5 Simple Steps to Booking a Volvo from Goa to Bangalore

3 months into work and no break.

Despite visiting golden Goan beaches on weekends, it was time for Bangalore. I wanted to visit DJ Tiesto’s concert next week, however all my friends were going home that time, and I didn’t want to go alone. So this weekend, it was.

Since college days are over, I prefer to now travel in relative comfort, especially for long journeys. No more teeth rattling journeys on state transport with fellow passengers drooling over you shoulder.

Booking a return journey from Goa to Bangalore, roughly 11-13hrs one way, is relatively simple nowadays because of the Internet. I booked an a/c Volvo leaving on 22nd March and returning to Goa on 24rd March 2013.

Here are 5 simple steps to booking a comfortable bus journey from Goa to Bangalore, especially if you are new to booking in India:

  1. Go to redbus.in
  2. Select From (“Panjim“) and To (“Bangalore”). You can choose Mapsa as well, if you are based in North Goa. However, routes may not always be available. Panjim is a central location, easily accessible from North and South Goa, with a higher frequency of buses.
  3. Select dates of journey and date of return. I prefer to leave on Friday nights and return on Sunday nights to make the most of weekends (good for working people).
  4. Choose the buses suiting your budget and timing (prices range from US$10-20/INR 600-1100 for a one way trip). You can choose your seats as well. I chose a Sea Bird A/C Volvo Multi Axle  because of comfort and early arrival timing, 8 am, in Bangalore.

    Sea Bird Tourist A/C Volvo

    Sea Bird Tourist A/C Volvo

  5. After finalizing the buses and seats, all you have to enter are your name, gender, age, Mobile No and email id (required for confirmation messages). Finally, payment can be made via Credit Card, Net banking, Debit Card and Cash Card Options.
Redbus confirmation message

Redbus confirmation message

Practical tips:

  1. It is a good idea to reach the boarding area at least 15 min before the reporting time. It can be confusing with so many buses around, but people will direct you in the right direction if you ask. I made a slight detour to have a chicken dish and almost missed my first bus. Luckily, my Goan colleague was with me and he dropped me in his car.
  2. It is a good idea to carry a printout of the e-ticket. I accidentally deleted the confirmation message on my phone. On the return journey, I called the Sea Bird Office, and they said something about me having to get a boarding pass to get on the bus, even though I had a e-ticket printout. This was nonsense, and once I had found the bus, there was no problem boarding it after showing my ticket.
  3. Helps to have a local friend drop you to the bus stand. Can save time and anxiety, especially if you are new to the place. I don’t know Bangalore that well and was happy to have my friend accompany and point me in the right direction.
  4. Carry earphones with a music player/your mobile phone. Good to listen to music for long journeys, and also drown out wailing babies and Kannada action movies (they were playing one on my return journey, and I didn’t get a word single word. All the songs were reminiscent of the hilarious Benny Lava video.  Watch it here, if you haven’t already!)

I have used Redbus a couple of times now, and am pretty happy with their service. No major problems so far, and I would recommend it for simple, easy booking in India, especially to travel between major cities. For journeys longer then 15 hours, trains would be a better option.

I hope this was useful. Have you ever had any trouble with Redbus bookings? If yes, do share your story of how it was solved (or not) in the comments below. Thanks.

Susegad! – About Goa and its flavours

Susegad!

That apparently does not mean good sausage, as I thought when I first came about it.

Derived from the Portuguese word ‘sossegado’, it is understood to mean a state of relaxed contentment which is often attributed to this beautiful land of coconuts, cashew trees and beaches.

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Lazy Sunday at Candolim beach

It has been nearly a month since the inception of this blog and I have not yet introduced you to the amazing state of Goa. It is my humble privilege to bring the best of this coastal area to your attention.

In ancient times, this place was called Govarashtra, which is a Sanskrit word for “Nation of Cowherds”.  It was ruled by emperor Ashoka as part of the Maurya empire in the 3rd century BC. It came under Portugese rule in 1510 and finally became a part of India in 1961.

This is a short version, and glosses over much of the history of wars, conflicts that inevitably happened here.

Today, Goa is known as a destination for fun and relaxation. Around 2 million people visit Goa every year, drawn by its laid back pace. Most Indians consider it a party destination, ideal for weekend getaways from Mumbai, Delhi and other metros. Foreigners consider it a backpacker destination which is easy on the pocket.

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FTV party at Candolim beach, Dec 30, 2012. Entry US$ 40 and unlimited beer.

Goa is one of the smallest states in India, with a population of only around 1.2 million people. The infrastructure and quality of life are rated as one of the best in all of India. Konkani is the local language, however almost everybody understands English. Important signboards are also in English, and it is very easy and cheap to rent a bike/car/jeep and roam around. A decent bike will cost like US$5 (INR 270) per day to rent. And you can negotiate for a cheaper rate if you are hiring it for a longer period.

May is the hottest month, with temperature reaching a peak of 35 °C (95 °F). You can see more weather related info on links given at the bottom of this post.

So nearly 500,000 party goers descend on Goa every year, with the top markets being UK, Russia, Germany, Finland and France. I had a little fun with the latest available figures given on the Goa tourism website (www.goatourism.gov.in/statistics) and put them down for you over here.

Top 5 nations of partying tourists coming to Goa and the total tourist arrivals in Goa from 2006-11:

Goa partygoers 2010-11

Nations partying through 2010-11

Visitors to Goa from 2006-11

Visitors to Goa from 2006-11

Kidding about the partying, many people come for yoga, relaxation and meditation as well. In fact there’s a great place called Yogamagic which I can’t wait to check out. It is an eco retreat offering yoga packages and healthy food. Check out their website here.

Goa is easy to get to from Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore. I had no problems booking a flight here from Delhi, and nowadays you can get air tickets really cheap, there are a lot of promotional offers going on. Check them out here.

I will be going to Bangalore this weekend from Goa via bus, so will let you know how the connectivity and service works out. As per redbus.in (online bus booking service), the fares as of March 2013 are around US$10-15 (INR 500-900) for a one way trip. A guy’s gotta rest from all the partying!!!

This blog is under constant evolution, and I am going to keep adding useful updates about everything Goan.

Do let me know if you have any questions regarding stay, travel, and I will do my best to assist you as per my personal knowledge and experience.

Some useful Goa links:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/goa

http://www.goatourism.gov.in/

http://www.goatourism.gov.in/statistics