So you’re heading to the Maldives, hey? Lucky you! The Maldives are regularly voted the best holiday destination in the world, and are one of the most famous honeymoon hotspots around – so you made a pretty good choice. You’ve probably carefully chosen your Maldives resort, booked your flights (and maybe that seaplane ride too), have Googled the weather on a daily basis, and now there is nothing left to do but pack.
Packing for the Maldives should be taken seriously, after all, you’ll most likely be staying on a very remote island where it can be tough to pick up replacements should you leave your favourite pair of sandals at home or forget to bring the GoPro. But fear not, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to packing for you vacation in the Maldives, so you can rest assured that nothing will be left behind.
Casual and Chic Clothing
The Maldives enjoy a lovely, warm climate all year round, with balmy evenings, and some scorching days. For this reason, it’s wise to pack a range of loose, cooling and light garments that you can convert from day to night. Think gorgeous white kaftans, sleek sarongs and oversized tees that you can wear to the beach or jazz-up with some accessories for a glam night. There will be lots of swimming and lounging by the pool, so bring a nice selection of your favourite bikinis, as well as cover ups and tropical playsuits for some serious chill time. Gymwear is a good idea as most resorts have a fully stocked fitness centre, as well as a range of classes, such as yoga, on offer. Note, these classes can often be held outside in open-air pavilions, so you may want to opt for shorts and a crop top as opposed to long yoga pants and sleeved tops that you may wear back home.
Dinners can be dressy, so bring some flowing maxi dresses, or even an island-chic cocktail dress or two for when you really want to go all out. As for shoes, many resorts have a ‘no shoes, no news’ policy’. That means that you can take your shoes off from the second you step off the seaplane, and don’t have to put them on again until you leave. Other resorts will require footwear in the restaurants, so make sure that you double check before you leave. Forget about most pairs of heels, as they will most likely get damaged by the sand or stuck in the gaps in the wooden jetty. If you can’t live without heels on your vacation, then opt for a pair of wedges.
Men have it a little easier; Think crisp white cotton tees, and a range of swim shorts, and perhaps some smart, logger pants for the evenings (just make sure that they are cool and breathable). A light sweater or two is always a good idea in case you get a slightly cool breeze one night.
If you plan on doing a lot of snorkeling or water based activities then a rash vest is a very good idea indeed. It will help to protect you from the rays of the sun, and prevent some nasty sunburn. Choose one with very high sun protection and you will be good to go.
If your vacation includes a visit to one of the local Island then it’s worth noting that you should dress modestly when wandering around these areas. It’s advised that you were very conservative clothing and cover up most of your body.
All About the Accessories
A savvy packer knows it’s all about the accessories, particularly when at an exclusive island resort in the Maldives. Pack wisely and you will be able to transform those daytime outfits into nighttime beauties with just a few accessories and a dash of lipstick. Ladies pack your favorite statement pieces like dangling earrings, bejeweled necklaces, grecian arm cuffs, and cute anklets. Also stock up on hair accessories. Sometimes, hair can get a little wild in the humidity, so pack some cute hair clips or hair bands to disguise unruly locks. These accessories will all come in handy and you can have a little fun dressing up on your paradise island.
And let’s not forget the sunnies. We suggest bringing a couple of pairs, just in case you sit on one or they happen to go missing or get dropped in the ocean while on a boat trip (it happens). Make sure that they have a high UV protection rating. Hats are fabulous and will add to your resort-chic look while also protecting your face from the sun. Leave your watch at home, you will be running on island time!
When it comes to packing your toiletries it always pays to be eco-conscious with what to bring. The Maldives have a very delicate ecosystem which can be heavily damaged by chemicals from the products that you are using. So, if possible, always choose to take natural products which are green and eco-friendly. There are a whole range of wonderful companies that offer plant-based products – check out Weleda and Neal’s yard for some ideas. So if you can, try and take natural shampoos and conditioners.
The same applies for sunscreen: you will need to bring some high-quality sunscreen, but did you know that traditional sun cream full of chemicals that leave a toxic layer on the ocean that can affect marine life. Hawaii has actually become the first US state to ban sun cream which contains two chemicals that’s a particularly well-known for harming the ocean. So do a little research and choose to invest in a natural sunscreen that offers protection as well as a blend of natural ingredients that wouldn’t be dumping chemicals in the sea.
Also, you may need to bring some insects repellent with you. The same applies all mosquito repellent as sun cream – ditch the Deet-Laden version and go for a more natural product. Your skin and the environment will thank you for it. A good option to choose is DoTerra Terrashield, which is a blend of natural essential oils that smells great and works well.
Coconut oil is always a great thing to bring you with you just because it is so versatile. You can use it to smooth down flyaway hair, you can use it as a body lotion a moisturizer, and it even helps to nourish your nails. Regular coconut oil application after you get home will also help to prolong your tan.
Gadgets and Gizmos
The Maldives beside visually stunning that you may want to take the proper gear to capture it with. Of course smartphones will do the trick. But you if you have any sort of camera, you’ll be sure to be putting it to use while on your Paradise vacation. A DSLR camera is a great option, and there’s no better place than the Maldives to test out your photography skills. GoPros will also get much use, and they are fantastic for taking on snorkeling and diving trips. Make sure that you bring with you an adapter to plug in your electronics. The electricity supply in the Maldives is 220V to 240V, 50Hz AC. The standard socket is the UK-style three-pin, although there are some variations, so an international adaptor can be useful.
Almost all of the resorts will have some form of watersports center where you can hire snorkels, flippers and other sea-related equipment to explore the ocean with.
For the Journey
Chances are you will probably be traveling for quite some time in order to get to the Maldives. First you’ll have to fly to the Maldives International Airport and then take a seaplane or ferry to get to your resort. So it’s a wise idea to make sure you are well prepared for the long-haul travel. Take a few snacks with you that you can take on the plane like dried fruits and nuts, bring a couple of books or magazines and stock-up your phone with new music, podcasts, audiobooks and the likes.
You will have a lot of time to rest, relax and even reflect at your stunning hotel on the island, so you may want to bring along a journal. Quite often, time on the islands away from the madness and business of everyday life can gift you with insights and inspiration. So a journal or notebook is a lovely way to capture ideas on paper and review when you get back home. It always pays to be prepared with your travel documents when you go away. So take a plastic wallet and fill it with your itinerary including flights, sea plane tickets if you have them, and use it to store your passport and other documents. Make sure you have your travel insurance sorted too, and store a printed version with contact details in your wallet too.
What Not to Pack for the Maldives
It’s worth mentioning that it’s illegal to bring any sort of alcohol into the Maldives. They do actually have a special area in arrivals where they will scan your luggage to check that you are not bringing any in with you. Don’t worry though, if you’re staying in a big resort, they will most likely have a huge selection of alcoholic drinks to choose from including fine wine, champagnes, and local and international spirits. It’s also actually illegal to bring any items that are considered to be contrary to Islam, including like other religious texts such as the Bible, as well as any pork products, so be mindful of this when you are packing for your trip.
Another thing to think about is the weight of your luggage, so always double-check and see what limits you have. Normally you will only be allowed to take up to 20 or 25 kilos of luggage because the seaplanes have a low late weight limit. This can be changed, but you may be required to let them know in advance and often pay a high fee for the privilege. If you’re traveling by speedboat then often these weight restrictions on your luggage will not apply.
Shopping in the Maldives
Shopping options are probably going to be limited when you arrive on your resort, but this does depend on where you stay. Some of the bigger and more luxurious resorts, such as the One and Only Reethi Rah do have a number of shopping options, including designer boutiques which are filled with all sorts of high-end clothes shoes and accessories with high-end price tags.
Most resorts also have some form of convenience store where you can pick up items such as toiletries, sun cream and basic medicines (headache tablets etc) should you need them. However, just be prepared to pay sky high rates for items as import rates are incredibly high in the Maldives, and of course all items have to be shipped in, so it’s always wise to double-check you have everything you need before you leave.
If you remember that you have forgotten to pack something while on your plane on the way there, then you may be able to pick something up from Velena International Aiport when you land. There are a few simple stores located within Male International Airport. If you’re planning on staying on the main island in male for a night, then there are also a few shopping options to be had including cute bazaars, markets and an area called the Majeedhee Magu where you can pick up handcrafted souvenirs and clothing.
Follow these suggestions and you’ll be be packing like a pro in no time. Take a decent selection of clothes, accessories, toiletries, your electronic items and a good book or two and you’ll be all set to go. If you need more info for your trip, check our some of our other article such as ‘Things to do in the Maldives at Night as well as Insider Tips for Honeymooners. Wishing you the most incredible time!