Planning a trip to paradise. Maldives guide during the pandemic!

Updated: Jan 14

Alright then - back to life and actually living it. We took the plunge and finally flew internationally in 2020. Was it nerve wrecking? Waiting for the PCR test results wasn't pleasant.. but I am glad to report back that the excitement and euphoria of waking up in a new country was the same.

In fact I felt infinitely more grateful to be on holiday. I still stand by what I tell anyone who asks - traveling, for me, is a high like no other. Nothing compares to it.

If you know us at all, then you know we are NOT resort people. This was our first full board island stay. It is also not our style to stay in a bubble when we travel... but these five eventful days were the most wonderful days we could have hoped for in 2020. An oasis that came at the right time to save us from falling into an abyss.

COVID preparation:

Of course, given the current scenario, there are precautions and steps you need to take prior to flying out or in to any country.

Please note that this depends entirely on where you are flying from. I recommend doing your own research before booking flights. Account for additional costs for the tests at the resorts (could be from $100 -$200 per person); be sure to leave enough for testing and getting results.


Requirement summary for residents of Dubai with Emirates to the Maldives:

1. You need to do a test 72 hours prior to flying out of the country. We did ours 48 hours before (Dubai turns around the results in less than 24 hours)

2. You need to fill out a health declaration immigration form for the Maldivian government. This is mandatory prior to boarding from anywhere in the world. You will receive a QR code, which needs to be presented at immigration.

3. Masks are mandatory at airports, lounges and all common places in both countries.


Flights and Visa

We flew direct with Emirates. You will be asked to wear your mask throughout the trip - no exceptions. We also wore a face shield on the way up since the flight was full. You can trust Emirates to do a thorough job with sanitization - they also provide extra masks, hand sanitizer

and wet napkins in a travel kit.


Most countries can get visa on arrival FREE OF CHARGE in Male. The airport is small and the immigration was a breeze - done in 15 minutes. No crowd, no fuss, no mess.


Safety and hygiene:

We landed at the Male airport and found everyone was wearing a mask. That definitely put us at ease. Though no place is entirely safe, Maldives or any island for that matter is probably where it is safest to fly to this year because you can stay within a bubble for few days. Again, this is not to say the worst can't or won't happen but prepare for the worst and hope for the best.


Best time to visit

There are definitely pros and cons to visiting in every season. The islands are mostly warm year-round but the best time to visit is from November to April. We went in December, we had rain for a few hours on the day we landed (mostly due to the cyclone forming in the Indian Ocean earlier that week). Be prepared for mad humidity throughout the year!


Language

Dhivehi is the official language but everyone is extremely friendly and very fluent in English.


Travel and Medical Insurance, Currency

Travel Insurance is always recommended. USD accepted at all resorts.


Picking a resort at Maldives

This can take months of research, especially for an obsessive planner like me. There is a resort for every budget and every traveler. I found this to be the most challenging part of the trip.

So how did we land on Kanuhura? As non-alcohol drinkers, an all inclusive package was automatically ruled out. We are also not great swimmers, so having a phenomenal reef was also not a top priority. We were ideally looking for some place private and luxurious without being OTT and yes, great veggie food was a must. I did love that this resort had three islands instead of the usual two at most resorts - more places to explore.