.
  • On beach days, I suggest you to put on the swim wear under the kid’s regular clothes. Once at the beach, just take off their clothes and let them get as sandy and messy as they like. The sand and water will not stick to the swim wear and it will be much better to carry and clean than the dripping and sandy clothes. Plus, you can re-use the same dry outfit afterwards to get some amazing shots against the setting sun! J
  • Apply a generous amount of a kid friendly sunscreen right after bath itself. Do not forget the hands and legs.
  • We’ve found some shacks on these beach which have decent washrooms to give a quick shower to the little one after all the play. Drop me a line and I’ll be happy to share the details!

Food

A delicious & aromatic meal at the German Bakery, Anjuna

This place offers you a laidback setting with appetizing organic food options. You will never know when an hour will turn into three. A complete kids friendly place with lots of open spaces for your young one to loiter around. Don’t forget to gorge on some of their exquisite French desserts. Do try their apple-pie!

Rekindle your romance on the shores of Arabian sea

Our all-time favorites are: Café Del Mar at Baga and Calamari at Candolim for a romantic dinner date. If the idea of spending “romantic” time with the little monster around sounds far-fetched, then try out our little strategy – Have some active play time in the evening. Give a filling dinner peacefully in your hotel room. Follow your usual night routine and change them into their snug night wear. (Remember to apply a gentle mosquito repellant). Once the activity level comes down, start off for the chosen location. There is a good chance that they will fall asleep by the time you reach there. If not, then choose a table away from loud music initially and wait for them to doze off before you even start off with your night! Well, to be honest, we have been successful with this on some nights whereas some have been utter disasters too… with we singing tuneless lullaby’s over the sound of romantic waves…

Food Tips:

  • Calamari is one of the best places for sea food in Goa and has awesome live music too.
  • Café Del Mar’s cocktails are as exotic to see, as they taste!

Lunch followed by an amazing evening at La Plage Shack, Ashwem

We really hope that you visit Goa at the time when this marvel of a place is open. They generally close down in off-season, so please check before going. Well, we will rate La Plage as the number one place to hang out in Goa. Scintillating ambience, lively music, stylish décor and scrumptious food along with some Champagne and Arabian sea in the background, what more can you ask for. Hold on! before you start day dreaming, here’s some more good news for you. Their fries and cheese balls are just perfect for your little one, hygienic and tasty! Plus, the (clean) sand alongside your tables will keep your little one pretty much engaged. So, yeah guys… its heaven for parents!!

Remember to carry a change of clothes because you will be compelled to go for a dip after your lunch. And if you are weird enough (like my boys), carry a small bucket and shovel and get busy catching little crabs for the rest of your evening…

Breakfast at Baba au Rahm, Anjuna

If you are craving for some yummy thin crust pizzas, then this is the place for you. At first, it might feel like a modest place, but the laid back atmosphere and reggae music will definitely grow on you and you will not want to leave from here. Their Hibiscus soda is a must try too! Oh and not to forget, you will get some delectable fruit smoothies and margarita pizzas for the little ones.

Evening at Thalassa, Vagator

This Little Vagator Taverna (Latin for ‘a small restaurant’) – that’s what they call themselves – offers you an amazing experience! Sitting on top of a cliff, overlooking the Indian ocean, this place is straight out of dreams! While the ambience and décor won our hearts, their food will not be the reason that we will go back for! Tried a couple of dishes but none were worth mentioning.

For the little ones, do carry few toys and coloring books to keep them entertained here as there isn’t much place for them to move around.

Tips:

  • Remember to book a beach facing table in advance.
  • Getting to the beach below is a bit tedious and can be avoided with small babies.

Shopping

Apart from the sun, sand and beaches, Goa is also famous for shopping. From road-side flea markets to designer boutiques, from food markets selling spices to local liquor stores selling the famous “Feni”, from cashew nuts to kokum, Goa is undoubtedly a shopper’s delight. Do keep an evening or two free and go shopping!

 

Saturday Night market at Arpora

A place with the best vibe in town! Colorful stalls selling exotic stuff, live music by cult bands under a mongo tree, saree clad sellers haggling in Russian, is a sight to behold. Again, like everywhere else in Goa, you will have a variety of food & drink options to choose from. Our personal favorites are the thin crust pizzas and mojitos. An experience not to be missed!

We always carry our super light-weight stroller on such nights and are met with envious dad stares all the time… So, do carry one!

Mom Tip: I got the below dress from a stall there and it costed me 200 bucks. I’d say, a fair deal for those one-time wear summery dresses. Remember to bring your best bargaining game to this market!

Other attractions

Tito’s Lane at Baga: Tito’s lane in Goa has become the official party hub of Goa. It is packed up with bars, pubs, nightlife, tattoo parlors and restaurants. At the end of this lane is a grocery store from where you can buy any necessary items that you might have forgotten to pack. We love coming here in the evenings with June on his stroller. A mere 900m lane but so much to do! Whatever you do, do not miss coming here!

Mandovi river Cruise: Enjoy a musical evening, gliding over the water with your loved ones. Have your little one put on their dancing shoes and shake a leg at some famous Bollywood numbers too. Take the seats on top to enjoy the best views. But remember that it can get windy there, so do carry a jacket and a cap for the little one.

Churches: Goa has some beautiful churches that you can visit too.

Actually, Anup is usually not one for doing the touristy things in any locations that we visit. Most of the times, I have to coerce him into checking those out. So, if you find any major attractions missing in our list, you know who is to be blamed!

So, that’s our list of recommended options. Let us know if you find it interesting and want to know more about any of them. Will be happy to share! Hope you have an amazing vacation in Goa!

Comments

  • tulja | Oct 2,2017

    beautifully written!!!!!

    • momdadtravels | Oct 30,2017

      Thanks a lot! ?

  • Niraj Puranik | Oct 18,2017

    Very well written, it does have the personal touch unlike other typical travel info sites.
    Keep it up.

  • Manali | Dec 29,2017

    V r planning a trip soon wit r LO. Ur post seems so helpful.Would you mind giving me mommy tips??

    • Manali | Dec 29,2017

      Can u recommend any service apartment with kitchenette too

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