What should you pack to Volunteer in Sri Lanka?

What should you pack to Volunteer in Sri Lanka?

In this video, Project manager Lee and previous SLV Coordinators Zuber, Lizzie and Aaron share tips on what should you pack to volunteer in Sri Lanka. It’s always hard to choose what to pack, so we’ve put together this kit-list for you with suggestions of what to pack. It is a non-exhaustive list, but should help guide you in the right direction. It’s important not to pack too much, as it is likely that you will want to pick up more clothing and souvenirs whilst you volunteer in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan dress is modest, especially in more rural areas, and all volunteers must dress smartly whilst in the local community and on projects.

Things volunteers should bring:

- Sunscreen (30-50 SPF) & After Sunscreen is also hard to find and the sun is very strong! Please bring at least one bottle for each month you are there.

- Tampons are extremely hard to find in Sri Lanka, so please bring more than enough for the placement.

- Staple toiletries

- Lightweight jumper – weekend AC buses tend to get a bit chilly!

- Waterproof jacket/small portable umbrella – great for short, but vicious Sri Lankan downpours.

- Casual clothes for the weekend – Many volunteers still like to wear modest clothing whilst travelling to avoid attracting any unwanted attention, but you can really wear what you like.

- Skirts – some projects require female volunteers to wear skirts rather than trousers. So even if it’s not your usual style, please bring a fulll length plain skirt just in case.

- Smart plain trousers – smart and loose fitting full-length linen or cotton trousers

- T-shirts - ensure they aren’t too thin or light as they may end up being transparent.

- Collared buttoned down shirts – for most projects volunteers will be required to wear a collared shirt. Polo shirts are not smart enough for some projects.

- 3-4 bottles of antibacterial hand wash/ hand sanitizer, you will be eating with your hands and running water isn’t always available.

- Deodorant can also be tough to find in Sri Lanka and expensive.

- Face wipes/baby wipes can also be extremely useful if you get sweaty or can be used as emergency loo roll.

- If you do take any medication please remember to bring enough for your entire placement.

- First Aid Kit – Plasters/Band-Aids, painkillers (ibuprofen, paracetamol), antihistamines, diarrhoea tablets and Senokot. You may not need all these things, but you should bring some just to be on the safe side!

- Mosquito repellent – though Sri Lanka may be malaria-free, it is still possible to contract Dengue fever. Ensure it has 50% DEET or more, natural Citronella repellent is available in Sri Lanka but is not as strong.

- 1 pair of smart shoes/sandals for the Projects

- 1 pair of sandals/flip flops for the beach

- 1 pair of lightweight trainers

Other essentials:

- Padlock – For your bag whilst you are in homestay and for travelling.

- Torch – Essential for power cuts and reading in bed.

- Ear plugs – Volunteers will be sharing rooms so light-sleepers will find these invaluable.

- Unlocked mobile phone – It is essential to have a mobile whilst you volunteer in Sri Lanka so the team can contact you at all times. We recommend bringing an unlocked one with you.

- Photocopy of important docs – We recommend photocopying your passport, visa and medical insurance policy and keeping it in your carry-on case.