When planning your trip to paradise, packing is the last thing on your mind. You only care about counting the days until you get there. This is why I choose to provide you with this Maldives packing list, so you know what to pack for the Maldives trip ahead of you.
Table of Contents
Travel essentials for your Maldives honeymoon
Now, let’s start at the beginning. You first need to get there and be able to find your way around. And we all know you cannot do that if you’re missing some very important things.
The official papers that you’ll need will, of course, depend on your passport. You will have to look this up way in advance, even before buying your plane tickets and reserving your accommodation. In any case, you usually need to bring with you your passport and visa plus maybe some custom forms, depending on what you’re bringing in your luggage. Check out your visa requirements below!
A good idea is to also have your ID that you keep away from your passport, to use in case you lose your passport and need to talk to the Embassy for your trip back. Of course, travel insurance is never a bad idea, and printed versions of your outbound trip and accommodation reservations might come in handy as well.
For you to pay for stuff, credit or debit cards are all you need. You could also use some cash USD if you want to provide tips for people that you interact with, but this is all you’ll pay in cash for sure. We use Revolut whenever traveling and it worked like a charm in the Maldives as well.
The best luggage for your Maldives trip
When thinking about what to pack for your Maldives trip, I’d say let’s start with what to pack all of the things in. You can, of course, do this the other way around and start by preparing all your luggage and then see what you fit it into, but I really think most people have one or two pieces of luggage they use and they have to adjust to it.
You won’t interact that much with your luggage while in the Maldives unless you are there backpacking and/or island hopping. In this case, of course, a backpack is what you need. You’ll travel by boat most of the time and you don’t want large suitcases to carry around.
If you’re just going there on an island or two, choose a rolling suitcase that you love, mostly for ease of use while in the airport. When you arrive on the island, you probably won’t touch your suitcase anymore as it will be carried around by employees, so you really don’t have to worry about dragging a rolling suitcase on the sand. Here is my all-time favorite rolling suitcase and here is the full review I have written about it.
The one must-have item for this trip is a beach bag, for very obvious reasons. This one is easy to use, holds a lot of stuff and you still like using it even if your skin burns a bit. No matter how much sunscreen you apply, there’s always a risk for this to happen. It even has a wet compartment to keep your clothes separate.
Another must-have item, but it can be easily replaced if missing, is a waterproof bag. Transporting wet bathing suits or towels might be better in a waterproof bag, especially if you’re changing islands and you didn’t get a chance to dry all of your stuff yet. This one also doubles as a floating bag, so you can even use it to float on rivers back home if that’s your thing.
And now, a few classics: packing cubes, laundry bags, cable and electronics bags, and ID tags for your luggage. Use packing cubes to organize your suitcase neatly (I love this transparent set!), laundry bags I think I don’t have to explain what for, cable bags are great for organizing all your electronics in one place and ID tags are a great idea to be sure you’re taking the right luggage from the conveyor belt.
Clothes to pack for the Maldives
When you look for ideas for things to take on your trip, you are usually thinking about clothes. Lucky for you, this chapter is the easiest one, as you’ll mostly wear bathing suits and flip-flops for your full stay.
Must haves for your Maldives packing list are at least two swimsuits, as the climate is wet so they might not dry overnight, a few beaches and casual dresses, some skirts and T-shirts, and some long and short and very light pants.
When it comes to what you wear in the Maldives when you’re not on a beach, especially if you’re traveling on a local island, it’s very important that you respect the culture of the place. In a very Muslim country such as this one, you should wear clothes that are covering your knees and shoulders, and nothing too tight on your body, no matter your gender.
Very important items for any trip are also PJs and undergarments, even if you’d rather sleep naked (which is nothing to be judged for, especially if traveling on your honeymoon). Don’t forget your flip-flops and head scarf or sun hat, as the strong sunshine will be merciless if you do.
The best piece of advice you have to take into account is to get a sunscreen protective water suit and water shoes with you. This will enable you to use less sunscreen lotion, which is great for the environment, and a water suit protects you better anyway. I recommend a suit with the longest zipper you can find, as it’s easier to put on and take off. Check out these options for her and for him!
The diving shoes are great for water entries where you suspect stingrays might be fans. They are not a way for you to step on the coral! Check out this model that can be used by either men, women, or children.
What accessories to pack for the Maldives?
When it comes to accessories to add to your Maldives packing list, you have one priority really: everything related to snorkeling and/or diving, if you prefer to use your own gear. Especially for things that go in your mouth like a snorkeling tube, I would definitely recommend using yours.
Nonetheless, you might prefer your special fins that are the perfect size, your water goggles or full-face snorkeling mask, and some water ear plugs if you are prone to ear infections. I prefer smaller fins that you can slide right on like these ones (perfect for people with not-so-strong legs) and this full-face snorkeling mask for so many reasons!
The next important items are sunglasses (here are my favorites for him and for her) and prescription glasses. If you have the option, use contact lenses instead (which involves bringing everything related, of course), as they’re easier to use with swimming glasses.
Last, but not least, I suggest you bring something to tie your hair with, like hair ties or bobby pins, and bring lots of them. Beach waves are nicer if they don’t contain various little animals you get to catch while swimming with your hair loose.
A nice-to-have item would be a sand-free beach towel. The accommodation will of course offer you beach towels, so if you have limited luggage don’t stress over this, but a nice and light beach towel that leaves the sand on the beach might be a cool thing to get anyway.
For your personal care, you should have a comb or hairbrush, and choose something that’s careful with your hair that’s damaged from the sun and water. Also, you’ll need a nail care and/or grooming set, and a razor and shaving foam.
In any case, do not forget about your feminine care needs and sexual health items as well. These particular items might be very hard to find on a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, and there’s really no way around it if you need them.
Toiletries to add to the Maldives packing checklist
Even if you’re going to spend most of your time in the water or on the beach, so you’re not going to be wearing any make-up, a few personal care items will be needed anyway. And for this, you must use one or more toiletries bags, depending on the amounts you get to carry.
Considering the environmental impact you might have in this tiny place in the world, please try to make your part in protecting it: use mostly solid toiletries, prefer reef-safe sunscreen and bring your plastic bottles back with you when you go home, if you have toiletries that must use plastic.
What you need to pack for your Maldives vacation is quite easy to assume. You’ll need everything for your oral hygiene, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Then, you of course need deodorant, but avoid using perfume as well as it might smell really strong due to the heat.
As the salty water and sand might be irritating to some people, try to have some moisturizer and face wash with you, together with some hand cream and body lotion. My special tip: get some talc powder with you. It helps immensely to remove sand, even wet sand, from your body.
What you might not need, but should have nonetheless, is some insect repellent. Some islands will have this problem mitigated, but some won’t, and you don’t want to be in a position of needing and not having it.
Some items that are not particularly needed for your Maldives vacation, but you truly need for every flight, are a lit balm, eye drops, and hand sanitizer. If possible, a face mask is also a good recommendation to still follow, as it will keep you healthy from all the germs flying around on a plane. And if you have trouble sleeping on a plane, an eye mask and travel pillow might help you quite a lot.
Electronics to pack for the Maldives
No matter where you go these days, you’ll have quite a few electronics to carry around, and this is even without being a techy person. It’s just how our life works these days. Having them all listed here will help you make the best decisions though.
The Maldives is a place to use some of your cool gear at. You have so much to photograph your eyes will hurt, you will need a GoPro for your snorkeling moments and an eReader for the lazy afternoons on a sunbed.
One very useful gadget is a travel plug adapter. It’s great not only because you can easily use your home chargers, but you can also plug multiple devices in only one adapter. Please buy a general one like this one instead of an adapter for each country you visit! It’s not pricey and you’ll use it on all your trips.
Let’s get to the fun part! I won’t remind you to take your phone as probably no one leaves the house without it anyway, but also don’t forget your laptop or tablet that you’ll use intensively on the flight and that’s about it. You’ll have other stuff to do when you arrive.
For the photographer in you to be happy, don’t forget your camera and additional accessories you might use. Most people have some sort of lenses they love and even I have a tripod these days (there’s so much anyone can take when you see blurred photos on a travel blog, right?). If you want to remember things in motion, bring your GoPro and take some cool shots of awesome turtles and scary sharks.
Small, but important electronics are the following: chargers for all devices mentioned above, a power bank to keep them alive on the go, spare batteries (especially for that battery-eater GoPro), and SD cards, especially if not bringing in a laptop. You might also want an external hard drive if you want to be on the safe side of not losing all your photos and videos.
And for your flight, I cannot emphasize enough the need for ANR headphones. The quality of our flights has increased significantly since we bought ours, and we’re spending plenty of time praising this amazing invention to everyone. Now, if you can afford a nice Sennheiser, be my guest, but something less pricey might work miracles as well.
As this is one of the most relaxing trips you will ever go on, you might not appreciate your smartwatch telling you how lazy you are. It’s nice to track your swimming efforts though so bring it anyway.
Try to be very careful when packing your bags so that you don’t forget anything. Use a printed PDF checklist if you want (hint: there’s one you can download just below!), or even bookmark this page for future reference. You will maybe have one tiny shop on the island you’re going and even if they do have whatever item you have forgotten, it will probably cost you an arm and a leg. And this will make swimming quite difficult.
Small but important items to add to your list
These items are really not to be missed, but they don’t fit in any other category so people tend to forget about them. The most important one is an insulated water bottle, as you will need hydration more often than usual. Replacing bottled water with this option will enable you to produce less waste in general, not only on this trip. Do the same for an insulated coffee mug, if you are still going to keep your coffee or tea routine while on this trip.
And, of course, there’s no packing list without a first aid kit. It can be a general one bought from Amazon, but please also add what you need from the following list:
- basic over-the-counter painkillers
- motion sickness pills
- stomach medicine
- allergy medication
- rehydrating salts
- sunburn treatment
- wound disinfectant
- any prescription medication you might need
- the certification of the prescription for any drugs
- documents with your medical history.
Do not include any alcohol for disinfection in your first aid kit. The Maldives has a strict “No alcohol” rule enforced, and you cannot introduce alcohol in the country. You can face real and nasty consequences if you do have any alcohol, so don’t do it. If you’re in need of something to clean any scratches, go to the medical room of the island you are on, and they will provide all the necessary help.
Miscellaneous for your packing checklist
This is like the “small, and not that important” section. Some people find these things useful, but you will survive just fine without them as well.
The first thing is a small sewing kit, with a few needles, a few color threads, and 2-3 buttons. You never know when you need it. Then, try to have a pen and maybe a notebook with you. The pen you need for various forms, and the notebook if you want to write or draw something while laying on a beach. It’s a pretty inspirational situation to be in!
And lastly, you can think of having a passport cover and/or a document holder for all your documents. Especially if you’re the type that prints everything and doesn’t want to rely on your phone, you might find this trick helpful in organizing your documents. And they come in cute patterns! Who doesn’t love cute patterns?
Apps and sites to use when planning your trip to The Maldives
I know you are not packing this, but it’s helpful to have them all listed here so you can download them beforehand. These apps will be useful for all your trips, so just make that “Travel” folder and keep them there.
Before I worked in aviation, I would always use Skyscanner to find plane tickets. It has so many cool options compared to other aggregators, like being able to look for tickets without specific dates (“Whole month”), looking for tickets to “Anywhere”, or including nearby airports. Now, I would use WayAway, as it gives money back for plenty of travel expenses, and the Maldives can be a bit costly.
I also use Booking and Agoda for hotel reservations, but I recommend Agoda for all trips to Asia. They have better prices and more accommodation options available compared to Booking. Don’t forget one of my money-saving tips: make a reservation with free cancellation and before it expires, search again for any discounted offers.
Although I haven’t personally used them yet, as I only discovered them during Covid, GetYourGuide and Viator have plenty of offers for tours and experiences. Many travel bloggers recommend both of them and I’ll try them as soon as we go on a cool trip again.
If you’re an organizing freak like I am, here’s a tip: use Trello to plan your trip. It’s free (you can add some paid options if you want, but can live without them as well) and you can customize it as you wish. I still have the boards from some of my trips and whenever someone asks me for info, I just share it with them. You can check out my travel planner Trello template here!
And a small helpful tool: download a boarding pass app. It keeps all your tickets organized. We even had “Permission of entry” types of passes added there. If you don’t like printing things and you prefer having everything on your phone, this app is for you.
Maldives packing list – The takeaway
Finally, we have reached the end of this post and I hope that now you know what to pack for the Maldives. I know it’s been quite a read, but I also know that now you know what is your packing list for the Maldives, or at least what the recommended items you should add.
And because you know I love printable checklists, I have created a FREE list of things to pack for your Maldives trip! You can print it to use when you pack, so you won’t feel overwhelmed when you’ll start this boring, but important part of your trip. You’re welcome!