How to plan a trip to Sri Lanka?
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Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country located in Bay of Bengal. It is our neigboring country but I couldn’t visit it until 2009. My parents visited Sri Lanka in 2010 with their friends and they loved it so much that they joined us for our trip. We had travelers who were Indian and American citizens. So my below tips will help travelers who have American or Indian passport. We flew by Mihin Lanka and Sri Lankan Airlines. It takes 1 hour from Chennai airport to Bandaranaike International airport.
The information shared in this post is compiled from the experience I gained in our trip. I am not an expert so if you have any questions with regards to visa or travel arrangements, please contact a travel agent or Sri Lankan Consulate. I travelled with our family of 15 members between the age of 2 to 70 years old.
A visa is needed to enter Sri Lanka and it can be stamped on arrival at the airport. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia. It’s member countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. If you are from a SAARC country, the visa charge is $15 and it is $30 for other nationals.
I travelled with my 2 kids who were less than 5 years old. Please contact their pediatrician atleast 1 month before the date of travel. I met with my primary care physician and also visited local travel clinic for my vaccinations. Anti-malaria weight based tablets were prescribed to the kids. We received it from a compound pharmacy. I also purchased bug repellant spray, Steripen UV water sanitizer tick (incase we hiked in Sri Lanka) and sunscreen. I made them wear full sleeves shirts and pants which was also washed with Sawyer clothing repellant spray. Despite this my daughter got some mosquito bites which we treated with Calamine lotion. We bought it from local pharmacy at Sri Lanka.
My kids ate what was available. I didn’t carry anything special. Since the cuisine is very similar to South India, we all ate appam, dosa, bread, tropical fruits and yogurt. I made sure they ate food that were completely cooked (ofcourse except fruits).
The national currency is Sri Lankan Rupee. We exchanged dollars for Srilankan rupees with Thomas Cook at airport. The process takes 15-20 minutes.
We stayed in different location each day as we wanted to cover Negombo, Anuradhapuram, Polonnaruwa, Kandy and Colombo.
I have written a detailed post about our trip here: