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Encounter Sri Lanka

Solo Travellers 45 Years & Over
Saturday 14 - Friday 28 October 2017 ex Colombo

Other Notes

This page contains the details about the trip not already explained on other pages.

TRIP AVAILABILITY
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to book early and secure your place with a deposit.  Tour space is limited. To ensure your place, please check trip availability at your earliest convenience

FELLOW TRAVELLERS 
This is a small group tour, with a maximum group size of 12 travellers. This tour is exclusively for single-solo travellers. It will depart with minimum of 3 travellers.

THE PACE  [3 out of 5]
This is a moderately paced, small group tour with a maximum of 12 travellers.  You should be reasonably fit to enjoy this tour. Some days will require early morning starts and much of the sightseeing is on foot.

TIPPING GUIDE & THE TIPPING FUND

Tipping Fund, day 1
On day one of the tour a local payment of USD65 per person is payable to your tour director. This is used to tip hotel service personnel, the tour bus driver and other service personnel assisting with the tour group services.

Tipping your local Tour Director
Tipping your tour director is customary for good service. The tip for your tour director is not included with the tipping fund.  As a guide, a tip of USD3-4 per person, per day is suggested. On the final day of the tour, we recommend handing over your tip in an envelope to your tour director.

TRANSPORT
Touring is mostly by road. There is also a local train journey during the day, a boat ride and a tuk tuk transfer for an excursion in the highlands.  While in the National Park there is a jeep safari.

If the group size finalises between 3 to 6 passengers, a six seater van is used for the group touring with a one driver-guide (not a driver and a guide).  Where the group size finalises with 7 to 12 passengers a mini tourist van/coach with a driver and guide is included.

ABOUT THE MEALS   
It’s regular that our trips included welcome dinners and farewell dinners for our groups. In addition, we include other group dining experiences to ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefit of travelling and dining as a group.  There’s nothing better than to share a meal with new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.

The Local Cuisine
The lunch and dinner meals included with the itinerary are Sri Lankan cuisine. There may be an, or a few exceptions with western-style options. The hotel breakfasts will offer a variety including Sri Lankan breakfast and some western breakfast options.  

The traditional cuisine of Sri Lanka has been influenced by many nationalities over the years including the Dutch, English, Arabs, Malays, Moors, Indians and Portuguese. Food is colourful with many vegetarian options and by the coast seafood features.  The staple diet is rice and curry and the curry is usually offered as a variety of small dishes of curry including vegetarian, chicken, fish and some beef and mutton curries.  The curries are accompanied by other dishes including dhal and sambol (like a chutney). Coconut milk is widely used in the curries. And contrary to belief of some westerners, curries are not usually ‘hot’ in taste, but rather ‘spiced’ for flavour. Given Sri Lankan is a tropical island, tropical fruits are abundant. Be sure to sip on a King Coconut juice.

We advise travellers against street food and that you only dine at places that are recommended by your guide or guide/leader.  By following best advice it’s far less likely that you will become unwell with any stomach complaints.

About the Water in Sri Lanka
Due to poor quality of drinking water in Sri Lanka, you must only drink bottled water and only bottled water from reliable sources. Also, use bottled water for brushing teeth. Most hotels have bottled water included in the room for the purpose of brushing teeth.

Please be sure to advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. We always do our best to accommodate special diet needs and in most cases, special dietary needs can be met. However, in some destinations the variety of choice for certain special diets may be limited. If you are concerned please check with us before you book.

Special Diets 

As a standard, Encounter Travel limit special dietary requests to Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Lactose Intolerant and Diabetic. Additional intolerances to those fore-mentioned, are the responsibility of the traveller. For any additional special diet requests you must seek our advice and consultation.

  • We make special dietary requests on behalf of our travellers to our ground operators, cruise operators, and/or any third party that operate components of The Holiday where meals or snacks are provided as part of The Holiday inclusions. We cannot guarantee that all or any of the third parties will meet the request in part or full. 
  • We can offer guidance on each of The Holidays as to the suitability of The Holiday for you in relation to your special diet request.
  • Requests made after booking your holiday that cannot be met will not entitle you to any refund of monies paid. Any lacking or failure from any of our operators to cater for your special diet does not give claim to any compensation whatsoever. 

Other notes about special dietary requirements: 

  • Please also be mindful that many hotels, restaurants and cruise ships may not provide gluten free cereal, bread, pasta, pizza, cake and/or dessert. 
  • Special diet requests may limit the number of choices or variety for meals.

  • For airlines, please seek further advice at the time of booking. Please take note that a request for a vegetarian meal on a flight is provided as a vegan meal.

  • We recommend travellers with special dietary requirements consider their options to supplement meals and snacks in their holiday destination before deciding to travel. In some countries it is not uncommon that restaurants and food outlets pay less or no attention to special dietary requirements in comparison to what we may be accustomed to in Australia or other home countries.

Helpful Websites for Special Diet Translation cards:

http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/ 

https://www.brokerfish.com/food-allergy-translation-cards 

https://www.selectwisely.com/

GROUP GUIDE
This is a private group tour with a driver and tour guide from Sri Lanka. Your tour guide is there to assist with group arrangements and to act as the liaison for all tour services. If the group size falls below 7 passengers, then a driver-guide will escort the group.  

STAYING IN TOUCH 
Email and SMS are the most convenient ways to stay in touch with family and friends while you are away. In most destinations and certainly in major cities you can expect access to internet services and also local telecommunication companies for SMS.

Be sure to have an email account that you can access from any internet service while travelling. e.g gmail, hotmail etc.

To be able to send SMS messages while away you need to check with your mobile phone provider that international roaming services are turned on.  You need to check with your provider the cost for sending and/or receiving SMS while you are outside of your home destination as usually this service is not included in mobile plan packages. 

Important Note: making and receiving telephone calls are usually very expensive and we don’t recommend you use your mobile phone for either.  Our tip – create a voicemail message that let’s callers know you will not bet taking calls but for urgent messages they can send you a text.  Just remember to record your voicemail when you return home, and check with your provider for any associated costs. 

CODE OF CONDUCT 

The following is a code of conduct that must be observed by all participants/travellers:

  1. We require that all participants observe responsible consumption of alcohol and obey all local, state or country laws pertaining to the consumption of alcohol.
  2. Use or possession of any illegal drugs will be cause for immediate expulsion for the group. This includes marijuana and opium even if this is considered acceptable in the destination.
  3. We require all participants to obey all laws of the country.
  4. Participants are to respect the privacy of other participants and if a participant declines to provide any contact information requested by another participant, that this wish is respected.
  5. Participants understand that if they receive contact information from another participant of the group event that this is solely for their reference and is not to be provided to other participants of the event group without the express permission of the participant whose information it is.
  6. Participants are to refrain from offensive language or behaviour including sexist and racist remarks.
  7. Participants understand that should other participants provide personal contact information that this information is not to be used for unsolicited email or correspondence for the purpose of business exchanges or transactions unless with the express prior permission of participants.

Any behaviour contrary to the Code of Conduct may result in your removal from The Holiday. 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

  • Travel insurance is a compulsory pre-requisite to join any of our holidays, unless the trip value is below $1000 per person.
  • We urge every traveller to take out travel insurance immediately after making a deposit for any holiday.
  • Please send your travel insurance policy details to us before or no later than the time you pay your final monies.  You must send us your insurer’s name, telephone number in Australia, emergency contact number for calls outside of Australia and the policy number.
  • We urge you to carefully read any travel insurance policy level of cover/inclusions.  All policies must include cover for medical expenses and sufficient cover for repatriation to your home country in the event of accident or illness.  In addition, we urge you to take out a policy that includes cover for cancellation, curtailment, loss of luggage and personal effects and that the policy has a high level of cover for personal liability.

 

About Credit Card Travel Insurance
You may have travel insurance included with your credit card. 

Before you travel:

  • Contact your bank to request the details of their insurer
  • Find out the level of cover included with your credit card insurance policy
  • Obtain the contact information for the insurer that you would need in an event of an emergency
  • Be sure to determine the credit card provider requirements that qualify you for cover.  Example: a minimum purchase value on the card for your holiday expenses
  • If travelling within Australia, check your policy covers you for domestic travel


DISCLAIMER

We have taken great care to prepare and publish the trip information and in good faith we believe it to be accurate.  However as is the nature of travel, plans may need to change from time to time and often unexpectedly. 

If trip details need to change due to circumstances beyond our control in most cases your final documentation issued prior to your departure will be updated.  However, it’s also possible that you may encounter itinerary changes while on holiday. It could be related to unexpected weather or road conditions or another example could be the unannounced closure of a facility such as a restaurant we planned to use. In these cases our ground operator for the holiday will make all best endeavours to provide an alternative of equivalent or similar standard.

At other times although not commonly, we may make itinerary changes after publishing the trip details on the website. This is usually directly related to enhancing the experience as a result of past traveller comments and from our own discoveries.

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   


ABN: 23 119 642 992