Things to Pack for the Maldives

June 26, 2024

When planning a trip to the Maldives, knowing what to pack is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. This tropical paradise offers a variety of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to hotels, guesthouses, and homestays on local islands. Packing the right items will help you make the most of your visit.

This guide covers all the travel essentials you'll need. Our packing tips will help newcomers and experienced travellers prepare for an unforgettable island getaway.

Use this list to help you decide what to pack for your Maldives adventure.

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Sun Protection Clothing
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Insect Repellent
  5. Motion Sickness Aids and Medication
  6. Electrolyte Powder and Tablets
  7. Reusable Water Bottle
  8. Essential Medication
  9. Universal Travel Adapter for Your Electronics
  10. Action Camera
  11. Power Banks
  12. Travel Insurance
  13. Your Travel Documents
  14. Comfortable Clothing
  15. Swimwear
  16. Beach Towels
  17. Waterproof Cases
  18. Drybags
  19. Beach Bags, Rucksacks, and Sling Bags
  20. Comfortable Footwear
  21. Masks and Fins
  22. Books and E-Readers

Sunscreen

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The Maldives is located near the equator and receives abundant sunshine year-round. To avoid sunburn and damage from ultraviolet radiation, it's crucial to use sunscreen both on the beach and in the water.

Things to Look for in the Perfect Sunscreen:

  • SPF 50+: Choose a sunscreen that matches your skin type, with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 50+ to protect against UVB rays (Ultraviolet Burning).
  • Broad Spectrum: Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen to ensure protection against UVA (Ultraviolet ageing) rays, which help prevent fine lines and premature ageing due to sun exposure.
  • Reef Safe: Select a reef-safe, waterproof mineral sunscreen to avoid harming coral and marine life. Look for active ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are naturally occurring minerals safe for the ocean. We recommend mineral sunscreens, also known as physical sunscreens, in lotion form rather than spray form to reduce the risk of inhalation.
  • Without Chemicals: Avoid chemical sunscreens, as they can harm marine life. These sunscreens absorb UV rays instead of acting as a barrier. Check the product label and avoid ingredients ending in -benzone, -salate, -lene, -xate, or -mate, as even small amounts can damage coral.

After-Sun Lotion

For those with a dedicated skincare routine, after-sun lotion is likely already on your packing list. For others, it's beneficial to know that these products help maintain your skin's health and suppleness after sun exposure.

The after-sun lotion keeps your skin hydrated, reduces irritation or peeling, and often has a cooling effect. It can also prolong your tan. Overall, it provides more hydration than typical body moisturisers and aids in skin regeneration following sun exposure.

Remember to:

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Reapply every 2 hours, especially after swimming or sweating.

Sun Protection Clothing

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Sun protection clothing with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+ offers comprehensive and effective protection against both UVA and UVB rays, which cause ageing and burning.

We highly recommend wearing clothing designed to shield against UVA and UVB rays, such as wide-brimmed sun hats and long-sleeve rashguards. Long-sleeve rashguards, in particular, provide an additional layer of protection against marine life that could irritate your skin, such as jellyfish.

Convenience of Sun Protection Clothing

If your skin is sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, consider using wrist gaiters with a strong UPF factor while walking around. In the Maldives, many people with sensitive skin prefer sun-protective clothing as it is the most convenient way to prevent skin damage. Unlike sunscreen, which requires a 30-minute wait before exposure, sun-protective clothing allows you to go outside immediately.

Sunglasses

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Bringing sunglasses is essential, especially if your eyes are sensitive to light. The sun's rays reflect off the crystalline waters and pure white sands, making it very bright even when looking down. A good pair of inexpensive polarised sunglasses is especially useful for watersports like jet-skiing, paddleboarding, or windsurfing, as polarised lenses reduce glare from the water.

Consider bringing an umbrella with UPF 50+ for additional protection against both rain and sun.

Insect Repellent

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The Maldives, with its tropical climate, is home to various insects and bugs. Bringing insect repellent is essential to protect yourself from unwanted bites.

When purchasing insect repellent sprays and products, consult your local pharmacist to ensure their efficacy and suitability for your use. Additionally, mosquito-repellent wristbands are available in sizes suitable for infants and children.

Motion Sickness Aids and Medication

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If you suffer from motion sickness, remember that the Maldives is 99% ocean and 1% land. To travel from one place to another, you'll often need to use speedboats, seaplanes, or domestic flights.

To counter the effects of motion sickness, you may need to try different aids or medications to find what works best for you.

Here are some effective options:

  • Motion Sickness Tablets: These are usually available without a prescription from pharmacies in most countries.
  • Herbal Alternatives: Ginger tablets or lozenges can also be effective in reducing motion sickness.
  • Wristbands: For those who prefer not to take medication, as well as for children, motion sickness wristbands are a popular alternative.

Electrolyte Powder and Tablets

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When staying in a hotel, guesthouse, or resort in the Maldives, you will usually have water provided in your room, which is replenished daily. While you can always request more water, it’s a good idea to bring some electrolytes to supplement your water intake, especially on hot days when you perspire a lot.

Consider bringing electrolyte powder or soluble tablets. This is particularly important if you plan on having an active holiday. The last thing you want is to overexert yourself and become dehydrated.

Reusable Water Bottle

If you decide to bring a reusable water bottle for your holiday, please choose your water source carefully. When refilling your bottle, make sure to use filtered water. Drinking unfiltered tap water is not recommended.

Essential Medication

It's important to note that each country has its own set of laws governing medications. Medications that are commonly prescribed for acute or chronic health problems in your home country may be considered unlicensed or controlled substances in other countries, even if they are available over the counter.

Breaking the law in your destination can result in serious consequences, ranging from the seizure of your medication to more severe penalties such as fines, criminal proceedings, and imprisonment.

Before you travel, ensure that the country where you will be transiting permits your medications. Many countries allow a 30-day supply of certain medications, but travellers must also bring a prescription or a medical certificate from their healthcare provider. If this is not feasible, discuss alternative medications with your healthcare provider.

Include your prescription and over-the-counter medications in your travel health kit, and make sure you have enough for the entire trip, plus extra in case of delays.

Some countries have strict regulations on bringing common items like vitamins and supplements, so always check local laws before you pack.

Universal Travel Adapter for Your Electronics

The plug sockets in the Maldives are type G, the standard 3-pin plug sockets used in the United Kingdom.

If your home country uses a different plug type, it’s a good idea to bring a universal travel adapter to convert your plug type to the one used in the Maldives.

For maximum convenience, consider a universal travel adapter that doubles as a wall charger. These adapters often include USB-A and USB-C charging ports, with power outputs ranging from 25W for smaller devices like phones to 100W for larger devices or multiple devices like laptops and tablets.

Action Camera

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If you love capturing stunning content about water sports, marine life, or vlog-style content about your travels, bringing an action camera is a great idea.

Remember to pack spare batteries and an SD card in your hand luggage. If you plan to film in the water, bring a floating mount to prevent losing your camera in the ocean.

Power Banks

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Power banks are invaluable when you're out and about and need to charge your electronic devices without access to a power socket. The capacity of these devices is increasing every year, but as a general rule, a 10,000 mAh power bank with a decent 50W charging capability should suffice for 2-3 charges of smaller devices while on the go without being too heavy.

A power bank of this capacity can typically charge two phones and an action camera. The mAh rating indicates the capacity, while the W rating indicates the charging speed and the number of simultaneous devices the charger can support. A higher-wattage power bank can handle multiple devices simultaneously.

It's best to purchase a power bank from a reputable company, as substandard manufacturers can produce volatile products that may cause damage. Additionally, remember to charge your power bank before use; otherwise, it will be as useful as a paperweight.

Potential Restrictions for Power Banks on Commercial Flights:

  • Power banks must be carried in your hand luggage.
  • Each person may carry a maximum of two rechargeable power banks.
  • The power bank must not exceed a maximum capacity of 100 Wh or 27,000 mAh each.

Travel Insurance

The last thing anyone wants is to have their flight cancelled, find their bags damaged on arrival, or miss the opportunity to travel to the Maldives due to circumstances beyond their control.

Travel insurance acts as a safety net, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones by covering difficult events and occurrences during your journey in a foreign country. It's something worth researching before your trip.

Your Travel Documents

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We've all had moments of forgetting essential items, but travelling without your passport can lead to missing your flight. So, here's a gentle reminder: always travel with your passport.

The Maldives is a tourist visa-free-on-arrival destination. When booking your holiday, keep a copy of your booking confirmation with you while travelling.

Ensure your passport is valid for more than six months from your planned departure date from the Maldives, as Maldives immigration may deny entry otherwise. We remind those who book a holiday through our website of these points, so if you want a reminder of your travel requirements, book with us!

Comfortable Clothing

This might seem obvious, but packing for a trip, especially to a tropical climate, can be challenging if you're travelling abroad for the first time.

Here are some considerations when choosing what to bring:

  • Choose Light and Airy Clothes: Opt for lighter, airy clothes, especially if you find hot and humid conditions uncomfortable. If you're staying in a resort or guesthouse, laundry services are usually available, though they can be costly. Having enough clothes to cover your stay duration plus one extra day is a good way to prepare.
  • Have Modest Clothes for Public Areas (Especially on Inhabited Islands): As the Maldives is an Islamic nation, visitors are expected to dress modestly in public areas. This rule applies to both men and women. On local or inhabited islands, there are designated bikini beaches where you can wear regular swimwear. However, on public beaches, wear a T-shirt and leggings that cover your knees both on the beach and in the water.
  • Resort Islands are More Relaxed: Resort islands have private beaches, effectively making the entire island a bikini beach. However, in public areas such as restaurants and resort facilities, it's better to wear a cover-up. Stylish cover-ups like tunics, kaftans, and maxi dresses are available online.
  • One Set of Emergency Clothes in Your Hand Luggage is Practical: In case of spills or flight delays where you don't have access to your checked bag, be prepared with a set of undergarments, socks, and a spare T-shirt or top in your hand luggage.

Swimwear

It's recommended to bring one or ideally two UPF 50+ UVA and UVB-resistant long-sleeve rashguards, especially if you plan on swimming in the sea frequently. Having two or more sets of swimwear is ideal so you can dry or wash one set while using the other, ensuring you always have a fresh set of swimwear.

Beach Towels

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On resort islands, you can request beach towels. However, when travelling to an inhabited island or going on excursions like diving trips, it's always handy to bring a lightweight, quick-dry towel for personal use, just in case you need it.

Waterproof Cases

“Better safe than sorry,” as the old proverb goes, but “sorry” doesn’t quite capture the dread of accidentally dropping your partner's brand-new water-resistant phone into the stunningly turquoise and briny shallows of the Maldives. That's why you should bring a waterproof case to the beach or ocean and seal it well before use, or you'll be "sorry" once again.

Drybags

For those who love to bring everything on an excursion or day trip, consider using a dry bag. Drybags not only keep your travel essentials dry, but they also float if there's trapped air inside the bag.

Beach Bags, Rucksacks, and Sling Bags

If you've ever watched the classic Mary Poppins movie, where Julie Andrews unpacks her magical bag and thinks, "I wish I could do that," then with the right beach bag, you definitely can. Sturdy cotton beach bags are recommended as they are comfortable, quick-drying, travel-friendly, and stylish.

Rucksacks (with two straps) and sling bags (with one strap) are both excellent choices. They leave your hands free, distribute weight evenly, and have various pockets to keep your essential items and bulkier items (like power banks) separate.

Sling bags can be worn on your front or back, while rucksacks (also known as backpacks) tend to sit more comfortably on your back. If you travel with devices like a laptop or camera equipment, you might prefer a rucksack for its roominess.

Comfortable Footwear

The Maldives is known for its soft sandy beaches and sparkling baby blue lagoons, and feeling the combination of the two on your feet is a delightful part of visiting these stunning islands.

When in the Water

Shoes are not a necessity when walking on the beach or in the water. However, not everyone loves the feeling of sand, shells, and small corals underfoot, especially near the shoreline. If walking on rough objects hidden in the sand is a concern, consider wearing the correct footwear. We recommend bringing a pair of neoprene shoes, also known as wetsuit shoes, to wear in the water.

When on Land / Excursions and Island Hopping

Flip-flops or sandals are ideal for the beach, walking around the islands, roads, paths, and travelling on boats for excursions. If you have conditions like flat feet or plantar fasciitis, orthotic sandals or slippers might be more comfortable. Shoes are also fine, but keep in mind that sand is coarse and can get everywhere.

Masks and Fins

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If you wear prescription glasses, bringing a snorkelling mask with prescription lenses might be more comfortable than using contact lenses with a regular mask. Owning a snorkelling mask is also advantageous because even well-maintained rental goggles tend to wear out over time. Investing in a high-quality mask that offers a wider field of view can enhance your experience when visiting a reef.

Mask and Fins for Freediving

If you plan to go freediving with a guide, consider bringing a mask and long fins designed for freediving. While most freediving courses offer rental equipment, having your own can be more comfortable and familiar.

Travelling with Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Gear

Fins may not fit comfortably in standard checked luggage, but there are specialised snorkelling and scuba diving bags available that can accommodate all your gear and be checked in for an international flight.

Books and E-Readers

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While relaxing in the Maldives, you can simply sit and let time pass without any regrets. Once you feel at peace and your mind is refreshed, you might enjoy reading a book.

Reading is beneficial for both your mind and soul, offering a break from modern technology, screens, and the internet. Whether you bring your entire collection on an e-reader or prefer a paperback book, we highly recommend it.

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