timeMaldives is a place worthy of daydreaming on every traveler’s wish list, If you’re part of the Clyde family, and Bonnie is the shrewd one, chances are she’s already starting to hint at this escape. She unabashedly shows you Instagram photos and viral videos of turquoise waters, decadent villas and pearly beaches.
If you’re a little confused on how to plan the most epic bath ever, CASSIUS can help. This quick and dirty guide will give you all the basics you need to earn points with your babe’s crew, perform stunts on your friends, and earn your spot on Soul Society’s #relationshipgoals.
1 where to fly
Male (pronounced Mar-lay) is the capital of the Maldives and the main holiday destination. The main airport, Velana International Airport (MLE), is located here. While there are no direct flights to the Maldives from the US, most, if not all major airlines have flights to the destination. At least one stop is expected in countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka. If you have the time and money, you can make the most of your trip by extending your stopover by a few nights—it’s like getting two trips for the price of one night.
2 weather forecast
The best time to visit the Maldives is December to February – unfortunately for your wallet, that’s also high season, which means hotel prices can be higher than Pookie Under the Bridge. The low season (the period between peak and off-peak tourism) is usually March and April, when temperatures are at their highest. Low season (May to November) is the rainy season in the Maldives. Looking for a deal? Late November, the end of the rainy season, is the best time to enjoy the good weather and accommodation prices are still quite cheap.
3 Passports and Paperwork
If you are traveling on a US passport, you do not need a visa for stays of 30 days or less. All other travelers should check passport requirements before departure.
The local currency is the Rufiyaa (MVR), and while credit cards are accepted in many shops, it doesn’t hurt to have some local dollars on hand. The current exchange rate on XE.com is 1 US dollar equals 15.4552 rafiyas.
5 say that
The national language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, which is basically a mashup of languages borrowed from Arabic, Persian, French and even English. Three useful Maldivian phrases: Hello (Asara Alekum), what island is that (E-ee kon rasheh?) and Where are the restrooms? (Faaanaa kobaitha?)
6 pour it up
The Maldives is a Muslim country and follows a strict no-alcohol policy. It is illegal to bring alcohol into the country, even in checked luggage, and there are no duty-free shops at the airport. Your only options are to join a booze cruise that floats along the coast near Maafushi, or pay for expensive drinks at resorts.
The Maldives consists of a natural atoll of 26 twin-island chains, with some 1,190 islands and sandbars on top of vast underwater mountains. Its unique location makes it home to some of the most diverse marine life in the world, making it ideal for snorkeling and diving. The view is beautiful no matter where you are. Basically, the whole country is a hotspot. Keep your camera ready.
Unless you live in Male, visiting the Maldives will cost some coins. Since each resort is on its own island, the only way to get there from Male is by speedboat or seaplane, which start at around $300 per person. No offers were found for this area. Trans Maldives Airlines is basically an aviation mafia, providing seaplane services to all resorts. Resorts tend to own speed boats, so this is also non-negotiable. Basically, if you want to experience that kind of resort living, be prepared to pay. bright side? You don’t have to worry about arranging everything as the hotel will usually take care of this for you.
where to live
Contrary to popular belief, the Maldives is not only for the hoodie enthusiast, it’s also reasonably priced. But let’s face it, your girl isn’t looking for affordable spots on Pinterest. To look like her personal Luke Cage and get her the IG photo of her dreams is going to cost you a fortune. Make smart choices.
If you want to save some money, Airbnb is your lifesaver. You can find guest houses, inns and villas for as little as $35 a night. It won’t come with all the fancy bells and whistles, but the spectacular views will still wow you without breaking the bank.
If you’re on a budget, opt to stay on a local island like Maafushi and book a room at Kaani Village & Spa for as little as $67 a night. Then ask the concierge to book an all-inclusive day trip to resorts like Centara Ras Fushi. For $100 per person, you can spend the day drinking unlimited cocktails, snorkeling and tanning.
Staying at the big resorts is how gamers play, all day, every day, and to BIG, if you’re taking your lady on her dream vacation, you’re either going to try or go home – at least one night, it’s the right thing to do. Top resorts like Soneva Jani (their rooms have waterslides), Niyama (eating and partying underwater), and St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort (anyone offer butler service?) cost close to $1,000+ per night. Using a credit card or hotel loyalty points to book a room and lower out-of-pocket costs can ease your chest pain.
Since most hotels and resorts are self-contained, your activities are pretty much limited to the on-site facilities. The good news is that both offer bucket-list activities like spa treatments, cooking classes, snorkeling, diving, sunset cruises and swimming with whale sharks and stingrays. After all of this, you can find a spot on the beach for a quick dip and enjoy the view.
The only thing Danielle loves more than traveling is making things pop. She does both all over the world. Follow her @hotelwhisperer.