15 Things To Consider Before Traveling To The Maldives
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

15 Things To Consider Before Traveling To The Maldives

DeAnna Taylor
DeAnna Taylor Oct 26, 2021

The Maldives has always been touted as a bucket list/ dream destination. And while that can be true if you decide to take the super over-the-top luxury approach to traveling there, it can also be an affordable place to visit if you want it to be.

We often see the photos of the overwater bungalows or even underwater restaurants, but what else do you know about the country? There’s so much more to The Maldives than some social media pages present, and we want to equip you with some tips and facts before you begin your planning to the breathtaking destination.

So, if The Maldives is on your list, or you have plans for a do-over, here are some things to consider before you head out.

1. Most resorts are on private islands

All the photos you see of the overwater villas and bungalows are actually private islands that the hotel brands develop on their own. These islands were solely built up to host travelers and guests, and most times locals/natives do not live on the islands.

2. It's a Muslim country so there are rules

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The primary religion in the country is Islam. Because of this, there are certain rules that apply on the non-private islands. One of the main ones being that alcohol is not sold or consumed in areas where locals live.

Also, on the local islands, there are designated areas for showing skin aka ‘Bikini beach’. Otherwise, you’ll be expected to cover up/ dress modest.

3. Tourism on local islands is fairly still new

Less than a decade ago, the government ruled that local islands could begin development for tourism. What this means for travelers is many of the hotels are new and modern. Also, properties are being added every year.

One of the more popular local islands for tourists to stay on is Maafushi.

4. US flights have been kinda cheap lately

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In the past, depending on where you fly from, flights to the Maldives have been over $1,000. This has kept many US travelers from getting to the country.

But over the last year, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, flight prices from major cities like NYC and even DC have been hovering in the $600-$700 range on Emirates, which is one of the world’s best airlines.

5. You can buy day passes to see overwater bungalows

Staying on a local island has its perks. Instead of shelling out the $400+ a night on the rooms, you can buy a day pass from your local island hotel for as low as $90 to visit the private islands.

This means, you’ll spend the whole day taking all the photos you want, as well as eating and drinking on the private island. Yes, that’s all included as part of the ‘excursion.’

6. About the underwater restaurants...

Who doesn’t want to experience a world-class dinner surrounded by marine life in their natural habitat? But, all great things do have some downsides, but these aren’t dealbreakers.

At Ithaa Underwater Restaurant, one of the more popular ones, you will have to dine barefoot. So, if you don’t like the sight of feet, you may want to pass.

Also, the dinners typically start at $200+ per person. But, it’s expected to be pricey.

7. The weather is unpredictable


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It’s unlikely you’ll ever encounter snow in the Maldives, but rain showers are very possible. And like most tropical places, the rain can be very unpredictable. Just plan accordingly.

8. Transportation between islands...


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It’s a country full of islands, so naturally there’s water everywhere. This means that in order to get from island to island, you’ll either need to take a boat or a seaplane.

Private island resorts will arrange their own transportation, and it can be expensive. However, the local ferry will take you to the local islands for around $25 each way. It’s also what locals use.

9. The main island in Male


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When booking flights, be sure to type in Male as the city. This is where the country’s airport is located. There isn’t much more on the main island though.

10. There are technically over 1,200 islands in the country


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Yes, you read that right. However, only about 200 of them have been developed to receive people.

11. Once you're on a private island, you're kinda stuck

Being on a private island is super dope. But, keep in mind that once on your island, there won’t be much opportunity to island hop beyond where you are. Many islands are spaced out, and the only time you may leave is for snorkeling and other water excursions. Which even those can be hosted directly on most of the hotel islands.

12. Excursions are cheap on local islands

The average price for an excursion in Maafushi is $25. That can even include a lunch for some sandbank visits.

13. It's not just a honeymoon destination


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Don’t let the photos fool you. The Maldives is a place for all types of travelers from solo to girls trips— you don’t have to just wait to go with your significant other.

14. They accept U.S. dollars

Photo by Stephen Welstead

You won’t have to worry about exchanging currency. Most of the country excepts US dollars and other major currencies like the pound or Euros in shops and restaurants.

15. The native people are BEAUTIFUL

Once you get there, you’ll see what we mean!

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