If you are planning to embark on a family vacation to Sri Lanka, you’ll be glad to know that Sri Lankans love children, and travelling with kids will pretty much guarantee you a warm welcome wherever you go. The local people are known for doing whatever they can to help and entertain those with children. There is certainly no need to start worrying about whether or not you’ll be getting disapproving stares if you baby starts crying or your toddler starts messing around, even in the poshest of establishments – children are accepted and cherished, making Sri Lanka a brilliant choice for a family vacation with little ones.
Travelling With Babies
Although children are welcomed in Sri Lanka, it’s inevitable that traveling with a young baby may prove to be somewhat stressful. Baby formula milk is readily available to buy in Sri Lanka, however you may have trouble stocking up on other essentials such as disposable nappies and baby food. Services for childcare such as babysitting, day-care, baby changing facilities, high chairs and sterilizers are largely unheard of, and the pavements in most areas render prams and buggies useless. Along with this, parents with small babies also need to be aware of the risks due to heat, dehydration, and mosquito-borne diseases.
Travelling With Older Kids
Older children are likely to get a lot out of visiting the island, as there are plenty of activities and places to visit that children will really enjoy. The beaches in Sri Lanka are likely to be a favorite amongst children with endless strips of golden sand to play in and warm waters to splash about and swim in, although it’s important that you double check local swimming conditions before you allow your child to swim in the sea. There are also a lot of family friendly accommodations to stay in.
Tourist Attractions for Kids
Sri Lanka has a number of tourist attractions aimed at families, with one of the most popular being the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnewala, one of the few places in the world where your children will be able to visit cute baby elephants who are even smaller than themselves. Sri Lanka has a range of national parks that are likely to get your children excited thanks to the wildlife spotting opportunities including crocodiles, peacocks, flamingos and even more elephants.
If your children are up for an adventure, there are a number of activity sports available such as banana boating or kayaking, and for those who want to explore, a train ride through the countryside or a boating trip through one of the island’s lagoons or rivers will be an experience that the whole family can enjoy. If you’ve got an energetic child with a good head for heights, they may enjoy climbing up the rickety iron staircases of Sigiriya.
Don’t forget to take your children shopping in Sri Lanka, as there are a wealth of different unique and quirky souvenirs that you’ll be able to buy that they will absolutely love. The markets are home to a number of amazing and fun handicrafts from gruesome masks to painted elephants, and there is definitely no shortage of unique, handmade wooden toys. The Barefoot in Colombo has a range of colorful cuddly stuffed toys that your child will love.
When travelling to Sri Lanka with children, it’s important that safety is carefully considered and prioritized. You will need to think very carefully about your itinerary, as Sri Lanka is a small island with poor infrastructure, crowded roads, and can take a very long time to get around. Most traditional itineraries when visiting Sri Lanka include a week long rush around the island before a week spent on the beaches, however traveling the island can often prove boring for children, so it may be a better idea to take your time and spend a few days in each location exploring and participating in activities.
When exploring different areas, it’s crucial that you beware of poor quality vehicles and drivers. Hiring a car in Sri Lanka to drive yourself is not the best idea due to the crowded and unorganized roads, therefore many tourists opt for a private car with a qualified and experienced driver. As the traffic rarely moves above forty miles per hour, accidents can be avoided by those who know the roads, however it’s still vital that you opt for a reputable driver with a car that is properly fitted with seatbelts. For smaller children, booster and car seats are not widely available, so you may need to bring one from home.
Have you travelled to Sri Lanka with children? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.