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Maldives Packing List: What to Bring to the Maldives


What to Bring to the Maldives: Packing List

When visiting luxury resorts or local islands I recommend this Maldives packing guide to help you decide what to pack for your Maldives holiday.

Essentials to Pack for the Maldives: Mosquito repellent

While most Maldives resort islands fumigate for mosquitoes even the most 5 star luxury resorts have an ongoing battle against the mosquito population so be sure to bring mosquito repellent that contains DEET. I recommend a 50% DEET mosquito spray like this one from Amazon. The Maldives does have incidents of dengue fever which is spread by mosquitoes so be vigilant with mosquito repellent on both resorts and local islands.

Essential Items for the Maldives: Suncream

It is very easy to get sunburnt in the Maldives even when using suncream. It is best to use factor 30 or SPF50 especially if spending extended time in the water or on a boat. Coral reefs in the Maldives are under a huge amount of pressure due to rising water temperatures so I try to use a reef-friendly suncream that is also gentle on the skin. I love this Cerave one which a dermatologist recommended to a friend.

Maldives: What to Pack-  Sunglasses

Even on cloudy days, the sun, sky and white sand beaches are incredibly bright. I’ve recently stopped buying cheap sunglasses at markets because they don’t protect your eyes properly. I actually bought these ones from Amazon in the hope they would suit me and I love them!

Packing List: Bring snorkelling gear to the Maldives

I suggest bringing snorkelling gear if you have your own. I love my mask and I think it is the best scuba diving mask for small faces. I bought it from Simply Scuba in the UK and the brand is Oceanic mini ice. I definitely recommend it as it fits perfectly and I love the hammerhead on the back. You can always borrow from the hotel, resort or guesthouse but even in the top resorts the snorkelling equipment is not as decent as buying your own.

Maldives Packing List: Sun hat/ Sun cap

Particularly if you have thin hair like me, I strongly recommend a hat during the midday sun. I have had a painful burnt scalp before!

What plug do I need for the Maldives?

Electricity adapters – most resorts will have British 3 pin plugs but on local islands and guesthouses there can be a whole range so I recommend bringing a multi-use electricity plug – these ones from Amazon

Maldives Trip Packing List: Underwater camera

Because of the amazing marine life in the Maldives, I strongly recommend bringing a Gopro or similar underwater video camera to video marine life like turtles, sharks and manta rays. Always use a red filter if you’re scuba diving to bring out the vibrant coral colours.


Maldives Packing Guide: Dry Bag

A dry bag is one of my essentials when travelling Asia, especially places like the Maldives and South East Asia where rain can appear suddenly and I spend a lot of time on boats! I love 5l bags as they aren’t too big and can still fit a reusable water bottle and other diving essentials. Check out some dry bags here. 

Inflatables for your Maldives packing list

My favourite is this whale shark that I ordered from Amazon but they have so many different types of inflatables. The Maldives is the perfect setting for photos and fun with these floats as the crystal clear water and lagoon environments mean the currents are not strong and the waves can be non-existent at times.

Maldives Packing List: Small Lightweight Speaker

I bought this one from Amazon last year and I really recommend this speaker as it is perfect for travel. It’s so light and the sound quality is still so good for something that cost around $30 dollars. I definitely would buy it again for such a cheap price. I have also had bluetooth issues with other speakers but not with this one so far!

Pack for the Maldives: Ear Plugs

Local islands can be noisy with generators and lots of islands have awesome but noisy fruit bats so I recommend bringing ear plugs to the Maldives to help get a good night’s sleep.

Maldives Packing List

As the Maldives has over 1000 islands, getting and feeling seasick can happen very easily. Instead of seasick pills I use these seasick travel bands which for me are the best item for dealing with travel sickness. I use them for mountain roads and have also used them on boats when feeling seasick. How do travel seasick bands work? Supposedly, the bead in the band pushes on a pressure point which can help with nausea. It might just be psychological but either way – it works for me! I bought mine from Boots but these are an Amazon example.

What currency to bring to the Maldives:

I recommend bringing US dollars as they are used widely in resorts and local islands. Be aware that on local islands you will likely receive change in Maldivian Rufiya (the notes are really beautiful!). In some shops in Male, only Maldivian Rufiya is accepted but in tourist areas US dollars are always accepted. For resorts you can bay by debit or credit card at the end of your Maldives trip. To pay for local guesthouses I recommend paying in cash as foreign cards don’t always work and there will usually be a 3% card fee.

And finally what not to bring to the Maldives

The Maldives is a Muslim country and has strict laws prohibiting certain items. Therefore, you cannot bring alcohol, pork products or pornography into the Maldives.

For more posts about the Maldives:

For the best diving in the Maldives check out this blog post all about Fuvahmulah island and the cheapest diving in the Maldives!

For more information about local islands, a great alternative to expensive resort islands, read here.

For the most beautiful beach in the Maldives, check out Gulhi island

For two local islands in the Maldives with lots of water sports, scuba diving, surfing and party boats where you can drink, visit and stay on Maafushi and Thulusdhoo islands. These are great to visit as they are near Male and the airport.

Whale Shark Inflatable Gift
Messing on my whale shark float in the Maldives

 

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Budget Maldives: Maafushi Island

Maafushi Maldives Review
Maafushi island is well known for being a fun local island in the Maldives and is one of the best islands to visit for a cheap Maldives holiday. Maafushi offers lots of cheap water sports and water activities and you can find decent budget accommodation here. It is a local island close to Male and only takes about 20-25 minutes by speedboat from Male or the airport.
Maafushi welcome to the island sign
Maldives on a Budget – What to do in Maafushi
Maafushi Water Sports

Maafushi is one of the best Maldives islands for water sports. Water sports such as jet skiing, SUP, kayaking, banana boats and parasailing are very popular activities to do here. The cost of water sports is cheap in Maafushi, especially in comparison with water sport prices on other islands in the Maldives. For example jetskiing can be as cheap as $30 for half an hour.

Snorkelling in Maafushi
Snorkelling was disappointing off of bikini beach but snorkelling trips will take you to better snorkel sites. However the marine life in Maafushi was still great as we saw two turtles while jetskiing (and I was very wary of hitting them) and we saw spinner dolphins from the beach on several occasions.
Cheap Scuba Diving in Maafushi
Maafushi has some great dive spots nearby and very cheap rates for scuba diving. The cost of diving is approximately $40 per scuba dive including equipment. I really enjoyed the marine life diving near Maafushi and the coral was some of the best coral I have seen in the Maldives so far. On a nearby dive site we spotted white tip reef sharks, turtles, eels, a peacock mantis shrimp and also did a great wreck dive.
Maldives Budget Accommodation: Where to stay in Maafushi
You can find some very cheap hotels in Maafushi and it is a great island to stay on if you are on a budget Maldives trip. I usually compare prices on booking.com. The cost of hotels in Maafushi usually start from $30 per night up.



Booking.com

Bikini Beach in Maafushi
Maafushi has a small bikini beach found at the end of the island between two rocky areas. There are some nice swings for photos at the beach but the sea and beach was quite crowded when I visited. It also has large hotel buildings overlooking the beach so the view is definitely not as beautiful as other islands which have more natural backgrounds to the beach.
life is better at the beach sign
Maafushi Budget Hotel: Kaani Village and Spa Review
I stayed at this great accommodation when visiting Maafushi. The rooms were basic but clean and I liked the bathrooms. The swimming pool was the best feature of the hotel and we had some great photos taken here with the greenery in the background. The hotel were very helpful and even lent snorkelling equipment to us free of charge. If you work in the Maldives or are a Maldivian National, ask for a work permit discount. There was also no issue with mixed nationality couples (Maldivian + Foreigner) staying together.
Photo of me by a swimming pool in Maafushi
One of the few hotels with a swimming pool in Maafushi with reasonable rates
Drinking alcohol in Maafushi
While it is not possible to drink or purchase alcohol on local islands in the Maldives, Maafushi has access to liveaboard safari boats which means you can drink alcohol at these floating bars in Maafushi. These bars are party boats with a small dancefloor, disco lights and DJs. Alcohol is not expensive considering what they could charge ($5 a beer or $8 spirit and a mixer). Don’t expect any fancy cocktails even though they are listed on the menu! These floating bars cannot be found on many local islands so this makes Maafushi a top Maldives destination and  one of the best party islands in the Maldives.
Transport to Maafushi from Male
The best way of getting to Maafushi from Male is by speedboat. You can book onto a speedboat by calling this number and these are the timings. Additional boats go at different times so ask about other speedboat companies too. Bear in mind that if you have an early flight which is outside of these timings then you may need to pay for a private boat which is expensive. The speedboat to Maafushi costs approximately $20 per person for tourist rate and work permit/Maldivian National rate is 100 rufiya.
Budget Maldives cheap travel top Maafushi
Regular Speedboats to Maafushi
Maafushi Location
Maafushi is located in Kaafu Atoll, not far from the capital Male and the Maldives main international airport Velana. This means that Maafushi is very easy to travel to as you can access the island via speedboat and there is no need for expensive domestic flights to get there.
Maafushi Restaurants: Where to Eat
I enjoyed the local food in Maafushi as always but no one restaurant in particular stood out. Many restaurants connected with hotels offered buffet options but will also offer a la carte if you ask for a menu. Make sure you ask for ‘no straws’ when ordering drinks as Maafushi is still using plastic straws.
For a quieter alternative island to Maafushi, consider staying in Gulhi, a nearby island which has the best beach in the Maldives!
Visit an alternative local island where you can also drink at floating bars, and another really beautiful island is Thulusdhoo local island.
For more overviews and frequently asked questions about local islands read this post.
For the best scuba diving in the Maldives – read my blog post about cheap diving in Fuvahmulah island
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