A family vacation is no longer about heading to the nearest beach or hill station with kids loaded in the car. Today’s families are longing to stretch their imaginations, sharing their passion for travel with their loved ones.
Family vacations are the perfect way to give attention to each other which isn't possible in our every day scheduled lives. Even the psychologists agree the family travel value to a child lives on through memory. New places spark a new light in us all!
But the big question is which place to head to? It is an island gem nestled off the South Eastern coast of India which features stunning beaches along a crystalline sea, diverse wildlife, fascinating history and culture, adventurous experiences, and super friendly locals. Yes, you got that right. We are talking about none other than Sri Lanka. With so many places to visit and things to do in Sri Lanka, it has become the ideal place for family vacations where you and your family will go green with envy. We have done our homework on the tiny island nation and listed down 18 reasons why Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for family vacations.
1. Hot Air Balloon Ride In Dambulla
Chase the white clouds with your family while having the bird view of the green-carpeted lands of Sri Lanka. Flying over the jungle, you might spot elephants throwing water on each other with their trunks, a leopard chasing its prey or even eagles ruling the sky by your side. Anyhow, it is a fantastic experience to have with your family and there's no doubt the kids will love it too!!
Price: 13000 INR for adults & 11000 INR for children
Ballooning season: November to April
Travel Tip: Do visit Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, which is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka.
2. Safari at Yala National Park
Home to an incredible mixture of animals and birds, Yala National Park lies in the south-east of Sri Lanka. With over 44 mammals recorded in the park, you can easily spot elephants, water buffalo, crocodiles and monkeys. Not just the elephants but it also has one of the highest population densities of leopards around the globe, so your chances of spotting these often elusive, big cats are pretty high. Other famous national parks in Sri Lanka are Udawalawae National Park, Wasgamuwa National Park, Wilpattu National Park and Bundala National Park.
Do take a wildlife safari and see the animals in their homey atmosphere as it as a far better way than seeing them in a zoo. It will definitely be an adventurous ride for the kids!
3. Sit Atop The Sigiriya Rock
Sigiriya is a Unesco listed World Heritage Site and ancient palace which sits atop a huge rock which is 200 meters high. King Kasyapa built the castle in the 5th century, and he decorated the rock with colourful frescoes, many of which you can see today if you venture to the top. It also showcases one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world, and the views from the peak are spectacular. What could better family time be than seeing the changing colour of the sun and having funny conversations? Of course, nothing!
4. Let Beach Guide Your Heart
Being surrounded by water from all side, Sri Lanka has the plethora of beaches. Our pick is the South coast beaches as they are considered as the some of the best beaches in Asia, and you can find your paradise easily. Though tsunami in 2004 devastated lot of them since then it has recovered remarkably well. You can head to Negombo beach for relaxing family time or Unuwatuna Beach for a more happening beach affair. Moreover, the people are friendly, laid back and welcoming, creating the classic island atmosphere for the families!
5. Witness the Giant of Indian Ocean
Yes, we are talking about the massive mammal- Blue Whales. Sri Lanka is considered as one of the ideal places in the world to spot them. In the south and northeast coast of the ocean are the place where you can witness the giants as the chances are high, especially during peak season. If you had to pick a place, go to Mirissa Beach for whale watching. Not just the whales, there are tours readily available for the most friendly and intelligent creatures in the water- Dolphins. No matter how old we get, a voyage ride to witness these creatures is always good. But when kids are with you, it is even better as you will go back to your childhood times when they say "Mom, Dad look, there they are!".
6. Stroll The Tea Plantations At Nuwara Eliya
Tea production is one of the primary drivers of the Sri Lankan economy. Tea pickers are usually ladies from the Tamil ethnic minority gathering, and they dress in brilliant and showy garments, giving an eye getting sight against the vibrant green fields. You can arrange a tea factory tour in Nuwara Eliya, but there is also a lot to be said for taking some time to wander the areas and villages around smaller plantations and see how the locals live. Not sure about it? Tell us which child doesn't love green fields? You have your answer!
7. Enchanting Heritage
Being home to the cultural heart of Sri Lanka, the hot central plains are worth spending some time there and explore the crumbling ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. Ancient Sinhalese dynasties sponsored substantial architectural projects in times gone by, with the remains of palaces, temples and statues still in place today, including the splendid reclining Buddha at Polonnaruwa (pictured), one of Sri Lanka's most photographed treasures. Make sure you visit the Galle Fort too.
Listening about the legends will be a great way to spend the day with your family while adoring the enchanting heritage Sri Lanka has in its abode!
8. Enjoy The World's Most Scenic Train Ride
Passing through plunging waterfalls, misty hills and sweeping tea fields, the train journey between Kandy and Ella is often considered to be one of the best in the world. There are several types of tickets are available here. 'Observation' options offer bigger windows with better views of the landscapes, but it is great to get in the 3rd class carriages with the locals as well. You and your family will get a warm reception for sure!
9. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Help your child make new friends in Sri Lanka at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Situated about 90km from the capital city towards Kandy, Pinnawala is one of the most famous places to visit in Sri Lanka as it is home to more than 100 orphan elephants. Here, you can see baby jumbos wandering here and there with joy. What makes Pinnawala a big YES? You can bottle fed these massive yet cute mammals. One visit to this place, we're sure your kids will enjoy a lot!
10. Visit A Turtle Hatchery In Bentota
Home to Sri Lanka's most abundant sea turtle conservation project, Bentota is a little, seaside town which offers travellers the ideal chance to get close to these small yet beautiful creatures. Don't know much about turtles? Well, don't you worry. The staff here is amiable and will guide you through both the behavioural patterns of these fascinating creatures and the efforts being made by the centre to protect them from extinction. No matter you're kids are young or old enough, they will enjoy their time watching these shielded, slow creatures swimming quite fast!
11. Adventure Sports At Hikkaduwa
Located on the western coast lies Hikkaduwa and the place for all water sports activities. You can enjoy the banana boat ride, sail on a glass bottom catamaran or conquer the waves on a jet ski. Moreover, it’s an excellent place for snorkelling and scuba, with coral reefs just off the shore where you can spot vividly coloured fish and even 300-year-old giant turtles. Once you are done with the water activities, there are many beachside cafes where you can have a scrumptious meal. Whatever you decide to do, a day at Hikkaduwa will become a beautiful memory of you all enjoying together.
12. Shopping Spree In Colombo
When you have covered all the famous tourist attractions on your holiday in Sri Lanka. Colombo is the best place for shopping as you can find grand malls, designer boutiques, and even street shops from where you can buy clothes with batik prints, footwear, mats, bags, wall hangings for yourself and the house decorations. For children, you can purchase traditional masks, handcrafted elephants and treasure boxes. Once the shopping spree is over, Colombo can surprise you the street food and excellent dining restaurants to satiate your hunger palates.
Our Recommendations: Go for lunch at one of Asia's Top 50 Restaurants of 2018 - The Ministry of Crab
13. Take The Ramayana Trail
Every Indian of no matter what religion knows about the two famous epics, one of them being Ramayan. With the famous festivals like Dusshera and Diwali every year, Ramleela is played on the screens as well as in the small localities with cheer enthusiasm and children love it. Just imagine how intrigued will they be when they get to the actual places where it all happened. Being frank, we adults are getting intrigued by imagining it, so we know how the kids will be!
Want more detailed information about Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka? If yes, click here
14. Sri Lankan Food
When it comes to Sri Lankan cuisine, 'Fiery' is the default setting which makes this country a perfect delight for curry lovers. You will be able to pick up a selection of dishes for an incredibly low price, make sure you have some water for the kids and a bottle of Sri Lanka's light and tasty National Beer - Lion Lager -
for yourself to cool down the mouth!
15. Amiable People
Did you know that Sri Lankans are famous for being the warmest and friendliest in Asia and they are up to welcome the visitors to their tiny island nation and show them around? Yes, it is true! Most of them speak good English, and it is not surprising that if you are invited to eat with locals in smaller towns. Moreover, this is a great way to learn more about the country from the people who know it best. Right?
16. On Arrival Visa
Did you know that Sri Lanka Visa approval comes within 24-48 hours and that too at a nominal fee? Yes, you don't have to run through the tiring process of visa procurement with a lot of official documents in hand to visit the jewel of Indian Ocean. Indian have their share of benefits when it comes to Sri Lanka because both the countries are a part of SAARC.
In short, Sri Lanka is the perfect international getaway for the family vacations without a hassle.
17. It's Cheap
If you want to stay at five-star luxury accommodation, but you find your budget as a problem, Sri Lanka is undoubtedly going to be a delight! Compared to other touristy spots around like Mauritius, Sri Lanka is pretty cost efficient. Why is that so? It is like this because 1 Indian Rupee is 2.31 Sri Lankan Rupee. Already planning for Sri Lanka holidays? Good choice!
18. Direct Flights
With flights costing as low as 9000 INR from Chennai, Sri Lanka is very well connected with many major airlines like Air India, Jet Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, Spice Jet and Vistara. Not just Chennai but Sri Lanka has direct flights from New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad plying day in and day out.
Want to plan your Sri Lanka holidays? Shoes On Loose has got some fantastic deals on our Sri Lanka Tour Packages
. Do check them out!