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How to plan a trip to Sri Lanka

Article by Sakie Ariyawansa

Island tripping is something that has become more fancy and enjoyable among the traveling crowd, and Sri Lanka is definitely in the tops for a complete holiday experience with so many variations within such a small span of area. Of course, you would probably not make this decision overnight, though the country has moderate seasons and tropical vibes throughout the year! Yet, there are some pointers which you may need to focus on before you pack your bags, just so that you don’t miss out on anything. After all, a holiday budget totally deserves to be effectively spent, isn’t it?

Seasons

Season picking - Well, this applies to everyone, from backpackers to luxury travellers. It’s always good to do a bit of ground research before you hit the airport. Plan it out a bit, Google a lot. Because some countries have its own special seasons where the tides are smooth, dolphins are out, hikes are easier and people are celebrating, you never know! Season picking will help you pack well too, in case it will require more clothes or less. Try to avoid the rainy seasons, monsoons to avoid disturbances to your travel plan. Have a basic idea on the days of the week where certain locations such as museums, national parks and other attraction points stay closed. Contacting a travel agent is advised, to know better and also to confirm that your trip is going to cover as much as possible adventures and memories. Tripnino is one fully automated travel agent that has the total online guide to Sri Lanka from which you can understand better about picking your dates.

Travel Buddies

Choose your team – Are you in for a trip with friends, family or are you going solo? Choosing your travel partners is one important decision. Your hotel bookings, outdoor activities, food and safety precautions will totally change according to the members in your group. If children are accompanying, you might want to take extra care into your setup. You may even ask your holiday planner which tasks (hiking, diving) are suitable for the whole group. The number of the group is equally important. More the number, more the chances for some discounts or offers on air tickets sometimes! After all more the merrier, especially when it is a holiday in an island paradise!

Hotels

Booking your hotel - Since Sri Lanka gets a lot of tourists all around the year and extra packed in festive seasons, most of the hotels, resorts and guest houses get crowded really fast. Accommodation located close by the attraction points are the first to go. So it is always safe to have your stay booked in advance, preferably at least one month prior to your arrival dates. December, is when this happens most. People travel in their Christmas and New Year holidays out-pouring the beach destinations such as Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Bentota and so on. If you have kids with you, acknowledge your booker in advance, requesting for sharing basis reservations. Along with this goes your meal plan. You can inform your holiday planner about your preferences, in case you are a vegetarian, or you are looking forward trying out the traditional cuisine of Sri Lanka. That can be arranged in advance, so that you would have a good-food moment within your holiday!

The Map

Organizing your map - Having a rough idea about the distances between your target locations is helpful. To prevent yourself from re-travelling the same routes or taking the too-long roads can be cut off this way. Your local travel agent may give you the best routes, and if you request of course a driver who knows the map as the palm of his hands! Booking a cab with an experienced driver is wise, so that you can relax and enjoy the scenery without having to tap Google maps all the time or ask anyone around. It is advised to have your own driver and car in case of an emergency, and isn’t it good to have some company till you get there? Drivers are pretty fun with their travel stories! You can log onto Tripnino.com to check more details on distances and contact them for the vehicle and driver reservations.

Go Online

All above information can be obtained online through your travel agent (make sure you look for a 24 hours operating online agent, as there could be time differences between your country and Sri Lanka. Visit www.tripnino.com) Mention your budget and the special needs and extra activities you want to take in Sri Lanka. A customized package will be offered to you that suits your wallet and your heart! Apart from climbing all those beautiful mountains, surfing through those amazing tides, lying on those golden beaches and gazing at the greenery and wildlife, also spare sometime for street shopping and souvenir hunting. Sri Lanka is popular for its handicrafts which you might want to take back home. Your travel planner could guide you for a tour where these crafts are originally made. Village tours and homestays have also become quite a hit in today’s travellers’ wish lists.

Checklist

Make sure you carry the following along with you;

  • A good camera (preferably waterproof, if you plan to do water-sports etc), and a spare pack of batteries, fully charged.
  • Special medicines in case you use them on a regular basis, anti-allergy tablets/ointments, and sunscreen lotions (Sri Lanka could be pretty sunny)
  • Try to include more summer clothes in your luggage. Shorts and heat absorbance materials are advised.
  • Request your travel agent to update you on the currency exchange rate. Sri Lanka uses Sri Lankan Rupees. This is an important information to help you decide of how much extra cash you might need to carry with you, and how much your shopping and extra meals may cost.

Enjoy

Now that you are well equipped, what are you waiting for! You are in for a memorable, mind-blowing and fantabulous experience. Excited as much? Then book that ticket and make your Sri Lankan holiday dream a reality!

Infographic about planning a trip to Sri Lanka

Plan a trip to Sri Lanka