Traveling on a budget in Sri Lanka


We’ve all been there, we’ve dreamed of picture perfect vacations around the hotspots of the island and being able to experience the beauty of Sri Lanka like a visitor. And then the dream ends as you look at your bank balance and realize, some holidays just aren’t worth it. Hold on! It doesn’t have to be that way. If you can travel on a budget overseas, you can definitely travel on a budget in your own country too. Travelers coming in from other parts of the world do it, and so can you. Here’s how: 

The budget – start with the nitty gritty details of planning a vacation. How much money are you willing to spend and how many days are you planning on traveling? Budgets can vary depending on each individual and unless you’re doing a solo trip, you’re going to have to discuss the ins and outs of budgeting with the friends or family that’s tagging along with you. Not everyone’s budgets or preferences will tally, but everyone will have to compromise somewhere. If you’re really struggling, be firm in your set budget and plan around it.Picking accommodation – one of the first and most important rules of budget traveling is that you need to be flexible and less fussy. It’s going to be a bumpy ride and you know it so have an open mind and be willing to rough it out if you have to. Remember, this isn’t about getting the perfect Instagram worthy photograph or staying at the most luxurious holiday home. Budget traveling is about making memories and having experiences without breaking the bank. So, when it comes to picking out your one or many accommodation stops, be opened minded. Pick out a hostel if you must because it costs a fraction of what you could be paying for a single room at a hotel. You’re set with the basic amenities and most often, also a community kitchen, dining are and if you’re lucky, an outdoor pool. Check out Airbnb for some great places that could work for you.

Mode of transportation – if you don’t have a car, take a look at public modes of transportation. Bus or train are both great ways of having a somewhat different experience altogether and depending on where you’re heading, the scenic view can be quite rewarding too. Take the train ride to Ella for example or even the bus ride to Weligama. Both completely different zones but provide breathtaking views of our beautiful island home. Be mindful of using Tuks in certain areas however and also at times, you might not find any at all. Avoid having to bargain rates as most out of town don’t have meters on them and use the bus to get around, or simply walk if it’s safe to do so.

Packing your essentials – if you’re in a backpacking kind of vacation, be mindful of what you need and what you end up packing. Fancy clothing and gadgets can take a hike. Pack only your essentials and a few extra items of clothing. Remember, you’re traveling on a budget. You may even have to do a bit of walking, so everything you pack should fit into a backpack if that’s what you’re using. Do not go overboard on what you end up taking. If you’re carrying cash on you, have it in a zip case around your waist. Have as much loose change which will come in handy.

Things to do – work around your budget even with some one, or splurge on the excursions if you want to. Some excursions and experiences could come at no cost, like taking a dip in a river or the ocean. Before heading on your vacation, make a list of what do to in the specific area and the cost. If you’re willing to splurge on water kayaking or a hot air balloon ride, go for it!

Where to eat – this could go two ways; if you’re staying at a hostel, you could buy your own groceries and prepare your own meals in the community kitchen. Or you could be the typical local and try out local food joints, or splurge on food during your vacation.
Budget accommodation around the island

Colombo – Bunkyard Hostels

Down south – Lime & Co Midigama, Hangover Hostels (Mirissa), Beetroot Hostels (Weligama)

On the east coast – Arugam Bay Beach Cabanas, Wild Panthera (Yala)

In the highlands – Ella Eco Lodge, Ella Green Cottages, Kandy Cabana, Polwaththa Eco Lodge (Digana)

On the west – Sri Lanka Kite (Kalpitiya), Sanctuary Cove Guesthouse (Batticaloa)

In the dry zone – The Green Village (Dambulla), Kutumbaya Resort (Anuradhapura)

In the north – The Thinnai, Allen’s Guesthouse

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Black Cat Cafe

  
As random as today was gonna be, my friend called me over to check out this new cafe down the next street. As reluctant as I was, I decided to join her. I’m glad I did. 

Run by a husband and wife, the place also includes a boutique store, a bookstore and b&b! 

The menu at the cafe is very simple but I actually find that this works for these people because they give each item on it their best. I had the salmon on cream cheese sandwich with a soursop and lychee iced tea whilst my friend opted for a homemade ginger beer and portobello chicken and mushroom sandwich. We agreed that although the quantity was on the small side, the flavours and combination of fresh ingredients was really great. We then ordered a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich which was a first for the both of us. Not my cup of tea but pretty good overall. 

Located at No 11 Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7 

Xoxo 

Romantic bohemian – tips + trends

I’m back after a two week hiatus to India! I gotta say, it was quite an amazing experience traveling from one city to another and I’ve so many wonderful pictures to share with all you, but of course I’ll leave that for another post. Right now I’m going to be talking about another spring trend I’ve seen pop up literally everywhere including India and right here at home in Sri Lanka and that is the romantic bohemian trends.

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I find that this particular trend is somewhat a fusion of prints and textures and that’s something I like a lot. My closet and clothing is pretty much a combination of 80% prints and textures so yeah..!

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I find that loose tops are a great part of a bohemian look and the white top with blue embroidery work is something I bought myself while shopping in India at one of my favourite stores in Global Desi. It’s actually kind of a long dress with an asymmetrical bottom which I absolutely love. What makes this trend so special and unique is that you can mix and match items you probably already own in your closet and just make it work. A baggy long tee can be used to create a bohemian look if you just team it up with some long beaded necklaces, a tassle handbag and perhaps a hair adornment to complete it. All you gotta do is make it work!

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Bold and bright colours are a must as you can see, so dig in deep in your closet for the brightest items of clothing you’ve got. Let’s also not forget the accessories. Accessories make such a huge difference when paired well with an outfit so choose yours wisely to complete your romantic bohemian look.

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When it comes to makeup, I think it’s best to keep a subtle look because you’ve already got a lot going on when it comes to your outfit but occasionally I suppose if you keep things light, then you could amp up your makeup.

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Smokey eyes and eyeliners in bright bold colours are a huge rave so think out of the box when playing with your makeup. Your nails can be given the same kind of treatment; you can play with pastel shades or go with bright hues.

Xoxo

Loving pastels + tips and trends

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Let’s talk spring trends! I want to have different posts on different trends that I’ve seen both on the runway and also on the streets and put things together with my personal ideas. So as my first post, I’m going to talk about pastel shades!

I love pastel shades because I believe it gives a soft and extremely feminine look on any woman. Light and breezy fabrics add to that feeling of spring in the air and who can say no to baby blues, buttery yellows and pastel pinks?

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Whether it’s a dress you’re wearing or a pair of jeans and a t shirt, I think it’s super easy to pair pastels wherever you go. If it’s a brunch, let it be a chiffon dress. If it’s a casual lunch date, let it be a skirt and pastel blouse. If it’s an afternoon out with the girls, let is be a pair of pastel jeans and a white tee. It’s just that easy. I got myself three pairs of pastel jeans that I can’t wait to wear in the next couple of days. I got them in baby pink, baby blue and lavender.

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If you’re not all in to the whole pastels thing, I bet you’ve got at least one pastel shade pair of shoes in your closet somewhere. Once again, it’s super easy to work with pastel pairs of shoes because they go with just about anything you own. I’ve got plenty of pastel flats that I wear on a day-to-day basis, which are also super comfy and durable.

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How cute and adorable do these handbags look? It’s like spring calling out in every sense of the shade ha ha! I don’t know about pairing some of my outfits with such pastel shade handbags simply because in a tropical country like where I live it would get dirty in just a week (what with all the dust and dirt in the air) but I think many can rock this combination with even a complete pastel or non-pastel outfit.

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Let’s not forget the makeup shall we??? With the release of the movie Cinderella, there was this MAC range of pastel shaded makeup and I simply fell in love with those colours. Pastel makeup isn’t easy to work with but using single eyeshadows on the complete lid of the eye does create a very ethereal and feminine look, if that’s what you’re going for.

Stay tuned for more spring updates in the coming days!

Xoxo

Great tips!

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You all know I do not apply a ton of makeup on my face – a good kohl kajal or eyeliner, mascara occasionally and a lipstick usually does the trick even if I have dark circles. I ain’t shy to walk around with them. This is just me ladies. Nothing to be ashamed of.

However, I do know that most of you out there love your makeup and have a routine before heading out the door. Here’s something I just came across (a few months late, but who cares right?) while reading online and I thought would be extremely helpful. The article discusses common makeup mistakes women make on a daily basis and I believe I’ve seen some of these mistakes play out on YouTube beauty tutorials.

I actually found it quite helpful because I do not know many things about applying makeup. Did you know that you have to test a new shade of foundation on your neck instead of your cheek? I sure didn’t! And did you know that you shouldn’t be using the same concealer that covers up your dark circles on your pimples? There’s plenty to learn from this one so I hope you all find it helpful 🙂

Xoxo

Still into prints :D

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It’s forever summer in Sri Lanka so I’m still in the mood for a ton of prints for the most part of the week whenever I go out. I just love bright colours when I’m in a happy mood (doesn’t everyone?) and I think it really brings out a lot of positive vibes too. What’s featured in this blog post is a top my mum got for me from a trip to India last year. It’s one of my absolute favourites. I believe the fabric is a chiffon and so it’s a bit see-through so I pair this with a black tank underneath. I just love the bold red and the added prints all over it. To be honest, it’s not an easy outfit for me to pair a shawl with because a shawl is a permanent part of my entire outfit. But I try to mix things around and also prints and pair this with similar coloured shawls.

The centre of the top has a different print and that is what is on the sleeves as well. It gives a kind of semi-casual but yet a bit dressy kind of vibe which I really like. I pair this almost always with a grey or dark pair of jeans, nude ballet flats and a printed shawl.

How do you pair your prints? Comment below and let me know 😀

Xoxo

Organisational DIY’s

Sometimes I tend to do things without realizing. Like organising. Yes, I organise my things without me realising and I actually quite like it when it happens. I noticed the other day I had organised a few bits and bobs and thought I should share the tips with you all.

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I had this little rectangular basket in one of the bathroom cupboards. I didn’t realise that I had stored all my little sample tit bits and travel sized lotions, hand creams and shower gels in it. So here’s a step by step guide as to how I re-organised them just for you all to see. Oh, I’ve got a mini candle in there too, a face exfoliating thing (I think I’ve used it only once or twice), an extra travel toothbrush, hand sanitizer, a soap bar and a tub of Vaseline. I find that they all fit inside quite well and was easily stored without looking too shabby.

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Now, this I know I put together with a lot of thought because I do value all the products I’ve bought and also received by Spa Ceylon. Yes, I have quite a few things and yes, I do use nearly each and every one of them. On the far right I’ve placed all the hair care products in this floral jewellery holder. The middle includes all the foot care products like my favourite foot mist with peppermint! The left holds the two foot soak tubs and the centre front part holds travel sized shower gels, a body scrub and a compress which I am yet to use with one of the bath and body oils.

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Now this is something I’ve made use of instead of just hoarding it somewhere in my closet. I got a gift set from Victoria’s Secret and the products came in this vibrant pink heart-shaped case. Once the products were used up, I didn’t quite know what to do with it so here’s how I’ve organised a few other essentials of mine. I’ve got an extra face scrub in there along with a scented candle (lavender my favourite!), my L’Oreal eyes and lips makeup remover, and my lavender bath salts. See how pretty they look, all organised together 🙂

I hope this somewhat gave you all an idea as to how every day items can be used to organise other bits and bops around your space.

Xoxo