How can you best prepare for a trip to Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is gaining a burgeoning reputation on the global travel scene; and it’s not hard to see why. Wherever you are on the island, you’ll never be far from a beach, and Sri Lanka’s tropical coastline is packed with sumptuous sandy stretches to choose from. The people are incredibly friendly and are all too eager to show off their beautiful country to its adoring visitors. And of course, nature is everywhere in Sri Lanka, not just in its 26 national parks – elephants, leopards, monkeys, and plenty more besides all call this floating paradise home.

If this has all got you scrambling to find the next flight to Asia, there are a few things to bear in mind before setting off. Prepare for the trip of a lifetime to this pearl of the Indian Ocean with these top tips.

Take some cash

Lots of us have become accustomed to relying on credit cards and prepaid travel money cards when spending abroad. Especially in the main cities and tourist areas, you’re unlikely to encounter any issues when paying in this way in Sri Lanka. However, it’s always recommended to carry a small amount of cash just in case cards aren’t accepted by a vendor – especially in local shops and markets. The currency here is the Sri Lankan rupee; one pound sterling exchanges to around 400 Sri Lankan rupees.

However, this currency can be difficult to exchange outside of Sri Lanka, so it’s generally recommended to take cash out upon your arrival. There will be plenty of ATMs in the main hotels and tourist spots. Some vendors will also accept euros, dollars and pounds. Whenever you carry cash, make sure you follow recommended safety advice; keep it hidden and only carry small amounts.

Pack light

Depending on the type of holiday you’re planning, the packing list may vary slightly. However, it’s always advisable to try and favour lightweight clothing over heavy, thicker garments. With temperatures averaging around the high-20s all year round, you can expect to be battling the heat and humidity no matter when you visit. Also, even if you’re travelling outside of monsoon season, it’s important to remember that weather patterns can be unpredictable here and it could rain at any time of the year. Make sure you pack a lightweight rain jacket just in case.

Speak to your doctor

Sri Lanka is a tropical destination, meaning visitors may have to take extra precautions to avoid falling ill. The government recommends anyone travelling to this part of the world to be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters. There are additional vaccines that are only recommended for certain travellers; make sure you check whether you may be in a high-risk group. If you have any concerns, you should speak to your doctor at least two months before your holiday.

You should also familiarise yourself with the latest health and safety advice produced by the government. Maintaining good food and water hygiene is one of the most important ways to guard against illness on your travels. Make sure you carry bottled water with you when out and about for the day, and also avoid contact with animals.

Nb. Collaborative post.