I must admit, in my years of travel, I’ve never been so nervous about packing than when the time we were headed to the Maldives.
Because there is nothing in the island except for the resort – meaning, there are no grocery stores, malls or convenient stores or pharmacies (although there is an on-island clinic). If you need something, you may need to buy it within the resort (if it is even available) and they’re expensive.
With two kids in tow, I know I needed to pack perfectly (almost). Emergency medicines (especially allergy meds), enough clothes, diapers and other kid requirements.
Here’s what we packed on our trip to the island:
Luggage and bags
If you are having seaplane transfers from the international airport in Male to your resort, bear in mind the baggage allowance is not much so pack LIGHT.
Also, I would highly recommend to use waterproof luggage and bags in case it rains when you arrive. Some speed boats place your bags in the open and some seaplane landing boards are out in the open sea.
Clothing – It’s a tropical country (warm) so clothing should all be light weight, preferably cotton or linen. Sundresses, t-shirts, shorts and tank tops. No need for socks, denims and jacket no matter which time of the year you’ll visit.
Ladies, remember to take light weight cardigans or shawl/sarong to cover your arms if you visit any local inhabited islands as Maldives is a Muslim country and arms and legs should be covered. Maldives is a Muslim country and locals are pretty conservative with regards to clothing – however, one can wear practically anything at the resorts.
I found that the most comfortable clothes I’ve worn during our stay in the island is a cami tank top and shorts. The kids wore cotton clothes – sundresses for Pristine and Carter’s brand clothes for Benjamin. (I’m no brand fanatic but I stick to Carter’s for his clothes, best bang for the buck in terms of quality and comfort. Plus, no annoying, itchy tags at the back!)
A simple summer dress is convenient at night and at the restaurants.
A pair of flip-flops or sandals are all you’ll need for your feet. Most of the time you’ll be barefoot anyway! I wish we brought aqua shoes though as the broken corals in the water were sharp.
Swim wear – you will spend a lot of time in the water and the sun is always out in the Maldives. We used UV Skinz protective clothing so we didn’t have to slather ourselves with sunscreen lotion, miss spots and burn crisp. Wearing sun protective swimwear like this, we know we are doing our part in reducing water pollution.
If you have a baby or a toddler, I would highly recommend to bring your own life vest. We stayed in a beach villa with a pool and Benjamin wanted to swim everyday so I was really glad we brought it with us on this travel. Otherwise, maybe you could rent on some resorts or buy (and surely, it won’t be cheap!)
Sunglasses – normal ones are better than nothing but polarized ones are the best since it makes you see clearer through the glare of white sand and water.
Snorkeling/diving gear – The Sun Siyam Irufushi resort where we stayed can lend equipment until you checkout for free but if you prefer your own, then bring those.
- Travel adaptor
- Phone chargers
- small denomination US dollars for tipping
- reading materials
Waterproof camera or in my case, I brought the Catalyst waterproof iPhone case. Most of your Maldives holiday activities will be in, near, or under the water so having a camera that can function underwater is a must!
- Paracetamol, for adults and for kids
- insect repellent
- insect bite liniment
- diaper rash cream
- band aids
- flu meds
- after sun lotion
- anti histamines
- Motion sickness tablets (I wish I took this before I boarded the seaplane!)
And this >>> Lots of snack items and juice boxes for the kids!
WHAT NOT TO PACK
- Alcohol – Maldives is a muslim country and you are not allowed to take in alcohol so go easy on the duty free shopping on your way to Maldives. But even though you are not allowed to take it into the country,the resorts and hotels serve them like any other place.
- Food products with pork in them
- Pornographic materials
- Weapons, firearms and ammunition
- Spear guns
- Idols for worship