Plan a travel

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Hello everyone! I hope all my fellow bloggers are doing great… It’s been a while since I could read any of your marvelous writings or do one myself… But here I am, after almost a month or more… Luckily, I traveled recently… and I have so many things to share with you all!

Being a solo traveler all along, I was pretty intimidated to plan a vacation abroad for my parents. As I had to start my planning way ahead of time, 5 months before the desired travel dates, I started deciding on a destination. Since it was the first international travel for them, I had to choose flights with shorter duration. So there’s where Sri Lanka popped and got stuck on my mind! But this wasn’t enough. On referring to few packages, that portals like Make My Trip, Yatra etc. had to offer, I gathered there wasn’t much to explore within Lanka, unless you took the road trip! So I started looking for some other options as well. There came the view of a package from one of the travel sites that involved Maldives and Sri Lanka in 6 days. Now here was a charm and so began my individual research.

I started off with Maldives on www.booking.com and reviewed a lot of beach hotel options until I finally found my budget deal from Arena Beach Hotel on Maafushi Island. But that’s not where I stopped. After booking the deal I contacted the hotel directly for their best deal options… and trust me, they gave me their best… Then I started looking for hotels in Bentota and Colombo, and found my happy deals in no time. I also had Kandy on my mind; but the travel time to that place, made me think otherwise. However, eventually we did go that way during our vacation:) Now every hotel I was looking for over the portals, I had few checkpoints on my mind:

  • Customer ratings and reviews
  • The space of the rooms
  • The extra bed cost being reasonable (coz we were three)
  • Breakfast included
  • Convenience of commute
  • Features offered by the hotels
  • Things accessible around
  • Activities offered by the hotels

Now that my hotels and their dates were decided and almost booked; it was time to check the flight fares. Since the hotels were on a free cancellation until few days before my check in, I had the full freedom to make changes to my plans based off the flight details. Thus, I started observing the fares’ fluctuation for 5-6 weeks and then booked on a day with slightly lower denomination in each transit fare from www.makemytrip.com. What was more.. when MakeMyTrip saw me book multi-city round trips, they gave me a call on their own, saved me the online convenience fees and made me pay quite less; now here was yet another great deal:)

But, no matter how much you try, your bookings won’t always be full fetched. For instance, the guest house I’d booked in Bentota, was a sad news upon our arrival! No proper doors, water supply, cleanliness or anything. But, the manager helped me out herself, finding a better stay nearby and did not even charge for getting fresh in one of her rooms! Again, the hotel in Colombo, Ivy Lane Colombo, was the best last stay we could’ve found to end the trip; the Loft!

Our stay in Malè was another great experience (more about it, on another post ;))

The only thing I did not get time to do, was to make a list of all the things that we needed to do and see while we were at our destinations… But this wasn’t a set back at all! As and when we reached our places, we found help from all the local people around and explored way more than we’d initially expected. More about the Help from Locals, coming soon….

And what’s surprising? All these happened, way less than my planned budget 🙂 YAY!!! There you see the happy faces…

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[/media-credit] Buddhist Temple; Bentota, SL.

P.S. the two major things I made sure of, before commencing our travel was:

  • All the three of us had copies of all the travel itinerary as well as hotel booking details
  • Both my parents had a few dollars in their hands.

I thought this was mandatory, just in case either of them got lost somehow, somewhere, but still knew where and how to get back!

What do you think?

  1. Sometimes there are really setbacks but I think those are the things we need to improve on the next time we do an itinerary. I’m happy for you that you enjoyed your trip! I actually miss my mom after reading this. I missed traveling with her. 🙂

  2. aw. that’s so sweet of you to plan everything for the first international trip of your parents. I think you did the best. Although there are some loopholes and issues with the place you supposed to stay, I think the owner did their part as well to keep you satisfied and be transferred. I hope to hear about your story about Male experience. All The Best!

  3. Honestly, travelling is my weakness since I haven’t done this on my own. The last time I traveled outside the country was when I was still in high school, and my parents did everything, so I don’t really know what to think. This is a very helpful guide, especially for people like me. I didn’t know you could study flight rates to see fluctuation. I hope I get to travel soon. Thanks for sharing this post 🙂

  4. I love using booking.com as well. I used it for my trip to Krakow (Poland) recently. And I really liked it again. We booked an amazing apartment. It was all very easy. And I searched a lot on the website to find the ideal apartment/ hotel. Maldives and Sri Lanka.. Sounds great!

  5. I love how you planned this travel really well. Itinerary, cash and other stuff all ready for everyone! I think makemytrip.com is a really great help for travellers. Checking out their site today 🙂

  6. It is so much harder to plan a trip with more people involved. There are so many more factors to consider. Great job on your planning. Your folks seem to have enjoyed. 🙂

  7. Aww… you are so sweet for planning this trip for them! 🙂 And you even thought about making sure they have a few dollars in their hands in case they get lost. Everything seems so organized. Looking forward to reading about your adventure in Male!

  8. I think you planned your trip pretty well. I personally don’t bring my travel itinerary when I’m exploring the city but I think now that you mentioned it, it’s a good thing to bring, just in case there is a need to show it. Looks like you had a good trip. Now I want to plan a trip but with my siblings.

  9. Nice! I am glad that you were able to travel cheaply. I am a frugal traveler myself and O am always excited for great deals!!! I mean, you don’t have to be rich to see places, right?

    airinaapril.blogspot.com

  10. Sri Lanka is full of nice places to visit! Maybe another visit is in order that would include Galle or Jaffna. Kandy really is a beautiful place to visit, sometimes the travel time is worth it. I’m glad your family had a great time though! Family time, no matter where it is is nice every time.

  11. I’ve been dying to visit Maldives so I’m so excited to read your next post. I remember doing an initial search though and couldn’t find a room for less than a thousand dollars a night, so I aborted plans immediately. Hahaha. Will check out the hotel that you stayed at. By the way, very good tip about contacting the hotel and asking for the best deals. I always book over the internet and rely on the information given on websites – this is definitely advice worth exploring. 🙂

  12. It really does help if all your trip buddies have a copy of the itinerary, and all have a credit card and cash on hand, just in case. Would love to go to Maldives before it goes underwater. Hahahaha! By the way, the lion statue looks psyched to have you 3!

  13. Wow, I hear so many great things about the Maldives and my hubby has been there and to Male. It is so stunning there and I cannot wait until I can go there too. Glad everything worked out great.

  14. Planning for a travel is an exciting experience. My boyfriend and I are planning to go to Indonesia this vacation. He asked me to do the itinerary. I am not yet done with the activities we are going to do in there. It will just be a short day stay in Indonesia and I would like our travel experience to be memorable. It is good that the locals had been good to you. What else can be better also than being able to travel without totally getting broke, right?

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