Are you wondering what to wear in the Maldives and looking for the ultimate Maldives packing list? We’re 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
- 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
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 are going into the ocean. Traditional sunscreen contributes to the degradation of coral reefs. We’ve tested several natural sunscreens and love the Sun Bum line. If you’re traveling to the Maldives with a carry-on, consider packing a travel-sized bottle.
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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! (Psst here is a code for 20% of your next pair on Amazon: PLAKAS18)
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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 brand is Andie Swimsuits.
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 they are easily my favorite sunglasses. Polarized glasses are great at enhancing vision in bright environments and removing 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. Especially if you’re partaking in water-based activities like scuba diving or snorkeling, you’ll want to be covered. We recommend World Nomads for short-term policies.
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The Maldives uses the British Type G adaptor. A universal adaptor is never a bad idea when you’re 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 your overwater bungalow will make your days that much better! Some places even have free sunset or sunrise yoga sessions. It’s a good idea to pack a travel yoga mat, but many resorts do 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 super 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.
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. United By Blue, a sustainable 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 Pant is made out of hemp and recycled polyester while offering 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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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 make sure to attach it to a wrist strap, so it doesn’t get lost! The Indian Ocean may or may not have swallowed one of our cameras before.
You can always consider a floaty case to help loss prevention. Here are good alternatives to the GoPro.
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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 Maldivescan’tt handle any plastic waste left behind.
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.
- Best Time to Visit Maldives (2020) • Month By Month Breakdown
- 20 Maldives Travel Tips To Know Before You Go
- Maafushivaru Maldives Review • Finding Peace on the Ari Atoll
- Kurumba Maldives Review • Relax at the First Resort in the Maldives
- Velassaru Maldives Review • Our Favorite Luxury Resort in the Maldives
- Kuramathi Review • Enjoying the Best Dive Spots in the World in the Maldives