Congratulations on having booked your holiday to Sri Lanka. We will make sure that you will have a wonderful time and take back home the happiest of memories. In order to make your holiday hassle free, we have compiled a list of some helpful hints for you.
It is the responsibility of all passengers to ensure that they hold the correct and valid travel documents, including Visa’s for the country they are visiting. Failure to do so could result in you being prevented from travelling to your destination or having your journey curtailed.
Please note that the Sri Lankan visa is valid from the date of issue (unlike many visas which are valid only from the day of entry into the visiting nation), hence plan your dates accordingly.
Most airlines will refuse air travel to expecting mums who will be 28 weeks or more on the date of travel or return travel. Therefore, please check to ensure that you will not fall into this criterion as we cannot be held responsible for cancelled travel due to airline regulations.
We advise you to contact your local GP as soon as you book your trip for advice on immunization and to obtain Malaria tablets. Carry everyday medications with you at all times such as pain killers, prescribed medications etc.
Please note that it is possible to buy many medications at local pharmacy stores in Sri Lanka, however you would require a prescription from a Sri Lankan GP. Although Hotels & Resorts use means to protect their guests against mosquitoes it is advisable to carry your own protective sprays and creams.
You can carry cash in only GB Pounds or US Dollars and buy Sri Lankan Rupees when you arrive in Sri Lanka. Currency can be exchanged at the airport, hotels or at a licensed currency exchange centre present in every major city across the Island. When changing currency in Sri Lankan it is advisable that you keep a copy of the money exchange certificate with you. Always demand this certificate when you change money. If you withdraw money from an ATM, the receipt will suffice this purpose. You can also use your local banks debit or credit card in Sri Lanka; alternatively, you could carry traveler’s cheques. Banks are open for transactions from 10:00 to 14:00 hours on weekdays and 10:00 to 12:00 hours on weekends (Selected banks only)
Take your camera with a zoom lens if possible and be sure to have a large memory card or sufficient reels of film as every sight is a photo opportunity. Binoculars are a must during boat trips and wildlife tours as some species can only be seen at a distance and binoculars will ensure that you don’t miss out.
Take a beach towel with you for swimming at the pool or in the sea as not all hotels provide towels for this use. Adapters will be required in Sri Lanka for charging your mobiles, electronic devices etc. Resorts you are staying in will gladly provide you with these wherever possible.
It is important that you have an insurance cover which is adequate for your needs. If required, we could arrange a policy through our insurance partners or should you wish to arrange a policy yourself please check carefully to ensure that it provides an adequate cover. All travelers booking with us need to notify us of their insurance arrangements prior to travelling.
Whenever you are en route between resorts or on an excursions feel free to ask your driver to stop should you see something of interest. A few traveler favorites are; the 1-Meter Tea (Yare Thea), Sweet Bananas, Fresh Coconut Milk and King Coconut Water (Thambili)
Try 'Toddy' (Raa), the local alcoholic drink made from coconut sap. (You can request for this from any of the resorts you are staying at, as it is not advisable to try this drink outside the resorts). During your journey to the next resort ask to stop for a cup of 1-Meter Tea (Yare Thea). The small sweet bananas are also a delight and very safe to eat.
During your stay, should you like to buy local produce be sure to agree on a fair price before making the purchase. During tours you may be offered fish or other produce by local traders. This can be an enjoyable exchange but make sure you obtain a fair price before agreeing to make the purchase.
Be sure to take a Tuk-Tuk (Auto Rickshaw) ride, you can ask your guide or hotel for a fair price for taxi’s or Tuk-Tuk’s. Buses can sometimes become very crowded but offer a very inexpensive way to travel. Train journeys add a different experience of travel, please request any information regarding train journeys, times and pricing from us.
Please note that Sri Lanka provides for great shopping especially in cities like Colombo, Matale and Kandy. You will find excellent quality Fabrics, Leatherwear, Gold, Silver, Precious and Semi-Precious Gems, Jewelry, Spices, Audio CDs and DVDs at very reasonable prices. When shopping in Sri Lanka always ask for guidance on the right places to shop. You could also visit a local tailor / seamstress while you are on holiday and get clothes stitched at incredibly low prices. Never miss an opportunity to walk around a village in Sri Lanka. Apart from the stunning scenery you will be surprised by the warm hospitality of the locals.
When you check into a hotel, please find out the preferred way of tipping. Most establishments would rather you tip in accordance to the help you receive during your stay (i.e. 10 –15% on food and drinks). 150 LKR tip is normally adequate for an attendant to help you with luggage to your room.
Some hotels have a gratitude box located at the reception. We suggest that in this case you can leave a tip in the box at the end of your stay.
Tipping your driver / guide - A fair tip would be around 1050 LKR (£6.00) per day if you are satisfied. If you have had a long journey, you could tip the driver an extra 500 - 1000 LKR. If you have the same driver / guide for your entire stay the tip is best offered at the end of your tour.
Most International telephone cards do not work in Sri Lanka. (Sri Lankan service providers actually do pick up International mobile networks...! At least, most of the time...!) When you are in Sri Lanka you could speak to us and well will help you buy a local prepaid / re-loadable sim card connection (Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat) which can be used in your existing mobile phone to make cheaper calls back home.
If you visit any botanical gardens / flower shops during your tour do not buy seeds or plants as you will not be allowed to take them out of the country. Avoid drinking tap water offered locally while on excursions and at restaurants. Always purchase bottled water.
Avoid giving money to beggars (this will encourage more to beg if it is seen as being lucrative). Smoking in public places is banned in Sri Lanka.
When outside your resort please dress in appropriate clothing. Women who overly expose their skin in public are frowned upon and may cause local people to look and stare which can be uncomfortable.
When visiting a holy place like a Buddhist Temple, Hindu Kovil or a Muslim Mosque it is always better to plan ahead. Wear an “easy on, easy off” pair of footwear as you will be expected to remove your footwear before entering these premises. Take care not to wear clothes above the knees as you will not be permitted to enter.
We will give you a contact number while you are on holiday with Ceylan Vacations to give you piece of mind in the knowledge that we are available 24/7, if required.
The public emergency service contact number in Sri Lanka is 119.
We aim to deliver customer service excellence to every single client and would therefore appreciate honest and constructive feedback on how we can progressively improve our services. If you find anything to be unsatisfactory or not in accordance with your itinerary, please do not hesitate to contact us.