What to pack for holidaying in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka holiday checklist

Immediately after deciding your trip to Sri Lanka the next important question will be what to pack for a tour of 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. Now, if you are from the western hemisphere of the world, especially the EU, then you will be entering a different climate, a different culture, and a different way of life. But let me assure you, Sri Lanka is used to the western culture and nothing you do would draw unnecessary attention of the locals especially in the cities and tourist hot-spots. But still you have a long list of items to pack but all of them are not essential. Here is a list of the must haves to pack for holidaying in Sri Lanka


  • Passport and any other Visa documents
  • Credit cards and money
  • Insurance documents
  • Medicine, if any
  • Prescriptions, if any
  • Driving license
  • Keys to the luggage bags
  • Any other keys
  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Universal adapter for the phone charger (Costs around 10USD in Sri Lanka)
  • Pen (easily available in Sri Lanka)


  • Hand sanitizer (Brands such as Lifebuoy and Dettol are available in Sri Lanka. There are many other brands too.)
  • Deodorant (Popular brands such as Axe, Nivea, and Gillette are easily available in all parts of the country)
  • Hair brush
  • Tooth brush and toothpaste
  • Sunscreen and other lotions (Brands such as Nivea available in all parts of the country, and many other popular brands available in the major cities)
  • Shaving kit (Popular brands such as Gillette and Bic are easily available in every part of the country)
  • Trimmer
  • Ear plugs (not easily available in Sri Lanka. Better bring them)
  • Hand towels
  • Tissues

Tech stuff

  • Smart phone/mobile phone, and their chargers (comes under essentials too)
  • Laptop or tab, and chargers
  • Camera
  • Memory cards
  • Batteries for devices
  • Chargers for all devices (reminding you once again)
  • A universal adapter (mentioned earlier too)

Clothing items and accessories

  • Clothing items of your choice. Consider cold climate if you are going to Nuwara Eliya, and warm climate in coastal areas.
  • Sunglasses
  • Shoes
  • Slippers

First of all, don’t be fooled by those who give you a list of 150-200 “essential items” to pack for Sri Lanka. Unless you want to end up with a 50 kg luggage. When you pack for your tour there’s one important thing you must remember – many things in this part of the world are much cheaper than in Europe. Therefore, if you are planning to buy something new for your 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, then the wisest thing is to research whether it’s available in Sri Lanka and buy it here.

You may search online for high end items such as branded clothes and shoes to buy them if they are not available here, and then come down to Sri Lanka for the cheaper things such as beach slippers, swim suits, t shirts etc., because they are much cheaper here. A pair of colourful rubber slippers is below 1 USD in Sri Lanka! A good quality bath towel would be 5 USD. Then why buy it in the EU and then carry it here?

But there are things you cannot substitute. That may be a brand you are loyal to, something with special tweaks, or something which is made in your favourite country. For example, your cigarette brand may not be sold in Sri Lanka. A pack of cigarettes for your consumption would not be very heavy to bring here. Or your favourite brand of deodorant may not be available in Sri Lanka. It’s wise to bring them. But again, check online if they are not available here.

I will add a price list of the most common items bought by foreigners in Sri Lanka very soon.


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