MALDIVES: ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS
The Maldives- what can I say- It’s been on my bucket list for a very long time. I believe sometime last year, I promised myself that I would have to make the trip happen in 2019. As luck or fate would have it- the opportunity to visit presented itself in the form of a press /influencer trip organized by Zapwater (they also organized this Finland trip) with Visit Maldives (tourism board).
Even though I had few details going in, I knew there was no way a trip like this could disappoint, and I was right- this is definitely my highlight trip of 2019 and I highly doubt that any of the trips I have left for this year will dethrone it. There’s so much to share I barely know how or where to begin_ I actually went back and forth about how I wanted to present this recap as I wanted it to be helpful and not just packed with superlatives. It is very easy in the Maldives to just end up with a superlative filled review. Seriously how many ways can I say the water was remarkably clear sparkling even, and that the different islands are beautiful and so on and on?
I think it would be easier to list the top 5 things to know about a trip to the Maldives. Most of this is based on questions I received on Instagram as I posted videos, pictures, and trip Highlights.
IS IT REALLY THAT BEAUTIFUL? I’m kidding, no one asked this. I think it is pretty obvious. But I do want to offer a little advice- The Maldives is not a single island- there are over 1200 unique islands with different resorts located at different points in the Indian Ocean. While they all share the same see-through turquoise waters- each island has its own unique personality. Male the capital, for example, is a growing cosmopolitan city, with high rises and everything you’d expect from an urban city. Many of the resort islands will be on the other end of the spectrum, but there are also islands that fall somewhere in between.
CAN I AFFORD IT? Yes, you can. I think the biggest misconception about the Maldives is that it’s not accessible and only intended for the ultra-wealthy. There was a time that island hopping was a privilege but now with many new options comes accessibility. You can island hop in a variety of ways, from seaplanes, domestic flights to speedboats (all with solid safety records). A little homework will reveal your best options as comes to time and cost. As concerns where you stay, there are amazing options at every price point. iN fact, over the course of our trip, we visited 3 very different properties- they offered different facilities, services, amenities, activities at different price points. I would like to emphasize that different doesn’t mean inferior. A quick search for rates during the same weekdays in November showed
Reethi Faru – from $150/night
Diamonds Athuruga: From $600/night
Lux* South Ari Atoll: From $320/night
So don’t let your budget be a deterrent, with a little research, I’m certain you can find a worthy hotel that suits your wallet.
CAN I DRONE THERE? Droning anywhere is increasingly more difficult and I know that we had certain liberties as we were on a press trip. However, I do know that the first thing you must absolutely do is register your drone if you have one. If you don’t have one, but would love drone footage, before booking your hotel, you should contact your prospective choice and find out if the hotel offers this service. Some hotels offer drone filming as a service for a fee. They know that most people want those images, want the video and so they are now helping facilitate the experience.
If you do indeed bring your own drone, I would similarly suggest having a conversation with the property not only about if you can drone but whether there are any areas where they would let you drone. Note- the biggest concern with a drone is the privacy of other guests who don’t want to unknowingly have a guest-starring role in your drone Instagram video.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK: Skip the heels, skip anything stuffy. It’s hot and humid year-round – think of the most lightweight, most breathable fabrics, most relaxed garments you could have. Don’t even overthink it- swimsuits (more than you think you need), sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, coverups, shorts, sandals, and flip flops. I spent half the time barefoot. I thought I’d get dressed up for fancy dinners- never really did but it won’t hurt to have a couple of lightweight maxi dresses (keep your legs covered from night mosquitos) for the ladies and linen pants for the gents.
WILL I BE BORED: NO. need I say more. Let’s think of it this way. If the following isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe, just maybe you’ll be bored
- Glorious sunrises and sunsets
- A plethora of water activities: snorkeling, swimming with manta rays, kayaking, jet skis, night diving, whale shark spotting, sunset cruises
- Seafood galore, Maldivian cuisine, cooking classes
- Spa time, some of the best I’ve had
- Beachtime relaxing
- Meeting and talking to other tourists and the locals too
- Taking more photos than you’ll ever need- each turn is a postcard or an Instagram post