The Maldives is currently the hottest, most happening travel destination in the world. So if you’re planning to head to the stunning turquoise waters and the beautiful lagoons, there are some essential tips you’d like to keep in mind.
I have written a post about traveling to the Maldives during covid-19 times. You can find that here. It has everything you need to know to travel to the Maldives in these times. The last year has been tough on so many of us, and I hope we can all fight this together. It is always safe to stay home in times of this pandemic. However, if you are planning to take a trip, there couldn’t be a better place to start with than the Maldives.
Here are some travel tips for the Maldives, that helped me plan and book my trip to the islands. Read them before you plan your travel to the Maldives-
1. Always check what the ‘all-inclusive’ package really includes.
- Food & Beverages – we booked a full board package, including breakfast, lunch & dinner plus unlimited beverages and our in-room minibar. Many resorts miss out on the in-room minibar or offer a very small range of beverages. Check with what your resort is offering you. Many resorts have multiple restaurants & cuisines. It’s best to check how many restaurants are fully functioning (some of them are mostly shut or working only on certain days of the week due to COVID-19 restrictions). It pays to do your research in detail before you make your final bookings.
- Activities – Resorts in the Maldives usually offer free snorkeling and kayaking experiences. Every room in the Maldives has life jackets in the cupboard for the same reasons. But it’s best to check once in advance. Also, check the resort’s price list for any additional non-inclusive activities or excursions you might want to do. The Maldives has a wide range of water activities that can keep you busy all through your vacation. Some of them are pricey but believe me when I say, it is worth every penny here in the Maldives.
- Resort transfers – are you being transferred via a sea-plane or a speed boat? Always best to check. If it’s a sea-plane, chances are you may have to pay a tad bit extra(over $200). It’s an experience in itself though. Most of the resorts include speed-boat transfers in the package. Be sure to check what’s included and choose to upgrade if your resort has the option.
2. Carry USD or EUR
When we reached Male, we headed to the forex counter and almost brought the Maldivian currency thinking we’d pay in the local currency for any extra activities. Luckily, our pilot directed us to pick USD instead because in the Maldives, they DO NOT accept the local rufiyaa. In most of the islands they accept USD, EUR or sometimes GBP. Do not make this mistake and check with your resort beforehand.
3. Book any extra’s beforehand
By extra’s, I mean any fishing trips or local island excursions you may want to book. Each resort has multiple slots, and it’s best to pre-plan and head out for a relaxing holiday. Check if there’s something special going on in any of the restaurants and make reservations for the same. Our resort offered us a free couple spa for 1 hour. Check with the resort if they are offering you something in the spa & wellness zone and make any additions if needed.
4. Beach Villa VS Over Water/Lagoon villa
so many people have asked me this. I’d say, it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend. The Maldives is not super pocket-friendly. It is a luxury destination offering quality based on how much you’re really willing to spend. That said, Prash and I would any day opt for the Lagoon Villa with a pool, as they have the best views and you can get into the waters whenever you want. Plus the pool-breakfast (yummmm!). we split our stay for 4 nights between the beach and the lagoon villas. They are both gorgeous, but the lagoon villa is just 5 steps ahead in luxury, design, feel and view. I think it’s an experience definitely worth the splurge at least once in a lifetime.
5. In-room Pool breakfast
Yep. Now I am going a tad bit overboard, but I was always fascinated by those stunning Instagram pool breakfast photos, and I just had to try and it (and make my husband try it too :P). And WE LOVED IT. We loved being pampered that way. Eating croissants & muffins, americano & honey dipped Danish, a colorful fruit platter & different flavors of jam in our swimsuits, overlooking the Indian ocean, cool tropical breeze hitting our hair and us dipping ourselves in our private tiny pool. It was totally worth it. It costed us about $50 for the experience. Again, check with your resort, as they have different servings for the pool breakfast too.
6. Mention your food specifications beforehand
I have had over 20 people ask me this question. “What do we do about vegetarian food? I am allergic to certain food types, will they cater to my needs? We are vegetarians, can I expect good vegetarian food there?” The answer is – YES! Every resort in the Maldives has well-trained professional chefs, who build their menus from scratch and cater to all cuisines and food requirements. My husband and I are also vegetarians, and the moment we landed on the island, we requested a meeting with the chef to check what vegetarian options we could get (obviously within reasonable options). And to our surprise, every morning after breakfast the chef or the manager would make us a visit to discuss our ‘customized’ menu for the entire day. The Maldives is rated no.1 time & again for their friendly staff and personal care. So, when you make your bookings, write in an email to the property stating your allergies or food requirements, and make a request to meet with the chef and you’ll be good to go! (P.S just because they are accommodating, remember not to make unreasonable requests.)
7. BONUS – This is something no-one will ever tell you –
Carry some water with you. In the Maldives, drinking water is imported. So the water in the Maldives is expensive. Each resort gives you about 2 bottles of water in the room, but if you have a high-water intake otherwise, you’d want to pack a couple of water bottles with you. We did that, and it helped A LOT. Now, this is something no one will ever tell you 😛
(P.S I am not promoting single-use plastic here. Always remember to get your garbage back from where you travel to. The locals will never appreciate you dumping your plastic. So travel, but respectfully and GET YOUR WASTE BACK!)
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