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The Ultimate Packing List for the Maldives
The Maldives, here you come! You booked your flights and found the perfect place to stay. But, have you thought about what to add to your Maldives packing list?
If you’re anything like me, the allure of crystal clear water and white sand beaches is too strong to resist. And, the Maldives is one of the most beautiful islands in Asia and the world!
I can’t wait for you to dive into the gorgeous waters and explore everything the Maldives offers.
With my Maldives packing list, you’ll be ready for anything – from snorkeling and swimming to sunbathing and strolling along the beach.
So, what are you waiting for? Start packing for the trip of a lifetime!
Maldives Packing List: Clothing and Accessories
When packing for the Maldives, it’s essential to consider both the climate and the activities you plan on participating in.
The Maldives is a tropical country, so it’s best to pack light, comfortable, and breathable clothing.
It’s also important to bring along accessories that will protect you from the sun and sand. After all, you don’t want to ruin the experience with a sunburn or an itchy back.
Here are my top recommendations for clothing and accessories for a packing list for the Maldives.
A sunhat is a must-pack item for any Maldives packing list.
The Maldives is a tropical country, so the sun is intense year-round. You’ll want to protect your face and head from the sun’s harmful rays.
I recommend packing a sunhat with a wide brim to provide maximum coverage. You can also look for hats made with UV protection to keep your skin safe from the sun.
You’ll probably spend a lot of time walking along the beach and hanging out outside. Pack footwear that won’t weigh you down and allow your feet to breathe.
You should also pack a pair of flip-flops for when you’re beachside. That way, you won’t get your adorable sandals sandy and messy.
Pro Tip: Buy a cheap pair because you’ll only wear them a few hours of the day, and you can toss them before you head back home.
A Maldives packing list isn’t complete without a pair of sunglasses. The Maldives is located near the equator, so the sun is stronger here.
Pack a pair of high-quality sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays and save yourself from squinting all day.
Pro Tip: Polarized glasses will be perfect for the Maldives since they block the glare and block the sun’s harsh rays.
Depending on when you visit, you might need a rain jacket. If you visit during the rainy season, you’ll want to bring one.
The Maldives receive higher rainfall from May to December because of wind patterns and cooler air temperatures.
But, don’t worry – I visited during the rainy season, and it only rained for a few minutes throughout the day. It was pretty nice because it cooled down a bit.
You’ll also be fine if you decide not to pack one because your resort will probably have umbrellas. The rain jacket will be helpful for when you’re biking around the island in the rain.
Your Maldives packing list should include a swimsuit appropriate for your resort’s dress code.
If you’re staying in a resort on a private island, you probably won’t have any restrictions on what kinds of swimsuits you can wear (within reason, of course).
However, if you’re staying on the main island of Male, you’ll want to pack more modest swimwear.
The Maldives is a Muslim country, so you’ll need to dress conservatively on the mainland.
I recommend bringing at least two pairs of swimsuits including a white swimsuit and a bright-colored suit because they’ll contrast beautifully against the turquoise waters.
In addition to swimsuits, you’ll also want to pack lightweight and comfortable coverups for when you’re not swimming or sunbathing.
I especially used my cover up when I jumped out of the ocean to grab lunch. I didn’t have to walk all the way back to my overwater bungalow to change, and I was able to walk around comfortably.
Aim for a lightweight, breezy, and stylish cover up!
Sundresses and rompers are perfect for wearing to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and around the resort. They’re also great for activities like island hopping and exploring.
Your resort will probably have a few casual restaurants and a couple of more upscale ones.
If you’re having dinner at an upscale restaurant, you’ll want to be dressed appropriately.
This is where maxi dresses come in handy. They look elegant and pair perfectly with sandals.
The best part is that you’ll be dressed for the part while being comfortable.
In addition to sundresses and rompers, you’ll also want some shorts to throw on.
Shorts are perfect for lounging at the beach or poolside, boat activities, and strolls around the resort.
They’re also great for biking around your resort and pack at least one pair.
You may want to add a few t-shirts and tank tops to your Maldives packing list if you’re a tomboy like me.
Shorts and t-shirts are my favorite outfits to wear during the day on a tropical vacation when I’m not swimming.
Plus, they’re suitable for various activities you have planned and will keep you cool and comfortable.
You can even pack a nice blouse and wear it with jean shorts for an effortless and cute look.
Clothing for Male (the Capital City)
You’ll fly into the Male airport on Hulhule Island no matter where your resort is. From there, you’ll either take a seaplane or ferry to your island resort or to the local island of Male.
The Maldives isn’t an overly conservative country – but it’s important to respect their culture and traditions.
That said, you’ll need to dress conservatively when you arrive at the airport in the Maldives and around Male as well.
A long, flowy skirt or dress and a blouse with short sleeves and covers your stomach was my go to and will be perfect to wear before you arrive at your resort.
Maldives Packing List: The Basics
In addition to vacation clothes and accessories, you’ll also want to pack the basics like sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.
I’m not adding super basic items to this list like toothbrushes and body wash.
This part is more about essentials you don’t typically think about when packing for a tropical trip.
Sunscreen is an essential item to pack for any beach destination, but it’s imperative when going to the Maldives.
The Maldives has a tropical climate, and the weather is hot and humid year-round, so you’ll need sunscreen to protect your skin from getting burned.
Please pack reef-safe sunscreen! The Maldives is home to beautiful coral reefs, and non-reef-safe sunscreen will expose the reefs to harmful chemicals and hurt them.
Don’t forget to pack a suntan lotion with bronzer if you want to go home with glowing, sun-kissed skin.
Pro Tip: The sun rays can still be strong on cloudy days, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
The Maldives has gorgeous turquoise waters with vivid underwater life, and you’re going to want a quality underwater camera to take pictures of it all!
Many great underwater cameras will take amazing pictures and videos, like the GoPro HERO10 or the Nikon COOLPIX W300 16MP 4k Ultra HD Waterproof Digital Camera
The Maldives has some of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen, and I recommend packing a drone to capture the beauty from above.
But, there are several rules and regulations you need to be aware of.
For example, you have to get approval from the Maldives National Defense Force and a permit from the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority before using your drone.
In addition, you’ll also need to double check with your hotel to see if they have a no drone policy.
For more information about drone usage and to apply for your permit, check out the Maldives CAA website.
Many resorts will have dry bags for you to use. If they don’t, you’ll want to bring one.
A dry bag is perfect for storing your camera, drone, and other electronics while swimming and snorkeling.
It’ll also be helpful if you make any boat trips to nearby local islands and other beaches.
If your hotel offers a dry bag, the odds are that they’ll probably provide you with a wet bag.
A wet bag is great for storing your swimsuit, towel, and other water or sand-covered items after you’ve used them.
It’s also good for keeping dirty clothes separate from your clean clothes.
This is another item that most luxury resorts provide, so check with them beforehand.
If you want to explore the turquoise sea and its marine life, it’s a great idea to bring your own snorkeling equipment if it’s not provided.
Some of the marine life you’ll see is a variety of sharks, manta rays, parrotfish, seahorses, dolphins, and much more!
Another thing most resorts will typically provide is bottled water, and they want you to stay hydrated in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
If you’re taking day trips to neighboring local islands or staying in Male, you’ll want to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
A Good Book (Or Kindle)
All you’ll want to do in the Maldives is relax, snorkel and lay out on the perfect beach.
But, if you’re like me and you’re not into snorkeling too much (or you’re a total bookworm), it might be a little challenging to stay occupied.
So, why not bring a good book or your Kindle? They’re light and easy to throw in your carry on bag.
Travel insurance is something that everyone should have before going on their Maldivian vacation.
You never know when you might get sick or injured on your Maldives trip, and it will also cover you if your checked luggage gets lost or if there are travel delays.
Make sure you add travel insurance to your Maldives packing list because accidents happen!
The Maldives operates on 230 volts, so you’ll need to pack an adapter.
Some resorts might provide one if you ask or check beforehand, but it’s best to bring one yourself.
You’ll need one if you’re traveling from the United States.
Again, most luxury resorts will provide you with a beach bag.
It’ll be perfect for carrying your sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and other travel essentials to and from the water.
You can bring your own in case you don’t like the one they provide or you already have a stylish one.
Something you might not think about adding to your Maldives packing list is cash.
The number one reason to bring cash with you is to tip the hotel staff who work tirelessly to ensure you have an amazing time beach getaway.
You can tip with US Dollars because it’s considered legal tender in the Maldives.
Make sure you bring small notes with you if they don’t have American change to give you.
It’s best to be proactive and pack whatever medicine you might need for your Maldives vacation in case you need it.
I recommend packing Ibuprofen and Pepto Bismol, though you probably won’t need the latter.
My husband actually came down with a cold when we were there, and I didn’t pack medicine. Ooops.
We had to call the doctor on-site (so thankful there was one!), and he had to give us medicine.
Pro Tip: If you’re traveling with prescription medication, you should always carry the original prescription(s) if the customs authorities ask for proof.
You don’t have to bring a dozen things in your medical kit, but you should at least bring bandaids and gauze.
If there is an emergency, you might have to get all the way to the main island if you’re staying at a private island.
A few of the things in your medical kit might hold you over until you get treated.
For example, you never know when someone may get stung by a jellyfish or if they encounter another potential injury while swimming or lounging at the beach.
The Maldives islands are notorious for having mosquitoes because of the number of plants that grow there.
It’s not a good feeling when you’re getting bitten by mosquitoes while trying to relax, so make sure you don’t forget the bug spray.
If you end up getting burnt from the sun or you get stung by a jellyfish, it’ll be beneficial to apply some soothing aloe vera to the burned areas of the skin.
Your passport is the most essential Maldives packing list item you’ll need!
It might sound silly, but I’m surprised by how many people forget their passports at home because they’re so excited about packing clothes and other must-haves.
Pro Tip: Make sure your passport is updated with at least six months validity.
I NEVER travel without copies of my passport. If I lose my actual passport or it gets stolen, at least I have a copy of it.
Maldives Packing List Helpful Tips
Now that we’ve covered what to pack for Maldives, let’s go over some helpful packing tips.
- If you’re going to be using a seaplane, be mindful of the luggage weight limits. Typically, you can have 5 kg of hand luggage and 20 kg of checked baggage. You’ll have to pay an extra cost per kilogram if you go over, and it can be pretty pricey. Save money on baggage fees by packing light and use it on experiences during your trip instead.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. Start a few days before you leave so you can add items that you may have forgotten or remove things that you won’t need.
- Save room in your luggage so you can bring home some souvenirs.
What Not to Pack for the Maldives
There are a few items that you shouldn’t bring on your trip, including:
- Alcohol: Remember that the Maldives is an Islamic country, and alcohol is prohibited.
- Pork products: Bringing items with pork products is strictly banned since the locals are Muslim.
- Heels: You’ll mostly be walking on sand, so heels aren’t needed.
- Too much makeup: Just pack a few basic make up items. The humidity will make your makeup run.
- Hairdryer and hair straightener: The hotel room will probably have a blowdryer, and it’s near impossible to have a great hair day because of the humidity.
- Warm clothes: You definitely won’t need warm clothing on your trip since you’re going to a tropical destination.
What to Pack for the Maldives Checklist
Here’s this Maldives packing list in a nutshell:
- Rain Jacket
- Swimsuit Coverups
- Maxi Dress
- T-Shirts/Tank Tops
- Clothing for Male
- Underwater camera
- Dry Bag
- Wet Bag
- Snorkeling Gear
- Water Bottle
- Travel Insurance
- Beach Bag
- Medical Kit
- Inspect Repellent
- Aloe Vera
- Passport Copies
Quick Facts About the Maldives
- Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa
- Language: Dhivehi
- Best time to visit: November through April (great weather = high season)
- Where to stay: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
Final Thoughts About This Maldives Packing List
Packing for the Maldives can be stressful, but you won’t have to worry because you have this handy dandy guide.
Now that you know exactly what to pack for Maldives, it’s time to get going on your exciting trip!
What are you most excited to do in the Maldives? Let me know in the comments below!
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What to Pack for the Maldives for a Dreamy Tropical Getaway
Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.