Sri Lanka, the magical island paradise in the Indian Ocean is a tourist destination that many look forward to visiting. And yes, its golden shores, the wonderful culture, religious attractions, tropical climate, as well as the greenery around, and the amazing wildlife keep inviting travelers from all around the world. While many choose to backpack on this island in groups, there may be some solo travelers who would love to explore this beautiful country as well. Of course, Sri Lanka is a safe and beautiful country. So, with whom you travel is not an issue to experience the best of the island. Still, if you are a solo female traveler in Sri Lanka, there are a few things that you should keep in mind, for a better experience. Hence, we thought of sharing with you some of the tips for solo female travelers in Sri Lanka.
Continue reading to know about them!
1. Solo female travelers should think and choose what they wear
As you may already know Sri Lanka is a country that has a strong bond with cultural values. It is reflected in the way Sri Lankans talk, behave and even dress. Owing to this reason, you should pay special attention to what you wear, especially when you are traveling alone.
If you are to visit any religious attraction, make sure you dress in something decent. The best would be something that covers at least from your shoulders to your knees. Besides, it is always better to keep a light-color shawl with you to cover yourself in case your dress doesn’t suit the place you are visiting.
Another important thing is that Sri Lankans are not used to wearing bikinis, or speedos unless it is a pool area or the beach. Therefore, when you are roaming around, the best thing is to wear something that would help you mingle with the rest of the people in the surrounding area. Our suggestions would be a dress, shorts or leggings with a t-shirt, a jumpsuit, shorts with a top or anything of that sort that covers your body.
While the majority of the Sri Lankan people are friendly and warm-hearted, there can be a few men who would crack a joke, or harass you if they find you outstanding among the rest. Therefore, the best is to dress in something decent that would not drag the attention of such creepy men. And yes, even the men would respect the solo female travelers in Sri Lanka who would dress decently!
2. Better for solo female travelers to use public transportation
Private transportation is surely going to cost you higher than public transportation. Yet, it is not the sole reason why we mention that using public transportation is better for solo female travelers in Sri Lanka.
There are high chances for you to get deceived if you are using private transportation while you are alone. Simply, you are new to this country. You do not have any idea about the routes as well as about the cost of traveling a specific distance. So, by chance, if you have chosen the wrong service provider, there are possibilities that they would take you to the wrong place to fulfill their wishes or to cost you a very high unfair price. Therefore, the best way is to use public transportation, for your own good.
However, this doesn’t mean that all the service providers who offer you private transportation would deceive you. Of course, the majority would be a good companion for you as you travel, and help you at every possible moment. Still, we cannot assure anyone simply because there is a minority who would take the wrong benefit out of their clients. Therefore, the best option is to opt for public transportation, which includes the train and bus services in Sri Lanka. They may not work 100% on time, or give you the best comfort. Still, nothing beats the sense of happiness that it gives as you travel in peace of mind.
3. Should keep important documentation safe and near
We never know when and where emergencies can happen. Taking precautions is always better, especially as solo female travelers. Therefore, it is indeed important to keep all the important documents with you, wherever you go. Maybe you can have a separate pocket in your backpack to keep your passport, National Identity Card, travel insurance, any emergency contact details, etc. They are important to identify you, as well as to prove your identity at any of the important authorities that you may have to visit in any case.
4. Better to keep an eye on the belongings
Stealing tourists’ belongings is not that much of a common scenario in Sri Lanka. Yet, we cannot guarantee you that such an incident may not happen. Thus, always keep an eye on your belongings, especially, your mobile devices, important documents, as well as your money.
The best is to carry the least number of bags when you travel since it helps you to keep an eye on your belongings carefully. Besides, having only one or two bags will minimize the risks of you forgetting your belongings in somewhere you visited as well. Always pay special attention to the people who are staring at your belongings or seem to be trying to get closer to you intentionally. Besides, if you feel like someone snatches your belongings don’t forget to scream and ask out for help because the people around are sure to help you catch the thief, and get back your belongings.
5. Solo female travelers should keep their first-aid packed
We repeat again, that emergencies are unexpected. Further, being a traveler, especially a foreigner, you may get various allergies or illnesses since you are new to this environment as well. Besides, injuries or falls might happen when you walk long distances. Of course, the Sri Lankans would offer you a helping hand if you face any difficulty. Still, it is always better to have your first-aid packed, so that you can use the products that you are familiar with, and most importantly, you know what is used in those instances. So, be mindful to pack a pain killer, an ointment for insect bites or animal bites, drugs for food allergies, a plaster, and anything and everything that you would think useful to face any emergency.
Besides, hospitals are located island-wide, and even private medical centers can be found everywhere. So, if you fall sick, don’t think twice about visiting a government hospital. The police officials who are on duty by the roads will surely guide you to a hospital. By chance, if you are visiting a private medical center, make sure you visit a place located in a crowded area. After all, your safety is in your hands!
6. Better to respect the country’s law
Sri Lankan society is shaped by cultural values that are passed down over generations, and thus, there are no strict rules that would govern the community in terms of religion or nationality. Still, the civil law governs the whole country and thus, it is the responsibility of the travelers who are in Sri Lanka to abide by them.
However, there may be certain differences in the law of Sri Lanka when comparing it with other countries. So, something that you think is legal can be illegal in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the best way is to get informed about the important rules of the country prior to your visit. Simple research with regard will surely help you with it.
Nevertheless, if you are traveling in Sri Lanka only for a few days, the most important for you would be the rules that are related to the arrival, visa, permits, departures, etc. If so, you can simply get the required information from the official website of the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka.
Apart from that, you can always clear out any of your doubts about the country’s law with the Sri Lankans around, especially the authoritative personnel around the places that you visit, and the Police Officers who are on duty.
7. Should keep the mobile devices charged and connected
If you are a solo female traveler in Sri Lanka, there is no doubt that your mobile devices are going to be your travel partners. From getting to know about the places to visit, to finding the locations, to capturing your memories, to connecting with your loved ones, your mobile devices play a major role. Therefore, it is always better to keep your mobile devices charged, and connected.
Besides, it is important to remember that there may be certain areas where mobile connectivity is very low. Also, once in a while, you may also be traveling in an area where there are power issues. Therefore, always have power banks with you. Further, it would be important to keep your important contact numbers written on a paper as well. By chance, if your mobile phone goes out of order, having the contacts with you will give you the opportunity to contact your family or an official, at least through a land phone at a communication center or a mobile phone of a local. And yes, if you are a solo female traveler in Sri Lanka, being prepared in every way would help you big time, in case you face any of these challenges.
8. Better to keep the closest updated about location and plans in every possible instance
This is indeed one of the best tips for solo female travelers in Sri Lanka! We believe the fact that you are on a vacation, and you need the freedom to leisurely travel around this island in the way that you want. Still, your family needs you, and they value you. So, it is important to keep them updated about your travel plans to let them be in peace of mind.
Besides, as we mentioned earlier, you might arrive in areas where there are connectivity issues while you travel. By chance, if you fail to contact your family for a long time owing to an issue like that, they would be afraid knowing that you are traveling alone in an unknown country. Therefore, it is important to keep your family informed about where you go, and at least drop them a message when you arrive at a place and leave that place. It would be a great relief for them to ensure that you are safe!
9. Solo female travelers should avoid traveling at night
Having the confidence to travel alone in a country, we surely know that you are not afraid of the dark at night. Yet, it’s not the case! Simply, the nightlife in Sri Lanka is totally different from many European countries.
To be specific, unless, in a very few bustling cities, most of the streets in Sri Lanka are less crowded at night hours. Even the busiest cities may be crowded till 10.00 p.m, and afterward, you can only spot the vehicles traveling on the road, but not many people. Therefore, the darker hours or the nighttime create the perfect opportunities for the thieves, as well as the creepy men to get out. Being a solo female traveler in Sri Lanka, getting the attention of such individuals is never a good thing. You never know what their intentions are, and during hours as such, there would be no one around to help you even if you face any problem. Therefore, the best option for you is to avoid traveling at night.
Besides, wherever you go, get back to your lodging at least by 9.00 p.m. Doing so will help you avoid any problems, and enjoy your travel with much pleasure and peace.
10. Should avoid going to secluded places with strangers
If you ask for help with directions, of course, there may be several people to guide you to your desired location. Of course, the majority of them would be helping you out with good intentions. Yet, we suggest that the solo female travelers in Sri Lanka should not over-trust any individual during their travel.
When you ask for directions to reach a place, always double-check the directions you received. An application like Google Maps will help you with it. If anyone offers to drop you at your desired location, keep track of your traveling route via Google Maps. If not, the best would be to politely reject their help if you are confident that you can reach that place on your own. After all, the most important thing is to avoid going to secluded places with strangers. In any instance, if you feel uncomfortable because of a stranger who is around, be tricky, and get out of that place. Doing so will always keep you on the safe side.
11. Always mingle with the public
Mingling with the public certainly gives you a number of benefits, especially for solo female travelers in Sri Lanka. The first thing is that when you are among the crowds, there is a high possibility for you to stay unnoticed. Therefore, you would be able to stay away from disturbing stares or unpleasant jokes. Further, mingling with the public surely gives you a secure feeling. By chance, if something happens, there are people around to offer you a helping hand. Moreover, mingling with the public will also help you make some new friends. So, owing to all these reasons, staying amidst the crowds will surely make your travel more wonderful. Thus, solo female travelers in Sri Lanka should never forget this tip!
12. Should be responsible when drinking
Whether it is a glass of wine, a beer, or just a fresh fruit juice, be mindful about your drink. To be specific, make sure that you do not keep it unattended. Of course, there are chances for theft in restaurants. Someone would add something to your drink and make you unconscious until they finish clearing out your belongings. So, you should pay attention to this matter.
Besides, know your limits if you are consuming alcohol. As you may know, alcohol consumption is not that common in Sri Lanka among ladies owing to their cultural background. Yet, there are no limitations or rules preventing anyone from consuming alcoholic beverages. Yet, don’t exceed your limits. Be responsible while you are drinking. Because after all you are alone, and you should be in good senses to get back to your lodging.
13. Solo female travelers should choose accommodation wisely
Indeed, Sri Lanka is rich with a wide array of accommodation facilities that range from homestays to luxury hotels. However, since you are a solo female traveler you should be highly considerate when choosing a place for accommodation here in Sri Lanka.
As we feel, recommendations of past travelers and reviews would help you a lot to make a good decision. Still, there are certain instances where reviews can go wrong since some of the websites do not feature honest reviews. However, when you are choosing a place for accommodation, make sure you check whether that place is reputed, and well-recognized. Contact the place via several methods and try to notice if there are contradictions in whatever they say. Also, another important thing to consider is the location of the hotel. It is always better to choose one that is within the city limits. Moreover, it is better to check the presence of that location in an application like Google Maps as well.
After all, while you are traveling you should certainly have a good rest with peace of mind. So, take all precautions to make that happen!
14. Should be alert about holidays
Sri Lanka is a country with so many holidays. On these days, most of the shops may be open. Still, some of the places that you are going to visit may be closed. Moreover, transportation problems might also arise on such days due to the lack of services. Therefore, if you are planning to go out on a holiday, you should double-check a few things.
The first in the checklist would be to confirm that the places that you are going to visit are open. Of course, most tourist attractions do not close on holidays, since many tend to travel on such days. Still, proper planning is always better, and thus, we suggest you do so.
Next, you should have an exact idea about how you are going to travel on that day. If you are using public transportation, note that the number of available buses and trains on holidays would be less. Therefore, you may have to spend more time on the road than expected if you face any transportation issues. So, set your plans accordingly.
Besides, many Sri Lankan families choose holidays to go out and spend some time. Owing to this reason, some places can be more crowded than usual. Thus, if you need to explore a specific place leisurely, just avoid visiting such a place on a holiday.
After all, are you wondering how to find out about the holidays in Sri Lanka? Simply check our article on Important Events and Special Days in Sri Lanka – 2022.
15. Solo female travelers should be confident
Being confident is highly important for solo female travelers who are exploring Sri Lanka. Of course, you might be doubtful about certain things and have problems. You will have to ask for help in instances as such. Still, even in those situations, act confidently, and make others feel that you are a strong character. Do some research on your own before asking something from a stranger. Then, since you know something out of the research you would have some sort of an idea to decide whether the response of the stranger is acceptable or not.
Besides, never let others know your personal information or the exact place that you are accommodating. Always, make others feel that you are a member of a travel group. Also, it is okay to lie once in a while saying that the other members are exploring some other place. Further, make others feel that you are always giving updates to someone about where you are and what you do. Then, they know that there is someone updated about where you are at that time. All these things will help you act confident, and we believe that it would be highly beneficial for you to enjoy a pleasant trip here in Sri Lanka.
The Bottom Line
Most of the solo female travelers who have explored Sri Lanka have experienced a wonderful stay here on this beautiful island. Of course, the chances for hassles in this country are indeed very low. Yet, since it is our responsibility to let you know about all possible worst-case scenarios, we have mentioned each and every problem that you may face as you travel alone while giving you the tips to avoid those undesirable situations. So, we believe that these 15 tips would help you a lot to enjoy the best out of this island as a solo female traveler. Plan properly, and make your dream travel come true. Happy and safe traveling!