September 18th, 2019
A question we often get asked by potential guests is "What do I need to wear when visiting the Maldives?"
Whilst the blanket answer would be pack light weight, loose fitting cotton clothing there are some notable differences to what you should consider packing in your suitcase all dependent on where you will be staying.
If you are staying on a local island T-shirts, skirts and shorts are the best options to stay cool. The ideal footwear would be sandals and flip-flops. As the Maldives is a Muslim country care needs to be taken in relation to the dress code on local islands. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear T Shirts and shorts or swim shorts; females should avoid causing offence by maintaining a more conservative approach to clothes by wearing T Shirts, loose shorts, or a sun dress with a sarong covering their shoulders. Whilst islanders are now far more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, females should NOT wear bikinis and swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, picnic island, sandbank, or tourist bikini beach. Should your visit include visiting the home of a local family or visiting a mosques shoulders and legs should be covered out of respect of local customs.
If you are staying on a resort island, casual beach clothing, together with swimwear and bikinis is the norm. However, some of the more luxurious resorts may require that you dress for dinner. A sun dress for ladies and a short sleeve shirt with chinos for men are perfect.
How to pack responsibly?
* Sun screen is a must in the Maldives. Purchase wisely to ensure that your sunscreen is coral reef friendly whilst also protecting you from the harmful rays of the sun.
* Whilst there are an increasing number of resorts, hotels and guesthouses that offer water in glass bottles there are still many that use plastic water bottles. Bring a reusable water bottle and then buy a large 5L bottle of water from a local store and fill up your bottle as needed. You will always have water on the go!
* Finally, if you are cruising or diving on board a boat, from my own experience you need to pack very little as more often than not you will be in the water or sunbathing. Meals are board are also a very casual affair. Just ensure you have something appropriate to wear should your itinerary include a visit to a local island or Male.
* Whilst considering your wardrobe is an important step of any travelers' pre-trip plans, we would also encourage you to consider travelling responsibly. As you will know from our previous blog posts we all need to do our bit in the fight against single-use plastic. Packing with care and consideration can help reduce the waste that you leave behind.
* In almost every shop on local islands in the Maldives you will be given a plastic bag for your purchases. Just as you may do at home bring along your own cloth shopping bag and refuse the plastic bags!
* Whilst purchasing mini toiletries makes packing light far easier, why not consider decanting products from your large containers at home into small, reusable containers that you can take with you every time you travel. When I was last in Europe I picked up a great little set in Primark for less than 5 Euros!
*In tropical countries such as the Maldives a wet wipe is handy to have to freshen up but the majority of mainstream brands contain plastic fibers. Stick to biodegradable versions or carry a wet face flannel in a pocket size cool pouch that can be washed and dried overnight and reused the next day.
Join our #strawwarMV and pack a bamboo or metal straw so that you can refuse the plastic ones offered in local cafes and restaurants.
Ensure you are using rechargeable batteries for cameras and other electronics. No where in the Maldives can batteries be recycled.
* Finally, pack light! The lighter your luggage, the lighter the load of your plane and other modes of transport you take and this will assist in burning less fuel.
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