What to pack for a holiday to the Maldives

Woohoo, you’re going on holiday to the Maldives! You’re going to have the best time ever.

You may think that all you’ll need to pack for a holiday to the Maldives would be your swimsuit and your suntan lotion. These will definitely be high on your list but there are a few extras you’ll definitely want to squeeze into your case!

I’ll begin with a few packing tips for the Maldives before moving on to some of my favourite items.

Tip #1 – What’s the seaplane weight allowance?

Before packing your bags, make sure you check what the seaplane luggage allowance is. If you’re flying long-haul, you’ll probably have a pretty decent luggage allowance. With Turkish Airlines I had 30kg plus 8kg for my hand luggage. That’s a pretty hefty suitcase! But when we arrived in the Maldives we found out that the seaplane only allows 25kg and you’ll need to pay for any extras. Our luggage was well under but we saw other guests who had to pay a lot to get their luggage on the seaplane.

Seaplane in the Maldives

Tip #2 – Dress Conservatively

The Maldives is a Muslim country where a lot of women will wear either a burka or a headscarf. It’s polite and respectful to dress conservatively – particularly around the airport, Male and small villages. Once you’re in your resort or island you won’t need to worry about it too much as it will mostly be tourists around.

Make sure you pack a large scarf that can be worn over your shoulders. Also pack at least one pair of loose, light trousers or a long skirt or dress.


Tip #3 – Swimwear you can swim in

If you’re a guy you probably have no idea what I’m talking about right now. If you’re a girl, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Sexy, skimpy little bikinis looks gorgeous while you’re strolling along the beach. But when you’re swimming they tend to slip away in the places you really need them to stay put! You’re going to want to do a lot of swimming, snorkelling and maybe even scuba diving so when you’re packing for the Maldives make sure you have a least one swim suit that’s suitable.

Packing for the Maldives

What to pack for a holiday in the Maldives

Tip #4 – An underwater camera

If you’ve been thinking about investing in an underwater camera (like a GoPro) but weren’t sure if it was worth it, it really is for the Maldives. The water is so clear and there are so many fish, you really won’t want to miss the chance to capture these on camera. You’ll also want it for boat trips or when you’re on the beach.


Tip #5 – Leave the shoes at home

Our island, Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlu, was made up of entirely sand so most guests ditched their shoes within a day or two. You didn’t need them and it just made walking even more difficult! It was great walking around barefoot and I loved getting dressed up but not worrying about heels.


Tip #6 – What to wear in the evenings?

Each resort will be different but, on the whole, laid-back luxury is the vibe most resorts go for. Ladies are lucky and can get away with almost anything but guys often need to wear a collar and will sometimes need full length trousers.


Tip #7 – Take a dry bag (or two)

If you’re taking lots of boat trips and particularly if you’ll be scuba diving, a dry bag is really handy. You can keep all of your valuables and clothing safe and dry and not worry about them getting wet on the boat or during rainstorms. I love the DryU colourful dry bags.

We also used them as packing cubes when we were packing our suitcases for the Maldives to keep everything neat, organised and compressed.

I also found that dry bags make a cool ‘man bag’ meaning Sam was happy to carry all of our stuff so I didn’t have to squeeze everything into a girly beach bag.

Dry U dry bags

DryU dry bags

Tip #8 – Keep make-up to a minimum

It’s very humid in the Maldives so there’s no point in caking your face in make-up. The moisture in the air and a lovely slick of sweat will wipe it off in no time. Mascara, blusher, eye brow pencil, a shine reducing powder or cream and lippy were all I wore.


Tip #9 – Consider a lightweight speaker

Some hotels provide docking stations but if yours doesn’t then pack a lightweight speaker. There’s nothing better than lazing by your own private pool while listening to your favourite tunes. I have the Inateck Marsbox wireless speaker – it’s great for travelling because it’s lightweight and has a 15 hour battery life.

Obviously, be mindful of your fellow guests. There would be nothing worse than being in a villa next to someone who had terrible must blaring all day and night.


Tip #10 – Don’t forget the insect repellent

Mosquitoes weren’t too much of a problem for us but there were a couple around. Don’t forget the DEET to keep those pesky biters away. I use Jungle Formula max strength.


Tip #11 – Make sure you have some small notes for tipping

One thing I always forget when I arrive in a destination it to make sure I have small notes for tipping. If you tip your room cleaners on your arrival they’ll look after you for your whole stay.


Tip #12 – Brits won’t need plug adaptors

They use British plugs in the Maldives so lucky Brits don’t need them.


When packing for the Maldives, fill your suitcase with loose, easy dresses that you can throw on over your bikini. I always pack lots of dresses when I’m travelling as they’re small and light and easy to wear. A cute swimsuit, a loose cover-up, sunnies, flip flops, a sun hat and an enormous beach bag and that’s pretty much your Maldives packing list sorted.

What to pack for the Maldives | The Travel Hack

Top Tip: If you’re shopping for summer clothes when it’s the winter season at home, go straight to the websites of brands or websites that specialise in swimwear. Brands like Seafolly or Roxy and websites like Coco Bay are great. 


The Travel Hack in the Maldives

Holywell Trousers – Tahouts – £35

I love these printed pants from Tahouts. They’re tailored so they can look quite smart but the printed pattern and light cotton makes them fun and comfortable. These are my perfect plane pants! I love them so much I have them in green and blue.


The holiday low-down

I flew to Male, the capital of the Maldives, with Turkish Airlines. I departed from Birmingham with a 3-hour layover in Istanbul – a good choice if you’re travelling with little ones!

I stayed at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu for 6 nights in a Deluxe Villa on a full board basis.

Massive thanks to Visit Maldives for helping to organise my trip.

Next week I’ll be sharing a packing guide for anyone travelling to the Maldives with a baby. For someone so tiny, George had a lot of stuff!

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What to pack for the Maldives





Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of the best holidays. Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!


  • November 24, 2015

    Super helpful! Never heard of those dry bags before but I’ll definitely be looking into that. Love that bathing suit too! Beautiful pictures, as always. Thanks for sharing, Monica!

    Happy travels 🙂

  • November 24, 2015

    Looks so lush. I would never have known to dress conservatively… and I adore those dry bags. I’ve actually started using the more lightweight ones to pack into and divide things into in my bag so perfect for when I hit the water! x

  • December 2, 2015

    Loving those trousers, definitely going to think about grabbing a pair of those for our next holiday.

  • December 2, 2015

    Wow looks like a great trip! The drybags are a good idea.

  • December 5, 2015

    T shirt swimming Is a great idea ! And I always put plenty of high factor sun cream on my calfs as they are alway in direct sun whenever you are snorkelling ?

  • Shahrizal Hussaini
    December 17, 2017

    Hello, just want to ask, is it better to pack all the stuff into a trolley bag or better into a backpack?


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