How to Plan a Trip to the Maldives
June 14 2018
June 14 2018
For people who enjoy relaxing island holidays where tropical drinks are the order of the day as they recline on a stunning beach and journey into an almost meditative state as they watch the glittering ocean, the Maldives is the epitome of paradise—a destination that is literally dreamt of (it would have at least featured in your daydreams if nothing else) and that for most people, it is perceived as unattainable. This archipelago is home to some 1200 islands (only 300 or so of which are actually inhabited) and is known for its unparalleled natural beauty; mesmerising waters that glitter in an array of blues and lap pristine powder-white beaches. It’s a destination of luxury offerings, where the five-star resorts lure you in with sensational accommodation offerings, once-in-a-lifetime signature experiences and the opportunity to live the island life in style.
If you have your heart set on this destination for your next holiday, we make the planning process easier for you by breaking it down into doable steps (it can be very overwhelming). Whether you are planning a romantic getaway with your significant other or an unforgettable holiday for the family, here’s how we suggest planning a phenomenal trip to the Maldives:
Pick the perfect dates (for you)
Before you delve into any technicalities or details when planning a trip to the Maldives, it’s vital to pick your dates—and to do this wisely. If you are planning a family vacation, you will probably be forced to keep your trip within the confines of school holidays, but if you are planning a romantic getaway with just you and your significant other, then you have greater options. Peak tourist season in the Maldives falls within their summer months which are between December and April and being peak season, this means that the weather is usually phenomenal but the prices are at their highest.
If you have the flexibility to travel whenever you wish, then consider travelling during the ‘winter’ (between May and August) or the shoulder months. While you might have some rain, you are bound to also have some sublime days in between (the Maldives is known for excellent, yet oftentimes unpredictable, weather) and the prices are much more affordable during these times. The ‘best’ time for you to travel to the Maldives also relies heavily on what you want to do. If you are keen on surfing you might travel during a very different period to that if you are interested in diving (more information on this in our blog post “What Is the Best Time to Travel to the Maldives?”).
Consider what you would like from your trip to the Maldives and when you will be able to travel and than settle on the dates that make the most sense. Once you have these locked down, the rest is easy!
Set a budget
Whether you will have to travel in the peak tourist season or will have the flexibility to choose to travel on the off-peak season, one important factor that you should nail down once you know your dates is your budget. This can determine a lot of factors about your trip to the Maldives, the main one being, where you will be able to stay.
The common misconception about the Maldives is that it’s reserved for the rich and famous. It’s not. But those stunning water villas you’ve probably seen in travel magazines can come at a hefty price tag (they are much more accessible in the Maldivian winter and always sublime). Accommodation options in the Maldives range from one-island resorts to B&Bs and rustic guest houses, so figure out your budget to help you determine what kind of accommodation you can book.
While eating the local food is generally cheaper than eating at resorts, this isn’t always possible (if you are staying on a resort island, for example), but keep in mind that many of these resorts offer their accommodation with the all-inclusive formula which is often the most cost-effective option. Take all these factors into consideration when planning your budget.
Do your research
The Maldives is known for its plethora of hotels and resort islands which means that there is a lot of choice when it comes to accommodation but it can be overwhelming to try and separate the wheat from the chaff when trying to figure out which hotel to book. Try to have a bit of patience and do your research way before the time. Look at factors such as star ratings, the best areas r islands to stay on, guest ratings and reviews as well as specials and packages to ensure that you get the very best bang for your buck while planning a trip to the Maldives.
Do your due diligence when looking for flights as well, and scour possible options on big travel metasearch engines such as Skyscanner. This way you ensure that you are finding the best possible options to suit both your needs and budget.
Check the visa requirements
One thing is for sure; you don’t want to plan an epic trip to the Maldives only to find that you don’t have the right documents in order to travel there. First off, you need to make sure that your passport is valid for 6 months past your travel dates. Luckily, no prior visa is required, but you do need to arrange one on arrival, which allows you to stay for 30 days. Ensure that you have a copy of your hotel reservation and return flights to present to immigration and double check your country’s travel advisory before you embark on your trip for any important updates or information that may apply to you.
Arrange transfers upfront
Whether you have decided to stay a few nights in Male or would like to get to your resort island as soon as possible, it’s always best to book any transfers you may need upfront. This makes for a stress-free trip to the Maldives and ensures that you avoid any transfer scams. Keep in mind that you will probably need to take either a boat or a seaplane to your island destination, and this differs from island to island. Book this through your hotel for absolute peace of mind.
Book absolute must-do activities ahead
The Maldives has such an incredible wealth of unique activities available that you may want to book some of them ahead of time to ensure that you don’t miss out (especially during peak season). If you are hoping to dine underwater, indulge in a spa experience at a popular, world-class spa, book a private dinner on the beach, enrol in a diving course or take part in a specific tour, catamaran trip or day excursion while in the Maldives, it’s better to book this ahead to avoid disappointment. That’s not to say that we think you should plan your itinerary from A-Z (unless you really want to) because a little bit of flexibility and ample downtime is really the order of the day in the Maldives.
Understand the dos and don’ts of this magical destination
Before you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Maldives, it’s vital that you understand what is considered the basic etiquette in what is largely a Muslim country. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the full list of do's and don’ts before heading to this beautiful place so that you are sure you respect the culture and customs of this destination while making the most of it.
If you are planning the ultimate trip to the Maldives, you can’t go wrong with booking the stunning gyset-chic Kanuhura. This magnificent five-star resort is an unparalleled destination for a truly spectacular holiday in paradise.