Deciding how to spend your hard earned paycheck on your well-deserved holiday can be a bit of a challenge. Apart from a lucky few, most travellers have to deal with this very real struggle of getting the best experience for the most reasonable price. But as more reliable options for budget accommodation in Sri Lanka become available, you might actually gain more by spending less on where you stay, and here’s why:
The most obvious reason that many of us would choose to rough it up a little, is to save some money. While we do deserve to feel pampered while vacationing, there’s nothing wrong with saving some rupees on accommodation, especially if you use the money that was saved to go out and explore. While transport, food and activities can be quite cheap in Sri Lanka, entrance fees for attractions such as UNESCO world heritage sites are known to cost between USD 15 to 30 for foreign travellers. So, saving some money on accommodation can certainly be useful. It also doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to suffer in a dingy little room, on a rickety old bed with not-so-clean sheets. Cheap accommodation in Sri Lanka is steadily becoming more safe and reliable.
Authentic local hospitality
Generally, budget accommodation in Sri Lanka like motels, hostels, and guest houses are located in small neighbourhoods where the local way of life thrives. They are run by a few individuals, sometimes by families whom you can get to know over the duration of your stay. You might be able to strike up a conversation with the staff and even develop a genuine friendship that can make your stay interesting and enjoyable. Also, you might be able to get a sneak peek into the local way of life and get a unique experience that might be absent in more luxurious hotels.
It’s a given that spending less on accommodation results in fewer overall facilities. Perhaps you might have to share your space, make your own meals and generally be more attentive and resourceful. But this not an entirely negative thing! Studies have shown that many young travellers opt for backpacker style travelling not only because of budget constraints but also because they’re seeking more meaningful travel experiences with a desire for personal growth. By the end of your stay, you can improve your social skills, become more self-sufficient and be a low-maintenance individual. Your stay can also give you a sense of adventure, teach you to adapt to new situations, and most importantly allow you to be grateful for things like a small act of kindness or a friendly smile from a fellow traveller.
Meet fellow travellers
A growing trend in the hospitality industry is co-living, or having communal spaces to facilitate human interaction. Most budget accommodation options are designed to maximize the available space and therefore encourage sharing and interactions between travellers. Shared spaces such as common rooms, kitchens and even bathrooms allow guests from various backgrounds to mingle. So, opting for budget accommodation in Sri Lanka is a great way to connect with fellow travellers and gain a co-living experience.
Incentive to get out!
This one depends on the reason for your trip. If your priority is to stay in and relax in a comfy hotel room as opposed to exploring and have a bit of an adventure, then spending those few extra rupees on accommodation may very well be worth it. But if you simply need a safe and convenient place to spend the night and would much rather be out the whole day, then staying in a small, simple hotel will in fact be an incentive to explore the outdoors. For instance, staying at a budget hotel in Nuwara Eliya could easily be an incentive for you to spend your day enjoying the numerous parks, estates, waterfalls and hiking trails that the area has to offer.
Featured image by Cheri Fernando.