What to pack for your Indian Ocean island holiday

Your flights are booked, you’ve spent hours flicking through pictures of your dream resort in Mauritius or the Maldives, and you already know the first cocktail you’ll be ordering on the beach. But exactly what should you pack in your suitcase for your Indian Ocean island holiday?

Having sent 250,000 South African travellers on holidays to the Seychelles, Maldives, Zanzibar, and Mauritius in the last 10 years, our team here at The Holiday Factory knows a thing or two about what to pack, and what to leave behind, on your next island adventure!

The right clothes for your island holiday


You can look forward to temperatures of between 25 and 32 degrees Celsius on your island holiday. Be sure to take along a couple of cozzies and your best beach and casual wear for the day. Light, comfortable, relaxed clothing will be perfect for on the beach but at some resorts the dress-code for dinner is smart casual and gents are required to wear long trousers. You might also want to take a light rain jacket just in case and a beach bag to put your book, sunscreen and sunglasses in when you’re out and about.

Sunscreen and a hat


The point of an island holiday is to spend time soaking up the sun, but sunburn on the first day of your holiday can really ruin your fun! Protect yourself by packing some decent sunscreen, while sunglasses and a sun hat are also essentials. You may also want to pack some light cover ups like a sarong or a kaftan to throw on between the beach, the pool, and the cocktail bar.

Proper shoes


You can leave the heels behind on your Indian Ocean island holiday. A pair of dressy sandals will be perfect for evening dinners in Mauritius, although guys will need to pack some closed shoes as flip flops won’t cut it after dark. On the other hand, many of the resorts in the Maldives do not require you to wear any shoes as the restaurants and bars are mostly sand floors so its barefoot from the moment you set foot on the island until you leave – all you need is a pair of flip flops to walk along the hot decking to your water villa! If you plan to enjoy some inland trekking on your island holiday, particularly if visiting the natural reserves of the Seychelles or Mauritius, you’ll also need to pack some decent takkies and mosquito repellant. Also don’t forget your golf shoes if you want to get a round or two in on your island holiday.

Your charging cables


You’ll want to document your holiday and with swings from palm trees, slides into the ocean, and rim flow pools, those perfect Instagram moments are a plenty. So you don’t want to be caught with a flat battery. Make sure you pack your charging cables for your phones, tablets, laptops and cameras if you you’re really a keen photographer. You may also want to pack a power bank so you can keep your phone charged on the beach. We also recommend downloading a few movies to a tablet or laptop as English channels on your hotel TV may be limited.

A good book


While our top Mauritius, Maldives, Zanzibar and Seychelles hotels have tons of watersports and land activities to enjoy, we still recommend packing a good book. There’s nothing to make you feel like you’re truly on holiday than settling down on the beach with a book you can’t put down. And with beachside service offered at many of our top hotels, you can keep reading while your drinks and snacks are brought to you.

An adventurous spirit


An Indian Ocean island holiday doesn’t only have to be about cocktails, sun tanning and sitting poolside. You can also enjoy a host of adventures on your island holiday, such as quad biking through natural reserves or learning to kitesurf in Mauritius, diving with whale sharks and manta rays in the Maldives, discovering some of the world’s rarest wildlife in the Seychelles, and going on cultural tours through Stone Town in Zanzibar. And for whatever you leave behind, you can use the opportunity to enjoy some retail shopping with a trip to local market.