What To Pack For A Trip To Sri Lanka

Packing for a vacation anywhere can sometimes be very stressful especially when you are trying to go light or when trying to stay within the limits of luggage restrictions of the airlines. However, vacation packing does not need to be stressful with proper planning and some research about the weather conditions for the time period you will be in the country. Suitcase packing can be quick and easy, leaving more time to focus on the more important aspects of what to do and where to go.


Sri Lanka is a destination that offers many different things for seasoned and first-time travelers alike. Here are few tips on what to pack when visiting this amazing island.


As mentioned previously, what to pack for Sri Lanka is largely determined by what time of the year you visit and what region you plan on visiting when there. Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons. One rainy season hits from May to September in the west and south-west regions of the island. The second rainy season is from October to February in the east and northern regions of the island. The temperature is basically constant throughout the year, with average temperatures reaching 25 to 30°C, and the higher regions experiencing average temperatures of 15 to 18°C.


Some essential items include the following:

  • Pack clothes made of lightweight natural fabrics
  • Light woolen items for the higher regions
  • Clothing that covers your shoulders for temple visits, or clothes that cover up as much as possible
  • Conservative clothing, such as long skirts or linen trousers
  • Swimwear is only for the beach so pack a sarong or kaftan for walking to and from the beach
  • Shoes that are easy to slip on and off for temple and shrine visits
  • Jeans are popular and are perfect for night time exploring.

If you are planning to do some birdwatching or wildlife viewing, then a good pair of binoculars is also recommended. There are many types of binoculars which will work well for a Sri Lanka adventure. But overall you can just opt for a good quality, all around pair, which is durable but not too large. We personally like the Avalon 10×42 binoculars or the Nikon ones.

Sri Lanka is a tropical island so the temperatures will be relatively high all year round, even during monsoon season. March and April are the hottest months so do not forget other essentials like sunscreen and hat. A light raincoat or travel umbrella is perfect for monsoon season. Packing light for Sri Lanka is easy when you adhere to the above list. Lightweight fabrics such as linen and cotton dryeffortlessly and can easily be laundered.


Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country and covering up when visiting temples and shrines are a must. Pack in a pashmina or shawl to cover up your shoulders and those items can always be used to pep up an outfit for going out at night. Also, when at a Buddhist temple or Hindu shrine, please remove all hats and footwear.


Solo female travelers, to avoid an unwanted attention, dress as conservatively as possible and use a soft backpack to avoid theft. Invest in a mobile bungee for the same reason, and to avoid losing your mobile phone.


Following the tips above will ensure that you are ready for any adventure, whether it is the bustling city of Colombo or the tea growing town of Hatton.