What to pack for Sri Lanka.

What to pack for Sri Lanka

What to pack for Sri Lanka

Here is our guide for what to pack for your holiday in Sri Lanka.
Our experience is that it is so easy to overpack and carry around items that you really won’t need.
Firstly you will need to consider which parts of this beautiful Island you will be travelling to.

Sri Lanka has a wide variety of experiences from beaches to hiking and temples to safaris. You can pack lightly if you are just going to the beach, however, other parts of Sri Lanka may surprise you on what clothing you will need.

The elevation will give you a clue and you can research what the weather is like in the area you will be exploring so you have more information on what clothing you will need for the elements.

Beaches, Hiking, Historic Cities, Safaris and Temples

There is such a variety of things to do on this small island. At 65,610 sq km it is similar in size to Ireland. There is so much diversity and it takes longer to get around than you would anticipate.

The Hill Country, Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains and Ella

It may come as a surprise but there are some spots in Sri Lanka where you will need to wrap up a bit. 

Horton Plains Cloud Forest is at an elevation of 2,200 metres.
The weather at times can be windy, wet and hot. 

Nuwara Eliya is at an elevation of 6,199 feet (1,889 metres) above sea level. It is called “Little England” for a good reason!

Here are our essential items to take with you to Sri Lanka


Okay, so this is pretty obvious however, it is your key to getting around.

Remember: Keep it safe


Another obvious one however it needs to be on the list.

You can buy a SIM package for your holiday at the airport when you arrive.

Debit/Credit cards

Yes, you will need some money! 

There are plenty of ATM’s around the country where you will be able to withdraw some cash.

Some Hotels and B & B’s will accept payment via online Apps such as Revolut, XE, etc. You will need to check with your accommodation.

As with any travel it is wise to keep the amount of cash you have to a minimum for safety sake.

A Reusable water bottle

 The best investment you’ll ever make to reduce your plastic waste.

Now more than ever we encourage you to be responsible in reducing your environmental footprint.

You can also help by bringing a tote bag, reusable straw & reusable coffee cup. 


Shampoo (& conditioner), Deodorant,
Sanitary products,
Insect repellent,
… and whatever usually you need! 

You will be able to buy most of these items in the supermarkets and small shops in Sri Lanka if you forget them. You may not recognise the brand but they will be sufficient for your holiday.

However, Sunscreen can be very expensive and may not be the Sun Factor 50 that you prefer.
Also the Insect Repellants may not be as good as you can buy in Europe.

Sunglasses - essentail for your holiday

Make sure that you protect your eyes from serious UV rays.

As Sri Lanka is near the Equator you can easily be caught out by the strength of the sun and UV.

Pack a Universal adapter

So you can charge up anywhere.

Most good hotels in Sri Lanka will have an adaptor that you can use during your stay. However, it’s best to take one to ensure your phone and other items are charged when you need them.

In  recent years Sri Lanka changed to a Three Pin Plug, similar to that in the UK, so if you are coming from Europe or further afield bring an adapter just i n case.

Power Bank - good to pack for Sri Lanka

Keep your devices charged.

This is especially important when you need to spend so time looking at maps & taking photos.

It was not unusual for Sri Lanka to suffer scheduled power cuts during the financial crisis in 2022 and a power bank was essential at that time.

Power cuts are now unusual however if a tree falls and breaks a power line or there is scheduled maintenance then you will be thankful that you broungt your power bank with you.

Camera, memory cards & spare batteries:

If you are planning on taking a lot of photos and videos make sure that you don’t miss that special moment.

Backpack or Suitcase?

Either a Backpack or Suitcase?

It really depends on what your type of holiday you like and the activities that you will be doing.

If you are taking a backpack, make sure that it is reliable & comfortable.

If you are taking a suitcase, then make sure that it is not a burden for you when travelling around Sri Lanka.

What to pack for Sri Lanka.
What to pack for Sri Lanka

Our Ultimate Recommendation of what to take

Don’t take too much!

From our experience it’s too easy to overpack and just take those heavy jeans, trousers and thick jackets around the Island and never use them.

If you are going to some of the sights in a higher elevation then you will need something light to keep you warm in the evening. Something like a shawl or light sweater should do the trick.

Be prepared for rain or showers. A light waterproof (and windproof) jacket should be all that you need.

However, if you are going to tackle a hike in Knuckles you will need some sturdy walking boots, leech socks, jacket, hat and torch.

Please research weather sites before you arrive in Sri Lanka and pack accordingly.

Some extra items and things to consider

A small torch or head torch

A head torch is not the most fashionable item but we find one very useful.

Know when the Monsoons take place

The Southwest Monsoon
The main southwest (“Yala”) monsoon brings rain to the west and southwest coasts.

It affects the hill country from April or May to September and is wettest from April to June.

The Northeast Monsoon

The less severe northeast (“Maha”) monsoon hits the east coast from November to March. It is wettest from November to December.

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