The Maldives has always been a favourite holiday destination for celebrities. And Kalidas Jayaram has been making it clear how much he loved the time he spent in the Maldives by posting throwback pictures of his Maldives stay. He recently posted a picture with the caption- “No, I am still not in the Maldives.” But it was Dulquer Salman’s comment that had everyone’s attention- “Have you shifted base to Maldives?”
Kalidas travelled to Maldives earlier this April. Coincidentally that was the time Maldives had banned travellers from India. But he assured his worried fans and fellow actors that he was indeed safe and will soon be back in India.
Maldives welcoming its visitors
The good news is that Maldives is all set to welcome visitors from India. From July 15th Indians can fly to Maldives. They obviously need to follow quarantine rules once they enter the country. But if they are showing no symptoms of Covid they don’t need to test or be in quarantine. All the travellers need to carry negative Covid results.
Maldives' economy is heavily dependent on its tourism sector. The country was looking forward to opening the tourism industry to stabilise its economy. The pandemic has put the country in a dire financial crisis, as is the case with other countries which are dependent on tourism for its economic growth.
First time visitor to Maldives? We are here to help.
• Ok, Maldives is expensive. More than you think. Once you accept that your holiday will be breezy. Opting for half-or full board might be a good idea depending on your choice of hotel. When you are out on the beaches or enjoying water sports in Maldives, going for the all-inclusive deals can be quite expensive. All-inclusive buffet breakfast and lunch can be a great choice while half-boards will include breakfast, lunch, and drinks with access to A-la-carte restaurants according to many Maldives travel tips. Before choosing a deal, make sure there are coffee, drinks, and special delights included, any activities or excursions offered, and whether there is a kid-friendly menu available if you are travelling with kids. Checking these things in advance is only going to make your Maldives trip fun and easier.
It is likely that you will be hanging around the small island where your hotel is located. Did you know that only one hotel is allowed per island in the Maldives? So an important tip- pick your hotel wisely if you want a successful holiday.
• In Maldives, you can either enjoy the sun, explore the fabulous marine life, or indulge in spa treatments at your hotel. Don’t expect places of historical or cultural importance. This is where you visit simply to enjoy nature. Or perhaps get a detox holiday.
• If by some dumb luck the hotel didn’t come up to your expectations, don’t worry, you can still enjoy the amazing sea, impeccable beaches and unforgettable sunsets.
• As long as you don’t visit the locally inhabited islands (most tourists don’t), you can happily live in the bubble of your own island hotel like in any other tropical destination. Having said that it is forbidden to bring alcohol into the country. They will confiscate your bottles at the airport (you’ll get them back when departing). But rest assured that alcohol will be available at your hotel. If you are a heavy drinker, be prepared to pay dearly.
• The Maldives is a year-round destination. The temperatures are constant throughout the year, and it rarely rains for days, even in the rainy season. However, the prices jump up a lot during the high season. Accordingly, the Maldives is best avoided during the most popular times (Christmas, New Year, and school holidays).
How to plan your first visit?
Keep it short
Keep your first visit short. It can either work as a stand-alone holiday, or, if you are flying from far away, combined with Sri Lanka for an excellent dual-base holiday in the Indian Ocean. A week-long visit will keep the costs down and even help you go for a fancier hotel.
Go independently or use an agency
Organising trips independently are more hassle-free. But at times going through an agency or a travel agent can be a good deal, particularly when combined with flights.
With so many lovely islands to choose from, you might be tempted to go island-hopping in the Maldives. Don’t even try. Not only is it quite difficult, but also awfully expensive, to hop between the different islands in the country, though the distances aren’t always great. Since there is no regular transportation, you might need to reply hotel transport which can be expensive.
Choosing your hotel
The Maldives is full of gorgeous, luxurious hotels with amazing rooms, facilities and every possible amenity you could think of. Depending on the average cost of Maldives vacation, you can either go for the less expensive hotels on the local islands or make the best out of the luxury and privacy at the five-star resorts on private islands. Choosing those which offer excursions, airport transfers, and ferry service is a good idea according to tips for the Maldives given by previous travellers. Check out the restaurants, bar, pool, kid-friendliness, reef condition around the island and of course, the view around. For those travelling with kids, choosing overwater villas can be a bad choice as they can be unsafe for them to play or climb on jetties. But living amid the reef fishes, rays and corals can be tantalizing.
The Maldives comprises more than 1200 small islands. A vast majority of these are uninhabited but approximately 100 have been developed as resorts. You can choose an island that is within a short speedboat transfer from the capital or go for a hotel in one of the Maldives’ further lying atolls. If you choose the latter, you will need a sea plane ride to reach your destination. These flights only operate during daylight hours. Also if you are organizing your trip independently, ask the hotel in advance what is the latest possible arrival time to transfer for that day. Otherwise, you will be stuck in the capital, Male, for a night. Not that there is anything wrong with Male as such, it is just not the tropical paradise island you are paying a top dollar for.
Most people who come to the Maldives expect snorkelling and/or scuba diving, yet the hotels offer vastly different experiences in this regard. Some have excellent house reefs that allow you to start snorkelling practically from your own terrace, while others require you to take separate trips for any snorkelling (usually at a hefty cost). The beaches can also vary, although you are most likely to get a fabulous beach experience no matter where you choose to stay.
Since you will be on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there will be no access to any fancy supermarket stores. Therefore you are entirely dependent on your hotel food and from what we hear most of the hotels cater to all kinds of diets on advance notice.
Spend at least one night in a water bungalow
Your Maldives trip plan is incomplete without the experience of the crystal-clear turquoise ocean right under your feet, especially if you’re on your honeymoon. Though the beach villas are awesome, staying in a water bungalow is quite another experience altogether. Image waking up to gorgeous sunrises and sliding right into the ocean from your room?