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Sri Lanka – What to Pack – Clothing and Supplies Tips

Sri Lanka What to Pack

Sri Lanka is a hot, wet, tropical country with breathtaking, chilly mountains. Pack appropriate clothing and supplies, but don’t overpack!


No matter what you have planned for your Sri Lankan adventure, these luggage options are ideal for a short or long-term stay.

Pack Light

If you plan on traveling by bus or train in Sri Lanka don’t use massive suitcases. There is limited luggage space. You may have to pay for an extra seat for your bag. However, packing light is tricky because you’ll need to bring a lot. All medicines, toiletries, batteries and photographic supplies should be purchased at home. Brands available on the island will be expensive and might be poor quality. Don’t forget your camera!

The Island of All Seasons

Sri Lanka’s climate is diverse depending on the area you’re visiting, not on the time of the year. When it’s raining in the north, it’s shiny and warm in the other half. The mountains can be very cold, though the island in general is hot and humid. Wherever you go, you will need mosquito repellant, or you will get bitten badly. Securing anti-malaria medication before your trip is wise.

Generally, breathable, lightweight cotton or quick-dry clothing is best. While planning on heat, women should still do what they can to dress modestly in respect of Sri Lankan culture. If you are visiting temples, both genders will need long pants and sleeves. For the heat, remember sunscreen and a hat. For the mountains, pack a sweater and raincoat. Comfortable walking shoes or sandals are best. If you’re planning to hit the beach, you’ll need a proper swimsuit. If you are invited to a Sri Lankan home, any effort you make to look nice will be appreciated.

Clothes to Pack

Lost Without a Map

Even if you are traveling with a guide, a quality guidebook and map are essential. Some guidebooks are better than others when it comes to hotel listings and sightseeing information. Browse a few before you leave home and select a good one. A laminated, flexible map that fits in your pocket will be a valued travel companion. Look for one that shows beaches, major and minor roads, rest houses, temples, gas stations, etc. You should be able to find one on arrival.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about what to pack for Sri Lanka.

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