After 2 days in Sri Lanka and already parting with more rupees than we’d wished, it was apparent we’d have to start keeping tabs on our money or we’d be back to crossing that Gibraltar runway twice a day with the rest of the ants in the world.
We headed to Sri Lanka with no real idea how much our daily budget would be, or how it would compare with other countries along our travels, so our idea was to be as cheap as possible, starting as we mean to go on.
All daily prices below are for the 2 of us (for all the non mathematicians, if you want single cost- divide by 2!).
Sri Lanka has guest houses like corners have shops, so at every place we went, we rocked up, found somewhere to stay and went out for the day. As a rule we wanted somewhere clean(ish) with working shower, fan, and if possible WIFI. We realised after our first couple of nights that hot water isn’t necessary when its 35 degrees outside so mainly stuck to cold shower/fan rooms, which are a lot cheaper than air conditioned ones. Our average accommodation per day over our time in Sri Lanka was 1,809 rupees (£9.04).
Eating in Sri Lanka can be as cheap, or expensive as you want it to be. Rottis and sauces are served at roadside stalls for 15 rupees (8p), to fine dining at boutique hotels (unfortunately I can’t give a price on this as we never did it). We ate somewhere in the middle, we’d often eat one big meal a day, maybe a rice and curry, then have rottis, and snacks for breakfast/tea. Our average food spend per day was 1,462 rupees (£7.31)
Buses are ridiculously cheap in Sri Lanka, and definitely the cheapest way to get around. A 3 hour, 120km journey costs about 140 rupees (70p). During our total trip around Sri Lanka we spent 5,559 rupees, just £28 for the 2 of us. Our average daily spend was 220 rupees (£1.10).
Definitely both our weak link, however due to the lack of pubs in Sri Lanka we managed to keep beer within reason. Beer is generally served in restaurants/cafes, and anywhere that does serve beer are generally trying to get rid of you by 11pm. Depending where you buy beer, a 625ml bottle will cost 150 rupees (75p) from a wine shop to 600 rupees (£3) in a swanky restaurant. Generally we paid around 250/300 rupees (£1.25/£1.50). Our average daily spend on beer was 923 rupees (£4.60)
We didn’t quite realise just how much Claire sweats when she’s hot. Everyday we must have lost about 2 pints of water just through our faces, so we had to make sure we kept those water levels high. A large water costs about 60 rupees (30p), a bottle of coke about 100 rupees (50p) and a pot of tea 180 rupees (90p). Our average daily spend on drinks was 538 rupees (£2.70)
The general dumping ground for all other costs, included within these are all our souvenirs that we bought (your postcard is in the post), admission fees, clothes, trips, and general fun stuff. Sri Lanka makes it no secret that they charge foreigners extremely inflated rates, often 100x more than a local would pay. Some of our highest costs within these were:
Whale watching trip – 7,000 rupees (£35)
Yala jeep safari – 11,000 rupees (£55)
Sigiriya rock – 7,500 rupees (£37.50)
Dambulla caves – 3,000 rupees (£15)
Our average daily miscellaneous spend was 2,025 rupees (£10.15)
So there we have it, our first month, and first country down. We’re not quite sure how this will compete, but our rupees have done us well in Sri Lanka, and our average daily spend of the time we were here was 6,980 rupees (£34.90)