A useful Maldives packing list pertains specifically to this country. There is nothing scarce in it, and much of this list can even be purchased upon arrival, but it will save you time and money. Moreover, the small items on this useful list of things in the Maldives can cost anywhere from 100 to 200 dollars altogether. It is much easier and more convenient to bring to the Maldives everything with you.
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Maldives packing list: general points
Here are some general points and links to detailed articles that will give you a proper understanding of the Maldives. You will understand the country’s peculiarities and why, for example, it is necessary to bring sunscreen when it can be purchased here. And it’s not just about the price.
- The Maldives is located on the equator on the world map.
- The religion in the country is Islam. There are specific dress and food requirements, and Friday is a day off – nothing works.
- You probably haven’t seen such a rich underwater world in one place in a natural environment. Sharks, manta rays, stingrays, turtles, and thousands of colorful fish swim near the islands. And you will definitely remember the glowing plankton for life.
- The official currency of the country is the Maldivian rufiyaa. However, the US dollar is accepted almost everywhere, with some caveats. Learn all about currency in the Maldives: card payment, exchange rate, and so on.
- Learn about shopping and Maldivian stores, as well as their operating hours.
- Season, weather, and UV index.
These are the most important articles for a general understanding of life on the islands. Now let’s take a closer look at the list of things to bring to the Maldives.
Appropriate clothing (for local islands)
Under clothing, it is meant what you will wear in Maldives on the island. In this case, we will consider local islands since there are no special restrictions for tourists on resort islands where locals do not live. Only luxurious hotels are located there. The perfect look for a local island was shown in the photo above.
- The country is Muslim, and it is prohibited for women to expose their knees, shoulders, elbows, and to go out without a covered head.
- There are many exceptions for tourists. They are allowed to wear in Maldives regular short-sleeved t-shirts, shorts, and go out without covering their heads.
- In general, you can dress as you do in the summer at home.
- But walking in a bikini around the city or going into stores in such attire, is unacceptable and offensive to locals. Sometimes the police are even called. Respect the religion and traditions of the country where you are going on vacation!
It is important to know:There is always a “bikini beach” on local islands where tourists can sunbathe and swim in bikinis. It is forbidden on other beaches.
If you’re not at a bikini beach, the dress code in Maldives is like the one in the photo above :). By the way, I recommend dressing like this for those who burn quickly in the sun or plan to snorkel for hours. I’ll explain why in the section about sunscreen.
Repellent and mosquitoes in the Maldives
There is absolutely no danger to tourists on land in the Maldives. There are no snakes, poisonous insects, predators, etc. The islands are completely safe. But there are mosquitoes, and quite a lot of them. Especially after sunset, they become very active. Sometimes it’s impossible to sit outside without being bitten. And let’s not forget about malaria mosquitoes – they do exist here. The risk of getting malaria is minimal, only a couple of cases a year, and only during the monsoon season (summer), but the fact remains.
Good to know:Everyone knows how one mosquito can ruin your whole night.
The easiest option is to use a repellent plug, which we always bring with us. As soon as we arrive and settle in, we immediately plug it into the socket in our room. And let it stay there 24/7.
We also bring to the Maldives mosquito coils that need to be lit. They are very helpful when sitting on the beach at sunset.
Snorkel mask, fins, coral shoes
Above was a link to the underwater world of the Maldives. I used to believe that all of this was impossible to find in one place. Snorkeling in the Maldives is simply unforgettable. There are several important points, and the main thing is to choose the right island, but that is covered in the article about snorkeling on the islands.
My wife and I snorkel for 1.5-2 hours daily, and my wife doesn’t particularly like the water and rarely swims for more than 5 minutes. But in the Maldives, you can’t get her out of the water.
If snorkeling is important/interesting to you, I strongly recommend bringing everything with you: a mask with a tube, fins, and we also have a rescue buoy since we float to the outer reef, and there can be strong currents there. You can rent all of this on-site, but if you do it every day, it will cost you much more than $100.
Sunscreen before, during, and after sunbathing
You already know that the Maldives are located on the equator. The temperature is the same here all year round. No one here checks the weather forecast; everyone checks the UV index. It shows the amount of ultraviolet that hits the Earth. As you know, this indicator is maximum on the equator.
In our home latitudes, this index at noon on a sunny day in summer can reach 5-6-7 points. The critical level is considered to be 10 points when you cannot go outside without shade at all. In the Maldives, the extreme level is 12-14 points every day at noon, and you can get blisters in just 20 minutes.
I often hear from tourists that they will buy sunscreen on-site, why bother bringing it with you. Yes, they sell it there, but here are a few points:
- You arrived in the evening, and all the shops are closed.
- You arrived on Thursday evening or Friday, and everything is closed until Saturday because Friday is a day off.
- The choice of such creams is not particularly large. If I don’t care which one to use, then my wife worries about her skin, and not every cream will be suitable for her. It may turn out that the one you need is simply not available.
- Sunscreens are not cheap, starting from $10-20. You need three to four types of them, for before/after/face/body, etc. Do the math.
And the most important thing:A question for those planning to buy sunscreen on-site. What is the first thing you do when you arrive at the beach for a vacation? Do you go looking for stores that sell sunscreen?
Everyone without exception goes to the sea because you came here for it. And, as luck would have it, everyone gets sunburned on the first day of vacation. And where to find sunscreen in the evening or on a day off?
In short, the power sockets in the Maldives are English, and it’s impossible to plug a European plug into a Maldivian socket. While you can find adapters, it’s like finding the sunscreen – after a long journey when all you want to do is charge your devices, plug in the mosquito repellent, and head to the beach.
I recommend to bring to the Maldives a couple of adapters or a power strip with one adapter, which will be incredibly helpful.
- However, to be fair, some hotels nowadays install universal sockets in their rooms, which is very convenient.
- You can ask for an adapter at the reception, and they might have one available. They usually give one adapter per room.
Therefore, this issue is not critical and can be easily solved, especially if you’re only carrying one phone. However, for those who bring a laptop, phone, tablet, GoPro, and several other devices that need daily charging, I recommend bringing your own adapter and power strip.
When travelling it’s best to bring to the Maldives only US dollars. While you can exchange Euros, Francs, or Malaysian Ringgits at a bank, it’s more convenient to have dollars.
Almost every place in the Maldives accepts US dollars along with the local currency Rufiyaa. You can pay for your hotel, restaurant, excursion, souvenirs, and even transportation with dollars.
There are only two tips that will make your life easier:
- Only bring new banknotes issued after 2009. Older banknotes won’t be accepted.
- Bring small-dollar bills because change is often scarce, and if you don’t have small-dollar bills, you might receive change in Rufiyaa at an unfavorable rate.
First aid kit and pills for motion sickness
A clear point to understand. Bringing a first aid kit with necessary medicines is mandatory as there are few pharmacies on the islands, and some islands do not have any. Also, bring extra contact lens solution and spare lenses if you wear them, as they are not easily available.
Important:Everyone needs insurance to enter the Maldives. Read about where and what kind of insurance to purchase and how they differ at the provided link.
Here’s the thing that may not be obvious until you’re already at home. 100% of tourists arrive at Male airport in the capital and then disperse to the islands, of which there are over 1000 in the country. Most people choose speedboats to travel, which are fast watercraft.
On average, it takes from 1 hour to 2-3 hours to reach your island from Male in the open ocean. If you take the ferry, it takes twice as long. The waves can be strong, causing sea sickness. Bring motion sickness pills in case you’re prone to it, as they can be very helpful.
Action camera or phone case for underwater photography
You already know about the underwater world. Want to capture it on camera for Instagram? Then prepare in advance and think about how and what you will be capturing during your snorkeling trips. In the Maldives, you can see manta rays, sharks, and turtles right by the shore.
At night, only the streets are lit on the islands. The roads leading to the beaches and the beaches themselves are not illuminated. You can use the flashlight on your phone, but it’s better to bring a brighter one. It will be very helpful for evening and nighttime walks on the beaches, as you won’t be able to see anything without it.
Someone might ask, why go to the beach at night? The answer is in the photo below.
In the Maldives, there is a rare natural phenomenon on earth – bioluminescent plankton. There are many intricacies and peculiarities to encounter it, but with proper preparation, it is not difficult to experience. A flashlight is one of the essential items to bring.
- Details about luminous plankton in the Maldives – see the article – Maldives at night.
You should also bring a folding knife to the Maldives. In hotel rooms, you will likely only have a kettle and a glass. Even cutting up simple fruits can be challenging without a knife while relaxing on the beach. Your own knife will come in handy many times
In conclusion, I hope you have already made a list of what to bring to the Maldives. Everything in this article takes up little space (well, except for the mask and fins), but this list of things will save you a lot of time and money. I don’t think anyone wants to run around the island searching for where to buy sunscreen.
The best journey is the one that goes smoothly without any unpleasant surprises!
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to the Maldives