Are you wondering what to wear in the Maldives and looking for the ultimate Maldives packing list? We’ve taken a few trips to the country and consider it one of our favorite destinations for a holiday, especially if you’re after a tropical escape.
Don’t worry if you are wondering what to wear in the Maldives like I was before arriving. The Maldives is a laid-back destination. A pair of flip-flops and sunscreen go a long way. However, just in case you need some guidance, I wanted to write this Maldives packing list to help.
What to Wear in The Maldives – Quick Tidbits
- The best time to travel to the Maldives is from November and April. High season really picks up in December and is pretty crazy until March. Monsoon season runs from May to October.
- The weather in the Maldives is pretty much perfect. Not too humid and not cold. You’ll be comfortable wearing your swimsuit and cover-up around during the day and a dress or beach clothes at night.
- The Maldives is a dream destination, but it does still see rain. Many resorts and hotels will provide you with an umbrella but it never hurts to have a rain jacket.
- A few of the Maldivian islands have great surf. If you’re a surfer remember your surf essentials.
- The Maldives is also one of the best places in the world to go diving. If you have a BCD, regulator, mask, fins and all the other essentials it could be worth bringing it with you. Dive shops will charge you more to rent their equipment.
- Please be conscious of the environment when applying sunscreen. Over-the-counter sunscreens containing harmful chemicals that are harmful to marine life. Respect the environment you are going to enjoy for vacation and only wear reef-safe sunscreen in the ocean.
What Luggage To Bring For Maldives?
I have two bag recommendations for a trip to the Maldives. You can either opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase that has four wheels or a travel backpack.
Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways through the airport or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier. We prefer hardshell as it does a better job at protection and security. Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″.
Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier might charge you. Our favorites are the Peak Design Travel Backpack and the NOMATIC Backpack.
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Maldives Packing List Essentials
Reef Safe Sunblock
Before we dig into what to wear in Maldives, let’s talk sun protection. Few resorts in the Maldives will provide you with sunscreen, and they will charge a premium to purchase some at their gift shop. It’s best to make sure to bring yours from home to save time and money. No joke – we saw one place charging $60 for a bottle of Sun Bum!
We choose eco-friendly sunscreen when we go into the ocean. Traditional sunscreen contributes to the degradation of coral reefs. We’ve tested several natural sunscreens and love the Sun Bum line. Consider packing a travel-sized bottle if you’re traveling to the Maldives with a carry-on.
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Sandals or flip-flops are never a bad idea at beach destinations and should every traveler’s Maldives packing list. My favorite brand is Rainbow Sandals, as they last forever and are super comfortable once the leather forms to your foot.
My other favorite, more fashionable sandals for women at the beach are Plaka. Plaka sandals are handwoven women’s sandals with a stiff rubber sole that is good to wear anywhere in the summer. All of these sandals are hand-made and water-resistant, and have a great casual look. I have a pair in almost all of their styles!
Lastly, I truly love my Sanuk Yoga Sling sandals. The bottom of the shoe is made out of yoga mat material and is super cushy. Walking on these sandals feels like walking on a yoga mat!
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You’re going to need a bathing suit for your Maldives trip. You’ll likely spend most of your time outside in the sun or underwater, so a few bathing suits are essential. When I travel, I always bring at least two swimsuits to have a dry one.
I may have gone a little over the top and brought eight bathing suits for this trip and went photo crazy in all of them. It was a few too many. If you’re after a new bathing suit, my favorite women’s swimsuit brands are Andie Swimsuits and Londre Bodywear.
For men, it’s easy to get by with two pairs of swim trunks for the whole trip! Cameron has the new Quicksilver’s Amphibian shorts. The material looks like tough fabric, but they’re super lightweight and durable. Best of all, they look great on the beach and around the resort.
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You aren’t going to get Instagram famous in the Maldives without a big floppy sunhat! Seriously, I think every girl I saw had a sunhat, and I was jealous I didn’t have one. Don’t be me and bring one for your trip. Not just for Instagram, but because they are beneficial for keeping the sun out of your face.
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Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun on your Maldives trip! You are close to the equator, and the sun is harsh. I can’t even go outside without sunglasses and always have them in my travel bag.
Smith Optics ChromaPop sunglasses have color-enhancing lenses and are my favorite sunglasses. Polarized glasses enhance vision in bright environments and removef glare from windshields and the water.
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We never travel without travel insurance. You never know what can happen when you travel, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. You’ll want to be covered, especially if you’re partaking in water-based activities like scuba diving or snorkeling. We recommend Heymondo Insurance.
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The Maldives uses the British Type G adaptor. A universal adaptor is never a bad idea when traveling, so make sure you find a good one like the one I have to keep you charged.
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Maldives Packing List – Clothes to Bring
I pack at least two pairs of yoga pants in my suitcase, and the Maldives is no exception. Yoga on the beach, on your back porch, or in your overwater bungalow will improve your days! Some places even have free sunset or sunrise yoga sessions. Packing a travel yoga mat is a good idea, but many resorts have them these days!
Our favorite brand for women’s yoga pants is Handful. They offer many features, such as temperature-regulating technology that keeps you cool when hot and warm when cold. They are quick-drying and are tight around the booty to give an extra lift. The top has a “squeeze play” high waist that provides excellent coverage and is comfortable around your curves as you move. (Use code TWP15 for 15% off!) If you’re a guy, check out prAna’s Vaha pants!
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A beach cover-up or sarong is essential when traveling to The Maldives. A cover-up is one of those vacation clothes you should always pack for beach destinations. Not only do they look cute, but they will also protect you from the sun’s harsh rays. It’s great for walking around the resort as you may not want to eat lunch in your bathing suit.
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Nice Maldives Outfit
One thing we have to stress about any Maldives outfit ideas is that the Maldives are as casual or formal as you want them to be. No one style fits all, and everyone does something different every night. For those wishing to dress up, you’ll have the opportunity every night at dinner.
Women should consider bringing at least a few light and flowy dresses or rompers, while men should have a casual beach outfit to wear out. I love the company Salty Crush for dresses, an Australian company that creates beautiful bohemian pieces.
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T-Shirt or V Neck
A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like white or grey. There’s also the option of a v neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference.
Cameron prefers the grey as it’s super easy to stain the white ones. Bombas, an excellent travel clothing brand, makes some of our favorite basic t-shirts ever!
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If you’re wondering what to wear in the Maldives, get a pair of relaxed beach pants. Our favorite pair of pants made by prAna. Their women’s Summit Pants are made out of hemp and recycled polyester and offer 50+ UPF protection. They’re the women’s version of the men’s Vaha Pant we recommended earlier.
They are perfect for beach destinations, especially if you find yourself in more conservative areas. These pants are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag. I could live in these pants if it were acceptable to wear them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner out. While in the Maldives, they are a wardrobe staple for nighttime as they are appropriate to wear barefoot to a nice resort restaurant, to a bar, or for a walk along the beach.
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Pack at least one pair of shorts for your time in the Maldives. I prefer jean shorts, but also really love Lululemon Cinchable Waist High-Rise Woven Shorts and bring them everywhere as they go with everything, or flowy loose black shorts that I can easily pull over a bathing suit for ultimate comfort.
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Clothing for Males
Most of this Maldives packing list focuses on items for beach days and resort stays. However if you plan to spend a lot of time on local islands (not resorts) or go into Male, the capital, it’s best to dress conservatively.
When dressing in the Maldives, it’s important to keep in mind the local culture and customs. The Maldives is a conservative country, which is easy to forget when you are lounging at resort all day. However, outside the resorts it’s important to dress respectably and keep shoulders, chest, and legs covered. This goes for men too.
SPF Sun Protection Shirt
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside (which I am assuming you will be in the Maldives) I would highly, highly recommend bringing a sun protection shirt. These shirts have lightweight UPF 50+ Sun Protection and will keep you protected while you spend time in the sun, snorkeling, swimming, paddleboarding, or doing anything outside your room. The sun in The Maldives is strong. Don’t underestimate it.
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Maldives Packing List – Important Extras
Dry bags are great if you’re going to spend time at the beach or find yourself out on a boat. They will protect your phone and any other electronics from the ocean, or more importantly if it starts to rain. We found them essential when we went out on our diving trips.
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Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to The Maldives. Our favorite pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera for quick trips is the Sony RX100V. It takes fantastic photos and videos and is the size of your palm.
We bought this camera specifically for our trip to the beach earlier in the year as we could easily add on underwater housing for an affordable price. It came in handy when snorkeling with sea turtles, black-tipped reef sharks, mantas, and stingrays in the Maldives. Check out our other travel cameras here. We also traveled with the Fujifilm Series, which produced most of the photos in this article.
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We like to throw a GoPro on our beach packing list since they are waterproof. Just attach it to a wrist strap, so it doesn’t get lost! The Indian Ocean may have swallowed one of our cameras before. You can always consider a floaty case to help with loss prevention.
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No matter what, you will need a beach bag when heading to beach destinations. It is to throw in anything from towels to books to sunscreen. Depending on the size of your beach party, you may only need one medium-sized tube. For family beachgoers, I recommend a large yet durable beach tote like this one. Many resorts will provide you with a beach bag, but we found them relatively small and not stable.
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Check out some of the best-sellers right now and pick up a copy. I like to read on days when I feel like sunbathing and relaxing, every day in the Maldives. Cameron is pretty impatient so having a book to read on the beach provides some much-needed entertainment.
I’ve recently upgraded to the Kindle Paperwhite and love it. It’s small, has touchscreen functions, and a backlight so that I can read at night without a harsh glare.
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If you are a snorkel lover like us, it might be worth it for you to bring fins to the Maldives. Would you believe we travel around the world with our fins, mask, and snorkel? It’s true!
We were a little surprised that the resorts will still charge you to rent snorkel equipment each day despite already paying an arm and a leg in the Maldives. The cost may be as little as $5 a day, but having our gear saves us the hassle of dealing with rentals, paying, and putting our mouths around used snorkels. I have an Aqualung mask that works excellent and Dive Oceanic fins that fit well in my suitcase.
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Just because you’re going to one of the world’s dreamiest beach destinations doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay active. If you don’t want to abandon the workout routine, bring your sneakers so you can still keep up with the beach body. See more of the best women’s travel shoes here and men’s travel shoes here.
You’re not anyone on Instagram until you take a photo with a bright pink flamingo floaty in the baby blue water of the Maldives. Nowadays, you get anything from Unicorn floaties to giant parrots to float in the water.
These floaties were all over the Maldives. You can buy them at resort gift shops, but you’ll get a better deal online beforehand and packing it with you. Just make sure to bring it back home with you. The Maldives can’t handle any plastic waste left behind.
Things to Know Before Traveling to the Maldives
- Should You Bring a Drone? Although drone footage in the Maldives looks amazing and flying a drone is legal, I wouldn’t bother bringing a drone to The Maldives. Most resorts have a strict no fly policy nowadays. So unless you have pre-approval to fly your drone at a resort (we did, for just a few minutes), or you are staying on local islands it’s not really worth bringing a drone.
- Should You Bring Snorkle Gear? Most resorts have snorkel gear for free for guests or for a small charge. So you don’t have to bring your own. We like to have our own fins and masks as we are in and out of the water a lot and it beats always having to check in and out rental gear with the hotel/resort.
- Should You Bring Dive Gear? Most dive gear in the Maldives is included in a dive package, so bringing your own is not necessary. However must die-hard divers prefer their own gear.
- Bring Cash: USD is widely accepted around the Maldives, and it never hurts to have any on you.
- Medication: Bring any personal medication you need. There is a small pharmacy in the arrivals section of the Velana International Airport. However it is limited, and most of these drugs come from India and might be much different than what you are used to. Almost all private islands and resorts have a medical doctor on stand-by should any problems arise.
- Seaplane Allowance: If you are taking a seaplane there will be a weight allowance. The allowance is 25 kg, which includes 20 kg of checked-in luggage and 5 kg of hand luggage per person. The weight of any bag should not exceed 32 kg. The per kg charge for baggage above 25 kg is USD 5.00/- plus applicable taxes.
Things Not to Bring to the Maldives
- Alcohol: Is not allowed to be brought into the Maldives. If you have any from a duty free shop you will have to leave it with customs at the airport and you can pick it up on the way out of the Maldives
- Pork Products: The Maldives is a Muslim country, and no pork products are to be imported.
- Heels: There’s no need in the Maldives. Even at night you’ll be walking to and from dinner in the sand.
- Suits/Super Fancy Clothes: Unless you are attending a destination wedding there’s no need for suits or fancy clothes. Of course, people dress up for dinner, but more “beach chic.” Think lined shirts and loose flowy dresses.
Where to Stay in the Maldives?
Budget: Cinnamon Ellaidhoo is an excellent property for those that want to do the Maldivian resort thing while still staying on budget. We were at Ellaidhoo for three nights and loved our time here. The house reef is fantastic, and every time we went out to snorkel, we discovered some new, bright fish. It’s also very far away from Male and the hustle and bustle of the countries capital. Check prices here!
Mid Range: We had a fantastic time at Kurumba Maldives. This resort is only a five-minute speedboat ride away from the Male Airport. Meaning you could arrive in the Maldives and be at your resort a few minutes later, saving on additional airfare and time. It’s also the first resort ever in the Maldives, but it’s elegantly maintained, and they have a great dive shop. Check prices here!
Luxury: Velassaru was our favorite resort in the Maldives. They are a 20-minute speedboat ride away from the capital, so it’s a quick transfer in and out. The food here is to die for, and the overwater bungalows are more extensive than my entire old apartment. You won’t regret a stay here! Check prices on Agoda.
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- Maafushivaru Maldives Review • Finding Peace on the Ari Atoll
- Kurumba Maldives Review • Relax at the First Resort in the Maldives
- Stay at the Le Meridien Maldives: ULTIMATE Review
- Guide To The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
- Velassaru Maldives Review • Our Favorite Luxury Resort in the Maldives
- Kuramathi Review • Enjoying the Best Dive Spots in the World in the Maldives