Tips for planning a trip to Maldives

Tips for planning a trip to Maldives
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I always wanted to visit the Maldives for a family holiday. The turquoise blue waters, amazing beaches & beautiful water villas have been on my bucket list. I always thought Maldives is only a Honeymooners paradise as they call it but I was wrong. When I spoke to few resorts for bookings I realized some of them have great options for a perfect family vacation. I have never imagined that it would actually be so breathtakingly beautiful and it will be one of the best family holidays of my life.

We were in Maldives for 7 days. We were in Male for a night followed by island stay in Cinnamon Donvelli resort for 6 days in the month of December. I must say the resort offers great hospitality, comfortable accommodation and it was truly the experience of a lifetime. Below are some points from my experience that will certainly help you for planning your trip to Maldives. You can refer to Cinnamon Dhonveli website to check the prices for the hotel & availability for your dates here.

What to consider while choosing a resort in Maldives?

While you might think that selecting a resort in Maldives is a task based on the ratings, it’s not that easy at all. It took me around 2 weeks for choosing a resort in Maldives but at the end it was totally worth it. When choosing a resort in Maldives, you have to think of the limitations and make a choice. So what are the common limitations for choosing a resort in Maldives?

1. Your Holiday Budget

There are plenty of properties in Maldives, ranging from very affordable guesthouses to luxurious state-of-the-art resorts. You can find something decent for as low as $100 per night or you could be renting a private overwater villa with a water slide for $10000 per night. I always wanted to stay in a water villa without breaking the bank. hence I did more research to find an exceptional hotel for a decent price. But I’d say there is a possibility to find a water villa in a 5* resort starting from $ 400 per night. You need to probably check websites like booking.com or agoda.com for price comparisons.

Tip: An option to save money is to experience different types of accommodation in the same resort. Like we stayed 3 nights in a duplex garden villa and 2 nights in Beach villa to experience the Luxury it offers.

2. Location of the Resort

Maldives being an Island has only 2 ways to get to certain resorts. Either it’s by a speed boat or a sea plane – you always need to check the description of the hotel very carefully, as you might find out that you need to take another domestic flight plus a speedboat. Also, if your flight arrives after 3pm (sometimes 4pm), you can’t take a water plane anymore and need to stay overnight in Male (which we did for a night based on our flight schedule but not many people are fond of Male).

Also, note that there is always an additional charge for the transportation to the hotel – around $800-1000 for two for a water plane and $200-600 for a speedboat.

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3. Meal plan / Food options

Due to the location of Maldives, getting food there is really expensive. If you are staying in the resort there is no other option but going full board meal plan with the resort.

Most of the hotels in Maldives are actually BB (breakfast only) or HB (half board), while some offer Full Board and all-inclusive.

We calculated each meal * 4 and decided to go for full board as it was higher to pay and food in the restaurants was so expensive. Though the quality of food was really amazing.

 4. Types of the villas in Maldives

If you are staying on an island resort below are the options to choose from.

Water villa – When choosing a hotel in Maldives, we realized that not all the water villas are created the same. We saw that many water villas in different resorts didn’t have direct ocean access. Secondly, if you get the cheapest villa category, most probably, you will have a villa in a poor location (e.g. where a boat stops or all the people walk or there is a reef and you can’t really swim or so on).

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Beach villa – is a good option for a family as some of them are made Duplex and offer a beach facing balcony and rest area right on the beach. Ideal for a family of 4 people.

Garden Villa – Is the lowest category but provides decent accommodation with garden views and beautiful surroundings of the resort. Some of them were quiet near to the beach so there was not much of a difference in a Beach villa or Garden villa except for the view.

Coral reefs

It’s nice to stay in a resort with its own coral reef – in this case, you’ll be able to snorkel without even leaving the hotel. I didn’t really do any snorkeling before, so in Maldives I totally fell in love with it and saw an incredible amount of beautiful fishes!

How to get the Maldives?

When getting to the Maldives, search for flights to Male (the capital city of the Maldives) on Skyscanner. Most airlines flying to the Maldives will serve you breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will provide blankets, cushions, and a small care package. However, if you’re looking to save some money, do be on the look for discounted tickets.  The plane ticket & resort booking is usually the most expensive part of your trip. I would recommend subscribing for your chosen airline’s or resorts newsletters in order to always be updated for promotions.

  1. Best time to visit the Maldives

The best time to visit the Maldives is usually between November and April. Also one can plan to visit in late October. Like any other place accommodation in the Maldives is a bit less pricey in low season. Visiting out of high season can be really cost-efficient. In the Maldives, however, the yearly temperatures stay around 27-30 degrees. If it’s 27 C in the morning at 6 am, it’s 27 C at noon and it’s 27 C late at night. There is not much change in the temperatures during day or night.

  1. What to wear in the Maldives

It was really surprising for me to learn that the major  Maldivian population is Muslims. However, bear in mind that Muslim tradition requires that you dress properly even as tourists. This means no wearing bikini on the beach and no alcohol. Luckily, this rule does not applies for private islands (or island resorts).

  1.  Local people in the Maldives

The local people are friendly and incredibly nice. The locals understand that Tourism is the largest industry for Maldives. Most of the locals work at hotels, restaurants and water sports areas. The weekend is Sunday. People  get 1 day off if they’re lucky as Hospitality industry is quiet demanding. In addition they are glad to answer any question you have about Maldives or island life.

  1.  Packing essentials for Maldives

Sun screen

The most dangerous thing in the Maldives are actually not the sharks or dangerous sea creatures, it is the sun. The sun rays are quiet strong so I recommend using a good sunscreen. If you are going in the water, however, please make sure you use a sunscreen that is free of chemicals that could harm the corals and marine life.

Beach Kit

Make sure to carry beach sets like toys rafts etc if you are travelling with kids.

Extra set of swimming costumes

There are beaches and then there are water sports, its always good to carry 2 sets of swim ear to enjoy both the activities.

Hat & Sun glasses

They look stylish and work wonders to save you on a sunny day at the beach.

In addition, do wear a T-shirt while swimming, it will save your back from burning (you’ll thank me later!).

Electrical sockets

The electrical sockets there are English, and even though hotels can sell you adapters, you can be prepared and buy a few beforehand.

Mosquito repellent

It is a good idea to bring mosquito repellent. We always put on lots of it right before stepping out in the evening.

If you wish to cover two destinations squeezed in one holiday budget, Visiting Srilanka & Maldives together is a great idea. One can also plan a visit first to Srilanka and to Maldives. Read my ultimate guide about planning a trip to Maldives from Srilanka.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article and now feel ready for Maldives!! Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Happy travels!

Naina

A wanderlust follower who believes travel broadens your horizons. I love to explore new places & beauty of nature as it fuels life into my soul.

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