Do I need a visa to visit Sri Lanka and how much will one cost?
Q&A: Travel unravelled
Wednesday 26 October 2011
Q. I am going to Sri Lanka next February, and have just been told that I need an "Electronic Travel Authorisation" [ETA] for my visit. The official website quotes $50 (£31). Is there a cheaper way of getting one? John Hatto
A. No. The Sri Lankan government is abolishing its free "visa on arrival" facility from 1 January 2012. Travellers will need to apply in advance, at eta.gov.lk, for an ETA. The site is already inviting applications. You have to fill in all the usual personal details, and also say whether or not you are a drug addict and/or involved in espionage or sabotage. You must also pay $50 (£31).
That, at least, is the theory, but on several laborious attempts made by the travel desk of The Independent, the system crashed before the payment page was reached. Presumably the authorities are trying to fix the bugs, but meanwhile you and thousands of other prospective visitors are in bureaucratic limbo.
Some leading figures in the travel industry do not expect the system to be ready to be implemented by the New Year's Day deadline. You could safely postpone any action until December, when either the plan will have been postponed, or the system will be working. As soon as we are confident that the system is working, we aim to announce it in the News & Advice section of independent.co.uk/travel
Q We are travelling to Mexico next month. Would be better to get our currency over there or change it here before we go? Also, our first stop is Mexico City. We have heard there can be problems with taxis there. Do you have any advice for picking up a taxi from the airport to our hotel? Yvonne Mugford
A Don't even think of getting Mexican pesos here - you'll get a lousy rate. Ideally, take US dollars (if you can buy them at a good rate here), but sterling is usually accepted in big cities and resorts.
At Mexico City's chaotic airport, change some money before you leave the baggage hall. Then find the pre-paid taxi desk. Do not allow yourself to be waylaid by touts, and watch your possessions like a hawk. The capital is a great city, but at the end of a long flight to a high-altitude location, you are particularly vulnerable.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 2 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 5 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
£24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...
Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...