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Sri Lanka Packing List: Checklist for Your Sri Lanka Trip

If you're planning your Sri Lanka vacation but don't know what to pack, you've come to the right place!

We've created a detailed packing list for Sri Lanka to help you pack and board your flight with peace of mind, knowing that you have all the important items for your trip.

ikonischer Berg in Sri Lanka


Table of Contents


1. Climate in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. Average temperatures usually range between 25°C and 30°C, depending on the region and altitude.

Sonnenaufgang Ella Sri Lanka

Rainy Season: Sri Lanka has two monsoon seasons: the southwest monsoon from May to September brings rain to the south and west coasts as well as the central highlands. The northeast monsoon from December to March brings rain to the eastern and northern regions. Regardless of your travel time, it’s best to think about rain protection.

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is usually from November to March when the weather is most pleasant on the west and south coasts as well as in the mountains. If you want to visit the eastern and northern regions, the best time is from April to September.

2. The Right Luggage for Your Vacation in Sri Lanka

For your vacation in Sri Lanka, you need a larger backpack or suitcase. Since we are always on the move, we prefer a backpack over a bulky suitcase – but this is, of course, a matter of taste and depends on what you plan to do on vacation.

In principle, we recommend bringing both a large backpacker’s backpack and a smaller daypack for day trips. You can use the daypack as carry-on during the flight and for shorter excursions during your trip.

In your daypack, you can store all your important items such as your passport, money, and other valuables that you want to keep with you. Large backpacks often end up in the trunk during bus transfers, but you can always keep your daypack with you.

A little tip from us: we have a rain cover for both our daypack and our trekking backpack. This not only protects against sudden rain showers but also potentially from pickpockets.

3. Our Detailed Sri Lanka Packing List for Your Backpacking Vacation

Sri Lanka Checklist: Travel Documents and Money

You should definitely have the following documents in your daypack for a trip to Sri Lanka:

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry, plus copies of important documents stored separately, e.g., in your trekking backpack)

  • Visa (apply in advance here)

  • Waterproof document pouch

  • Flight tickets

  • Wallet

  • Credit card

  • Health insurance card / Travel insurance

  • Cash

  • International driver's license

  • Vaccination card (if applicable)

  • Student ID (if applicable)

Sri Lanka Packing List: Clothing

The following clothing items are essential for your trip to Sri Lanka. Keep in mind that you will have opportunities to do laundry along the way, so don't pack too much and choose clothes that are easy to mix and match.

Essential Items to Pack:

  • Underwear (including sports bra)

  • Socks and hiking socks

  • Swimwear (bikini, swim trunks, etc.)

  • UV shirt (for women/men) for UV protection in the water, we always have one with us

  • Pajamas

  • 3-4 t-shirts

  • Functional shirt

  • Thin long-sleeve shirt

  • 2 pairs of shorts

  • 2 pairs of long pants

  • Sportswear

  • Nicer outfit (e.g., dress or shirt for a cocktail in a rooftop bar in Bangkok)

  • Outfit that covers shoulders and knees (for temple visits)

  • Trekking pants

  • Cardigan

  • Multifunctional scarf

  • Fleece jacket or fleece pullover (for women/men)

  • Rain jacket

Sri Lanka Packing List: Shoes

Shoes take up a lot of space in your luggage (and add extra weight), so you should carefully consider which activities you plan to do and which shoes you will need. Also, make sure that your shoes are well broken in.

Sri Lanka Packing List: Toiletries

When it comes to toiletries, we always ensure that they are as small and lightweight as possible, with minimal packaging. We also transfer our favorite cosmetics like shampoo, shower gel, and heat protectant into travel-sized containers, as they are not available in smaller sizes.

Here is a list of everything we carry in our backpack when traveling to Sri Lanka:

  • Toiletry bag

  • Shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner

  • Deodorant

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss

  • Cotton swabs

  • Nail care set

  • Brush

  • Hair ties

  • Makeup

  • Razor

  • Tweezers

  • Tampons, sanitary pads

  • Face cream and other skincare products

  • Body lotion

  • Small microfiber towel for on the go

Sri Lanka Packing List: Travel Pharmacy

For your trip to Sri Lanka, it's essential to think about your travel pharmacy in advance. We have a separate post (Travel Pharmacy) where we provide detailed information about which medications, in addition to a first aid kit (bandages, disinfectant, etc.), are crucial to bring with you.

Getting the right and original medications locally can sometimes be challenging, so always play it safe and bring your own mini-pharmacy for the trip.

In addition to medications, you should also bring appropriate sun protection.

An adequate mosquito repellent with DEET is essential. Besides light-colored clothing (for men/women), mosquito repellents with DEET and a mosquito net are helpful.

Make sure you check if you have all the necessary vaccinations before your trip to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Packing List: Camera and Tech

Here is a list of our technical equipment, which is also part of our luggage. Depending on the type of content or vacation memories you want to create, you should bring the appropriate gear.

Sri Lanka: Miscellaneous

Lastly, here are a few more items that should not be missing from our luggage:

Tip: Try Audible for 30 days for free and listen to audiobooks during your vacation or on the way there.


Want more insights into our travels? Check out our Instagram channels tom_rbg_ and anna_mser! If you have questions about the routes, feel free to contact us through these channels!


*This post contains affiliate links. There are no additional costs to you when purchasing through these links, you are simply supporting our work.


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