Great News! Post Office Travel Money has published an updated list of bargain long-haul travel hotspots! These are the destinations where your money goes the furthest. Last year, Thailand was top of the pile, but this year, Sri Lanka have beaten the rest of the competition to claim this spot. Completing the top five are Vietnam, Mexico and South Africa.
So we’ve put together a little guide to help you make the most out of this bargain destination, whether you’ve got money to burn, or you’re on a shoestring budget.
Flights to Sri Lanka
There is only one international airport on the island, Bandaranaike Airport on the outskirts of Colombo so all flights from the UK land here. Being a long-haul destination, prices don’t drop all that low, but it’s a good idea to look out for bargains. Be aware that there are two monsoon seasons, one in the south and one in the north, so try to avoid the deluge in your chosen spot!
You can use dealchecker to find cheap flights to Sri Lanka.
Travel in Sri Lanka
Once you get to Sri Lanka it’s time to start saving the pennies by using tuktuks to get around town. These are three-wheeled motorbike taxis that are easy on the pocket even if they can be a little terrifying for first-timers! To get around the island on a budget use the bus network. You can get almost anywhere you want on the bus, although timetables can be hard to come by so ask at your accommodation if someone can show you the right stop.
Hotels in Sri Lanka
by S J Pinkney
There are plenty of cheap and cheerful places to stay that have been cropping up all over the place as tourism in Sri Lanka has really taken off. You will be able to find great budget accommodation in all the major resorts as well as some quieter, off the beaten track spots too. It’s just up to you to decide where to go, and be sure to book early, Sri Lanka’s budget credentials won’t stay secret for long!
Sights in Sri Lanka
With a multitude of sights, visitors to Sri Lanka really are spoilt for choice. You could easily make a “top five must sees” from beaches alone! See the ‘Eighth Wonder of The World’, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, or join in with the eco-tourism trend and visit the Sinharaja Rainforest. For more ideas see our Sri Lanka Guide.
Eating in Sri Lanka
Copy the locals and head to the ‘Hotels’ to eat a cheap and tasty lunch. Not to be confused with real hotels, these are small cafes that serve curry and rice, as well as spicy rolls. You’re charged by how much you eat and prices are very low. Street food is also a great way to eat well for less, and look out for Kottu Roti vendors, who offer chopped roti, vegetables and meat. This is a local favourite so be sure to ask a friendly Sri Lankan what the best one is.
Splurge in Sri Lanka
All the savings you have made mean that you might just have the cash to treat yourself to something to make your holiday even more special. Why not try travelling to your next sightseeing spot by sea plane to get a great bird’s eye view? Alternatively, you can hire a driver which won’t break the bank too much. If you want to eat fine cuisine then head to the five star restaurants in Colombo where you’ll find gastronomic delights galore, or splash out on a night in a secluded boutique hotel. For a real treat you can even hire a guide and go on safari in the Yala National Park to spot elephants, water buffalo and monkeys.
top image by YIM Hafiz