I get it, you have two precious weeks off as your summer holiday, what are you looking for? Sun? Sea? Sand? Active Travel? Cheap (where/if possible?)
The average British family will spend a massive two months’ salary on their summer holiday, for individual travellers the national average is around £860 per person, and for us sad folk that struggle it out in London, our average is even higher at just over £1000 per person!...... “SAY WHAT”
That’s ALOTTA MONEY AM I RIGHT? If I’m not right, and your reading this thinking ‘pocket change, OR.. I’d spend twice that amount on piggles the pugs 3rd birthday’…then move on, this article is probably not for you.
In my mind £860 squids is a hell’ova lot to play with. More still- do I realllllly want to spend all that money to just lie by a beach/poolside all day? (getting up ridiculously early to fight/nab a sun lounger to then be coaxes by some unnaturally friendly holiday rep into participating equally humiliating poolside gymnastics)…
For me personally, no I do not. I want to feel at the end of those two weeks that yes I’ve blown a lot of money that could have gone towards more useful things like house deposits, or car tax BUT I’ve spent it having the biggest adventure, met some of the most interesting and welcoming people and really blown those stuck at the office from 9-6, 5 days a week- legs- out of the window.
I want to come back feeling brand spanking new, refreshed and ready to take on the new world.
Most of all, I don’t want to regret spending it.
Queue where the idea of walking across Sri Lanka for cheaper then the average British Summer Holiday comes in, and here’s why in my humble, yet well travelled opinion, its one of the best adventure travel holidays money can by (in bullet points to make it easier, and if you find this boring you can skip to the parts you find the most relevant).
BLOW YOUR MIND POINT 1.
ITS BLOODY CHEAP TO GET THERE.
(Ok I lied, its not bloody cheap, and a large amount of the holiday budget it going to spent on just getting there but STAY WITH ME)
I booked with 5 weeks to go and spent only £321 pp return flight with one of the best airlines I’ve ever flown on (could honestly write a whole other blog about how great they were) Etihad. I get it, £300 is a large chunk of a monthly wage but trust me it’s going to be the biggest spendture of the whole trip, and unlike most other European holidays where your flights are merely the starting point, its pretty cheap considering your flying 5,500 miles. Plus you get banging airplane snacks, so swings and rounderbouts.
Don’t believe me, try booking flights to Mykonos, Santorini or Corfu during August, chances are your looking at £250 return (taken from actual research via sky Scanner).
BLOW YOUR MIND POINT 2.
Looking for dependable sunny days all year round? Its pretty reliable for holiday sun, and in the words of my solidarity sister Rihanna its all Sun Sun Sun (not werk,werk,werk).
The Science bit: Sri Lanka is situated like a teardrop off the south-eastern tip of India. Due to its closeness to the Equator means that temperatures remain fairly constant year-round. If your planning on staying in the West and south coasts the best weather is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September.
But hey, its pretty consistently over 25 degrees, and whilst it does have the occasional thunder storm and pee it down with rain. Its short lived and the sun comes out ready to bring a smile to your face once more- trust me, I walked from west to east.
BLOW YOUR MIND POINT 3.
DAYLIGHT ROBBERY, OR LACK OFF.
Crime. Not something that I usually spend much time worrying about but in todays climates, you’ll be pleased to know Sri Lanka Safe-violent crime against foreigners is virtually unheard of – this is still a place where, despite 25 years of brutal civil war, in parts of the country the theft of two bicycles is considered a crime wave. (Taken from Rough Guides.com)
BLOW YOUR MIND POINT 4.
SLEEPING IS FREE
Well not entirely but, Sleeping or Hotels are pretty cheap, and you can get some ‘almost’ palatial rooms for ridiculous prices.
Once there (as I promised) Sri Lanka can be one of the most affordable, hell, even cheap countries to travel in. I mean actually cheap without feeling like your contributing to the demand for sweat shops. On average we spent around 8 dollars per person per night (a room for 2 people sharing). This of course varies when you enter the more touristy areas, like Kandy.
But If your really up for an adventure, try staying with a local family, or even better in a Buddhist temple. Its thought over 70% of the Sri Lankan population is Buddhist, aka they are some of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Wherever we walked we were consistently invited in for cups of tea, offered places to sleep for the night and had to regretfully turn down dinner invitation after invitation (we had some walking to get done). This might not sound like your thing, and fair enough If its not, but keep an open mind, you never know who you might meet out there.
BLOW YOUR MIND POINT 5.
MINI EARTH-Its all got it all going on.
Beaches, Mountain ranges, history, people…yep, Nature. Its incredible. Due to its miniature size Sri Lank can be likened to a mini global adventure all in one country. Begin in hot sweaty city climates, move through cool foggy mountain ranges, experience thunderstorms and rain and finish sun kissed with a Pina Colada or three in your hand on the beaches. Et Voila!
More so, apart from Kandy you really get the sense you are in a foreign country, with new foods to try, new people to meet and different cultures to experience. Again this is all written with the assumption that like me, you are constantly searching for new experiences and new people to meet. Paying £800 to sit on a sun lounger on a beach filled with other brits and eat a Sunday dinner at the local English style pub/el bar is NOT my idea of a holiday. If its yours, cool we are all wired differently.
Want to hear more?
Shoot me an email at Lauren@laurenbethmorton.com
Boring, yet relevant Travel Information
You will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. You can get a short stay visa online at: Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).Tourist visas are normally issued for a maximum period of 30 days. Although it's still possible to get a tourist visa on arrival, it's better to get one before you travel.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 011 2691111 and ask for an ambulance.
You can’t exchange Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes in Sri Lanka. Travellers’ cheques aren’t normally accepted. Most major banks will allow Visa and Mastercard cash withdrawals. There are ATMs in major towns and cities but not all of them accept international cards.
Recommended vaccinations required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
Courses or boosters usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid.
Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate required or travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.