Travel checklist for first-timers to South Asia

Home to the famous beaches of the Maldives and the delicious Ceylon tea of Sri Lanka, South Asia is bursting with places to see and experience. Wherever you decide to go, it pays to come prepared before planning your South Asia travel itinerary, so we’ve come up with a travel checklist you’ll need for your future trip.

Ensure your passport is still valid


This is a no-brainer, but sometimes we all make the mistake of letting it slip. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months before and after you arrive, as some countries may not let you in otherwise.

Check if you need a visa

Before booking, making sure you’re allowed into your desired country is of utmost importance — you wouldn’t want to arrive only to not be let entry, as that would be a downer for your South Asia trip. Fortunately, places like the Maldives don’t require a pre-arrival visa, as it is issued upon arrival, while countries like Sri Lanka may require visas prepared in advance depending on your nationality. That said, remember to check your destination’s visa requirements before booking things like accommodation or flights.

Book your flight and accommodation


When you’ve settled all the important documents, book your flight and accommodation! Choose an accommodation that’s close to transportation options, near tourist spots, and is, of course, something you can afford. Cinnamon Hotels has branches in both Sri Lanka and Maldives, giving you plenty of options around both of the beautiful countries.

Make sure you’ve packed for the destination

What clothes and items you pack all depend on your destination and when you’re going, along with what kind of culture they have and what religion. For instance, if you’re heading to the tropical climate in Sri Lanka or the Maldives, you’d want to bring swimwear and light clothes.

For tropical destinations


If you’re headed for the Maldives or Sri Lanka, fill your suitcase with light clothing along with the essentials: sunscreen and sunglasses! While sunscreen is meant to protect your skin, sunglasses are essential not only to protect your eyes from the heat, but also because Daydreaming in Paradise outlines that it helps you adjust better to the time zone. In other words, it can potentially cure your jetlag! Aside from this, remember to bring a hat and of course, comfortable footwear. You’ll be doing a lot of walking after all whether it’s on the beach or in the city.

For colder destinations


When it comes to cold destinations, the Savvy Backpacker explains that it’s all about layering key pieces to avoid bulking up your clothing. That said, bringing a pair of good socks, thin but warm base layers, solid sweaters and long-sleeve shirts are the way to go aside from bringing your trusty winter coat. Don’t forget to bring the necessary accessories: a warm hat, gloves, and a stylish scarf!

Do your research

Finally, do your research! We can’t cover all the details, as it always depends on where you’re going, but make sure to look up your destination’s laws where necessary, culture, religion, and even a dress code! It also pays to learn a little of the language, such as “Thank you” or “Hello”, so you can fully immerse yourself in your South Asia trip.

Author: Martha Hoggs

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