Thursday 15 March 2018

5 Things To Know Before You Plan Your Maldives Trip

For many years, the Maldives has been a top holiday destination for its exclusive island appeal. The
sun kissed beaches, crystal clear turquoise sea, colorful fishes & reefs and white sand beaches that stretch out into miles and miles of transparent lagoons and blue skies make for a perfect holiday with family, friends or even a solo trip. It truly is paradise on earth.

During my recent trip to India, I went on a family vacation to the Maldives. Needless to mention, we
had an amazing time on the island doing things every tourist does. Today I’m going to list down 5
things you should know before you travel to the Maldives.
1. When is the best time to travel?
The best time to visit the Maldives is whenever you want to go! Honestly, it’s a tropical paradise
and there cannot be a bad time to visit heaven! It’s usually hot and sunny all year round with an
average temperature of 23°to 31°c. But if you wanna do just more than relax, drink and work out
then you would want to plan your trip between November and April. It doesn’t rain much; the
weather is dry and perfect to do various activities. Since it’s the tourist season, everything is more
expensive but totally worth it.

2. How long should your vacation be?
The Maldives is a place you wanna go for a luxurious and exotic retreat. It truly is beautiful, but
the activities you can do on the island apart from sleep and drink are limited to: snorkeling, scuba
diving, whale/dolphin watching, kayaking, jet skiing, sunbathing, island exploration…all that can
be done in 5 to 7 days with still a lot of time left to explore your own luxury resort room and the
private pool.

And let’s not forget the cost. Holidaying in the Maldives is an expensive affair because almost
everything is imported from neighboring countries. Taxes apply to everything you use or consume
on the island including activities, rentals, treatments etc.
Having a quality vacation rather than quantity is the secret to enjoy Maldives.

3. Where to stay?
All the resorts in the Maldives are located on their own island. Which means you will most
probably end up staying on the same island during your entire stay. Therefore, chose a resort that
offers all the facilities that you would like to enjoy during your stay. There are over 100 resorts to
choose from depending on your budget. Most 4 and 5 star resorts offer multi-cuisine restaurants,
bars, entertainment facilities (including kid’s activities), spas & gyms. Chose a resort that also
offers excursions like Dolphin/Whale watching, water sports, scuba etc. so you have several
options to explore and don’t have to go island hopping to enjoy these activities. Traveling to
another island can be very expensive in Maldives. And don’t forget to budget for the extra costs
towards activities.

The Maldives has a reputation as a divers paradise, which is why most people come here for
Snorkeling and diving. If you love snorkeling then chose a resort that has a close-by reef. Most
resorts rent out snorkeling gears to their guests free of charge. This lets you snorkel with the
colorful tropical fishes every day at a time that suits you.

*Grand Park resort has one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, and offers you the
opportunity to get up close and personal with beautiful, glowing corals, a variety of turtles, sting
rays and hundreds of colorful fish species directly from your water villa.

4. Getting to the Resort?
Every visitor will arrive at Male, the capital of Maldives. To get to your resort island, you’ll either
need a seaplane or speedboat ride depending on the distance. The resort provides airport
transfers to its guests. Therefore, knowing the distance of your resort from the city/airport is a very
important criterion most people overlook before booking their stay. Sometimes airport transfers
can be as expensive as a one night stay at your resort. When you’re booking the resorts, you’ll
notice that some 4 and 5 star resorts will offer a fully-inclusive package at a very reasonable rate
in comparison to other similar resorts. Most probably the reason would be that these resorts are
located at far away islands that need a seaplane ride or a longer (45 to 60 mins) speedboat ride
to reach the resort. These rides are very expensive so check the airport transfer rates before you
book any resort.

5. General things to be aware of:
  • The local currency is Maldivian Rufiyaa, but US Dollars are accepted as legal tender throughout the Maldives. I would suggest purchasing the USD currency beforehand.
  • The Maldives is a Muslim country – There are specific bans on certain things such pork products and alcohol from your connecting flights. Alcohol is available at the resort.
  • Maldives follows a business week from Sunday to Thursday.  Most local places are closed on a Friday until after Friday prayer. If you’re staying at a resort you don’t have to worry about this.
  • Things you must not forget to carry on your trip – sunscreen, sun glasses, bathing suit, hat, umbrella, flip-flops and a good camera.

-SOnali for So-Saree


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