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Why I chose Sri Lanka for an all girls’ trip?

Photo from SKA (76)

After taraweeh prayers, my friends and I were on the dining table gulping food that we missed during the whole day. It was the month of Ramadan. Tired of our monotonous routines (yeah, routines are monotonous, I know- tautology 😉 ), we just mentioned about traveling together. It had to be a country that each one of us could enter without an issue. We discussed for the next few minutes and 3 days later or so, we were on the same dining table, booking our flight tickets.  Sri Lanka just happened to be one of the countries we shortlisted and finalized to spend our girls’ only trip during summer last year. Here are the top 5 reasons that influenced the choice:

  1. Affordability– Travel becomes expensive in Saudi Arabia during vacation time in June – September. Flights cost a lot, usually double the normal price. A budget airline, Air Arabia set me back by 1200 SAR despite the peak season. If you are traveling during a low season, try Sri Lankan airlines. It is the best choice as it is a direct flight from Riyadh to Colombo and the crew services are amazing.  It will cost you the same amount that Air Arabia charged me.
  2. People – One of the major things that make or break a trip are the people and environment of the country you are visiting. Sri Lankans are one of the most hospitable and politest that I have known over the years. Also, from what I researched about the country, people there are not looking to con you the first chance they get. I don’t like the feeling of being cheated and lied to, or, having to bargain for the tiniest item I want to buy.
  3. Safety- As a Muslim girl traveling without family, safety becomes of the top priority. And here we were, 3 Muslim girls, of different nationalities, wanting to travel to have fun. Sri Lanka is really safe to go as a female group or perhaps, even solo. Just take care of yourself as you’d normally do in any strange place, and you’ll be fine. The country is very respectful towards your religious views and you won’t encounter any issue if you were seen walking with hijab or niqab.                Bonus: A lot of Sri Lankans have lived in Saudi Arabia for a couple of years before returning back to their country; so if you know a little Arabic, be prepared to see their faces gleaming with excitement to speak to you and share their experience of living in the Arab world. I met many restaurant waiters, owners, guides, and random men who were happy to strike a conversation in Arabic and practice their forgotten skills.
  4. Obtaining visa- Who even likes trips to the embassy? Especially, if you’re a girl living in Saudi Arabia, it gets annoying. You need to ask your father or husband to take you there on a weekday which means they have to plan it in advance, or you’re at the mercy of Uber and Careem to take you around. And, boy, it gets expensive because one trip is never enough to get your visa stamped.                                                      So, Sri Lanka was naturally a great choice. You skip the whole process of visiting the embassy and simply apply online for an ETA. Cost? 20-30 USD depending on your nationality. And you receive the approval within minutes! It’s that quick! There is no need to print it. Your passport is enough when you enter Colombo as it gets interlinked with your passport number.
  5. Variety offered by the country– Sri Lanka will not bore anyone. It has variety of scenes to offer. You can enjoy the beautiful  mountains, rivers, ocean, lush greenery, historical and religious attractions, cultural tours, great food and a lot of different activities to explore.







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