A few things are worth remembering if you are planning a trip to the Maldives. First, you’ve got to have some sort of accommodation booked before you arrive. Second, alcoholic beverages are illegal and only allowed on resorts. Also, public display of any religion other than Islam is not allowed.
As far as packing….travel light. If in doubt, leave it out. Here’s a check list that should help:
*The Big Bag – Clothes
You don’t need a lot of clothes. Since there isn’t much of a night life scene on the islands, fashion and wardrobe variety are not big priorities.
- 2 – 3 pair of shorts
- 2 pair board shorts
- 3 – 4 t-shirts
- one collared shirt (just in case)
- one pair sandals
- one pair walking shoes
- sun hat
- one towel (the guesthouse will also provide you with one)
*Carry On Bag
- Travel documents and a pen for filling out forms
- reading materials
- any techno gadgets: camera, ipod, mp3, mobile phone.
- as far as lap tops… There is usually access to the internet while staying at a guesthouse, but connections can be very slow, and sometimes you may have to wait while others use it. If you bring your own, you can buy a small USB stick from the local phone company to get the internet but it cost about 60.00.
Surf Equipment is hard to come by in the Maldives so make sure you’ve got these covered.
-Board bag- Slim and trim is what you’re after, and only use bubble wrap for padding as towels and clothes can get heavy. Try not to make your board bag look like a massive, heavy ordeal.
-Surfboards- 3 boards would be ideal, but a two board compromise can work. Your standard short board (5’10” – 6′ 3″) will be your go to. But you may also want to have a step-up, slightly more drawn out high performance board (6′ 4″ – 6′ 8″) for the bigger days, as well as some sort of hybrid / fish in case the swell drops a bit. There are also some really fun longboards waves here for all you soul surfers.
-Leg ropes- At least 3, with one big-wave leggy.
-Wax- 4 – 6 bars. Make sure to bring tropical / warm water wax.
-Reef booties- You’ll want these at some breaks more than others. While the reefs aren’t razor sharp, you have to walk over them to get to the waves, while navigating through beds of sea urchins sometimes. Its always safe to use them at first until you feel comfortable without them.
-Fin Systems- Take a few fin keys and stash them in different places so you’re never without one.
-Sun screen- Plenty of SPF 15+ and zinc cream
-First aid medical kit- Always a good idea to have a travel size kit with the basics.
Some last words of advice:
Do some research on the people and culture of the Maldives so that you don’t innocently offend anyone, and be respectful of the local laws that may include certain restrictions. Also, be informed of the holidays, holy days, and general religious and social customs.
For example, Friday is their day of rest, meaning most shops and businesses will be closed for the day. Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting and usually falls around August. During this time Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking from dawn until sunset, and most cafe’s and restaurants will be closed too. But no to worry, our guest house will still be serving food to the guests.
Heading out for your first surf in a foreign land is exhilarating. This is where the adventure really begins. Soak it all up. Most breaks aren’t overly crowded, but like all spots there will be some sort of hierarchy. Don’t snake or drop-in on anyone and you’ll be fine. Say hello to people in the water, smile, and take your turn. The old saying “You reap what you sew”, is never truer than when traveling. Give out good vibes and you will get them reflected back to you. Have fun,… take care, … surf hard!
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Maldives +1 960 785 2227