If the Maldives is on your bucket list this post is for you! I am breaking down everything and answering most of the questions I received via social. P.S. I have didn’t plan this trip with a travel agent. The Republic of Maldives had been on my bucket list since forever! One thing to know, The Maldives is a combination of different Islands, so unlike other places where you can free to explore around, here you are confined to the private Island where your hotel is located. There is also the option to switch hotels during your stay. I am sure you can venture around the airport city area but we didn’t.
Drone shot of us kayaking
Maldives Covid Restrictions
Before I dive in, Covid has changed travel, so I will start with that. Please note I am only sharing covid requirements for travelers flying from the US. We all needed to have a negative covid test result that was taken up to 72hours before arrival on the Island. We had to complete an extensive form (y’all it took us an hour for all 4 of us) which included everything from our passport info, photographs, where we were staying, duration, our vaccine cards(not required), and covid results. The good thing is once this form is completed which can be done 24hours before departure, you get a QR code which you share with the airline and immigration upon arrival and literally breeze through which was a plus. Our resort organized covid tests for our exit off the Island.
Maldives Travel Guide: See, Do, Cost, & Save
I’ll be honest and say this trip has been the most expensive trip we have taken, like more expensive than flying to Europe for almost a month and hopping between a few countries, lol. This was because we splurged on our accommodation, flight and also visited two additional countries. I am not trying to deter anyone but you will find out why from this post and my next (stay tuned.) Here is the thing to remember, you can visit the Maldives on a decent budget and do a lot!
There are no direct flights from anywhere in the US to the Maldives, so we took advantage of our time away to visit an additional country and UAE was the natural choice. Dubai is a 4-hour flight from the Maldives. Hubby had a gig in Paris, so we routed our flight from Paris (spent a few days there) to Dubai and then to the Maldives. Visiting multiple countries on a single vacay is a travel-saving tip especially if said countries are on your travel bucket list. We flew Delta from Atlanta to Paris and Emirates from Paris to Dubai and from Dubai to the Maldives. I use google flight to monitor travel fares, (it allows you to play around with dates) but I usually book my flight directly from the airline from their website. I will be sharing more on flights soon!
We were traveling as a family and saving everywhere possible (while splurging LOL) was a priority and I wanted a place that was kid-friendly but at the same time guaranteed fun for adults! That’s how ended up in Anantara Dhigu. Anantara is a 5-star luxury hotel chain with hotels all around the world from Seychelles to Oman. Kids 11 and under stay and eat for free. They have an amazing kids club and it was a 30 min boat ride from the airport. The boat ride was free for 2 people, we paid $200 roundtrip for our kids. We stayed in the Sunset Overwater Pool Suite. It came with a plunge pool, a butler, it was steps from the ocean, and had the best view on the Island.
Crop Top & Green Pants from Zara
One thing you need to know is when you arrive at MALE airport in the Maldives, you will have to take an additional ride (boat or plane) to your resort. We wanted a resort that was close to the airport and cost-effective. An additional plane ride can cost an additional $300 to $700 more.
It is costly to eat on the Island so consider this when deciding on your resort. We booked a 3 meal package along with our accommodation for me and hubby. Our kids ate for free. With the package, we had access to more than 5 restaurants on the Island. Here is where you can look into booking an all-inclusive resort, to save. Ours wasn’t but the food package made it seem like one.
Maldives Travel Guide, Things to Do/See
There is so much to do in the Maldives. My kids got to go kiting for the first time and they also rode bicycles and went swimming. Hubby and I went Parasailing and kayaking. The cost of the activities was pretty standard compared to my past experience. The beaches are just out of this world, with powder-soft sand and beautiful turquoise water. Truly the most beautiful I have ever seen.
Our resort provided us with a complimentary Dolphin Experience. It was amazing seeing Dolphins in their natural habitat and they also treated us to a private chef dinner experience right on the beach.
Maxi dress: Asos
For dinner (which we got to select ahead) we had a 4 course Maldivian BBQ meal (Ceviche, Lobster, Sea Bass, and more) paired with local wine and champagne. It was quite an experience and the perfect way to spend our last night in the Maldives. Thank you Anantara Dhigu!
P.S. Don’t forget to pack lots of sunblock! This wraps up my Maldives Travel Guide.