5 ways to politely decline a drink

Picture this: you are out with a few friends, coworkers or strangers while you’re out. You’re having a good time. However, you get pushed to take an alcoholic drink, but you don’t want to: how do you say no without offending anyone? Here are 5 ways to say ‘no’ to alcohol.

1. “I don’t drink and drive” OR “I’m driving”: This is a very good response if you are driving. It reinforces the concept of safe driving and shows that you are a responsible individual. This is arguably the best also the perfect job for those who don’t drink-they can hang out with friends, not drink and then take them home. Everyone appreciates a free ride home.

no alcohol today
Don’t drink and drive. Ever

2. “I don’t drink”: Probably the response which requires numerous follow-up questions, but its worth a try. You may wish to decline drinking as you may have taken a religious vow, or you are taking a break from alcohol altogether. Expect to get teased and joked about your sense of fun, and/or masculinity/femininity. That said, be firm and is a good reply as long as you can keep up with the fun activities with your friends.

3.“I have to get up early tomorrow” OR “I’ve got work in the morning”: It’s an interesting reply, as it may prompt a follow-up question (ie: ‘what are you doing tomorrow?’). That said, It’s good as it demonstrates that you don’t permit alcohol to interfere with your daily activities and you have a good head on your shoulders.

Know your limits when it comes to alcohol

4. “I’ve just had one”: It’s a good, easygoing response. This prevents someone from accusing you from being too uptight. This insinuates that you are have boundaries and that you don’t need to drink continuously, but indicates that you could have taken a drink if you wanted.

5. “I’ve had enough to drink”: This is a hugely powerful statement when you drink with a regular crowd. If it’s a new group, they will learn about your tolerance eventually. It’s good to drink responsibly, especially for those who may have problems with alcohol

What are other effective methods you use to drink responsibly? Tell us in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

The Dirty Dozen: The 12 Worst Sri Lankan Driving Habits

Sri Lanka is notorious for its poor driving. Given the fact that we encounter a high level of road rage, it seemed appropriate that we list out the worst driving habits of our fellow Sri Lankan drivers:

1. Going too slowly…on the highway: Yes, we have highways and that is excellent. However, there are a number of individuals who go too slow-say travelling at 50kmph when the speed is as high as 100kmph. If you are one of those who goes too slowly, move towards the left lane. 

slow lane

2. Driving on the wrong lane: Speaking of lanes, there are too many vehicles which I encounter which travel on the wrong lane. If you are one of them, hear this: The left lane is for slower drivers, while the right lane is for those who want to go faster.

3. Disrespecting road rules: A classic example is disregarding the pedestrian crossing. A lot of drivers don’t stop as they are supposed to. Yes, the drivers will respond saying that pedestrians usually ‘jump from nowhere’, but they are allowed to cross the road using the pedestrian crossing. So be aware.

4. Using Mobiles & driving: As we have mentioned earlier, this is very dangerous, since a moment’s distraction is all that’s necessary in order to cause a collision. If you must take or receive an important call, move your car to the side and take the call.

phone while driving

5. Using the wrong turn signal: One of the most basic things to do, and yet you’ve likely come upon this scenario: drivers who are about to turn left, have their indicators lit up in the other direction (even when they can’t turn right!). While this may be quite amusing to some, it slows down the vehicle behind as it creates uncertainty, because the driver up front seemingly doesn’t appear to know what they are doing.

6. Drifting in and out of lanes: Probably the most annoying on the list. Some drivers cant seem to decide on which lane they want to stay on, and frequently keep changing lanes by swerving to the left or the right. This makes it difficult sometimes as motorists want to drive normally and shouldn’t have to worry about getting involved in a side on collision.

7. Reversing onto the main road: If you’ve ever had to park in a shop or restaurant which is on the main road, you know nerve-wracking this feels. You need to reverse and manoeuvre carefully as you do your best to avoid hitting another car, or pedestrian.

8. Inconvenient parking: You need to park somewhere quickly, unfortunately the closest parking spot has been taken in a very poor fashion (see pic below). If this is you, breathe.  We’ve all been there at least once. Please learn how to park in a convenient place and it’ll help everyone.poor parking

9. Too many people in a vehicle: This is more likely to happen if the vehicle is a three-wheeler/tuk tuk or a motorcycle. I understand that people want to save the cost of transportation, but surely that shouldn’t be at the expense of someone’s life?

10. Large vehicles on narrow roads: Narrow ‘side’ roads are frequently used as shortcuts by a number of drivers. However, the moment a large vehicle such as a bus, truck or even a car comes along, there is no way a second vehicle can go through.

no helmets

11. No helmets: This one is for all the motorcyclists who don’t use helmets: it’s a terrible idea. You are risking serious injury if you don’t have one on you and a road accident were to happen. Furthermore, there are children who travel without a helmet: Surely if you are a responsible parent,  keeping your children safe should be a priority.

12. Driving through yellow lights: Rarely a day hour goes by when this does not happen. All types of motorists seem to view the yellow light as ‘go’ and jam their foot on the accelerator. It’s not a safe thing to do, and even though it may cost you a little time in traffic, it’s better to get there late than to not get there at all.

12. Large vehicles on narrow roads: Narrow ‘side’ roads are frequently used as shortcuts by a number of drivers. However, the moment a large vehicle such as a bus, truck or even a car comes along, there is no way a second vehicle can go through.

And there you have it, the 12 worst driving habits of Sri Lankans. Which is the worst of them all? Tell us in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

Google Street View in Sri Lanka: Have you spotted the Google car yet?

1. What is Google Street View?

In Mid December 2014, Google Maps announced that they would be bringing their world-famous Street View to Sri Lanka. Google Street View allows you access to high quality images of streets in Google Maps, or Gmaps for short. Accessing Street View is as easy as dragging the orange icon onto your screen, making it possible to find certain locations, landmarks streets ahead of time.

2. Where are they going?

Jaffna, Matara and Arugam Bay will be the first to witness the Google Street Team in action. They will be covering every single street, in order to provide a comprehensive experience, which is very handy as there are a lot of side roads and ‘by lanes’ in our country. Check out this car, which is coming to a street near you.

Google Street View in Sri lanka, Google Maps, Gmaps
Image Credit: ReadMe

3. Whats In It For Me?

For starters, there would be a lot fewer excuses about ‘getting lost’ when trying to find a relatives house. This provides Sri Lankan’s with the opportunity to manage driving directions, find good parking spots and locate businesses and restaurants ahead of time.

4. What about Privacy and Unflattering Images?

Some people are understandably concerned about privacy. However, as reported by ReadMe, Google edits the images by blurring faces and license plates. Furthermore, if you find an unflattering image on Google Street View, you can make a compliant to Google. Other pessimists suggest that potential tourists  may be less inclined to visit if they were to see some of our less than flattering streets. However, Colombo has gone through a significant upgrade in places such as the independence square, and our cultural icons such as the Dalada Maligawa, Sigiriya and Galle Fort can be viewed in all its glory using Street View, so it balances out favorably in the end.

Have you seen the Google Car in your neighbourhood? If so, tell us where. Better yet, take a picture of yourself with it and get in touch with us!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

8 Ways to Drive in Wet Weather

December usually heralds the season of Christmas trees, families spending time together, numerous parties and last-minute dashes to buy presents. However, it also rains during this particular month. As a result, the roads in Sri Lanka become even more dangerous than they usually are. Nobody wants to get involved in a motor accident, so here are some tips to get to your destination safely.

1. Lights on… to a point: Using your lights allow drivers to increase visibility, and make you more visible to other motorists. Sometimes, you may need to use fog lights as per the situation. Use your best judgement, but please don’t put your lights too high, as it is a significant distraction to other drivers, and is a very dangerous thing to do as the driver may lose sight for a moment and lose control.

2. Pay attention: This means no phones or other distractions. Driving in Sri Lanka is hard enough, but with rain affected roads, the margin of error is even smaller. Make sure that you pay close attention to your surroundings and drive safe.

steering and drive carefully during wet weather
Image Credit: Bigotires

3. Slow and Steady: It’s normal that you want to get your destination quickly, but it’s always better to get there a little late than to not get there at all. On wet roads, make sure you put more braking distance as you need plenty of time to react to the slippery conditions. Besides, slow and steady always wins the race.

4. Use a light touch: Irrespective of whether you are making a turn, steering or hitting the brakes, make sure that you make controlled movements. If your driving is steady, your vehicle will also be steady.

5. To the Left, to the left: Since you’re driving slow (see Tip 3), move to far left and allow other vehicles to overtake you. Its annoying to have drivers who don’t know how to use lanes properly, much more so during slippery driving conditions.

hydroplaning, driving in floods, driving in rain, driving in wet weather
Image credit: Roaddriver

6. Beware of water: Seems obvious, but avoid water whenever you can. Driving through water can harm your engine and brakes. A good rule of thumb to observe: if the water level is higher than the bottom of your doors, don’t drive through. Worst case scenario, you may need to take another route, but that’s always better than having your vehicle get stuck as it pours outside.

7. Demist the front and back windscreen: It’s very simple, use your heater so that you have maximum visibility when you are on slippery roads.

8. If possible, leave more time for your journey: This will allow you to relax and drive slower, while allowing you to take account for potential traffic jams.

Any tips you would like to add to our list? Tell us in the comments section!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

The Ultimate Travellers Checklist: For Hot, Humid Climates

Less than two months left for Christmas… yikes! This is an excellent time to start preparing for a holiday. A lot of Sri Lankans like to travel to places such as Malaysia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Maldives and Thailand, partly because the flights are reasonably priced.  Sometimes, we need a little help in packing. With that in mind, here is our traveller’s checklist for hot, humid weather.

UPDATE: If you’re planning on going somewhere cold, have a look at our checklist for cold weather


  • Sports shirts -these move moisture away from the body than conventional shirts
  • Lightweight pants/shorts/skirts – avoid jeans
  • Swimsuits (women) or shorts which can be used for swimming (men)
  • Underwear
  • Quick drying towels
  • A rain jacket


  • Sandals or canvas shoes,
  • Sport socks/quick drying socks as they move the moisture away from your feet/dry a lot faster
packing 2
Image Credit: Smartwomentravelers

For the heat:

  • Sunblock
  • A wide brimmed hat, as it provides all round protection for your head and neck
  • A water bottle to help combat dehydration
  • Sunglasses


  • Mobile phone+ charger
  • Digital camera+ chargers
  • Travel adaptors


  • Medicines,
  • Anti malarial tablets  (necessary for Sub Saharan African nations such as Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia etc)
  • Plug in mosquito killer/citronella oil


  • Toiletaries bag:
  • Soap/shower gel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving gear
  • Medicines
  • Travel clothesline and soap flakes
  • Extra/dry bag to store wet clothes


  • Guidebook/Itinerary
  • Luggage/suitcase and carry on bag
  • Travel documents: Passports, visas, airline tickets/boarding passes
  • Travel Insurance

Liked this list? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.

How travelling makes you a better person

If you’ve ever gone travelling for an extended period of time, you know that its a ton of fun and leaves you with some great stories. Memories aside, there are a number of ways travel makes you a better person:

1. Communication/Social skills: You will learn how to interact with the locals, especially when travelling alone. This helps you be more outgoing. Making small talk with someone on a bus, train or bar is as easy as asking ‘where are you from?’. Ask them to share their story first, and then you can tell them about yourself. In addition, this improves your communication skills; you can learn a new language, or just speak and listen better.

2. Stress Management: Not only does travelling shake things up from your normal routine, but it is a more interesting way to exercise    than hitting your local gym. This lets you de-stress both mind and body and you will be more likely to enjoy your ‘workout’!

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff: So your train got late, big deal-you can always catch the next one, or just spend a little more time in a café or explore the nearby area. Yes, you may have planned certain aspects of your trip, but leave a little room for adventure.

4. Planning, Organizational and Financial skills: Let’s face it, being Sri Lankan means you need a visa to travel nearly anywhere. However, this allows you the opportunity to prepare and plan your visa, organize your trip and manage your funds. This will certainly help you irrespective of whatever you do in life.

Image Credit: Gettyimages

5.Make new friends: This is a no brainier-whether you travel for business or pleasure, it’s always a good thing to maintain contacts. Getting connected nowadays is as simple as sending a Facebook or Linkedin invite. Who knows, that particular individual could help you get involved in a future stage of your career!

6. Impress your existing friends: Not saying you should boast, but a trip about how you went skydiving in Malaysia is a more interesting thing to talk about than someone taking their dog to the vet. Travel is a natural conversation starter, use it wisely.

7. Break stereotypes: When you go somewhere and meet the locals, try their foods and experience their culture, you form your own opinions. Until then, your only understanding would only come from what you were taught or have seen in the media. The main point: don’t over research, and keep an objective mind until you get there.

8. Self-growth: Perhaps the most important, travelling lets you open your eyes and open your mind. Spending time rubbing shoulders with people of different cultures will expose you to different ways of thinking and make you more appreciative of what you have once you go return home.

Do you know any more benefits of travel we’ve missed out on? Tell us in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.