The ultimate packing list for traveling to the Maldives
September 12, 2023
The Maldives is a dream destination if you’re seeking sun, sea, and endless relaxation. With its blue waters, interesting marine life, and overwater bungalows, it’s no wonder the Maldives is on everyone’s bucket list. But before you jet off to your Maldivian holiday, you’ll need to pack wisely to ensure a comfortable and unforgettable stay. Here’s your ultimate packing list for a holiday to the Maldives. I don’t just tell you what I packed, but also why and how I’ve found it useful, so you can assess if it will also be useful for your trip.
Tip: all products mentioned below, can be found in my Amazon Store. This way you don’t have to search all the products for yourself. Enjoy!
Traveling in comfort
Embarking on a journey to the Maldives, especially if it involves long flights, calls for a few key items to enhance your travel comfort. A travel neck pillow, eye mask and ear plugs are three important items to bring. These simple yet effective accessories can make a significant difference in your ability to rest during your journey.
Lightweight and breathable clothing
The Maldives knows two main seasons; dry season between November and April and wet season between May and October. The dry season is characterized by sunny weather, clear skies, and lower humidity. It’s the peak tourist season with pleasant temperatures for outdoor activities, averaging between 26°C to 32°C (79°F to 90°F). The wet season brings more rain and higher humidity. While there are still sunny days, expect occasional rain showers and thunderstorms. Sea conditions may be choppier and temperatures range from 26°C to 31°C (79°F to 88°F).
As you can read, the temperature does not fluctuate much between seasons, which is why it is important to pack clothes that keep you cool and comfortable. Make sure to bring breathable dresses, lightweight shorts, and vibrant swimwear. Don’t forget to bring a beach cover-up and comfortable sandals or flip flops, ideal for a stroll on the beach. Furthermore, make sure not to forget your underwear, bras, sport bra, socks and hat.
It’s important to consider your toiletries carefully. Basic toiletries, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties, makeup, deodorant, swabs, hairbrush and a razor are a must to maintain your daily hygiene routine. Consider eco-friendly options like shampoo and conditioner bars to minimize your environmental impact. One bar will last as long as two or three bottles of shampoo or conditioner. The bars are usually made of 100% environmental ingredients and can be stored in a tin box. I love the lavender bars of HappySoaps (recommended for Dutch readers).
Furthermore, I can really recommend bringing a menstrual cup. This means changing less often, saving money and taking the environment into account. A menstrual cup is made from comfortable silicone (which doesn’t release harmful toxins like plastic) and is reusable for up to 10 years. You can leave it in for around 12 hours. I highly recommend you go this route. Truly. You’ll thank me.
The sun in The Maldives is strong and requires some preparation. Equip yourself with a high SPF sunscreen to create a powerful barrier against the potent UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to enlist a stylish yet practical wide-brimmed hat, which not only adds flair to your outfit, but also offers face protection from the sun. I can also recommend to invest in UV-protective sunglasses to protect your eyes. To add an extra layer of sun safety, consider packing lightweight long-sleeve shirts, ideal for boat rides or afternoon stroll.
Preparing for island excursions
There are plenty of fun things to do in the Maldives. The most well known activity is snorkeling, so make sure to include your snorkeling gear and water shoes in your luggage. And to ensure your things stay dry during boat transfers or unexpected rain showers, a trusty waterproof backpack is a must-pack item.
If diving is part of your plan, make sure to bring your dive certification cards and logbooks. As for essential diving equipment, masks, snorkels, fins, and a dependable dive watch are all indispensable items; these can be either packed or conveniently rented locally.
The Maldives is also known for submarine tours, birdwatching, spotting phytoplanktons and sunset cruises. If you’re planning on joining one of these activities, make sure to bring the necessary equipment. For example, birdwatching requires binoculars and lightweight hiking shoes.
On the Maldives the power plug sockets are of type D and G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. Make sure to bring an international adapter, so you can charge all your equipment.
If you love taking photos during your holidays, I can recommend bringing a camera. Make sure to bring a waterproof camera if you plan to take some underwater photos. A waterproof phone bag provides waterproof protection for your phone while maintaining full touch screen functionality. I have one that has a transparent window that allows me to shoot pictures and manage my phone underwater. To ensure your electronics never run out of power, equip yourself with a portable charger.
If you plan on using public WiFi while traveling (like an airport, restaurant or hotel) then you’re potentially putting your online security at risk by hackers. A VPN can save your ass. It protects your sensitive data on all your devices with just one click. You can also switch between countries, so you are always able to access any program or page you like. I use a VPN of NordVPN and am really happy with this service.
Last, but not least, consider buying an e-sim. Most phones accept e-sims these days and that’s great! An eSIM allows me to keep my Dutch physical sim at home and to use local numbers for roaming. This way I could keep my Dutch WhatsApp number and can call and message all my contacts on WhatsApp, like if I’m in the Netherlands. The fact that I don’t need to buy a local sim which is made of plastic, also makes eSIM an eco-friendly replacement. Learn more about an eSIM!
Maintaining your well-being while traveling is very important! As part of your packing list for the Maldives, make sure to bring a small first-aid kit. This kit should include mosquito repellent, antihistamines, hydration salts, and water purification tablets. Additionally, remember to include any personal medications you may require to address specific health needs.
I love reading while traveling. There’s something great in losing yourself in a (travel-related) book while you hear the soothing sound of waves. Consider including guidebooks that unravel travel tips for visiting the Maldives or an audiobook if you don’t want to carry too much stuff with you.
You can also bring some card games that are great for passing time and breaking the ice in social situations. I alway have a pack of playing cards with me. Other great options are Uno (take the waterproof cards version) or Monopoly deal card game.
Perhaps most important, ensure all your travel documents are in order. Passports, travel insurance, hotel reservations, and any necessary permits or visas should be on your packing list for the Maldives. A tip? Keeping digital backups on a secure cloud can be a lifesaver in emergencies.
Don’t forget a travel insurance for your Maldives trip. Heymondo is one of the cheapest travel insurances for backpackers and covers medical emergencies, theft, delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and more. For being a reader of Girlswanderlust, you’ll get a 5% discount on your next Heymondo travel insurance.
Luggage and packing essentials
Opt for lightweight, easy-to-carry luggage that will make navigating and transfers hassle-free. I always bring a backpack and fanny pack wherever I go. Keeping my belongings safe is important for me. That is one reason why I always carry two TSA approved bag locks with me. I put it around the zippers of my flight bag when traveling or to secure my backpack when staying in dorm rooms.
Moreover, (compression) packing cubes prove invaluable in keeping your belongings well-organized and easily accessible. If you plan on doing your own laundry while traveling, make sure to bring a laundry bag and clothesline. Furthermore, consider bringing ziplock bags; they come in handy for safely storing wet swimwear or sandy shoes, ensuring that the rest of your luggage remains clean and dry.
Cash and cards
The local currency in the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), but US dollars are also widely accepted throughout the tourist areas. It’s a good idea to carry a small amount of local currency in cash for small expenses like snacks, tips, and souvenirs. However, for larger expenses such as accommodation bills or dining, credit and debit cards are commonly used and accepted at most places. Just ensure you inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any card issues. Bring a RFID protected wallet to protect your cards.
Traveling to a country with a different currency? Avoid ATM transaction fees and pay in local currency with a Wise Visa Card or Revolut Maestro Card. I have been using these cards for several years and have saved a lot of money as a result. I recommend bringing both bank cards with you when you travel.
Important contact information
Make sure to carry important contact information to ensure a smooth and secure journey to the Maldives. First and foremost, have a list of emergency contacts available, which should include your embassy’s and insurance contact details. Additionally, make sure you possess the local contact information for your accommodations, including the name, address, and phone number of your resort or hotel.
In the Maldives, the emergency number for police assistance is 119, for ambulance services 102 and for the fire department 118. Make sure to save these numbers in your phone.
All these contact details act as a safety net, providing you with peace of mind and ensuring you have the necessary resources to address any unexpected circumstances.
Space for souvenirs
Maldivian holidays aren’t just about experiences, but also the memories you bring back. I can recommend to leave some luggage space for souvenirs that you might want to bring back home.
Eco-friendly packing tips
Being an outsider, we’ve pinned the Maldives as a beautiful destination, but what you find in the Maldives, is really quite different. There’s more than just white beaches, clear water, and beautiful islands. There’s actually an artificial landfill called Thilafushi, the garbage island of the Maldives. I think you should know about this. To minimize your environmental footprint and help preserve the Maldives, consider producing as less garbage on the Maldives as possible. This actually already starts by making conscious choices in your packing.
Start by packing reusable water bottles and metal straws; not only do these reduce plastic waste, but they also ensure you stay hydrated while exploring this tropical haven. Furthermore, opt for biodegradable sunscreen to protect the delicate coral reefs, as conventional sunscreens can harm the marine ecosystem and opt for bringing a reusable water bottle. Lastly, include tote bags in your luggage for eco-conscious shopping sprees, minimizing the need for single-use plastic bags and contributing to the preservation of the Maldives’ breathtaking natural beauty. By adopting these eco-friendly packing tips, you can play a part in safeguarding this beautiful destination for generations to come.
In conclusion, the Maldives is a dream destination known for its pristine beaches, overwater bungalows, and vibrant marine life. To ensure a comfortable and unforgettable stay, pack wisely. For travel comfort, bring a neck pillow, eye mask and ear plugs for long flights. Choose lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for the Maldivian climate and don’t forget sun protection and toiletries. Pack the right gear for island excursions and underwater adventures and consider tech essentials like portable chargers and a VPN. Ensure you have health essentials and proper travel documentation. Travel smart with lightweight luggage and organization tools like packing cubes. Bring cash and cards for financial needs and have important contact information on hand. Leave space for souvenirs and embrace eco-friendly packing tips to reduce your environmental impact. With this concise packing list for The Maldives, you’ll be well-prepared for your Maldivian journey. Safe travels!