Sri Lanka is a country that I initially didn’t know much about, and I never thought I would visit… but after spending some time spent immersed in this culturally rich country it is now one of my favourite countries in the world! 2-4 weeks in Sri Lanka is a perfect amount of time to explore and discover all the hot spots and hidden gems that this destination has to offer. From the pristine coastlines, countless waterfalls, scenic train rides, elephant safari parks, verdant hill country landscapes and much more… There are awesome adventures to be had for everyone!
Having backpacked all over Sri Lanka myself, I have a pretty fair idea of what to pack for Sri Lanka and why!
Sri Lanka has a wide range of accommodation options from luxury resorts to budget hostels and everything in between. I use booking.com to search and book all of my accommodations. Click Here to find a place that best suits you during your visit to Sri Lanka.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SRI LANKA
The best time to visit the west coast, south coast and hill country of Sri Lanka is December through to March, which is the dry season. Definitely try to avoid these areas of Sri Lanka during monsoon season which is between May and September.
If you plan on heading over to the east coast of Sri Lanka to Arugam Bay the best time to visit is between April and September.
Search All ∼ Flights To Sri Lanka On SkyScanner.com
WHAT TO PACK FOR SRI LANKA
Most likely you are going to get up to a lot of adventures on your visit to Sri Lanka, whether it be hiking mountain peaks, exploring waterfalls or beach hopping! A waterproof phone case is a must-have item to keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Waterproof Phone Case
A reusable water bottle is a must when deciding on what to pack for Sri Lanka and it’s something I take with me on all of my adventures. Not only will the Hydro Flask keep your water icy cold all day but you will also be helping the environment by reducing the use of plastics in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Hydro Flask Water Bottle
If you are searching for the best day bag to take with you when backpacking Sri Lanka, then look no further. The Nomatic 20L day bag is one of the best backpacks on the market and perfect for those everyday adventures! This particular Nomatic bag is water resistant, anti-theft, light-weight and incredibly durable.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Nomatic Day Bag
A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when deciding on what to pack for Sri Lanka. The weather in Sri Lanka can be very sporadic due to the tropical climate and a downpour can happen at any moment. The best rain jackets I have come across for men and women are the North Face waterproof rain jackets with a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar. Be prepared and add this essential item to your Sri Lanka packing list.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ North Face Lightweight Rain Jacket (Mens)
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ North Face Lightweight Rain Jacket (Womens)
Arriving in Sri Lanka and not being able to charge your phone, laptop, camera and other accessories is a nightmare for most travellers. I highly recommend equipping yourself with a universal power adapter that can be used everywhere in Asia and also in UK, Europe, Africa, United States and Australia.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Universal Power Adapter
The Nomatic compression clothing bag is honestly my favourite item in my backpack! The unique folding seal and air valve are designed to get air out of the bag in the suction process. Perfect for condensing shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more! The Nomatic compression bag makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space and reducing packing frustration when deciding on what to pack for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Nomatic Compression Bag
One of the best things about having a portable power bank is that you can keep your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures throughout Sri Lanka. I have recently just discovered this awesome solar power bank that can be recharged under direct sunlight and it has 3 USB charging ports. Some other great features on this particular power bank are Qi wireless charging, flashlight settings, water-resistant and shockproof.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Portable Solar Power Bank
One of the most popular cameras on the planet. I love using the GoPro Hero 7 for everything involving water shots and those fast-paced adventures in Sri Lanka. It captures all of my best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use and I highly recommend this camera when backpacking Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ GoPro Hero 7 Waterproof Camera
Everyone loves a good selfie, right? This slick and stylish selfie stick can extend to 1.2m and I find it much easier to shoot photos and videos with the GoPro Hero 7 when it is mounted to the SandMarc Selfie Stick. This is definitely something you will not regret adding to your packing list for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ SandMarc Selfie Stick – Metal Edition
The last thing you want when visiting Sri Lanka is a body covered in itchy mosquito bites or worst-case scenario, dengue fever. As I mentioned earlier, Sri Lanka has a very tropical climate and mosquitoes along with other nasty insects like to hang out almost everywhere on the island. Be sure to get a bottle of insect repellent to throw in your check-in baggage when packing for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Insect Repellent 100% Deet
Yes, sunscreen! Some of us hate it, others can’t live without it. Nevertheless, it won’t hurt to throw in a tube of sunscreen when packing for Sri Lanka and I guarantee you will end up using it every single day when you are out exploring! In my experience, sunscreen is quite expensive in Sri Lanka so it’s best to pack some before you go.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Sun Bum 50+ Sunscreen
I think it is safe to say that 9 out of 10 of us have been a victim of travellers diarrhoea, or more commonly known as ‘Delhi Belly.’ I personally eat a lot of street food and enjoy the odd seafood BBQ on the beach, but typically these types of eateries are known for bacteria infected or out of date foods. So to be better safe than sorry, I recommend purchasing these Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets which are fast-acting and a safe way to rid your system of the toxins that cause stomach upset.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets
I know for sure that you are likely to visit at least one waterfall or find an epic rock jumping spot during your travels in Sri Lanka. This beautiful country is a mecca for water adventures and muddy hikes so definitely consider purchasing an affordable pair of slip-on waterproof shoes when deciding on what to pack for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Slip-On Waterproof Shoes
To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? It’s a question I ask myself too often when deciding on what to pack for Sri Lanka. A standard beach or bathroom towel can take up quite a lot of space in your travel bag, though a quick-dry travel towel is a perfect alternative! This light-weight, microfibre travel towel is perfect for the beach, camping, backpacking and general travelling.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Quick-Dry Travel Towel
Kindle’s are the best alternative for books when travelling. The Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, a relaxing read on the beach or a quiet evening away from the beach bars. The new Kindle’s are waterproof, linked with Audible, pair with bluetooth headphones or speakers, adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions, 8GB – 32GB storage and rechargeable batteries that last for weeks!
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Kindle E-Reader
I used to cringe at thought of wearing a money belt as they are far from fashionable. In saying that, the best thing about money belts is that they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing to prevent pickpocketers. They are perfectly designed to keep your cash and other valuables safe for when you are out and about enjoying Sri Lanka’s nightlife.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Money Belt
Along with the money belt, a travel passport wallet is a great addition to your packing list for Sri Lanka. I find it best to always keep my passport, valuables, travel documents, credit cards and cash all in one place, stowed away in this easily organised travel wallet.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Travel Passport Wallet
A dry bag is always a good item to consider when deciding on what to pack for Sri Lanka, especially if you are planning on going snorkelling, spending some time at the beach, exploring waterfalls or island hopping. Best to keep your phone and other valuables safe from water damage.
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Earth-Pak Dry Bag
Something that I have surprisingly been using quite often is a head torch. It may not be an essential Sri Lanka packing list item for everyone but if you do plan on hiking Ella Rock or Little Adam’s Peak, which I highly recommend, then this waterproof and USB rechargeable head torch will quickly become your best friend on your Sri Lanka sunrise adventures!
Sri Lanka Packing List Essential ∼ Foxelli Head Torch
SRI LANKA BLOG POSTS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
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MY CAMERA GEAR
I get a lot of messages from people wanting to know what camera gear and travel essentials I use while backpacking around the world, so I have put together a list of everything I carry with me on my travels and that I can personally recommend to you.
As a full-time backpacker, I try to travel as light as possible when I’m on the road and so everything listed below is all you will need to travel the world, take quality photos and not have to carry too much weight.
Camera – Sony A7ii Full Frame Mirrorless
This model of Sony is one of the most affordable, compact and best mirrorless cameras on the market. I shoot with this camera every day and my quality of images has increased dramatically since I made this purchase. You can browse through all of my images in my blog to give you an idea of what this camera is capable of.Check Prices >>
Camera Lens – Sony E Mount Lens 24-70mm F/4.0
The 24-70mm is my favourite lens for this camera. It is dust & splash proof, also included is a lens hood & cap. The versatility of this lens allows me to shoot detailed portraits and also offers wide dynamic range for shooting landscapes.
DRONE CAMERA – DJI MAVIC PRO 2
The DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveller-friendly capabilities. The Mavic Pro 2 shoots high-resolution images in JPEG + RAW and high definition 4K video. Purchase a DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone today and take your photography and videography to new heights! Check Prices >>
Laptop Computer – Apple MacBook Pro 15.4″
The MacBook Pro laptop is very lightweight and perfect for backpackers travelling the world. Apart from my camera, the MacBook Pro is my most used accessory when it comes to uploading images, editing photos and video, writing all of my blog posts and booking flights and accommodation when I am on the road.
High Definition Waterproof Camera – GoPro Hero 7
The most popular camera on the planet. I love using the GoPro 7 for anything involving water shots and for all of my fast-paced adventures. It captures all of my best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use.
TRAVEL BAG – NOMATIC 40L WATER RESISTANT TRAVEL BAG
The 40L Nomatic Travel Bag is the best purchase I have ever made. This bag has a designated water bottle pocket, RFID protected pocket, shoe compartment, laptop pocket, compression bag and more! The Nomatic Travel Bag is designed to fit the maximum size allowed for carry-on luggage so you’ll never have to spend money on check-in baggage again!
Camera Bag – Lowepro Flipside 300 AW II Camera Bag
The Lowepro Flipside Camera Bag is one of the most affordable camera bags on the market. It includes a waterproof rain cover, padded compartments for DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and a notebook pocket. This is my bag of choice that I take with me on all of my adventures. Check Prices >>
Selfie Stick – SandMarc Selfie Stick – Metal Edition
Everyone loves a good selfie, right? This stylish selfie stick can extend to 1.2m and I find it much easier to shoot with the GoPro when it is mounted to the SandMarc Selfie Stick.
GoPro Dome – Underwater Dome Port for GoPro HERO
Have you ever wanted to know how to get those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This nifty little dome housing can create that perfect shot you are chasing. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card – SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SDXC
The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for performance and uncompromising image and 4K video quality from my DSLR. Having 64GB of storage means that I can store my images on the SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
Spare Camera Battery – 2 Pack Camera Battery for Sony
Don’t make the same mistake as me by taking hundreds of photos on a big adventure day and running out of battery. Be prepared with this 2 pack of spare batteries.
Camera Tripod – Joby GorillaPod – Flexible Ballhead Tripod
The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras. This tripod is lightweight easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse photo or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
External Hard Drive – WD Elements Portable External Hard Drive 4TB – USB 3.0
As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use this compact external hard drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for a good years worth of content.