The Ultimate Maldives Packing List: What to Wear
A vacation to the Maldives islands is a fantasy vacation for many. When you indulge in such a trip, it is imperative that you have the right essential items for your Maldives packing list.
How We Built Our Maldives Packing List
Since the Maldives Islands are such a popular destination, there is a ton of information out there available. During our research, we looked at reviews and articles written by past visitors. We researched information about the country itself, as well as the resources at the many resorts there.
Company blogs, YouTube, and experienced travel bloggers all provide great first-hand accounts about these beautiful islands.
Information About The Maldives
There are a few things you should understand before you venture out on such a Maldives trip. First of all, the Maldives is an island country that is made up of hundreds of islands in the Indian Ocean. So if you don’t enjoy being surrounded by water, this is not the place for you.
This tropical paradise is also a Muslim country. As a result, you should be mindful of the proper dress code – at least when you venture to the capital city of Male and in visiting local islands. Of course, if you are in a resort area you can wear a bathing suit and clothes that are suitable for very hot weather.
Do not bring items such as drugs, weapons and pornography since they are strictly banned. However, you will be able to enjoy alcoholic drinks as you relax at your resort – and ONLY at the resort. With that said, you will have plenty of sandy beaches, fun activities, and marine life to enjoy. Take advantage of this ultimate Maldives packing list to enhance your trip.
Going to an exotic place like the Maldives is an exciting time and you want to make sure that your packing bucket list is complete. Putting together your ultimate Maldives packing list will ensure that you are able to participate in as many activities as possible and enjoy those beaches with ease.
Take the time to review the following travel tips for your upcoming beach adventure.
The Ultimate Packing List For The Maldivian Islands
Accepted payment methods and currencies in Maldives
Cash and credit cards are the two main options for payment in the Maldives. Businesses accept Mastercard, Visa, and American Express. US dollars, Euros and British Pounds are accepted as well. You will be able to get cash from the Airport ATM upon arrival as resorts do not have ATM machines.
The Maldivian currency is called the Rufiyaa which can be purchased from banks and money changers if needed. There are about 15 MVR to one US dollar.
As it is a long flight for a possibly action-packed venture, you will need a checked bag and a carry-on. Throw a light sweater into your carry on bag since the long flight itself will most likely be chilly. Get some packing cubes to properly organize and make suitcase space for your Maldivian vacation must haves.
This is very important to know to check your luggage allowance from Male’ Airport to Resort, as majority of Sea Plane & Domestic flights only have a luggage allowance of 20Kg per passenger if you have packed more than this, depending on the situation the internal transfer organizers Sea Plane & Domestic Flights may charge you for additional Kg’s, often your luggage may be transported to hotel on the next flight or the next day if it exceeds more than 20kg per passenger. however, speed boat has no luggage allowance limitations.
Pouches For Your Carry On Bag
Some ideal items to keep with you on your long flight should include a mask, book, and hydration for skin. Consider using a plastic pouch or sleeve for your electronics. There are several water resistant tech organizers that may be right for you. Keep your travel documents such as your passport and insurance documents together in a separate pouch as well.
When going about your daily activities, you may want a cloth-like bag made of lightweight material with a single shoulder strap.
Since you will be on an island, use a dry bag for your electronics and cameras. Dry bags come in several sizes and materials. However, it is best to get one made from nylon for ultimate protection against moisture. You can use a dry bag duffle bag as your main luggage or simply pack a smaller one to use once you arrive on those white sand beaches.
Typical clothes styles in Maldives
The Maldivian style of dress is conservative, hence it would be best to carry cover-ups and sarongs for the beach-side restaurants where full coverage is required. Sarongs can also double up as towels. Try bringing an elegant pair of sandals in lew of dress shoes for a “night out”.
Men beach vacation clothes
Beach vacation clothes for men should be longboard shorts that are knee-length. The traditional look of men’s clothes might be a kaftan buttoned up to the neck with cotton pants. However, most resorts now have relaxed rules for attire and will welcome men in swimming trunks. Be sure to bring a pair of lightweight long pants in case you plan to dine out at one of the resort restaurants.
Women beach vacation clothes
Ideal Clothes for hot weather are loose cotton pants with crew neck tee shirts, sundresses, and even knee-length shorts. Wearing tank tops during the day is acceptable in resorts but outside the resort boundaries, women are expected to dress conservatively.
Women beach vacation clothes may include bikinis – as long as you are on the beach at your resort. So have fun packing several pairs of bikinis as you prance in the turquoise sea near your abode. However, such clothing is considered too skimpy for the local islands.
Outside of the sandy beaches, you can opt for a kaftan or cover up paired with knee-length pants and board shorts. In case you are planning on boat trips to local islands, it would be best to carry along a few light dresses and skirts so as not to strain your resort clothes too much.
Best types of footwear
The Maldives are famous for their miles of pristine, white-sand beaches that extend into clear blue waters. Hence, you will need handy footwear to walk on the beaches that are made up of fine grains of quartz particles. While it may be tempting to go barefoot on the beach, it is advisable to carry a pair of flip-flops or rubber sandals to protect your feet from the scorching heat and sharp rocks.
If you intend to go for water activities such as scuba diving or snorkeling, then it is best to carry sporty footwear like dive shoes or reef shoes that can protect your feet from being cut by fish fins and coral reefs.
For sightseeing, island hopping and hiking, you may want to add at least one pair of sneakers to your Maldives packing list. Although some Maldivian resorts may sell these items, it may not come in your size. So it is better to carry them along as an extra pair.
What clothes not to pack for Maldives
When you pack for the Maldives, leave high heels and other fancy dress shoes behind. Some resorts even have a “no shoes” policy – so check ahead before packing. While your packing list should include clothes for hot weather and beachwear, don’t forget you will be in a Muslim country. Therefore, it is imperative to be respectful and gear towards more conservative clothing when you are visiting Male international airport or spending time in the capital itself.
The sun in the Maldives is extremely strong and in order to avoid skin damage and sunburn, it is advisable to apply an ample amount of suntan lotion. A natural alternative, aloe vera gel is also available in the market. Beware that sand and water reflect sunlight which can further damage your skin. Try buying sunscreen that is ecologically safe for the house reef and other marine life.
Be aware that sand fleas are present at some resorts so it is advisable to put on insect repellent especially if you are staying in one of the islands where there are sand flies. Like most hot and humid areas, you will also have to deal with mosquitos.
Beach cover up options
As mentioned before, you should be prepared to cover up when you are not at a beach resort. Bring a kaftan or sarong . If you are staying at a large mega-resort, you will most likely be able to buy some local fashionable kaftans at the resort shop.
You will need more than just suntan lotion to successfully protect you from UV rays. Bring a nice wide sun hat for extra skin protection.
The sun is bright so you must protect your eyes as well as your skin so pack a pair of shades with 99-100% UV protection. Polarized glasses are a good style choice to reduce sun glare from horizontal surfaces but they don’t always come with UV protection.
With all the beauty you are bound to see during your trip, your ultimate packing list must include some type of camera!
Best Underwater camera
The GoPro is an extremely popular underwater camera, as is the DSLR. Check out this list of options and see which one is best for your portraits of sea turtles and fish. In a case were you forgot to bring your camera, resorts have cameras available for rent for your underwater adventures.
Many resorts have Wi-Fi in case you want to watch a movie or work on your laptop after your amazing time on the beach . Of course, you may even want to use your iPad to record stunning beach videos.
So, don’t hesitate to bring recording technical devices along for your trip. Just ensure that they are properly protected and packed in one of the dry bags mentioned above.
Feel free to bring your phone to the Maldives. There are two mobile (and internet) providers in the country, Dhiraagu and Ooredoo, that provide coverage to all of the islands. A SIM card at Male International Airport will only cost you about $10 US. It is best to buy a SIM card if you can, as you will have to pay extra cost to make phone calls at your resort.
To make your trip even easier, download the following apps to your phone before you land at your destination.
Viber – standard way of communication. It is a cross-platform app for chats and video/voice calls.
WhatsApp – this internationally used app needs no introduction. Use it to call world-wide from the Maldives as you would anywhere else.
Telegram – while you may not use telegrams where you live at, this is still commonly used on the islands in the Maldives.
Avas Ride – If you need a ride while you are in the capital city, this is the app for you.
Netflix – Take advantage of the wi-fi at your resorts to watch a movie or TV show after long beach days.
These islands use UK plugs. Bring an adaptor for any electronics you plan to use. Some resorts may be able to lend you an adaptor but you should play it safe and bring your own.
If you plan to go on diving trips in the Maldives, you should bring your own scuba diving gear like a dry suit/wetsuit, fins, dive computer, regulator, and a diving mask. You can rent the necessary gear at a dive shop on the resort. However, utilizing the area dive shop can be expensive and put a dent in your vacation budget – especially if you do frequent dives.
Anyone who plans to go snorkeling should pack items such as snorkels, masks, and flippers. There are many resorts that provide snorkeling gear but you can save money if you can fit these items into your suitcase.
There are plenty of opportunities for a boat trip between islands. Carry a rain jacket and water boots/shoes. Make sure that you book your tickets beforehand as there are limited seats on the boats during the high season.
Hiking umbrellas are quite popular among tourists due to their ability to provide cover even during strong winds and rains of the monsoon season. If you intend to visit the Maldives during this time, then carry a light umbrella that can be easily packed into your beach bag. A rain jacket can also come in handy.
Medication and First Aid
Mosquitos are very prevalent on the island and you can easily get mosquito bites. Carry along repellent lotion or spray to prevent infection of wounds.
Maldives Vaccination Requirements
The Maldives highly recommends that visitors should be vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Covid-19 upon arrival. The Hepatitis A vaccine can be taken at least 14 days before arrival in Maldives.
Visitors are required to present their vaccination certificate for yellow fever if arriving within 6 days of visiting an endemic country.
Malaria is not prevalent in the Maldives which is why you do not need to be vaccinated against it before visiting. However, it is advisable to carry anti-malarial medication when traveling to places with mosquito infested areas such as rain forests and jungles.
Dengue fever is not prevalent in the resort islands of Maldives, but there have been cases reported on the island of Male which you need to take into account as well.
The Maldives requires visitors to get vaccinated against polio if arriving from a region with polio transmission. The vaccine needs to be received at least 6 weeks before your arrival in the country to be effective.
Make note of the following information when entering the country and applying for a visa. You must bring the following documents with you:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months past your entry date
- Return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds for your stay
- Travel itinerary including flight numbers, hotel reservations and contact information of your tour guide/ host.
As long as you provide the above documents, you can get a free visitor visa valid for 30 days upon arrival. If you wish to extend your visa beyond 30 days, you will have to pay a fee of Rufiyaa 750. If you have sufficient funds or a letter from a host, you can stay up to 90 days total.
Medical care facilities are available in the Maldives but it is advisable to purchase medical insurance from your home country before going on a vacation. This way, if there are any health issues during the trip, you can avail of medical treatment back at home with ease.
Travel insurance is compulsory to have Covid-19 cover as well. Accidents can occur anytime which is why it is important to be prepared for any potential mishaps even while on vacation. This certainly will come in handy if you plan to participate in extreme water sports.
Personal property protection ( electronics,gear,etc)
Make sure that you have adequate coverage for your personal property. This includes cameras, laptops and other electronic devices. It is advisable to check with your credit card company/travel insurance provider if they can provide a cover for these items in the event of theft or water damage.
Completing Your Maldives Packing List
Well, there you have it. Your bucket list trip to the Maldives is off to an excellent start with this packing list. Now you can pack for the Maldives with confidence and rest assured that your bags will have everything you need.
Whether you want to lay by the turquoise sea all day, take boat trips, dine out with proper attire, or photograph sea turtles, you now have a good idea of what you need. Look out for new posts about travelling to this amazing part of the world as you prepare for your next trip.