As a travel agency that specializes in Sri Lanka family holidays, we get to work with parents travelling with babies on a regular basis. The other day I was helping a guest who is planning to tour Sri Lanka with her eighteen-month-old baby. She wanted to know whether it was safe to visit Sri Lanka with a baby and needed some assistance to plan her Sri Lanka itinerary.
I thought it would be helpful, if I answered some of her questions and questions of our past guests who toured Sri Lanka with young children in a blog post. Today’s Travellers Isle article is all about answering the questions related to travelling Sri Lanka with little ones.
If you are considering spending your next holiday in Sri Lanka with your baby, toddler or preschool child, take a minute to read this article. I am sure it will save you hours of searching on the internet.
1. Is Sri Lanka safe to travel with a baby?
Understandably, this is one of the most frequently asked question related to travelling Sri Lanka with a baby. The biggest concern of any parent when choosing a destination for a family holiday is the safety.
Sri Lanka is a very safe country in which to travel with a baby. It is recommended that you wait till the baby is at least 8 months old to visit Sri Lanka, as it could be too tiring for a younger child.
There are no wars in Sri Lanka and it is a Malaria free country. Dengue does still exist in low numbers. Use a mosquito repellent and book airconditioned accommodations to avoid any mosquito bites. (Usually, you do not find mosquitos in airconditioned rooms.)
(There were 440 dengue deaths in Sri Lanka in 2017. Thanks to the various health and safety campaigns led by the Sri Lankan government, this number was reduced to 35 in 2020.)
2. Does Sri Lanka have a good healthcare system that parents can rely on?
Yes, Sri Lanka has a good healthcare system that parents can rely on. There are government hospitals all around the country. The main hospitals in Sri Lanka are: Colombo General Hospital, Lanka Hospital, and Asiri Hospital. They have most of the modern facilities that you find in advanced western hospitals. Sri Lankan healthcare system is currently ranking as the twenty second best healthcare system in the world. (Source - Healthcare index 2021)
3. What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka with a child?
Mid-December to mid-April is the best time to visit Sri Lanka with a child, as you have the best odds of having perfect weather during this time period. If not, the second-best time to visit Sri Lanka is from July to September.
4. What should be the tour duration when travelling Sri Lanka with a baby?
Ideally you need 12 to 16 days for a Sri Lanka tour that is suitable for a baby. If you do not have two weeks, it is possible to plan a child friendly itinerary with fewer days by limiting the number of destinations.
5. What would be a good itinerary for a Sri Lanka holiday with a young child?
I am always a bit hesitant to suggest Sri Lanka itineraries without knowing the month that you plan to visit Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka faces two monsoon seasons that bring rain to different parts of the country alternately. When planning a Sri Lanka itinerary, it is important that we look at these weather patterns to improve our chances of having good weather during the tour.
We have a whole article on planning Sri Lanka family itineraries, which includes sample itineraries and the information that you need to customize them to your individual requirements. Please read that or drop us a message to get a tailor-made itinerary. We offer free itinerary consultation.
If you are at the early stages of planning your holiday and just curious to see what Sri Lanka has to offer, you may refer to our itineraries “Sri Lanka with a baby” and “Sri Lanka with toddlers”. Please note both of these itineraries are designed for a tour during the period November to April.
If you check the above mentioned itineraries, you will notice that we have tried to minimize the one night stays and long drives as much as possible. Also, these itineraries do not include more than two main excursions in one day. Make sure your final itinerary reflects these qualities, as it is almost impossible to follow strict schedules when you are travelling with young children.
6. What is the best transport method when touring Sri Lanka with a baby? Are Sri Lankan buses and trains suitable for a baby?
The best transport method for travelling Sri Lanka with a young child is by private car. Buses and trains are not recommended for babies as they are often crowded and time consuming.
If you just want to try public transport as a new experience, use it for short trips. For an example: instead of taking the car to your favorite restaurant, you may take a bus there from your hotel.
Please refer to our article “How to get around Sri Lanka” for more information.
7. How much will it cost to travel Sri Lanka with a baby?
To give you a rough idea of how much it will cost you to travel Sri Lanka with a baby, I calculated the cost for a toddler itinerary that is listed on our website for an off-season month and a peak season month.
I chose June for the off-season month and February for the peak season month. I assumed there will be two adults and a 3-year-old child participating the tour, however, your cost would NOT be much higher if you are travelling with two children. (Most hotels and sightseeing in Sri Lanka are free or 50% discounted for children under 12 years old.)
Please refer to the below summaries to get an understanding of the tour cost in Sri Lanka when using different types of accommodation.
Tour itinerary – Sri Lanka with toddlers
Tour duration – 11 nights / 12 days
Important – All the quotations are based on the winter 2019/2020 travel agent rates and Summer 2019 travel agent rates.
Your actual tour cost can be lower or higher depending on a number of factors. The main factors are as follows.
The month that you visit Sri Lanka
Number of adults and children participating the tour
The ages of the children
The hotels that you choose for the tour
If you are curious to know how much it will cost for your family holiday in Sri Lanka, please drop us a message for a quotation. We typically respond to all our inquiries within 24 hours.
- 2 nights in Negombo at Goldi Sands (3-star plus hotel)
- 3 nights in Sigiriya at Hotel Sigiriya (4-star hotel)
- 2 nights in Kandy at Earls Regent (4-star hotel)
- 4 nights in Unawatuna at Thaproban Beach House (3-star hotel)
Total cost for June (1 triple room with breakfast + transport + excursions) = USD 2371
Total cost for February (1 triple room with breakfast + transport + excursions) = USD 2924
- 2 nights in Negombo at Club Hotel Dolphin (4-star plus hotel)
- 3 nights in Sigiriya at Aliya Resort and Spa (4-star plus hotel)
- 2 nights in Kandy at The Golden Crown (4-star hotel)
- 4 nights in Unawatuna at CocoBay Unawatuna (4-star hotel)
Total cost for June (1 triple room with breakfast + transport + excursions) = USD 2919
Total cost for February (1 triple room with breakfast + transport + excursions) = USD 3592
- 2 nights in Negombo at Heritance Negombo (5-star hotel)
- 3 nights in Sigiriya at Cinnamon Lodge (5-star plus hotel)
- 2 nights in Kandy at Cinnamon Citadel (5-star hotel)
- 4 nights in Bentota at Paradise Road Villa Bentota (Luxury Boutique Hotel)
Total cost for June (1 triple room with breakfast + transport + excursions) = USD 3366
Total cost for February (1 triple room with breakfast + transport + excursions) = USD 4160
8. Do hotels in Sri Lanka provide baby cots?
Airbnbs and small guesthouses might not provide you baby cots, but most tourist hotels in Sri Lanka arrange baby cots upon request. If a hotel that you choose does not provide baby cots, consider changing the hotel or bringing a travel cot from home.
Note – Baby cots that are provided by Sri Lankan hotels are usually not very large. If you are travelling with a child who is older than 1 ½ years old and want a baby cot, it is best to bring a travel cot from home.
9. How to organize an infant seat in Sri Lanka? Do I need to bring one from home?
Check with your travel agency to see if they arrange car seats for their guests. Similar to Travellers Isle, most travel agencies in Sri Lanka arrange infant seats upon request.
Freelance drivers and taxi drivers usually do not provide car seats in Sri Lanka.
If your vehicle provider does not provide car seats, you will have to bring one from home, or buy one while you are in Colombo.
10. Do infants need visas and passports to enter Sri Lanka?
Yes, you need to get a separate visa and a passport for your infant to enter Sri Lanka.
11. Are baby food and nappies readily available in Sri Lanka?
Yes, you may buy them at Arpico, Keells, Cargills, SPAR and Glomark supermarkets. These items are available even in rural areas of the country, but it will be easier for you to buy them in Colombo, Kandy, Galle or Negombo.
Pro tips – Highchairs are almost non-existent in Sri Lanka. If you prefer to have a highchair for the mealtimes of your baby, bring a booster seat from home.
Sri Lanka is a perfect family holiday destination to enjoy with a baby. Hope this article will help you to have a wonderful time in Sri Lanka with your little ones discovering the nature, culture, history and the local life of Sri Lanka.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions. If you like to have our assistance to organize your holiday, please drop us a message and let us know your wants and needs. We are looking forward to putting together a wonderful holiday for your family.