6 Tips for Planning a Vacation to the Maldives

It might be one of the most pinned honeymoon destination of all time. A vacation of a lifetime, a trip to the Maldives where the water is clear and filled with snorkel enthusiast dream of colorful coral reefs. The Maldives consists of thousands of island and home to 1100 species of fish, 5 species of sea turtles, 21 species of whales and dolphins. A newlywed’s dream vacation. We went for our honeymoon and it was amazing. Planning for this trip was a lot of work. We (aka me) spent so much time researching, it was overwhelming. We didn’t know where to stay with so many options. Luckily, we found the perfect island for us. To help, here are some trips to ease your planning.

#1 Buy travel insurance. It might be a skip away to get to the Maldives depending on your departure location. This definitely was not the case for us. We flew LA > Tokyo > Singapore > Colombo > Male > Mirihi Island. And the unthinkable happened to us; we had a cancellation 2 weeks prior to leaving from Sri Lanka to Male. We spent countless hours (and money) trying to deal with Orbitz and the airline to get a replacement flight. If this sounds like your itinerary, get travel insurance. Here is a great resource for more information.

#2 Take advantage of a layover. If you are coming all the way from the US, chances are there will be a layover in Asia or Dubai. Search for multi-city flights on stopover cities and compare. Our extended layover in Tokyo only costs us $100 more/person. It’s a great opportunity to squeeze in another destination.

#3 Create a wishlist. What is the most important reason you are going to the Maldives? Diving? Snorkeling? Over the water bungalows? All of the above? We wanted it all but non-negotiable is over the water bungalow with excellent house reefs. Sign up with Tripadvisor and narrow down your favorite resorts. TA has a ton of reviews and a great website for hotel reviews.

Our Wishlist:

  • Over the water bungalows
  • Luxury but affordable
  • Great food
  • Small, quiet, intimate island
  • Excellent house reefs

Our Decision: Mirihi Island Resort in the Southern Ari Atoll. It had everything on our wishlist and more. We felt like royalties but paid a fraction of the price. Highly recommend it for those with the same wishlist as ours.

#4 Prepare to spend money. You can find some budget resort but the Maldives is known for luxury and all of the great things that come with it. An over the water bungalow on average will go for $600 – $1k+/night. We ended up paying on the lower end because we were there during off season (late May). It rained during our trip but the tropical shower doesn’t last all day/night. Food at the resort can add up because they have to import almost everything, even water sometimes! Opt for a half-board so you don’t have to worry about your bill. We did this and did not eat lunch except for 1 day.

#5 Stay awhile.We split our time between Sri Lanka and the Maldives so we only had 5 days on the island. This was our biggest regret considering how much time and money it costs us to get here. Spend at least 1 week, if not more. Do nothing, eat lots and enjoy every. single. moment.

#6 Go snorkeling. The Maldives has some of the world’s best coral reefs. You don’t need to go far to see the beauty of the Indian Ocean. Choose an island with great house reefs. At Mirihi, we were steps away from snorkeling. You can even see baby coral reef sharks washing ashore looking for food. They were adorable (and harmless).

Our trip to the Maldives will be one to remember. It was one of the beautiful place we’ve ever been and hope to go back one day.

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