Useful Things To Know About The Maldives
Are you heading to paradise soon? We are so excited for you and want you to have the most unforgettable time!
That's why we've put together this detailed guide explaining the things you need to know before travelling to The Maldives - in order to have a relaxed, stress-free, incredible getaway that you truly deserve!
BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE MALDIVES
How many islands are there in The Maldives?
There are approximately 1,200 islands in The Maldives - we know right? There are endless white-sanded islands to explore. To make things easier, these islands are split into 26 atolls. Every atoll has different characteristics, if you want to know more read our guide to the Maldivian atolls.
Is there bad weather in The Maldives?
You may think it is all sunshine and blue skies in The Maldives, but there are actually two seasons that you should be aware of: dry season (from November to April) and wet season (May to October). For more details about the weather and seasons in The Maldives please read this blog post.
Are there mosquitos and other insects in The Maldives?
You do get a few mosquitos, but not many. We would recommend brining some insect repellant just in case! They often bite around sunset time. Concerning other insects, you will sometimes find the odd cockroach but they do not fly and are scurry away when they see you.
What language do Maldivians' speak, can they speak English?
Dhivehi (Maldivian) is the national language of The Maldives and it has its own alphabetic system. Most Maldivians speak fluent English, they are taught it at school and often need it to be able to secure a job in the hospitality industry. If you want to learn a few useful Dhivehi words, here are a few useful phrases:
Some useful Dhivehi words
Hello Assalaam Alaikum
How are you? Haalu Kihineh
I am going Aharen Dhanee
Thank you Shukuriyya
You’re welcome Maruhabaa
What time is it? Gadin kihaa ireh
When is the weekend in The Maldives?
The weekend in The Maldives is actually from Friday to Saturday. Friday is a holy day in the country and cafes, restaurants, shops may be closed on certain local islands. Certain ferries may also be not working on Fridays. During the week, shops are usually open from 9am to 6pm.
What can I wear in The Maldives?
In resorts, you can wear whatever you like! Most people bring smart, casual outfits for fancy dinners and during the day lounge in their swimwear and soak up the sun. On local islands, to avoid too many looks and to avoid offending Maldivians, make sure to cover up a bit. Wear long bottoms and a t-shirt, just don't walk through a local island wearing just a bikini, as this is against the law. However, it is fine to do this on designated bikini beaches on local islands. In fact, most local islands have bikini beaches nowadays and are much more tourist-friendly.
Is Wi-Fi available everywhere?
Your Wi-Fi needs will be fulfilled in resorts and hotels. However, if you are out and about, we recommend purchasing a cheap SIM card with Dhiraagu or Ooredoo, which can easily be done at the airport, at your resort or on your local island.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP TO THE MALDIVES
Do I need to get vaccinated?
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travelling to The Maldives. If you want to be safe, definitely speak to your doctor and get their advice. They will usually advise that some vaccinations should be up to date, including but not limited to: Typhoid, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Hepatitis A and B.
Do I need a VISA for The Maldives?
Yes, but it's super easy! You will receive a free 30 Day Tourist Visa upon arrival from Maldives Immigration. This Visa is provided to all nationalities but Maldives Immigration may ask you to show the below documents upon entry into Maldives, so be prepared! Make sure to:
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months
Fill out an arrival card given to you by your airline in the airplane
Have a confirmed reservation for every night of your trip
Proof of a departing flight
What items are prohibited in The Maldives?
Due to the fact that The Maldives is a Muslim country, don't bring the following items into the country:
Religious materials (non-muslim)
Explosives / weapons
Can I buy alcohol in The Maldives?
The short answer is in Resorts, yes, but on local islands, no. You can sit back, relax and enjoy a drink in resorts and boats, but on local islands, the consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited, as it goes against Islamic beliefs.
What currency can I bring?
Bring your dollars! The main currencies used in Maldives are US Dollars and the local Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR). Resorts, local islands, boats will accept dollars, the exchange rate is USD $1 = 15.42 MVR.
Should I invest in travel insurance?
We recommend being covered, it is a relief for everyone! Having travel insurance can cover the costs of the unexpected. We love and work closely with the affordable, international travel insurance company World Nomads.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP TO THE MALDIVES
What to bring and pack to The Maldives?
Pack summer clothes, sunscreen and definitely your camera to snap memories that will last forever! We recommend bringing:
Lightweight, comfortable clothes (modest outfits if you're going to local islands or Malé)
Flip flops or sandals
Electrical chargers and an adaptor (The Maldives has UK type sockets)
Camera and an underwater camera if possible!
Sunscreen and aftersun
Medicine if you're prone to upset stomachs or headaches
Diving certification and log book if you wish to dive
ARRIVING IN THE MALDIVES
What is the Malé Airport like?
Velana International Airport (Malé) is the airport you will be flying in and out of when you come to The Maldives. There is free Wi-Fi at the airport, you can connect free of charge for an unlimited amount of time. The airport is located on Hulhule Island - Hulhumale and Malé are accessible by taxi and bus. The resort or hotel staff of where you are staying will greet you with their property signboard when you land.
Do I need to plan all of my accommodation?
This is one of the requirements for the 30-day Visa, at Maldives Secrets, we provide you with a detailed travel itinerary for Immigration, containing all of your travel details. View our budget Maldives trips here.
How do the transfers work?
Upon your arrival, all your transfers (seaplane, domestic flight, speedboat or ferry) will already be pre-booked through either your tour operator or hotel. Transfers in The Maldives are always dependent on the weather conditions and can be subject to change.
Due to the logistics of the Maldives transfers, they are often combined with other passengers from different international flights, resulting in some inevitable waiting time.
Seaplanes: only operate in daylight, so the last flight will be around 4pm. Seaplanes will take you straight to your resort, they land on water, they are not air-conditioned but they are very scenic.
Domestic flights: can fly in the dark and generally operate at night. Domestic transfers are a little more complicated. When you land at Velana International Airport, you must walk to the domestic terminal to catch your second flight, and when you land in the domestic airport, you will probably need take a speedboat to the resort.
Speedboats and ferries: operate all day based on the international flight arrivals. If you are island hopping, note that you will probably have to come back to Malé every time you change island.
Upon arriving at your island, a representative from the hotel, resort or guesthouse will meet you and bring you to your accommodation.
Do we have to pay tourist tax in The Maldives?
All our Maldives Secrets trips are inclusive of taxes, such as the 10% service charge, the 12% Government Tax and the Green Tax. If you eat out, or do an extra activity, these taxes will apply.
We hope this helps and please let us know if you have any other questions!
Here's a little bit more about us, Maldives Secrets, and what we do:
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View all of our Budget Maldives Trips here.