Maldives: what to know before you go

by suitcasestoriesbe
Maldives - everything you need to know before you go

Are you planning a trip to the Maldives? From the best time to visit, where to stay, how to get around, visa requirements, how much budget we spent to useful tips… Here’s everything you need to know before you go to the Maldives!

Read also: the Maldives on a budget: the ultimate travel itinerary + tips

Visa requirements

You don’t need to apply for a visa to enter the Maldives. A 30-day free visa is issued on arrival for all nationalities.

Please note: visa requirements keep changing for every country. Please make sure you check all visa and passport requirements in your own country before booking your tickets. 

Best time to travel to the Maldives

The Maldives has a sunny and warm climate with the same temperatures all year round. It’s always around 26 and 34°C and the sea around 28°C, which are ideal conditions for snorkeling and diving. But as with other tropical destinations, it has also two seasons: the dry and rainy season. Both seasons have their pros and cons to travel to this paradise.

High season: December-February
December to April is the dry season, where you can expect the best weather with almost no rain, a lot of sunshine, low humidity, and some soft sea breezes. It’s the ideal time for snorkeling, diving and relaxing at the beach. Unfortunately, this is also the busiest time of year, which means more tourists and higher prices.

Shoulder season: March & April
March and April are in our opinion the best months to travel to the Maldives. It’s still dry season, with great sunny weather, but prices go slightly down and you have more chances to find good deals.

Low season: May-November
May to November is the rainy season, where you can expect some rains and storms and sometimes very strong winds as well. On the other hand, it’s a very popular period for everyone who likes to surf. Waves are bigger and better conditions for surfing during these months.

Useful apps to download

    • Booking.com the best and our most favorite app to find accommodations worldwide
    • Maps.me is the best offline mapping app on the planet. Download the map of the Maldives, save the islands you want to visit and get instant access to all the best restaurants and beaches nearby without using the internet.
    • Atolltransfer.com is not an app, but a super useful website to check all routes and schedules for the public ferries, speed boats and seaplanes to get you around in the Maldives.
    • Followme.mv is a tracking service app, which tracks and follows all the public and speedboats live. (with updates every 10 seconds) Super handy to save valuable time and relax a little longer at the beach or in your hotel.
    • Currency XE calculates currencies on-the-go. With the app, you can access live exchange rates and calculate prices on your smartphone super easily.
    • Also not really an app, but the ebooks of Lonely Planet need to be highlighted too. The ebooks are an easy, quick and cheap way to carry almost every Lonely Planet guidebook in your pocket. From destination tips, beautiful images to the best things to do, you’ll find everything to get the most out of your trip
    • Hotels.com is the app we use often besides booking.com. If you book 10 nights on Hotels.com you can have a night for free, which is awesome

Read also: The 11 best and free travel apps every traveler needs

Getting there + cheapest flights

There are 10 airports in the Maldives, 4 international and 6 domestic, which makes it very easy to get around the Maldives. Anyhow, almost every tourist arrives at Male International airport (airport code MLE), which is an island on its own. Two other popular airports are Hanimaadhoo International Airport (airport code HAQ), which has weekly flights arriving from India and Gan International Airport (airport code GAN) which has two flights a week from Colombo in Sri Lanka.

When we search for flights, we personally love to check first the best flight deals of Qatar Airways as they have an outstanding service and the best onboard entertainment. To search for cheap flights, there are a lot of great websites to use. Our all-time favorite is Skyscanner, where you can easily search and compare tickets from all different airlines and when you want to book it redirects you to the partners’ websites. Easy-peasy!

Best places to stay

Are you looking for the best places to stay in the Maldives? Here you find some of the best hotels & guesthouses or most beautiful luxury resorts in the Maldives we personally like the most. They are all cozy, beautiful, with a good location and excellent rated.

Most beautiful luxury resorts Maldives

Staying connected

Staying connected in the Maldives is quite easy, but expensive. You simply buy a sim card, choose a data plan and you’re ready to go! Ooredoo is the sim card we used and also the best one for tourists in the Maldives. You can buy the sim card at the airport in the arrival hall or a local shop on the streets. (we bought ours in Rasdhoo) The prices are around $15 for 3GB.

Electricity in the Maldives

The standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. In the Maldives, the power plugs and sockets are of type D and G. For our trip in the Maldives we used the Skross Pro World Adaptor

electricity in the Maldives

Getting around

Getting around and traveling from one island can be done in different ways at different prices, from cheap to extremely expensive. Also, most luxury resorts are located on their private island where you are required to book private transfers arranged by the resort itself at additional costs. (be aware of this when booking a resort, depending on how far they are located, prices are often already around $300 per person) Below we have listed the different options to get to the local islands.

    • You can travel by seaplane: which is the most expensive, but most unique and classy option. Flying over the different small atolls, unforgettable! If you like to check prices and book your tickets you can order it very easily via atolltransfer.com or contact your guesthouse/resort directly.
    • You can travel by speedboat: which is fast, reasonably priced (between $30-50 per person one way), operates daily at different times and are super comfortable with WIFI on board.
    • Or you can travel by public ferry: which are way much cheaper (between $1-3), which operates several times a week (check the routes and schedule here), are also comfortable but can take up several hours to reach your final destination. But if you plan your trip well, you can save a lot of money by using the public ferry.

Read also: the Maldives on a budget: the ultimate travel itinerary + tips

Costs & budget

Is traveling in the Maldives expensive? A question a lot of people ask. Yes, it can be expensive, but it all depends on what type of accommodation you book, whether you are going to relax in a fancy resort on a private island or visit the local islands and stay in guesthouses. We stayed for one month and we’re able to travel the Maldives on a budget. To give you an idea of the average daily budget you need to travel around, we listed down our expenses & budget here. We also add some extra money-saving tips which can help you a lot to travel cheaply to this beautiful paradise.

Maldives budget

Island-hopping

Island-hopping is a great way to explore different islands in one trip and super easy with their well-arranged local transport options. The best way is to book your flight to Male International Airport and continue your trip by using public ferries, faster speedboats, or a seaplane. In 1 week, you can easily combine 2 islands without losing too much time with transportation. We wrote an article about the ultimate travel itinerary which can be used for 2-3 weeks. But even if you have fewer days, you can use this as a travel guide to plan your island-hopping trip.

Island hopping local islands

Honeymoon

The Maldives is a perfect place to celebrate your honeymoon and a true dream coming true! (Nope, not cliché) There are so many beautiful resorts to choose from and with all the incredible things you can do there, you can create an unforgettable trip. If you’re thinking about going to the Maldives for your honeymoon, check out our favorite luxury resorts here. Extra tip: don’t forget to inform your resort about your honeymoon, chances are very high that you will receive a free upgrade, a wonderful massage, or a nice gift in your room.

Luxury resorts

Vaccinations

Vaccinations that are mandatory:

  • Yellow fever (only if you have been to a yellow fever country in the seven days before you enter the Maldives or if you have been in transit for more than 12 hours in an airport in a country with yellow fever)

Vaccinations that are recommended:

  • DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and polio) and hepatitis A (regardless of the length of your trip)
  • Typhoid fever (for a stay of longer than two weeks)

Note: As with all destinations, it is essential that you see a doctor or pharmacist at least 6 – 8 weeks before you travel. Your itinerary, your medical history, and the activities you have planned all effect which vaccinations you need.

Now you’ve read what to know before you go to the Maldives, you might be ready to go. Following websites can help you plan the perfect trip:

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Maldives what to know before you go

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