We recently spent 8 glorious nights in my dream destination…The Maldives, at a resort called You & Me by Cocoon.
Having dreamed of going to this slice of paradise for as long as I can remember, you can imagine how much I had built up this destination in my mind. Add in the drool-worthy Instagram pictures of the place, and my expectations were set seriously high!
But let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
It is everything you imagine it to be and more. And I don’t think there is much in life that we can say that about!
So given that we have now visited this other worldly place, I thought I would share 5 important things to note if you plan on travelling there (and you absolutely should do everything you can to travel there at some stage in your life)
- No BYO booze
- Choose your time of travel carefully
- Pack light… no really!
- Everything is expensive
- Leaving will be one of the hardest things you ever do
No BYO booze
Whenever we travel we always like to take a few special bottles of wine from home to enjoy while we are away. I had specifically wanted to take a bottle of bubbly to pop open one evening at our overwater villa to celebrate our anniversary.
Thank goodness, the night before we were leaving, Nick read through the fine print and saw that it is illegal to enter Maldives with any alcohol because it is a Muslim country. So this means no BYO and also no duty free bought booze either. They will literally confiscate it at the airport which would be just heart breaking if you had brought something special. So leave it all at home and avoid the duty free drinks section when travelling.
Choose your time of travel carefully
The best time of year to visit the Maldives is from November to April (December to March is considered the peak tourist season.) Between the months of May and November however, Maldives receives its highest rainfall and bigger swell, making it a little less dreamy. During the rainy season the prices are often significantly reduced but that comes with the risk of not seeing one blue sky for the entire trip and having rain 24/7. So it is very important to choose your travel months carefully, bearing the rainy season in mind.
Pack light… no really!
It is important to disclose that packing light is not a strong suit of mine. I overpack for every possible occasion or holiday because I am terrified of not having the correct item of clothing. But when we were packing for this trip I was trying really really hard to be ruthless in my packing. I thought I had done really well but alas I still came home with a number of items that I never wore. So I thought it was crucial to share with you how little clothing you really need for a Maldivian Island holiday.
In the day you will literally be in a cozzie the whole day and will just need something light like a sarong or beach dress to throw over your cozzie for meals. It is so hot so something cool and flowing is better than tight clothing. Then you will need outfits for dinners. I recommend light little dresses or skirts that are comfortable in the heat. It is worth noting that some resorts, like ours, have themed nights so maybe check that before travelling, if you are into dressing to a theme. We had an all white night while we were there and thankfully we had come prepared. Shoes are another thing you basically do not need. I wore slip slops or went barefoot all day every day and the wedges and spare sandals I packed where honestly just a waste of space. Trust me, it is easier to be in slipslops given how much time you will spend taking them on and off when walking on the white beaches to and from your room or restaurants.
Another reason to pack light is that the seaplane transfers from Malé to the islands have very strict weight restrictions and they charge heavy fees for overweight luggage. They will literally take your cumulative luggage weight (checked in luggage, hand luggage and hand bags) and charge you for every kilo that is over the weight limit of 25kgs per person. How do I know this? Well because we were about 12 kilos over the weight limit despite my absolute best packing efforts and we paid the price…literally!
Everything is expensive
The Maldives is obviously an expensive destination to visit. It’s expensive to get there and it’s expensive to stay there. But the thing that shocked me the most was the price of the drinks once you are there. To give you an idea (based on our resort), a glass of entry level wine is $10 (about R170) and if you want the whole bottle they start at $55. So you are paying over R900 for a wine that is probably worth about R180. So drinking is very expensive if you aren’t on an all inclusive package. The other thing that is very pricey is the water sports and SCUBA diving so if you do plan on doing any, make sure you have budgeted for them ahead of time. We did a few SCUBA dives because it’s a total bucket list item to dive in the Maldives but it was seriously pricey and when we paid that final bill at the end of our stay it did hurt quite a bit.
At the same time though I just kept thinking YOLO! We have no idea if we will ever get to go back and it was a very special celebratory trip for us (celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary, our 10 years together and the fact that I beat breast cancer – so it was only fitting that we go big!)
Leaving will be one of the hardest things you ever do
When you have been looking forward to something for so many years and when it has been the bright shining light at the end of a dark tunnel, it is so hard to accept when it is over and time to return to reality. And of course as the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun! I could easily have stayed another week here (if we could have afforded it) because I have never been more relaxed or happier in my whole life. So it was so hard when it came time to pack up and make the long journey home to Cape Town. I had to keep reminding myself though that I was one of the very lucky few who get to experience the wonder of this beautiful place and that God willing one day we would hopefully come back.
It is total paradise and about the closest thing I can imagine to what Heaven must be like. Just pure bliss! So just know, that if you go to this slice of Heaven, it will be heartbreaking when it comes time to leave. But that is also a privilege because if it’s hard to leave somewhere, it means you’ve had the blessing of an unforgettable trip.
I certainly won’t be forgetting this trip for as long as I live.
If you have any other questions about traveling to the Maldives, please feel free to drop me a comment or send me a message.