Sri Lanka itinerary with young kids

  • April 5, 2019

We absolutely loved our time in Sri Lanka and it was easily one of our best family trips to date. So we thought we’d share with you our Sri Lanka itinerary with kids. If you’re planning a family holiday in Sri Lanka, feel free to copy it exactly for your own travels, tweak it to fit your own time or interests, or just simply use it for inspiration.You can read here why we think Sri Lanka is fantastic for young kids.

We focused on a Southern loop to take in pristine beaches, colonial architecture, a safari to meet elephants and some time in the Hill Country; a perfect mix of highlights of Sri Lanka for families. It was only about 2 to 4 hours generally between destinations which is very doable with young kids. Our preferred mode of transport was train, but if the tracks didn’t go to where we wanted we would opt for a tuk-tuk and time the drive with our 12pm nap/downtime. A car would have been faster, we just prefer to travel in tuk-tuks as they’re open and offer that sense of freedom as you watch the world breeze by. We did miss out some classic tourist spots such as Sigiriya and Dambulla, but the former particularly requires a lot of climbing for little legs (our boys are aged 2 and 3) and we figured we’d leave that for another trip.

TraveLynn Family in Sri Lanka

So here is our day by day Sri Lanka itinerary with young kids. As I said before, it remains one of our best adventures to date, and we travel A LOT with our boys.

If you’re wondering how we afford to travel so much as a family, read this post.

Purchase on Amazon: Sri Lanka Lonely Planet

Day 1-2 Colombo

Arrive in Colombo. Head to the train station first thing to book your train tickets (if you haven’t already done this online). Wander around the historic Fort area and old town quarter of Slave Island, visit Gangaramara Temple, let the kids enjoy all that Viharamahadevi Park has to offer – a playground, water fountains to run in, a small train, horse-riding, an aquarium – and head to to Galle Face Green around sunset for dinner from a street vendor and watch the kites and snake charmers. Getting around Colombo is very easy as all tuk-tuks use the meter. Just ensure you have Google Maps downloaded offline to direct them, if necessary. You can read more about Colombo with kids here.

We stayed at: Anugaa in the City

Sri Lanka with kids Colombo

Day 3 Galle

Catch the train to Galle, just a 2.5 hour journey along the coast. Take a walk along the fort walls and explore the Dutch Colonial buildings. Try to time this later in the day to escape the heat and package tourist day-trippers. The full circuit along the top of the wall can be done in under 2 hours. However, for little explorers that like to climb the walls, look for dragons and generally walk a little slower, we suggest splitting the walk in two and saving a section for an early morning stroll on Day 4. Read more about Galle here.

We stayed at Fort de 19 villa

Sri Lanka Itinerary with kids - Galle

Day 4-5 Mirissa

After your early morning stroll exploring more of Galle Fort, take a tuk-tuk to Mirissa (LKR1800, 1 hour), via a turtle hatchery, to enjoy some beach time. The main beach at Mirissa offers a long shady stretch of sandy beach, perfect for building sandcastles. The waves and current are strong, so join the kids in jumping over the waves. You can also visit Secret Beach and walk back to the main beach through the jungle. Ensure you receive clear directions. We got very lost. The walk should take around 40 mins with little legs.

If your visiting between September and April, you may like to go on a whale watching cruise in Mirissa (tours are also running in July and August, but the water may be a bit choppy for little ones). It’s one of the best places in the world to see the blur whale!

We stayed at Lashan Guest House. It’s tucked away in a quiet area 400m from the beach, but the owners will happily drop you at the main beach in their tuk-tuk. 

Sri Lanka Itinerary with kids - Mirissa

Day 6-7 Udawalawe National Park

It’s time to meet some elephants! Take a tuk-tuk to Udawalawe (3hrs, LKR5000, would be 2hrs in a car). We stayed in glamping tents at Kottawatta Village just outside the National Park. Book your 3 hour safari with the resort for 5:30am. Kids under 5 are free and so the total price for entrance fee, jeep hire and safari guide was LKR7500 for our family of 4. The resort provides snacks for the safari and breakfast on your return. You are pretty much guaranteed to see elephants! When not on safari, enjoy your time at the resort. It has an onsite restaurant, swimming pool with kids’ area, hammocks for napping and you’ll meet monkeys on your veranda. You can read our full post on Udawalawe National Park here.

We stayed at: Kottawatta Village

Read: tips for a safari with kids under the age of 5

Day 8-10 Arugam Bay

Another tuk-tuk ride (4.5hrs, LRK7500, 3hrs by car) brings you to Arugam Bay, the surf mecca of Sri Lanka. But there’s more to this surfer town than barrels and boards (that’s as far as my surfing lingo goes!). Wonderful family friendly accommodation awaits at Elephant Road Resort, set back from the main party strip. Air conditioned rooms with two double beds and a comfortable outdoor space (with hammock and hanging bed) overlook a sandy courtyard where your kids can run free. The super-chilled Israeli owner (Miki) has created a community vibe, very welcoming of children. Miki also knows THE BEST spots around Arugam Bay. Our favourites were Elephant Rock Beach, Peanut Farm Beach and watching the sun set from Crocodile Rock. You can read our full post on Arugam Bay with kids here.

We stayed at: Elephant Road Resort

Arugam Bay with kids

Day 11-12 Ella

It’s time to say farewell to the beaches and head inland to explore the tea plantations and jungle-clad hills of the Central Hill Country. A tuk-tuk will take 4 hours to get to Ella (LRK2000). Again, you can do the journey quicker by car (3hrs), but be weary that there are many hairpin bends as you approach Ella and the open sides of a tuk-tuk may help with kids who are prone to travel sickness. Whilst in Ella, visit a tea plantation (the kids will love seeing all the big machinery in operation), visit the Nine Arches Bridge and climb Little Adam’s Peak (ask a tuk-tuk to take you as far as possible to save those little legs for the steep stairs they need to navigate at the top).

We stayed at Ella Ridge View, a lovely family homestay with lots of toys and other children to play with.


Day 12-14 Living Heritage Koslanda

After all that travelling, it’s time to treat yourselves indulge and in some luxury. Take the 1hr train from to Haputale; this stretch of track is perhaps the most stunning in all of Sri Lanka. A tuk-tuk will then drive you down into the valley to the tranquility of Living Heritage Koslanda. The smiling Mr Carrim awaits to escort you to your stylish villa with plunge pool and outdoor shower. Enjoy the incredible infinity pool, take a hike to the private waterfall, or just enjoy the space, freedom and peace that the 80 acres of pristine land offers. You can read our full review here. We only stayed 2 nights, but we seriously wished we’d stayed 3.

Check out our list of best family resorts in Sri Lanka for more ideas of indulgence on your Sri Lanka adventures.

We stayed at Living Heritage Koslanda

Day 15 Kandy

Today is your longest travel day. 5.5 hours on a train to Kandy. We found the bustle of Kandy to be quite a shock to the system after the serenity of Living Heritage Koslanda. However, there is a good playground, which the boys certainly appreciated, and a visit to the Temple of the Tooth is a must.

We stayed at River Side Homestay Appartment. This is a lovely family homestay about 5 minutes drive out of Kandy. Tuk-tuk drivers from Kandy will not know the way. Ensure you have the property marked on Google Maps on your phone and take the phone number of the owner with you. 

Sri Lanka Itinerary with kids - Kandy

Day 16 Back to Colombo

A 2 hour fast train completes the loop and returns you to Colombo. We spent our last day catching up with old friends who live in Colombo, enjoying a swim in their pool and eating pizza.

FAQ about travelling Sri Lanka with kids

I receive a lot of questions from parents about travel in Sri Lanka with kids, and particularly travelling Sri Lanka with toddlers. I hope the below answers any questions you may have, but if you do have a question that isn’t answered here, please comment below and I’ll get back to you asap.

Is Sri Lanka safe for travelling families?
Yes. We never felt unsafe or threatened in Sri Lanka. We didn’t meet a single grumpy person in our whole two weeks. Not one! Everyone had such a happy, chilled outlook and it’s infectious (except when train travel is concerned, the locals become strangely forceful there!) More importantly, everyone we met was so open and fun with our kids. Please refer to the UK Government Foreign Travel Advice page for Sri Lanka for up to date information.

What’s the best time of year to go to Sri Lanka with kids?
Check out this Lonely Planet page for When to go and Weather in Sri Lanka.

What time of year did we go?
August. This is supposedly not the best time to visit the South West, but we had no rain whatsoever.

How did we get around Sri Lanka with kids?
Mostly by train and tuk-tuk. We booked our train tickets at Colombo train station as soon as we arrived. If you want to book in advance, you can do so through a tour agency (click here). Tuk-tuks can be arranged the night before travelling to the next destination through your accommodation. You do not need a driver and car in Sri Lanka, although some parents prefer this for ease of travel.

Did we take car seats to Sri Lanka?
No. They are unnecessary for trains, and there’s no way to attach them in tuk-tuk (we put one child in between us, and one our lap; it would have been a bit of a squeeze if we had a third child). There are no legal requirements in Sri Lanka for car seats, but if you are hire a driver and car for your entire trip, you may consider bringing one from home. If you’re child is aged 4 and over (or weighs more that 15kg), I suggest taking the Trunki Boostapak).

Did we take a buggy or stroller to Sri Lanka?
Our boys were 2 and 3 years old at the time, but we didn’t take a buggy or stroller. In fact we never travel with one as we find them cumbersome and would always head back to the accommodation for naps (and much-needed downtime for parents). We didn’t even take a child carrier, but encouraged both boys to walk as much as possible. When little legs got tired, there was always a tuk-tuk to flag down, or even Dad’s shoulders. We had two large backpacks to carry and a carrier would have been cumbersome.

If you are looking for a back carrier, this is what we recommend: LittleLife Ranger Child Carrier

What luggage did we take?
We took two large backpacks (like these ones) for each parent to carry. The boys were too young to have their own bags to carry. Backpacks for us parents meant we each had two hands free to cajole children.

If we had to cut down this itinerary what bits would we miss?
If you really had to cut out something, I would cut out Arugam Bay. It was one of our favourite places, but it is a little out of the way.

What was our favourite beach in Sri Lanka for kids?
Arugam Bay! Well not the actual beach at Arugam Bay, hop in a tuk-tuk to nearby Elephant Rock or Peanut Farm Beach. Check out this post – Favourite family beaches in Sri Lanka.

What toys did we take to Sri Lanka to entertain the boys?
The boys had with them an Amazon Fire tablet loaded with all their favourite games and TV shows, and I packed some colouring pens and CBeebies magazines. And that’s it. Don’t be tempted to pack anymore as they’ll find sticks and stones along the way, and a couple of the places we stayed at even had toys.

What budget do we recommend for travelling Sri Lanka with kids?
If you follow this itinerary and stay in all budget accommodation, then allow for £60 per day. However, this allow for more if your kids are older, or you have more than two children. 

What vaccinations did the kids need for Sri Lanka?
As we were living in India at the time, we were all up to date with vaccinations required. However, please consult a travel clinic for advice as every family is different.

Are antimalarials required for Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is currently a low risk malaria country. Please refer to the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Were we worried about dengue in Sri Lanka with kids?
This is indeed a concern, but don’t let it stop you from visiting the country. We took the necessary precautions of using strong mosquito repellent (roll on seems to last longer than the spray), wearing long sleeves and trousers from dusk every day, and sleeping under mosquito nets (which were always provided in accommodations we stayed). Click here for further information.

Were mosquitoes a nuisance?
No worse or better than we have experienced in other Asian countries. Take the necessary precautions as mentioned in the previous question. Sand flies were more of a problem on the beach from dusk.

I hope this helps you work out your own Sri Lanka itinerary with young kids. Although feel free to copy ours exactly!

Where would we be without our trusted Lonely Planet guide.

You may also wish to read:
Why Sri Lanka is fantastic for young kids
Ten day Thailand itinerary with kids
How we afford to travel with kids

Blog Comments

Guaranteed elephant-sighting. That’s good news! Sounds as though this is a good itinerary to follow. #FarawayFiles

Just amazing to see the elephants up so close. Was just our little family of 4 in a jeep watching them, no one else around. Thanks for reading 🙂

What a great sounding itinerary and your tips on travelling with kids are spot on. Love the sound of your hotels too – especially the one with the outdoor shower and infinity pool. I might have been tempted to take it really slow and spend a week there! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

We had the most wonderful time. I would recommend staying at Livin Heritage Koslanda for at least a month ??. LOVED it there! Thanks for reading.

Wow what a trip! You certainly packed a lot in. Thanks for the tip re: secret beach.

My three would LOVE to take a ride in a tuk-tuk. Meeting the elephants would be an incredible experience.

Thank for reading Sam! It’s amazing how much we could fit in – so much variety crammed into a relatively small area. The beaches, elephants and Hill Country are only a few hours apart from each other. And yes – tuk-tuks are always a huge hit with the boys. Living in Bangalore, we use them every day and the they still haven’t tired of them!

Sri Lanka has such an amazing history! Id love to visit one day! #ExplorerKids

It really does. And combine that with the incredible natural environment, it’s a sure winner. Thanks for reading ?

Oh how fantastic. I love the whole colourful vibe there. It really looks amazing. Sarah #ExplorerKids

A fantastically colourful vibe indeed. We loved our time in Sri Lanka so very much 🙂 Thank for reading!

Oh wow it looks like the most incredible trip, I have loved following your pictures on Insta and just know our kids would love this some of those views are breathtaking and oh the people watching x

Thank you so much Sarah. It really was the PERFECT family trip. We miss it. Take me back!



Oh my goodness that photo with the rainbow is so beautiful! I love how you got to go do the Elephants, how amazing.

Thank you for taking part in #explorerkids linky

Seeing the elephants in the wild was a definite highlight! Thanks for reading ?.

I love Sri Lanka! This post has made me want to go back. Great to get your itinerary. We went the other way round, starting in Kandy. I’m impressed at how long you managed to travel in Tuk tuks!! #mondayescapes

Tuk-tuks are the best! We travel in them every day in Bangalore ?. Pleased we brought back some happy memories for you!

Some great tips, pinning it for later! Thanks for sharing! #ExplorerKids

Fab! Thanks for reading ?

HI…. This is so apt as we have just booked a month in sri lanka in January/ february …. is there anything you would not recommend or places not to bother with… our boys are similar age or will be.. nearly 4 and nearly 2 by the time we get there,….

Thank you

Catherine x

Hi Catherine! Thank you so much for reading. I’m so excited for your visit!! We absolutely LOVED our time in Sri Lanka. The only place we didn’t quite vibe with was Kandy. That may have been because it was the end of the trip, or just too busy… not sure. But an absolute must for your kids is Udawalawe National Park. Here’s the link to our post on it:

Wow Wow Wow!! Dream trip right here! I wish I was braver and could do trips like this. I’m building up to it x #wanderlustkids

Aw. It really was wonderful and much easier than you probably think. I hope you take the plunge one day ?

This is a really useful itinerary, thanks. I’ve been looking at planning a trip there myself with my toddler! #wanderlustkids

Well we totally recommend it. I hope you guys make it there soon 🙂 Thanks for reading!

I’d love to go to Sri Lanka. It’s great to see that it’s doable with kids! Thanks for the tips! #wanderlustkids

Totally doable 🙂 Perhaps the best family holiday we’ve had so far. Thanks for reading!

This looks absolutely amazing!!! Would you recommend booking it all separately? Our youngest will be 18 Months so I love reading about your trip with your little ones. It’s made me want to visit even more !

Wow, what an incredible trip. If we didn’t have Lapland in the agenda for next December I’d be seriously looking into this for early 2019. Can I ask what time of year you went? Our son will be 4 in January and I’d love to visit Sri Lanka with him. Thanks for linking up your travel itinerary! #wanderlustkids

Lapland will be incredible! We visited Sri Lanka in August and our boys were 2 and 3. They loved it! I’m sure your son will too ☺

Hi! Great blog thanks for taking the time. Question, I see you went during August, did you have a lot of rain? When we check the weather for July/August it says its mostly raining. And the other thing, was it ok with the kids in the tuktuk for longer distances? ( Im wondering about road and no car seats and so on) Thanks in advance

We had no rain. The monsoon is rather unpredictable in recent years. The tuk tuk is a personal choice. We prefer it as we have the fresh air rushing past, better for car sickness on those bends. But there were of course no car seats.

Looks amazing. Did you have any concerns about Dengue Fever? Thanks. We are traveling in Jan. with kids.

We live in Bangalore where we have to take precautions against Dengue here too, so it’s an everyday thing for us. But just your usual precautions need to be adhered too – lather with good mossie repellant, cover up with long sleeves and trousers at dusk, buy mossie coils etc.

Sri Lanka is still our fave family trip to date, so I know you’ll have an incredible time 🙂

Thanks so much for this helpful blog! We are traveling with our two year old in January and this is very helpful. The Dengue Fever did worry us a bit too, but I’m glad to hear taking the normal mosquito precautions worked. Did you use bug nets over the beds for the kids? Was wondering if we need to buy one.

I’m so excited for your trip!! We found that everywhere we stayed supplied them, so no need to take. Happy travels!

We are thinking of going to Sri Lanka in August which is I think when you have been. How hot and humid does it get? We are going with a nearly 2 year old and a 4 year old and have been to Thailand before at the same time of year and it was much too hot in the middle of day to be outside with young kids (unless swimming and sitting in the shade). Is that the case in Sri Lanka? We’re looking at doing a similar itinerary to you. Thanks in advance. Love your blog by the way.

Hello! Thank you so much for your kind words. August was actually quite pleasant. Much more pleasant temps to Thailand that time of year. I remember Galle being very hot in the day, but elsewhere it was quite pleasant – particularly on the coast and in the Central Highlands. I’m sure you’ll have the more wonderful time!

Thanks for the speedy reply. We can’t wait! Your blog has so helped us work a plan x

Hi there,

I’m Jen’s husband (above comment), very inspired by your blog to do a similar journey over 3 weeks. Just curious as to how light you travelled, No pushchair I’m guessing? Just a couple of rucksacks? any info would be fantastic. Cheers Jay

I got a bit confused here as I’m Jen and my husband is Jay. I thought he was commenting! Ha!

No pushchair. A couple of big rucksacks and a smaller one for day stuff (nappies, water, important docs). You really don’t need much as the weather is warm, so packing light is very doable.

Hello. I just wanted to say I came across your post on Sri Lanka by googling travelling with young children there. A huge thankyou as your info was invaluable and we had an absolute ball. We tweaked things along the way (not too hot on the ol’ pre-planning…) but our trip resembled your itinerary. What an amazing place eh :))

Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment – has made my day and so pleased to hear our itinerary was so useful. Yup – it’s a pretty amazing place! What were your highlights?

Our highlight was definitely the Udawalawe Safari trip. Was just magical. We went on a late afternoon safari which was really relaxing as it was quiet and as the sun was coming down the animals were slowly heading to the waterside to drink so we saw loads. And also loved Ella. Such a great country, so much variation and like you said, brilliant for traveling with children.

TraveLynn Family

So great to hear that you had a wonderful time too! Yup – Udawalawe is a definite highlight!

Thank you so much for your comprehensive guide. I’m a single mum and will be travelling with my two year old daughter to Sri Lanka in June/July and I have used all of your recommendations for accommodation, we are taking a different route to you but your guide has been invaluable in offering guidance. My daughter and I have done 3 trips already together but in Europe, this will be our biggest adventure yet and I’m so excited albeit a little nervous! I have a couple of specific questions if you wouldn’t mind me PM you?

So pleased that you found the post useful! I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time. Feel free to email me on with any questions 🙂

Hi! May I ask you how was your experience weather wise in June/July? thanks !

We went August time and although that’s monsoon season for Southwest, we didn’t experience any rain.

Hello! Where can you catch the train to Haputale? I’m using your itinerary as serious inspiration to our vacations with 2 kids 🙂 Thanks

Hi Sofia. We caught the train from Ella. We bought our tickets in advance in Colombo. Let me know how you go in Sri Lanka – it’s an incredible destination for young families 🙂

I visited Sri Lanka a few years ago with a group of friends but would love to take my partner and our 4 kids. How hard is it to find budget, family accommodation?

Jenny this sounds like a great trip. We are considering going to Sri Lanka next July. I have two questions for you. Is July a terrible time to go weather wise? My husband and I will be traveling with our 10 and 7 year old who I know would love it but we’ll also have our new baby who will be 6 months in July. Are we crazy to consider doing this trip with a 6 month old?

Hello! Not crazy at all. The 6month old will probably be easier than the 7yo ? Babies are so adaptable. Just ensure you have a good comfortable sling. We visited August last year and the rather was absolutely fine. The monsoon season is less predictable of late due to global warming.

Hi Jenny, I’m looking at train times from Colombo down to Galle. The link you have above only shows one train at 6.55am. Is this the train you took or are there others throughout the day? What class did you book? I have also read that we should start the journey just before Colombo Fort at Maradana Station in order to get a seat….what are your thoughts? Many thanks, Amber 🙂

Hi Amber! I remember our train was quite early in the morning, although don’t remember if there were other trains that day. We booked ours at the train station. We went first class as that’s the only seats we could get, but would happily have gone in one of the lower classes.


Ok, great!! Thanks for that 🙂

Hi! Love your post! I am going to visit Sri Lanka with my two kids (both under 3years) and would love to hear your advice – in which area should we stay if we want to visit all these atractions but want to stay in one place for 2 weeks? Ideally it would be near the beach with no more than 2 hours of traveling to all (or most of) these places. Thanks for your suggestions!

Anywhere on the South West coast would work well for you. Have the best time!!! And do let me know how you go 🙂

We have two kids in similar age to your and are going to be heading out to Sri Lanka in January. What type of sleeping arrangements did you end up using in hotels? Did you get two rooms? seems like most rooms come with 1 big bed or 2 small beds, not really big enough for a family of four.

We all slept in the same bed if there weren’t any family rooms 🙂

Hi Jenny This sounds like a great trip. Can you tell me anything about the mosquito situation in July / August?
Kind regards

That’s the same time of year we visited and although the mossies were out, we just used the usual precautions of repellent and covering up with long sleeves and trousers at dusk – didn’t cause too much of a problem. The sandflies at dusk on the beach at Arugam Bay were more of a nuisance.

Thank you for your reply, good to hear that the mossies were not such a nuisance as we would have expected.

Hi great itinery, I was wondering if you don’t mind what sort of budget for this trip? We have a 10 and 8 yr old but amateur travellers so a bit nervous doing it ourselves. But we really fancy sri lanka, before we have teenagers!

Hello! As your kids are older and you’ll need bigger rooms. Perhaps budget around £80 per day if using public transport and staying in budget accommodation.

This sounds awesome! Am an avid traveller and am so excited to start showing my 1.5 yr old the world! Hopefully your blog will help convince my partner this is an amazing, and not too difficult place to travel to with a little one too!
Quick question… Did you need to think about vaccination jabs at all? For yourselves and the Littlies?


Hi Alex. Sri Lanka is awesome for little ones. And I actually find travelling with my boys easier than entertaining them at home for the day ?. If it’s a first time to Asia, you may need some jabs. Best to check with a travel clinic as the advice is always changing. Happy travels ?

Hi Travelynn Family.
I just wanted to thankyou for your blog. It provided us with inspiration for our recent trip to Sri Lanka (Nov 2018). As a time poor working mum, I didn’t have time to do my usual travel research, so it was fantastic to use your trip as a base. We changed a few things around to suit our 1&3 year old boys, but we had a great time! Both boys love the crocs & elephants, and of course the tuk tuks (green ones preferred!).
Thanks, Alison (Sydney)

I’m so pleased you all had a wonderful time and that I was able to help. And of course the green tuk-tuks are the best ? Thanks for letting me know how you went ?

This looks so great. What was the approximate cost? I went to Sri Lanka as a child in 1991. Favourite holiday hands down and want to give my son the experience also. ?

This really varies as to how quickly you travel and standard of accommodation. But if you follow this itinerary and stay in all budget accommodation, then allow for £60 per day. I hope you make it back to Sri Lanka with your son soon ?

This is brilliant, thank you!
I am planning to visit and explore Sri Lanka in August for four weeks! My children are 8 and 4. They are both well travelled and I went back packing around the world when I was in my twenties… however, this is the first trip I’ll be making as a single mum :/ .. I’m a little nervous but I think it will do us all the world of good!
Any tips or thoughts on this (safety, should I pretend I’m married etc?!) would be greatly appreciated.. ? My main worry is feeling a bit conspicuous I think.. but that might just be me!

Hi Angela! You are such an awesome mum taking your kids travelling on your own. I’m sure you’ll meet other families there along the way. You really have nothing to worry about in Sri Lanka. People are so lovely and you’ll find locals will just want to help you. Just keep your travel head screwed on (like you would anywhere) and you’ll be fine. Good luck and let me know how you go ?

Thank you so much, that’s really encouraging ? I’m actually sat down researching at the moment, busily writing down the names of some of the places you stayed at! I will let you know how I get on! Best wishes x

Love your blog! Well done! Going to Sri Lanka for the first time at the end of March with my husband and three year old for 8 nights. Would you suggest the same itinerary minus a couple of spots? Like doing Colombo-Galle-Udawalawe-arugam-ella-colombo? Or would you remove the Arugam from the itinerary give the far distance? What would you suggest out of your favourites? Because I don’t know the roads and hear they have quite the reputation, I don’t want us driving for more than 3 hours at a time with our 3 year old.
Also, given you only packed using some rucksacks, in your “non” adventuring moments, what did your kids get to pack in terms of toys/entertainment? Thanks and keep writing!

Hi Natacha! Thanks for your kind words. If you need to cut out some days, I recommend taking out Arugam Bay, purely because of distance. The boys had with them an Amazon tablet loaded with all their favourite games and TV shows, and I packed some colouring pens and cbeebies magazines. And that’s it. Don’t be tempted to pack anymore as they’ll find sticks and stones along the way, and a couple of the places we stayed at even had toys. Have a wonderful time!

Researching a Sri Lanka trip with our three ages 11, 9 and 8 next year and this was super helpful. Just wondering what time of year you went – I am finding so much conflicting info on best times to visit north vs south etc! Also, how much of your trip did you pre-arrange? We will most likely have 2.5-3 weeks and I want to try and strike a balance between having some set plans, and a bit of flexibility if we really love one spot – I guess it comes down to how reliable trains/tuk tuks/roads etc are – is it easy to last minute travel to a new spot? Thanks so much for all the great tips thus far!

Hello! We travelled August time and weather was lovely (didn’t have any rain on East coast). We booked all accom in advance, just because we didn’t want to trawl around places with our little ones trying to find something on arrival. Trains you need to book. But you can always find a tuk-tuk driver to take you somewhere. We generally organised them the night before. Hope that helps, Jenny x

Hi Jenny, I love the idea that you travel with your kids. I love their photos especially the one with the rainbow Their so cute!

Thank you so much Agness 🙂

This all sounds amazing. Thinking of going with my 1 year old and 4 year old in May or early June this year. Would you recommend this type of itinerary or focus on the North due to Yala monsoon? Thanks so much

The monsoon season is rather unpredictable these days. We too visited during the monsoon season when it’s supposedly not good for the South-West – but it was absolutely fine. This itinerary takes you up into the highlands and over to the East Coast too, which will take you away from the south west monsoons. Hope that helps 🙂

Just like to thank you for inspiring a family with kids of the same age to tackle Sri Lanka. Definitely sounds more doable than the general advice we have received previously. Did you self drive the tuk tuks as in a one way hire? Or was it the typical tuk tuk with driver setup?

Thank you


Hi Jeff. Happy to help. It was the typical tuk tuk with driver setup. Have a fantastic time!

Hi Jenny, we are planning to travel to Sri Lanka in January so your itinerary is really helpful for planning our trip. If you had an extra week in the country, where you would add more days? We are budget adventure travellers with 12 and 10 year old kids. Would you add more time in each place or add somewhere new to your itinerary?

Hi Rachel! How exciting! I could definitely spend some extra days around Arugam Bay, and another day at Koslanda. I would then head up to Sigirya and Dambulla.

Thanks for the great post – how did your family go with food?

The boys loved all the fruits and the egg hoppers went down a treat (kind of like an egg sat in a pancake). There were always noodles on the menu and there was even the odd pizza.

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