What to Know Before Visiting the Maldives

May 24, 2021

Fluorescent plankton in the Maldives


Asia, destinations, Guest Author, Maldives, Travel Guides

In this post I’m covering what to know before visiting the Maldives. If you’re looking for guides on what to do, where to stay or what to pack for the Maldives, you can check out all the free resources I’ve put together for you here. In the meantime, let’s chat about this incredible island destination: the Maldives!

I love the Maldives. But I mean… how can you not? This incredible and picture perfect destination is bound to be on a lot of your bucket lists. So here it is: what you should know before visiting the Maldives. This post will help you plan, pack and prepare for the perfect trip to the Maldives. 

Let’s get started.


couple swimming in maldives lagoon

1. There are Almost 1,200 Islands!

When you think about the Maldives you usually picture sandbars and gorgeous over the water bungalows. But did you know that there are almost 1,200 islands that you can explore?! All with different atmospheres, scenery and styles! You really can see a lot in this country without ever getting bored, or running out of things to do.

2. Some of the Islands Are Uninhabited

Some of the islands don’t have anyone living on them! In fact, only about 200 have people living on them! That means there are a lot of islands you can visit that don’t have anyone living on them. Make sure that you’re taking advantage of that! Visit some of the islands that don’t have anyone living there, it’s an amazing way to reconnect with nature. 

3. Resorts Have Their Own Private Islands

There is nowhere else in the world where so many of the resorts have their own private islands. Normally, I wouldn’t be a fan of this, but in the Maldives this means that the islands are actually really well maintained. They’re maintained by the resorts who usually have entire teams just to maintain the island. However, this does mean that you should do a lot of research before picking an island! Because that would make a big difference to how your trip goes. 

Wondering where to stay in the Maldives? I’ve got a helpful guide here.

maldives beach hammock

4. The Maldives is a Muslim Country

What does this mean for you? Well it does affect your trip in a few different ways! Bikinis can only be worn at ‘bikini’ beaches and the sale of alcohol is illegal except at tourist hot spots. This means that you will be able to drink at your resort, but you can’t buy alcohol anywhere else. You also can’t bring in duty free alcohol. (Keep that in mind for your budget! You’ll be at the will of the resort when it comes to drinks prices.)

5. The Maldives is Home to the Internet Famous Glowing Plankton

You know those gorgeous photos of the plankton glowing in the ocean? Yup! In the Maldives!

Fluorescent plankton in the Maldives

6. The Weather is Amazing All Year

For the most part the weather in the Maldives is incredible all year round! That means you can find the time that works best for you, and you should have sunny and blue skies. I always recommend trying to go in the shoulder seasons to avoid the crowds though! (The peak season is December to April, so if you go outside of those months you should be able to find yourself a bargain!)

7. It’s Only One Hour Away from Sri Lanka

When I learned this I thought that was crazy! When you’re in the Maldives you truly feel like you are days away from any part of the world. It feels so exclusive! But if you’d like to plan a trip that involves a few destinations, India and Sri Lanka are only a short plane ride away. If you live quite far away from this part of the world then being able to visit all three of these countries in one trip would give you everything you need!

maldives boardwalk

8. You Don’t Need a Visa to Visit the Maldives

This is a big one! It might be one you already googled before picking the Maldives as a holiday destination but if not, here you are! As an American passport holder you do not need a visa to visit the Maldives. You can stay for 30 days on arrival. Just make sure that your passport has at least 2 open pages and that it doesn’t expire for 6 months. 

9. Save Money by Going Half Board

You can save a couple extra pennies in the Maldives by going half board instead of full board at your resort. If you plan your day just right, you can get away with just eating breakfast and dinner. This will help you save money on your trip! Basically, just make sure that you’re not eating breakfast until about 10am. Think of it more as brunch! And who doesn’t love a good brunch?!

10. Staying in an Overwater Villa is a MUST

Hear me out, even if you only stay for one or two nights, staying in an over the water villa in the Maldives is a MUST! Trust me you have to have this experience while you are traveling here. There are few places in the world that do over the water villas as good as the Maldives. One way you can make it more affordable is by looking for a packaged deal or choosing just a night or two in the over-water villa. 

couple on private deck maldives

11. Local Ferries Run Infrequently

If you’re planning on island hopping on the local ferries then you’ll need to be flexible because they do not run frequently! For example, they don’t run on Friday and it’s often hard to find the schedules online. 

12. You Can Burn Even on a Cloudy Day

Pack sunscreen! And pack a lot of it. The good stuff! Since the Maldives is so close to the equator you want to make sure that you are using plenty of sunscreen, especially on the cloudy days when you probably don’t think you would burn. 

13. Currency in the Maldives

The currency in the Maldives is the Rufiyaa. 1USD equals 15MSR. That might change before your trip so keep an eye on it! You can also pay in USD but you need to make sure that you have brand new bills. They won’t accept that ratty bill you’ve already put through the wash 7 times. 

14. Everything Runs on “Island Time”

Get used to things running late. That’s the beauty of islands if you ask me. As soon as you get to an island time slows down. People do things slower and that means you need to get used to slowing down as well. I know that’s probably not easy if you’re coming from America, but trust me! You are going to want to slow down while you are in the Maldives. 


Now that you know everything that there is to know before visiting the Maldives, it’s time to book your trip! And of course, if you have any questions about your trip then let me know over on my Instagram. You can follow me @lindseyannmorrison

If you loved this blog and want to support me then an easy and free way that you can do that is by passing this post along to someone! If you know anyone that loves the Maldives or who’s ever wanted to go, make sure to share this guide with them.

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