All around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold on many of the daily activities and everyday things we took for granted. With it has come a slowdown of international tourist travel and leisure travel as many would-be travellers responsibly choose to forgo their vacation and instead opt for a staycation.
But what if you could get away to a tropical island where there’s amazing deals on hotels and accomodation, stringent health and safety measures to protect you and the locals, reduced tourist crowds and the promise of a relaxing time for you to stretch, unwind and forget about the crazy year you’ve had?
Sri Lanka has all those things and more and, as of January 2021, is welcoming you with open arms to visit the beaches and the resorts you couldn’t get away to last year.
It goes without saying that in the past year, there’s been a sudden drop in international travel and tourism. Because of this, almost all Sri Lanka hotels are offering staggering deals on stays and tour experiences now that Sri Lanka has opened up for visitors again. And there’s no catch! You can book yourself a stay or a tour package for a fraction of what you would have spent last year with the same level of service and luxury as you’ve come to expect in Sri Lanka.
International travel and tourism in a pandemic is scary but when the safety and health measures are strict, up-to-par with international standards as set out by the WHO and assiduously overseen by both the Sri Lankan Tourist Development Authority (SLTDA) and the Health Ministry to ensure that you and your loved ones can safely experience Sri Lanka there’s no cause for worry. With a safe tourist bio-bubble set up by the SLTDA and all cooperating and safety certified hotels and tour operators, there’s no reason a pandemic should stop you from booking a trip to Sri Lanka. For comprehensive information on the safety guidelines and health measures in place for your safety and comfort during your stay in Sri Lanka, you can visit www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/
Since being named Best for Travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet and even before the award, Sri Lanka has always pulled in high numbers of tourists meaning that there’s often large swathes of other tourists and even local vacationers around on your visit. But with vacations taking a backseat for everyone in the midst of a global pandemic and Sri Lanka having just opened its doors, right now is the best moment for you to visit. There’s no crowds clogging up queues, beaches,rooms or pools anywhere and what’s more, there’s even safety guidelines recommending more than enough personal space for everyone once you get here.
It’s also worth mentioning that as a top tourist destination, Sri Lanka took a severe stumble in 2020 when the pandemic hit. Though Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 numbers stayed low, the sudden drop in tourism meant that one of Sri Lanka’s main economic revenue sources halted. With thousands of local tourist industry employees left without an income, Sri Lanka opening up again in January 2021 has been much-awaited. Your vacation here is thus not just a leisure activity for yourself; you’re also helping to uplift Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
2020 has been a stressful year for everyone in the world. The pandemic has shuttled a lot of people indoors and forced a lot of us to stay glued to our screens at home for work. So what better way to deal with all the stress and anxiety than with a trip to Sri Lanka? There’s a variety of nature retreats, meditation centers and wellness resorts all around Sri Lanka that will help you destress and relieve your anxiety with Ayurveda, spa and wellness treatments around the clock.
As a tropical Island right on the equator, Sri Lanka is known as a genuine year-round destination.
But that doesn’t really mean you should travel to Sri Lanka on a whim too. Because Sri Lanka also has its fair share of upsetting weather and seasonal attractions so if you’re looking for a helpful primer on when best to visit Sri Lanka and what things to do in Sri Lanka based on the season, you’ve come to the right place.
Sri Lanka is a dual weather Island meaning that pretty much all of Sri Lanka’s weather patterns are dependent on two big monsoons that sweep through Sri Lanka each year.
But don’t worry, because the two monsoons blow past in opposite directions, and never overlap, you can be sure of fair weather on either side of the Island at any given time.
Once you understand the two big monsoons, you’re pretty much done with figuring out Sri Lanka’s tropical weather.
The Southwest monsoon brings rain to the west and southwest coast and the central Hill country from April or May to September, but is generally wettest from April to June. Thus, in the west and southwest coasts, the dry season runs from December to March.
The other monsoon, the Northeast monsoon brings wind and rain to the eastern and northeastern coastal regions, with rain showers also in the central Hill country, from November to March, with the wettest months being November and December. The dry season, thus, in this region is from May to September.
There is also an inter-monsoonal period, right before the Northeast monsoon hits, where rain and thunderstorms can hit anywhere across the island but it usually clears up in the second half of November.
It’s a trick question, really, because the answer depends on where you want to go, where you’re staying and what things you want to do in Sri Lanka.
Because the monsoon seasons alternate, with half the Island in a wet season and the other half enjoying a dry season at any given time of the year, when you should visit Sri Lanka really truly depends on your itinerary.
So how do you decide?
Here’s a quick guide:
Visiting Sri Lanka for the European Winter (December – February)
December to February is smack dab in the middle of the Northeast monsoon so if you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka around these months for your winter, you should make a beeline for the western and southwest coastal regions.
Colombo is a great place to serve as the hub for your trip and once you decide on where to stay in Colombo, destination beaches in the western coast such as Bentota, Kalpitiya and Hikkaduwa are a short train journey away.
In the south western coasts, fair weather is pretty much the order of the day too and beaches such as Mirissa, Tangalle and Weligama are all pretty popular at this time. Make sure to hit Galle, in the south, for a historical escape and you can even make it to Yala National Park, one of Sri Lanka’s largest nature reserves teeming with leopards and elephants for your viewing pleasure.
Visiting Sri Lanka for the European Summer (June – August)
Since the Southwest monsoon is in full swing by the time your summer rolls around, this is the perfect time to hit the north, north eastern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka.
The Jaffna peninsula and Jaffna city is an excellent outdoor location during these times, with its bustling and colorful atmosphere. So are the east coast beaches, namely, Passikudah, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Nilaveli and Arugam Bay, the latter being famous for its world class surfing waves.
This is also a great time to visit Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, home to five of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO world heritage sites. Because this region is in the ‘dry zone’ only December and November bring rain here and it is quite arid and dry the remainder of the year. This is also quite close to Minneriya National Park where you can watch the annual elephant migration.
Since both monsoons influence the weather in the Central region, there’s not a dedicated dry season here but the high altitude and the surrounding hills mean that the climate in the Hill country is quite balmy and mild most days.
Kandy, the Hill country’s cultural capital, enjoys lower rainfall than elsewhere and the December-May period also marks the pilgrimage season for Adam’s Peak, a must-do for any trekker and hiker.
Conducting a flawless and impressive meeting, either with your superiors or for your important clients can be a turning point for your career and business. However, a flawless meeting needs plenty of effort put to it, and has some key points that you need to pay attention to. Here are a few of those key points that will make any meeting impressive and flawless.
One of the worse things you can do as a host of an important meeting, is to be less than well prepared for it. From what you’re presenting to the materials and documents used, make sure you have it all perfected before the big day. If you’re going old school, and using a power point presentation to get your points across, make sure that presentation is ready and “polished” and proofread several times before the date as well. This is especially true if you’re hosting the meeting out of the office, where chances for confusion are more.
Location is key to a flawlessly impressive business meeting. Ideally, having it at your own commercial building makes things less complicated. However, if you don’t have the luxury of owning a meeting room, or if it’s not impressive enough to wow your important clients, then hiring a meeting space is the best option for you. Meeting venues in Sri Lanka are not hard to find, as some of the leading hotels around the island (like Citrus Waskaduwa) have very impressive meeting rooms for business purposes. The important thing to remember is that it needs to have plenty of space to write in (most people still prefer old fashioned note taking), has good lighting (so that you’re not straining your eyesight throughout the meeting), has comfortable yet professional furniture and that it at has a strong Wi-Fi connection.
As well as the above mentioned requirements, it’s also vital that the meeting room you choose is technology friendly and has all the required electronics that you require to conduct a successful and impressive meeting. Visiting the place before the date of the meeting is an obvious thing to do. Apart from making sure that the room is spacious and impressive enough, use this prior visit as an opportunity to make sure they have all the electronics and technology that you require; and make arrangements to bring with you what’s missing.
There’s nothing more tedious than having to sit through a meeting that is entirely irrelevant to you; and anyone in the business world can testify this fact. In order to make a meeting impressive, it’s vital that you limit the participants of the meeting to only the relevant people. Remember that being involved in the outer limits of a project does not mean they need to be present at every meeting involving the project. It’s more efficient to have only those who affect the turn of a project at the meeting. It also prevents anyone from feeling bored or left out.
While mobile phones certainly make life in the business world easier by having our emails and notifications just a fingertip tap away, it’s also a known fact that our mobile phones can distract us quite easily. Eliminate the possibilities of them disrupting your meeting by asking all parties involved to leave their mobile phone either outside the meeting room, or if they prefer having it on them, switched off entirely. Along with switching off the mobile phones, make sure there’s no extra time spent between each item in the meeting. This eliminates in office gossiping and related distractions.
Spending long hours bending against a desk can be hard, especially when you’re concentrating hard. But that tiredness is only amplified when you also have to go without food. If you’re hosting the meeting for a few hours, make sure you provide those at the meeting with snacks and coffee to keep them alert. If the meeting will last all day, it may be a good idea to organize your meals with a professional caterer. Catering services know the kind of food that can be served that will make the least amount of mess; even if eaten at the meeting room.
In today’s world, where we hardly take time for ourselves, relationships are hard to maintain. This is largely due to the fact that we simply don’t put enough effort into our relationships, allowing them to wither away. In our opinion, a romantic getaway is a must for not only new couples, but also those who are seeking to keep their relationship always fresh. Spending time away from everyone who knows you and every form of distractions gives you the opportunity to understand and appreciate each other in a deeper level. We also love the idea of pre-wedding getaways, and believe beaches are the best for these kind of vacations. If you’re considering Sri Lanka for your romantic getaway, we must say you’ve made the perfect choice!
Spoilt with breathtaking beaches and some of the prettiest sunrises and sunsets you’ll see on this part of the world, creating a romantic atmosphere in this pretty tropical island is no major feat. Here are a few suggestions of the prettiest and most romantic beaches and beach destination of Sri Lanka; so that you too will agree that this is the perfect island for a romantic getaway.
Located 65km away from the capital city, Bentota is a coastal town in the Southern province of the island. You can easily travel to Bentota via a train or bus journey. At Bentota, apart from the sunbathing and having romantic meals by the sea, there are plenty of other attractions to keep your getaway lively and romantic. One of the most romantic attractions would be a diving adventure, as Bentota is a popular diving spot of the island. If you’ve never done it before, you could easily enroll in a diving school in the area; learning something together will only strengthen your bond with each other. Apart from diving, you could also try other water sports to keep you occupied at the beach. If you don’t want your getaway to be only about the sand and the sea, take the time to explore the Kosgoda turtle conservation, visit the Brief garden or partake in the Madu river safari.
Situated 40km from Colombo, Kalutara is a major city in the Western province of Sri Lanka. Once again, you can take a train or bus ride to get there from the capital, or choose to opt for a romantic and long car ride. If you choose a car ride, make sure it’s not during the busy hours of the day to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Due to its fame, there are plenty of options when it comes to Kalutara hotels; to suit any budget. Apart from the romantic sunsets and pretty beaches, Kalutara is also famous for the Pahiyangala Cave; the largest cave of the island. The cave houses a 40-foot-long reclining Buddha statue. Myths around the area suggest the renown monk Faxian once used to occupy the cave; giving it another name¾The Fa Hian cave. If you’re interested in waterfall hunting, and are up for a romantic adventure, consider taking a small detour to Thudugala Ella. This waterfall may not be very large, but is very charming. The easy trek to the falls will certainly interest the adventurous side in you, while still being easy to manage for the inexperienced. For a truly romantic time, climb further up; until you find the secluded pool that will serve to be your own private bath. To best enjoy the waterfall, aim to arrive at the falls early, before the locals and other tourists arrive.
Whether or not you’ve heard of the other beaches we’ve mentioned here, if you have done even the slightest research on Sri Lanka, you are sure to have come across pictures and information on Mirissa. Located 150km from Colombo, and in the South coast of the island, Mirissa is one of the most famous coastal towns of the island. A relatively small town, it has quite a few romantic beaches for you to choose from. Catching the sunset from parrot rock or coconut tree hill will be an unforgettable experience to the two of you. However, this little town is so popular with the tourists due to its Instagram-feed-friendliness; from murals on the walls, to breath taking views, this town has it all! Alternative to spending your entire getaway at the beach, you could also surf and go on a whale and dolphin watching trip. Remember that there’s a season for watching these large aquatic mammals; so plan your trip accordingly. Most of the town closes down by 10 pm, but will be up with the sun. This ensures time alone for couples, as there’s nothing much to do except snuggle in your comfortable hotel rooms.
With its location 195km from Colombo, Tangalle is a hustling and bustling town in the Southern province of Sri Lanka. This town has historical importance to the locals, as it was town used as anchorage by both British and Dutch invaders. Nowadays, Tangalle is famous for its long stretches of sandy beaches, its numerous hotels and the fantastic and fresh seafood available in the area. If natural oddities interest you, Sri Lanka’s one and only natural “blow hole” is just a short distance from the town. The sound from the blow hole can be heard to quite a distance, so you’ll not have a hard time finding it! Tangalle is also a diving spot for the island, and here too you will be able to find schools and instructors with ease. Other attractions of the area include visiting the Kalametiya Bird sanctuary, Turtle watch Rakawa, and for a religious experience, the Mulkirigala Rock Monastery. The sea is also suitable for surfing, for both the experienced, or those wanting to learn.
The beaches of Tricomalee has received much love from locals and tourists alike for decades now. With a culture so vastly different from most of the island, this major resort port city is located 237km from Colombo, in the Eastern province of the island. Fondly known as “Trinco” by the locals, this city has some of the island’s most famous beaches, and also proudly boasts of having one of the finest natural deep water harbors in the world. The perfect location to catch some of the island’s prettiest sunrises, Trinco is best travelled to via a train ride or bus ride. We advice against travelling by road, as the journey is simply too long and tedious. Once again, due to its popularity, you will have a variety of hotel options to choose from; with and without the sea view. Apart from the romantic beaches, Trinco is also famous for its historically important and religious sites. If you’re familiar with the Indian epic, The Ramayana, you will be intrigued to know that the area is believed to have a connection to the epic. Apart from sight seeing and stealing romantic moments at the beach, at Trinco, you are also able to snorkel, due to the clearness of the water. Most parts of the sea around Trinco is relatively shallow, and is safe even for the most inexperienced swimmer.
In the world of business, things are always evolving and changing for the better. More often than not, traditional means are being abandoned for modern ways; better productivity, accomplishing more in less time and simplicity being the forefront reason for doing so. One such upcoming “trend” both locally and internationally would be conducting off-site meetings. Here’s why we thinking such meetings benefit you, your team and your company in the long run.
A strong working bond is vital for a team to function effortlessly; this is what produces admirable work results. However, this bond does not form overnight, nor does it form without putting in some effort. One of the best ways to form said bond is to get out of the office regularly as a team; share a meal weekly, or hangout after working hours. An off-site meeting once in a while, along with some fun before or after the meeting, can give you the same results. Remember to do a few team building fun activities while you’re at it!
New ideas are vital for a company or business to be current in the ever evolving business world. A change of scene from the usual four walls of the office can help you and your team members enormously when it comes to thinking innovatively and “out of the box”. Rather that having brainstorming sessions at the office, consider a slight change of scenery; these meetings will benefit a great deal if met outside of office for discussions. Remember that your creativity is affected a great deal by what you see, hear and feel every day; being stuck within a space can only starve your creativity, making you come up and reuse the tried and tested ideas over and over.
Office spaces are not simply a building that houses your company or business; it is a place where your employees have to work, think and create; a place where their productivity matters a great deal. And while most of us try to make these spaces inspiring, not many of us have a large enough budget or building to luxuriously decorate our office spaces; especially in a packed city like Colombo. This affects the productivity of you and your employees; inevitably affecting your company’s growth. Opting to have your meeting in one of the many available meeting venues in Sri Lanka takes care of this issue temporarily. Remember you have the option of selecting venues according to your budget and the occasion; whether you select Citrus (Waskaduwa) or a coffee shop close to your office depends on that.
Being stressed out during important dates of the work year, or the busiest part of the month is natural. It is also part of the human nature to lose focus on work from time to time. However, if you feel that you or your team members are constantly stressed out and out of focus; this can result in a huge problem. Having occasional off-site meetings tends to help here, as being out of the office reduces the work stress for some. It’s also true that it’s easier to lose focus in a familiar surrounding; like your office cubical. While you’re at it, don’t forget to grab some much needed coffee to get your brain online once more!
Like we mentioned above, not all office spaces are designed luxuriously. This is especially true if you’re an entrepreneur operating your business or company in a very limited budget. This can limit your use of current and trending tools and technology, as you aren’t given the chance to use such tools and tech during your regular meetings at work. Having an off-site meeting that enables you to use such tools and tech will help you and your team members not only learn and become familiar with them but, also make it easier on the occasion that you actually have to use them in the future.
So have we sold you on the idea of having off-sire meetings? If so, we’re pretty sure you have one question that needs clarification:
“Does this mean you need to conduct all your meetings out of the office; since it has so many benefits?”
The answer is, Of course not. That only adds to the cost and reduces the results you’re seeking. But an occasional meeting will certainly benefit you, your team and your company/business.