6 Thrifty travel hacks for a cheap holiday in Sri Lanka

22 November 2018

Want to see the world but don’t have the bucks? Then you’re going to love these thrifty tips for travelling in gorgeous Sri Lanka on a budget. Our affordable holiday deals and travel savvy tips mean you can explore this awesome island on a shoestring!

Travel Hack #1: Eat like a local

The food in Sri Lanka is super delicious. Make sure you can afford to come back for seconds by sticking to local dishes instead of pricey western-style restaurants. Find a street-side roti vendor and grab a few on the go. Tuck into some simple (yet oh so tasty) dosas, fish curries, and veggie kottu for a steal. Keep an eye out for restaurants where there are long queues of locals - you’ll know the food is fresh and authentic.

Travel Tip #2: Travel by train

Train travel in Sri Lanka is slow, but it’s definitely the most affordable way to go. It’s also a great way to see the country. So settle down and just enjoy the ride. Be sure to book ahead though, or you’ll end up getting squashed in an over-crowded second-class carriage. If you’re keen to hire a car, book a driver for at least a week to get the best deal. Tuk tuks are also an option but you might need to haggle for the best price.

Tip #3: Ditch the drinks

Sri Lankans aren’t big on drinking. So booze is pretty expensive and can be hard to come by. Lion, the local beer, can be bought much cheaper at a bottle store though. So if you’re craving a brewskie, stock up on a six pack and chill out at your hostel.

Tip #4: Don’t drink the water

It’s a really bad idea to drink the tap water in Sri Lanka (unless you like the idea of spending your trip in a bathroom). But bottled water is expensive - and all those plastic bottles aren’t great for the environment either. Think about buying one of those nifty water purifying bottles before you go. Sure, it will cost a bit more at first, but you’ll be saving lots in the long run.

Tip #5: Say no to roaming

Sri Lanka’s mobile data network is actually pretty good. Avoid expensive roaming charges and just buy a local sim card when you get there. Sim cards are cheap and you can buy data bundles whenever you need to. How else will you keep all your followers updated on Instagram?

Tip 6: Take the road less travelled

Sri Lanka is packed with beautiful temples, national parks and other legendary attractions. Unfortunately, the more popular a place is, the pricier the entrance fee is too. Skip the crowds and save money by checking out some of the lower-profile highlights instead. Tea is a really big deal in Sri Lanka, plus most tours through tea plantations are totally free. Bonus! Take a hike up to Lipton’s Seat, one of the highest viewpoints in the country, for phenomenal views. There are also loads of free temples to explore in Kandy. Take a pilgrimage with the locals up Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s most famous holy mountain. Or just kick back on the many beaches - sand, surf and sunshine are free! If you’re into ancient city’s, skip expensive Sigiriya and head for the not-so-famous Pidurangala Rock nearby. From its summit, you can see the same epic jungle views, plus the whole of Sigiriya from above.

Thanks to these thrifty tips plus our amazing Sri Lanka holiday deals, you can afford to book your budget-friendly holiday in Sri Lanka right now!