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What to Pack on Your Trip to Sri Lanka

Updated on November 20, 2017
Thish profile image

Thish holds a degree in Information Technology and also a Master in Business Administration. She loves traveling & share her best tips.

"Sri Lanka: One of the coolest place to visit in year 2015"


Sri Lanka is a beautiful island situated just few kilometers south of India and surrounded by the Indian Ocean. It is home to a warm tropical climate, golden and white sandy beaches, abundant wildlife and a rich culture and history.

Sri Lanka has a documented history that spans over 3,000 years, but there are evidence to suggest that Sri Lanka had pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years.


"Sri Lanka is among Forbes 10 coolest places to visit in year 2015. "


Sri Lanka is a heaven for exciting beach activities like snorkeling, whale and dolphin watching, scuba diving, jet skiing and much more. There are ancient cities and some are UNESCO heritage sites.

Apart from the nice beaches, the hill country brings a picturesque view with vast landscapes of tea plantations, waterfalls and mountains. Further Sri Lanka is home for both wet and dry zone forests and has many wildlife parks scattered around the island that is rich in wildlife.

Due to this diversity, Sri Lanka is fast becoming a must see destination by travelers around the world. Make a trip and witness the beauty and diversity of this paradise island.

Emerging Wonder of Asia- Sri Lanka

Travel Light!

This article provides a helpful guide to anyone who will want to make a trip to Sri Lanka. This will give you an idea on what to pack into your traveling bag in order to take the essentials and also not to take unnecessary stuff thus allowing you to travel easily.

In Sri Lanka, you will not find a developed transport system as in Europe. However you can use public transport such as trains and buses to go around any part of the country at a very low cost.

If you are planning on using public transport (buses and trains) between cities, don’t travel with massive suitcases. There are limited space on trains and buses for luggage. Having a nice backpack would come handy and useful as you can pack easily and can fit in better in the public transport modes than carrying suitcases.

Sometimes when you travel in the intercity buses, you will have to pay for an extra seat for your luggage.So, try to travel as light as possible.


What to Wear ?

  • Sri Lankan summer lasts all year long. The temperature in Sri Lanka ranges from 25 – 30 Degrees. Sri Lanka is a tropical country. Light weight cotton type t-shirts, shorts or jeans would be perfect due to it's sunny and high humidity level.
  • You do not have to cover your full body as in some Arabic countries. But having some decent looking clothes will prevent others staring at you when you travel around the country. The clothes made out of light material would be better to cool down your body on hot sunny days and will help you to pack easy and travel light.
  • If you have a loose cotton pant, few cami tops and a shawl you can go anywhere in Sri Lanka. How amazing is that? Shawl is needed only when you enter a religious location.
  • A pair of sun shades would come handy when walking under the glazing sun. Buy an original Polaroid and UV protected pair of sun shades.
  • Sun screen/sun block is expensive in Sri Lanka as they import them, better bring your own.
  • Mosquito repellent can be bought from any of the super markets in Sri Lanka.
  • You do not have to bring different types of shoes. With one all-purpose pair of sandals you can survive. In Sri Lanka you can expect to walk a lot and the roads are not always smooth. Such that having a hard use pair of sandals would help you. As you can avoid all those shoes and bulky fluffy winter clothes, you can easily pack lightly.

Electricity & Power Adapter

220-240 Voltage electricity is used in Sri Lanka. You can find square pins and round pins depending on the place you stay. Such that having a power adapter is useful.

Power adapters are easy to find and cheap in Sri Lanka than buying from Europe or USA. It will cost you only about 2-3 USD.

When you go to a shop just ask for a multi plug as that is what they call for an adapter in Sri Lanka. This can be used in India. You can buy a world wide adapter from the airport when you land in Sri Lanka.


Mobile Connection. Stay Connected!

It's a good option to purchase a local SIM card and top up cards while you are on holiday. The mobile call rates are relatively cheap for both local and IDD calls. There are many mobile operators in the country while Dialog, Mobitel and Etisalat are much more used.

Dialog has a counter at the Colombo Airport and you can obtain a connection on arrival. You can buy top-up cards even for small fee such as 100 LKR(Less than 1 USD). If your phone is locked you can buy a very simple phone for just about 2000 LKR and have a local SIM connection.


Travel with Less Money.

Credit Cards are widely used and accepted by most of the vendors in Colombo and less used in suburb areas.

While Visa and Master Cards are much popular, Amex is also getting popular.

However you can withdraw money from the ATM machines and they are widely available throughout the country enabling you to travel with less money.


Medicine. Stay Well!

Medicine such as pain killers, medicine for normal cold and cough, muscle pains can be bought over the counter from any pharmacy.

Consulting a doctor for prescribed medicine is also not difficult. Going to a private hospital and consulting an OPD doctor is trouble free here.

But if you are taking a specific medicine better to bring your own version as some of the brands might not available in Sri Lanka.

Be Hydrated in Good Way!

The tap water in Sri Lanka is quite hygienic and majority of the locals drink straight from the tap.

Unless you venture too far out of Colombo and its suburbs the water is drinkable and unlikely to cause any problems, but if you go out of the cities better to use bottled water at all times. You can buy bottle water from any store.

Sri Lanka is abundant with fresh king coconuts. They are natural and healthy juice with lot of minerals and vitamins and will make you hydrated. It will cost you only a 50 LKR and much better than drinking carbonated fizzy drinks.


Swimming Gear

Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian ocean and you can see nice beaches around the coastal areas.

Sun bathing, Sea bathing, relaxing at the beach or even enjoy water sports such as Jet skiing, surfing, snorkeling is just to name a few you can enjoy in Sri Lanka. For all this having your swimming gear is important.

You can buy swimwear In Sri Lanka too. However the quality varies and also most available ones are too covered. Finding bikini styles are sometimes not easy. If you want to have better swimwear I have seen a good collection at Odel shopping mall in Colombo 07.


Click!! Click !! You can be a Photographer!

Bring your camera. Sri Lanka has so much to capture and highly photogenic; thus making even an amateur can shoot nice pictures.

Cameras are imported to Sri Lanka and the good brands are expensive while the cheap cameras are with low quality.

Do not forget to bring your own camera as there can be low quality ones here in Sri Lanka which is also not so cheap as they are imported with a big electronics tax.


Take Small Size Souvenirs from Your Country

It is a good idea to take some small size souvenirs from your country. It does not necessarily have to be a valuable thing. It could be something small and inexpensive such as a key tag that indicates it is from your country or a fridge magnet with your country flag.

You can share them if you stay at local home-stays or if you visit a local home for a meal or even with a taxi driver and that thoughtfulness of you sometime end up giving huge returns and favors back to you.

What is the best Souvenir you can take to share with the locals of the country you visit

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Last Note:

Sri Lanka is similar to any other Asian country and if you have been to Asia before you can feel it is a similar experience when it comes to packing.

Sri Lanka is a developing country, yet it has all the average level facilities to enjoy a holiday. Except the imported items, everything else is cheap in Sri Lanka and just talking to a local person you can find anything you want to. Sri Lankans are famous for their hospitality and enjoy Sri Lanka!!!

Anything else you would like to know about Sri Lanka? Ask the author in the comment Section.


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    • Thish profile image

      Ohla 3 years ago

      Mark Johanson of CNN Travel includes Sri Lanka in his list of 10 romantic destinations

    • Thish profile image

      Ohla 3 years ago

      I am glad it helped you and hope it will help everyone else who visit Sri Lanka to pack their stuff.

    • profile image

      Vinitha 3 years ago

      This made my day. Lucky that i found this.. was trying surfing the internet to find some useful tips to pack my luggage to Shri Lanka next month and could not find anything before. This article is brilliant and made my day. Oh I am