What to Pack for a Local Island Diving Holiday in The Maldives!
So – what to pack for a scuba diving holiday on a local island in the Maldives? Well, let’s be honest – divers never travel light! Once you’ve packed your dive gear and photography equipment, your suitcase is usually already pretty full. Luckily, you don’t actually need much else when coming to a local island in the Maldives for a diving holiday.
However – there are a few essential items that we highly recommend bringing that will make your life easier while you’re here.
So here’s our list of what to pack for a local island diving holiday in the Maldives!
1) Dive Gear
OK – let’s start with the most obvious stuff. If you’ve got your own gear, we highly recommend you bring it.
Wetsuit – we offer 3mm shorty wetsuits for hire. If you’ve got a few wetsuits and are not sure which thickness to bring, we’d recommend going with your 3mm. A few people dive without wetsuits, but you might get cold by the second dive. 1.5mm might also work well for you.
If for any reason you’d like your legs and arms to be totally covered but don’t have your own wetsuit, you can bring leggings and a rash guard or long-sleeve sports top to wear underneath our rental suits.
We don’t have hoods for hire either, just FYI.
BCD, regulator and dive computer – If you’re bringing your own, make sure it’s serviced if necessary, well maintained, and that your dive computer isn’t low on battery. (Dive computers are included as standard in our full equipment rental, by the way.)
Mask – If you’re bringing a new mask, ask us about how we can make sure it doesn’t fog. If you’re comfortable, we’ll burn the silicon layer on the glass for you. If you need a prescription mask, you should invest in your own – we don’t have any to rent (or just wear your contacts.)
Reef Hook – If you have one, bring it. Otherwise we do provide them when necessary.
Fins – Bring your strongest fins – we can have serious current here!
2. Photography Equipment
Most people who do want to film just go with a GoPro with a housing. You can get wonderful footage from a GoPro. We personally don’t recommend buying a red filter – instead, we recommend downloading the Dive+ App which can auto white-balance your footage.
For the serious photographer, we’d recommend planning for a mix of wide angle and macro shots, and lights or strobes on your rig really take everything up a notch.
Clothing – You can really pack light when it comes to clothing. As you might know, the Maldives is a Muslim country. In local islands, tourists are expected to cover shoulders to knees – that goes for both men and women. So a t-shirt and board shorts would be perfect, or maybe a sarong or loose trousers. You can actually buy colourful cotton trousers on the island for 10USD – these are great, especially to avoid annoying mosquito bites (which can happen if you don’t cover up or use repellant.)
Swimwear – Obviously swimwear is a must here. If you’re staying a week, maybe 2 or 3 options. If you want to swim in areas of the island which are not part of the bikini beach, shorts and a t-shirt that you don’t might getting wet will be a good bet.
Shoes– And all you’ll need are flip flops, no other shoes required!
Sun Protection- A cap or sunhat are a good idea if you plan to hang out on the sundeck, and good sunglasses are a must.
Bag– Some people bring a dry bag to take on the boat, although we do have dry areas for bags. Other bring cotton shoppers so they don’t need to take plastic bags in the shops.
Hair – A decent number of hair elastics if you have long hair, and maybe a headband to wear so your hair doesn’t get too tangled in your mask.
Water Bottle – We provide water on the boat but recommend people bring their own bottle to refill.
Face Masks – As preventative regulations are still in place at the time of writing, we recommend bringing reusable face masks.
Shampoo etc – We recommend bringing your regular toiletries with you. However, on the island you can buy – shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, lotion (just don’t expect to find your favourite brand.) And most guesthouses do provide amenities.
Sunscreen – Now this is the one thing that you should bring with you! Sunscreen is very expensive in the Maldives, and the brands that the shops in Fulidhoo stock are not so reliable. So definitely bring enough for your whole trip – we recommend high factors such as 30+. And of course, we recommend opting for a reef-safe brand.
Menstrual Items – The only available menstrual items for sale in Fulidhoo are pads. So if you need tampons, please bring them with you.
6. Pharmaceutical Items
Medicines – When planning what to pack for a local island diving holiday in the Maldives, your prescription medication should be at the top of your list. However, there is a doctor and pharmacy on the island if you have a problem. The pharmacy is fairly well stocked for an island of only 300 people, and has things like antibiotics, but it might not have everything you need.
Over the counter products – ear drops (refer to our blog on how to look after your ears when scuba diving for all our recommendations), a steroid cream for any bites, and insect repellant (we recommend natural ones, made from citronella or lemongrass, or tiger balm.) Hand sanitiser is provided in most places, but do bring some for the plane.
Sea Sickness Tablets – the only sea sickness tablets available in Fulidhoo are the drowsy kind – so if you think you will need them, please bring your own (such as Dramamine).
Laptop – If you’re doing a course, you may want to bring your laptop if you’re opting to do e-learning while you’re here.
Phone + Charger – The Maldives uses 3-pin British style plugs, but some guesthouses have multiway sockets.
Pen Drive – If you want to copy some footage from us, or from fellow divers, remember to bring a good, fast pen drive with lots of storage space.
Drones – There are no restrictions on drone use in local islands in the Maldives, only near the airports. If you’re going to a resort afterwards, check with them for their in-house policy.
Books and Movies – Not all the guesthouses have TVs in the rooms, so you might want to make sure you have enough entertainment for the evening with a kindle or Netflix access on your laptop or tablet.
Journal and Logbook – A lot of people like to use the downtime on the island to journal, or to log their dives.
Yoga Mat – We don’t have yoga mats available, so you should bring your own if you want to do some asanas while you’re here.
9. Money and Documentation
Cash – The most common currency for tourism in the Maldives is USD and most tourist facilities will charge in USD. Please make sure that all notes are no older than 2007 and are in very good condition. This is a stipulation from the Maldives Monetary Authority and many banks in Maldives. Our dive centre can only accept notes in these conditions.
In local shops, you can pay in local rufiyaa or dollars. You can exchange some dollars to USD when you are on the island. It’s a fixed exchange rate – 15.42 Maldivian Rufiyaa to 1USD.
Passport and Travel Documentation – Make sure your passport has at least 1 month validity, and that you have copies of your booking confirmation to hand for immigration (click for more details of tourist visa requirements.)
Proof of Certification – Remember to bring either your scuba certification cards, or know how to access your e-cards.
Insurance – We always recommend that people travel with travel and covid insurance, and diving insurance is mandatory to dive with us. We can set you up when you’re here with DAN Short-term Insurance for 15USD/week.
And that’s everything we think you need to pack for a local island diving holiday in the Maldives!