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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 27, 2019
Headline for Things to Pack When You Visit Sri Lanka - Must-Pack Items for a Holiday in Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Pack When You Visit Sri Lanka - Must-Pack Items for a Holiday in Sri Lanka

Regardless of the duration of your stay, packing for a vacation in a tropical paradise requires some forethought. Here are some tips on must-have essentials for your Sri Lankan holiday.


Clothing Essentials

When it comes to packing clothes for a Sri Lankan vacation, less is more. The humidity and sunny conditions prevalent for most of the year mean sweaters, cardigans and heavy materials will not serve one well in the country. Pack clothing made from light coloured (so it does not absorb the heat) and breathable materials. Cotton is top favourite while carrying along a few conservative clothing items for temple visits is also crucial as tourists are not allowed to enter wearing shorts and tank tops. Those who are venturing to the hills may want to pack a windbreaker or a jacket to stay warm but the temperatures in the country's mountains are usually tolerable for those from colder climates.



Sandals and open-toed shoes will more than suffice for the duration of your Sri Lankan getaway as the heat and humidity make wearing socks and sneakers a truly torturous experience. Hiking boots may also be needed if one intends to engage in treks and similar climbing activities. A pair of heels and formal shoes may come in handy if one is wining and dining in one of Colombo's more swanky restaurants or hoping to attend a special occasion.


Bug Spray and Sunscreen

Mosquitoes and tiny insects are part and parcel of the tropical experience and those who holiday in Sri Lanka will need a strong mosquito repellent if they are to enjoy time outdoors or catch a good night's sleep during the getaway. Repellents are available in Sri Lanka but are imported from other countries so it may cost more than buying from home and one may not have as much of a choice if certain allergies or any ingredients are undesired for health reasons. Sun protection is also crucial for beach vacations heading to Sri Lanka as well as those signing up for safaris and water sports.


Backpack and a Daypack

Inside your luggage, pack a day bag and a backpack to keep the must-haves close at hand regardless of whether one is spending time at the beach or exploring the highlights in the Cultural Triangle. Staying hydrated is also important in Sri Lanka so a day back and a backpack will serve as the perfect storage location for bottles of water, snacks, and sunscreen and travel documents on the go. Those who are travelling around the country in groups with the aid of a Sri Lanka travel agency the likes of Aitken Spence Travels or any similar operator will find this is especially convenient for organized tours. Pack a fanny pack if one feels a backpack is too big to hold key belongings.



As one of the most photogenic countries in the world, visitors will need to pack their camera or camcorder to capture the stunning beauty of the island. Phone cameras will not suffice so don't forget to pack extra memory cards and batteries to use on the road. Those who are bringing their laptop or tablet PC can skip the memory cards as they can save, email or store each day's photos in the device. Cameras that require charging and built in the USA will cause issues as most plug points and electrical sockets in Sri Lanka are made to fit European standards. Bring along a converter if this is the case.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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