Passport, bank cards, and other documents
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Unless this is the first time you leave your country, you’ll know that your passport is your all-important document. This doesn’t mean that, while you’re out and about in Malta, you must carry it around with you. But besides needing it to board the plane in the first place, you’ll have to produce your passport for any official business you might wish to conduct – including leaving our shores.
Bank cards linked to your bank account/s are always useful to have on hand. ATMs in Malta generally operate around the clock and accept most major credit and bank cards. Just keep an eye out for overhead charges, as they tend to be rather steep.
Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum online tickets
If you’ve been doing your own fair share of research, and if you’ve read our Top Five Things in The South blog post, you will have learned about a prehistoric site called Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum. This unique structure is wildly popular, in large part because it’s a temple with a burial site built entirely underground.
Should the idea of paying the Hypogeum a visit strike your fancy, you won’t really have to pack anything, but you’ll want to book your tickets online a good while in advance. The waiting period for a guided tour can be weeks, sometimes months, long.
Here in Malta, we often feel the summer knocking at our door as early as April, with the island’s metaphorical thermostat bursting around late July. Once mended, it will continue to indicate high temperatures through September (!) before trailing off.
With this in mind, we have little doubt that you’ll be hitting the beach to ease the swelter – as well as work on your tan. And we expect that you’ll take frequent dips in the azure waters (if not simply because ambulating ice baths are not yet a thing). This means that coming well-equipped, with your summer gear packed for the occasion, is a must. And while definitions of summer gear may vary, here’s our two cents’ worth:
You’ll want to pack flip-flops for use on sandy beaches, and also to give your feet a well-deserved breather even during your off-the-beach time. On the other hand, on days that you opt to brave the rocky areas of coastline, make sure to have a pair of slip-on swimming shoes handy (or perhaps, foot-y?), lest you end up with feet that are cut and swollen.
Next up is swimwear. You’re going swimming, so this goes without saying. However, depending on the frequency of your trips to the beach, you might want to pack more than just one outfit.
With over 300 days of sunshine a year in Malta, you might well imagine that the peak of summer is sizzling. Indeed, Malta’s ultraviolet index tends to spike around this time. As a result, three key items that belong in your beach bag are a hat (or more than one for the discerning fashionista), strong sunblock to prevent you from turning into a human lobster, and sunglasses so that you don’t have to wince like you’re perpetually disgruntled.
All these items are readily available in Malta. Whether you decide to bring them from home or add them to your summer shopping list here is at your discretion. One item that we suggest you buy in-country, however, is a Malta-themed beach towel. It’s always a nice little souvenir to take home!
Maltese demographic charts are topped by locals, expats, and mosquitoes – though not necessarily in that order. Those late sultry summer nights when the humidity index reaches “hot wet blanket” are made that much more intimate by the actions of a bunch of uninvited little bloodsuckers! If you’re the type that enjoys sleeping through the entire night unperturbed, consider spraying a bit of insect repellent around you, or making use of odor-emitting devices that you either burn or plug in to an electrical socket.
Just as we recommend that you bring slip-on swimming shoes to our rocky beaches, we also advise you to bring comfy closed shoes that won’t leave your feet battered after a long walk. Whenever you decide to venture onto a less beaten track in Malta, don’t expect long stretches of green pastures with soft blades of grass tickling the soles of your feet. Chances are you’ll find yourself hiking through arid, scabrous terrain most of the time. After all, the Maltese landscape is largely craggy and hilly.
So while you may not necessarily need insulated mountain boots, a pair of multipurpose closed-toe shoes – perhaps even two – is a must.
Packing clothes made of light, natural fabrics is your best bet to stay fresh during the hottest time of the year. Also, the unofficial dress code in Malta ranges from casual to smart-casual. And while some of the public spaces well-known for nightlife may welcome a more stylishly attired crowd, even here dressing up is not a must.
It’s best to keep in mind, though, that if you’re planning cultural excursions, most museums and churches require you to cover up should your clothes be judged too revealing or skimpy.
While Malta may give the impression that it is the land of eternal summer, we do have a winter season – and a rather nippy one, too. Malta’s humid climate is something of a double-edged sword, since it amps up the heat in summer, while also getting the chill under your skin in winter. And since Malta’s an island, it can get fairly windy on some days. As a result, a light jacket or two and a few light sweaters are recommended, particularly if you plan to visit outside the summer months. A raincoat and a travel umbrella will take care of the wet days.
The temperature on winter nights can drop to just under 10 degrees Celsius, and while we have heaters and air conditioners, central heating is deemed unnecessary in houses due to our largely warm climate. In order to feel cozy and secure a good night’s sleep in winter, you’ll want to bring along full-length pajamas.
Camera (or smartphone with a good camera)
Whether you’re a hobbyist looking to snap the best selfies with a smartphone, or a serious amateur photographer who never leaves home without a single-lens reflex camera, you’ll want something to capture those special moments here in Malta.
The country is chock-full of picture-perfect locations that are sure to give the photographer in you itchy fingers. Besides the culturally rich historical sites and beautiful seasides, you’ll want to immortalize the breathtaking sunsets and fun nights out with your friends.
While lack of tissues in public spaces is becoming less of an, ahem, issue, every now and then you may still walk into a public bathroom whose custodial staff will have neglected to stock the place with sufficient quantities of the much-needed rolls of fluffiness.
Make sure that nature never catches you off guard; always stuff a packet of tissues in your rucksack or pockets to avoid any knee-rattling incidents!
Plug adapters and step-down voltage adapter
Malta uses the types of plugs used in the U.K. Unless your country of origin does the same, you will need a few travel adapter plugs to connect your electrical appliances.
Also, keep in mind that the European standard voltage is set at 220-230 volts. If your country’s is set at 110V, you’re going to need a step-down voltage transformer.
All of the above can generally be purchased in Malta, but if you still have some space left over in your suitcase and you want to start using your appliances right away, save some money and bring your own devices along.
Most pharmacies in Malta will stock up on just about any medication accepted within the EU. However, if you are on a prescription at the time of traveling, you may want to save yourself the headache of securing a local one and looking around for the medication you need.
Before leaving home, then, make sure to check whether the medication you’re on is admitted within EU and Maltese borders. If so, bring a safe supply with you, along with your prescription.
So there you have it: a list of essentials you’ll want to pack for your upcoming trip to Malta. Keep in mind that most of the items are readily available in stores throughout the country, so forgetting to include any of them won’t pose a problem. And if you require further information about how to make your landing and stay in Malta as smooth as possible, our representatives here at AUM will be happy to assist you!