I flew to the Maldives in late April, taking a flight from Doha. Before I get there, I realized a detailed search about this stunning piece of land that lies in the Indian Ocean. I was really lucky to experience this place in sunny weather and I must tell you. It became my paradise!
Though they say that this complex of islands is what the honeymooners choose, please allow me to disagree. Of course it’s ideal for living your honeymoon, but it’s not only for that. I really don’t like the clichés and I truly believe that anyone can travel there, depending on what they need and want for their vacation. Maybe you are just a couple or a family that seeks for relaxation and some adventure (yeap!).
Here are a few tips I suggest you know in advance and they come from my own experience in the Maldives. I guess you already know that Maldives is under the Islamic religion, thus, there is no alcohol (maybe you’ll find in some resorts) and you only swim to the ‘bikini beach’ areas.
1. Choose your resort wisely, depending on your budget
I agree that staying in a luxurious five-star resort makes the whole experience even more unique. Nevertheless, it needs a good budget, as the cost can start from 300 euros per night. If you are on a honeymoon (well, yes, it has a few benefits!) let the hotel know. They may offer a good package and other comforts.
Alternatively, you can choose a low budget or reasonably priced guest house. They are situated in local islands and they may not offer the luxurious comfort, but they are descent and clean. Of course, you need to search a lot before you book.
2. You go for the resort. Yay! What you need to consider about:
If you choose the water villa, check how far is the walk between your room and the main area. Also, in some cases, there is not an option for walking, you have to call for a boat from the hotel to take you back and forth, something that may be annoying.
The price differentiates relatively to the room you book. It is a water villa? Is it a pool villa? Or just a villa with no direct access to the sea?
Is there a private pool at your villa? What activities are on offer? (very important)
Make sure to learn all about the extra costs. Many meals or cocktails are not included in the price and they are certainly not cheap, as you don’t have any other choice around. So, check everything carefully.
3. How to get to the Maldives and then to the islands?
All international flights land to Male, the capital island of the Maldives and the Ibrahim Nasir airport. From there, there are three options to approach your island. Firstly, to take a sea plane, which is the most expensive option, but also, an amazing experience. Check the prices in advance and make sure to ask your hotel to arrange that for you or give you guidelines,
Secondly, you can take a speed boat in a better cost and the last and cheaper choice is to take the public boat, which is not as quick as the speed boat.
Also, bear in mind that every Friday (and Wednesday I think) there is a public holiday in the Maldives, so there are no public boats.
4. Don’t underestimate the low season
I do that often, I admit. When I visited the Maldives at the last days of April I took a risk weather wise. The best period to visit the place is from November till March, something like that. In other case, you may experience the tropical monsoon season (rainy and cloudy). Nevertheless, think about it from another point of view. Yes, it may rain, but this will be rare and certainly not every day and all day. Moreover, (and this is the best) you can find many luxury resorts in off season prices (half of the normal ones) and book the best deal. I guess a bit rain doesn’t hurt that much, right?!
5. Embrace the daily activities
Maldives is all about relaxation. The place doesn’t really have anything to do, other than swimming, sleeping and becoming one with the nature. You may get bored. So, be active! There are plenty of pleasant activities for you to do, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaing, dolphin watch cruises, sunset cruises, fishing, paddling and many more. Furthermore, make sure to bring with you books!
6. Bring with you a few snacks
Maldives is not the kind of place that you can find the goodies you enjoy back home, for example, chocolate or cookies. So, make sure you bring with you a few of this kind of things in your suitcase, if you know that you cannot live without them. I didn’t think about that and there were times (usually in the afternoons) that I craved for a piece of my favorite black chocolate. This is what I am talking about. Or if you’re traveling with kids, you must have with you the goodies they usually eat, like cereals. Better safe than sorry!
My last and best tip is this. Maldives is a beautiful place on earth, pure and wonderful. Enjoy every moment and live it to the fullest. Your mind will empty and your soul will be full!
Have fun and enjoy