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All You Need to Know if You’re Travelling to Sri Lanka From Europe!

As Europe begins to lift pandemic restrictions, holidays are becoming a reality again. Of course, there are still things to be taken into account, from vaccines to visas and we are here to help you.

It should be noted that regulations do change regularly, so use this as a guide for your adventure to Sri Lanka, but of course additional research is always recommended. At the point of writing, Sri Lanka requires all travellers to fill in a Health Declaration Form, which can be done online.

If you are arriving from Europe, you will most likely be landing at Bandaranaike International Airport, and the official website, www.airport.lk, is a good place to check the safety measures in the airport as well as many questions and answers.

It is easy to forget that standard vaccinations existed before the pandemic, and Sri Lanka is a gorgeous tropical island, where it is recommended that some vaccines are recommended or required. We suggested checking out the Passport Health website, which gives you updated information on what the World Health Organisation recommends. It is advised to speak to your local doctor when you are planning your trip to Sri Lanka, don’t wait for the day before, so you can get any necessary vaccines in good time!

Some parts of Europe are used to mosquitoes, but in Sri Lanka (as with many tropical countries) you do need to take extra care. It is possible to get some mosquito repellents locally, and also the popular citronella oil, however we suggest buying some tropical strength mosquito repellent and taking it with you. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, and the government of Sri Lanka does try to prevent the spread of diseases of course, but better safe. If a mosquito net is available and you are sleeping with the windows open in Sri Lanka, use it. Better to be prepared, we always say.

Sri Lanka is a tropical country, and the weather reflects this. It is usually warm and humid, with two seasons, rainy and not rainy! Of course, the technical term is monsoon and different parts of the country are affected at different times. The northern and eastern regions of the country experience monsoons from October to January. The southern and western areas are affected from May to September. The best time to travel to the country is during a dry season in the area you plan to visit. Because monsoon seasons differ in different areas, Sri Lanka can be visited year round depending on where you plan to stay.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, we can get to the fun of packing for your upcoming holiday! Lightweight clothes are recommended to keep cool, linen or cotton both breathe and work well. Remember that when you visit a temple you must cover your shoulders and knees, so it is worth bringing a shawl or something to cover up with. Also you should keep in mind that in the central highlands the temperatures are lower, so a light sweater could be necessary. When you are packing, remember to bring a stock of any medications you might need. Again, buy some good quality mosquito repellent and sunblock in Europe and you will be all set for the trip of a lifetime!

Before you fly across continents we do suggest booking your accommodation before you leave. Some travellers, backpackers in particular, may want to have the flexibility to book after arriving in the country, however we would urge you to at least book the first few days accommodation at the very least. Another point to keep in mind when traveling around Sri Lanka is that travel times may be significantly longer than you are used to, for the distance. This is for a number of reasons, including road conditions, traffic and varied terrain. So even if it is 100km travel distance, this could either take one hour (if you are heading towards the South coast on the highway), over multiple hours if you are traveling to the highlands on windy roads.

The best way to adjust is to remember that it is not only about the destination, but the journey too! So, now that you have read a little more about all you need to know if you are travelling to Sri Lanka from Europe we hope it has prepared and excited you for the holiday of a lifetime!

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