Sri Lanka is a great holiday destination for Muslims to enjoy vivid experiences and in this series, we shall be exploring some of the 9 proven travel hacks which every Muslim needs to know before going on a halal tour.
Tip 1 - Start your journey with dua
Always remember to start your travel journey with the remembrance of Allah and before you embark on the tour say takbeer three times and thereafter recite the following dua,
“Subhaan allathi sakhkhara lana hadha wa ma kunna lahu muqrineen wa inna ila rabbina la munqaliboon. Allaahumma inna nas’aluka fi safarina haadha al-birra wa’l-taqwa wa min al-‘aml ma tarda, Allaahumma hawwin ‘alayna safarana haadha watwi ‘anna bu’dahu. Allaahumma anta al-saahib fi’l-safar wa’l-khaleefah fi’l-ahl. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min wa’tha’ al-safar wa ka’aabat al-manzar wa su’ al-munqalib fi’l-maali wa’l-ahl“
Glory be to the One Who has placed this (transport) at our service and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord is our final destiny. O Allaah, we ask You for righteousness and piety in this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please You. O Allaah, facilitate our journey and let us cover its distance quickly. O Allaah, You are the Companion on the journey and the Successor (the One Who guards them in a person’s absence) over the family. O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from the difficulties of travel, from having a change of heart and from being in a bad predicament, and I seek refuge with You from an ill-fated outcome with regard to wealth and family).” And when he returned he would say the same words, with the following addition: “Aayiboona taa’iboona ‘aabidoona li rabbina haamidoon (Returning, repenting, worshipping and praising our Lord).”
Tip 2 - Book Halal Friendly Accommodation
When booking a hotel or guest house always remember to choose only Crescent rated or Salaam standard hotels or in instances where you cannot find such places then consider choosing Muslim owned accommodation and lodging so you don’t have to face any issues with alcohol and prayer facilities in the room and surrounding areas. It should also be noted that crescent rating hotels are featured based on the number of crescent star, therefore the more number of star ratings it has the more Muslim Friendly services it would provide such as prayer mats and alcohol free rooms.
Tip 3 - Choose a halal tour operator
Its highly recommended to consider choosing a halal tour operator when going on a trip because they would ensure that all your accommodation, food, prayer facilities etc are taken care of so you can enjoy your holiday experience with ease. A halal tour operator could also provide you with a Muslim chauffeur guide as well so they can take care of ensuring that you are able to go to the nearest mosques and halal restaurants at the required times. Some tour operators also have the option of providing a female tour guide as well if requested by the customer for solo female tours.
Tip 4 - Share your itinerary
Prior to starting your tour always remember to keep friends and family informed about your itinerary and details so they are aware of your whereabouts and could do the needful in case of emergencies.
Tip 5 - Carry a travel prayer mat
Although most Crescent rated hotels may offer halal food and other Muslim friendly services, its still advisable to bring your own travel prayer mat or a yoga mat so you can offer your prayers in any clean place without facing any issues.
Tip 6 - Fly at night
Its also advisable to book your flights to travel during the night so you can not only relax and get some sleep onboard but also be able to start your day off with a good breakfast and be energized for the rest of the trip; which would help reduce jet lag significantly.
Tip 7 - Get a hoodie for females
When you are onboarding the plane or travelling for long hours by private vehicle, are hoodie would be a perfect way for you to loosen up your hair in your hijab without uncovering it to others.
Tip 8 - Be hydrated
Sri Lanka has plenty of drinking water available in every part of the country, so remember to always stay hydrated and avoid being thirsty for prolonged hours. This is especially important when you are in cooler parts of the country as you tend to consume less water.
Tip 9 - Carry a self-care pack
When packing up your essentials for your travel, remember to also include a self-care pack for emergencies which would have items like anti-bacterial wipes, mosquito repellent, lip balm, tooth brush and tooth paste. If you’re travelling with children also include rusks, milk, cereals and other items which they are usually accustomed to eating at home as some kids may not necessarily like other types of food.