Whether you like to travel light or bring your entire wardrobe with you, we are happy with it — as long as you carry the must-haves with you. We are here to help you pack efficiently for your holiday in Mauritius, and ensure there will be space left in your luggage for the many souvenirs you will buy. Open your suitcase, and let’s get ready for the best beach holiday in your life. The plane will not wait!
Okay, this one may sound too obvious, and we don’t mean in any way to underestimate your judgement. It’s a beach holiday on a tropical island after all — of course, the swimsuit will make its way to your suitcase. However, what we do recommend is having at least two swimsuits in case one gets damaged or because it’s better to be sipping your cocktail at the pool bar in a dry swimsuit. Don’t forget your rash vest, if you are planning to indulge in water activities such as water skiing and stand up paddleboarding.
In Mauritius you will catch some sun, boost your levels of serotonin, and stock up on vitamin D. But it’s important to do so without exposing your skin to unnecessary risks. Assess your type of skin (e.g., sensitive, fair) and speak to your pharmacist about sun cream options, which protect both from UVA and UVB rays. Women may want to pack a different sun cream for the face, as well as a sunscreen spray for hair. Regardless of how you choose to protect yourself from the sun, remember to take frequent breaks under the shade to reduce the chances of sunburn. Did you know that many sun creams are harmful to the aquatic ecosystem and are responsible for the bleaching of the coral reef? A way to reduce your environmental footprint is to choose mineral sunscreens over chemical. Last but not least, put an aftersun in your toiletry bag for a long-lasting tan.
Mauritius has stunning beaches, and you will spend most of your holiday in one of them. While most of them are organised, which means they offer chaise longues and umbrellas, some are unspoilt. There’s no reason to sabotage a beautiful day on the beach due to lack of shelter when you can carry your own. Modern beach shelters are easy to put up and pull down, and they create an excellent play space for kids. Don’t forget your children’s beach toys!
The Indian Ocean offers endless possibilities for snorkelling — coral gardens, dolphins, and sea turtles are only some of the marine life you can witness. Whether you are in the north or south of the island, a lot is going on under the water. Even though most snorkelling tours and hotels offer the equipment (e.g., mask, flippers, snorkel), often it is worn or not enough for everyone. It’s always better to have your gear, which you will also use in your beach holidays to come!
Mauritius may boast a 330-km-long coastline, but there’s more to it than beaches. The island is also home to high, rocky mountains, and lush forests. Some tops can be conquered even by the most amateur hikers, and others require experience, skills, and professional guidance. There are also land activities such as zip lining, abseiling, and mini-safaris, which all need the appropriate footwear (and flip flops isn’t the one). Bring your hiking shoes along to make the most of Mauritius’ nature.
Mauritius’ tropical climate means that for the most part, the sun is shining gloriously. However, between November and April, Mauritius goes through its rainy and humid summer season. Although average temperatures remain high, there’s a high chance of tropical storms and cyclones. Be prepared for those sudden and heavy rains with a light raincoat, which you can keep in your handbag at all times.
Insulated drink bottle
In such warm weather and with so much physical activity (e.g., swimming, hiking), your body will need regular hydration. Even though you can find reasonably priced bottled water almost everywhere, a thermos will keep your beverages cool throughout the day.
Motion sickness tablets
You don’t have to be on a long journey to get motion sickness; those who are familiar with the unpleasant sensation know what we are talking about. If the thought of being on a boat makes you nauseous or gives you a cold sweat, pack a couple of motion sickness tablets. Mauritius offers some lovely boat tours, which are 100% worth taking. Why let motion sickness stop you from a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Indian Ocean when the solution can lie in your bag?
Mosquitos make themselves at home in tropical climates, and there’s no doubt that these tiny creatures are capable of ruining a romantic alfresco dinner or a whole night’s sleep. To avoid unpleasant situations such as uncontrollable itchiness and inflamation, we advise you to cover yourself with light layers whenever possible, and bring along a mosquito repellent. If you are into natural remedies, we have tried the mix of cloves, surgical spirit, and essential oil, and it worked just fine! In any case, even if you get bitten at some point, don’t panic as Mauritius is a malaria-free destination.
Mauritian Creole or French phrasebook
In spite of English being the official language in Mauritius, French is much more prevalent in society. Creole is the street language used in markets, festivals, and amongst friends and families, especially in rural areas where people may not speak English or French. If you want to experience Mauritius like a local, we suggest you pick up a few Creole words. The Mauritian people are genuinely proud of their inheritance, and appreciate even the smaller effort that travellers make to connect with them on a personal level. For a start, check out our beginner’s Creole guide we have composed for you.
Most five-star hotels and resorts apply a semi-formal dress code in their premises, and especially in the restaurant and bar areas. For example, men cannot appear for dinner in jeans and flip-flops, and women are expected to wear at least sandals and something chicer than shorts and a sportive top. Of course, it all depends on each hotel’s style and internal regulations. However, in clubs and restaurants outside of your hotel, you may still find that dress-code rules apply. We strongly recommend smart trousers, polos, and linen shirts for men, and a black party and a floral maxi dress for women.
Activewear and sports equipment
We cannot think of a better spot to lay our yoga mat and do our sun salutations than on the beach with the views of the flaming sun falling into the Indian Ocean. Mauritius is also a popular diving destination, and if you are planning to spend most of your time underwater, it might be worth bringing along your diving costume. Also, if you are an avid golfer, you probably already know that the island has more than ten outstanding golf courses. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is also quite popular amongst the younger Mauritian generation, and you can always find a session to join in as a guest.
First and foremost, Mauritius is the ideal place to relax. And in our mind, relaxation comes hand in hand with a good book alongside a fresh juice on a colourful beach towel. Depending on how fast a reader you are, and how many days you are staying in Mauritius, pack a book or two or stock up your e-reader. We encourage you to go offline and indulge into the books that have been waiting for you for a while, but you never had the time to read back home.
Important note: The power supply is at 230 volts, and the power socket uses the British 3-pin standard.
Written by Maria Iotova, a freelance journalist and former expat in Mauritius.
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