When you’re an avid traveller, there is a lot of expectation placed upon your honeymoon! My husband Tom and I considered all options, from a motorbike journey around Bolivia to yachting around the Pacific Islands. In the end, we decided on Sri Lanka & the Maldives. To me, the Maldives had always been an ‘out of reach’ destination, however if there was ever a time to blow the budget – it is on your honeymoon! Therefore, I temporarily muted the budget conscious traveller inside (as much as possible) and agreed that we would go to the Maldives.
Now, it goes without saying that everybody’s tastes for their honeymoon are different. Just like weddings and travelling in general, one person’s “dream trip” is the stuff of nightmares for another. Therefore this list may not lead to the perfect Maldives honeymoon for everyone – it’s just a collection of tips I have collected while planning my perfect honeymoon!
1. Go all inclusive
We had an all-inclusive package at Finolhu, which included all food and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It is hard for me to tell whether this saved us a lot of money because we had an “all-in” Luxury Escapes package. However, I know that the drinks package is about $78 USD per day. Given that cocktails were a hefty $22 USD each, I think we definitely saved money on our drinks bill.
However, my reason for recommending all-inclusive is not really to save money, but to save stress! I personally really, really dislike spending more money than necessary, so I knew that if I was paying as I went, I would not be able to resist the urge to order the cheapest things on the menu and skip over certain things. However, because it was all paid for previously, I felt no guilt in choosing whatever I wanted! Plus, it meant that when we left the resort after an amazing 5 nights, there was no “yikes” moment as we settled the final bill.
2. Don’t get too caught up on “doing everything”
This one took us a couple of days to master. Tom and I are so used to our normal attitude of ‘make the most of every minute!’ that at first we felt like we just had to do everything. Gym – restaurants – stand up paddle boarding – cocktail making class: we thought we had to be active every second to get our money’s worth. However, it is your honeymoon so you should schedule plenty of down time just to spend time together. And nap!
3. Don’t worry too much about the weather
Apparently peak season in the Maldives is December to April, and we travelled well outside that in September (just after monsoon season ends in August). We had a few naysayers who told us that we were likely to be rained out, and even the weather forecast showed a horrific five days of storms and rain! In reality, though, we had stunning sunshine the whole time, with only one cloudy day and rainfall at night.
One of the big things I learnt about this is that it is really difficult to get accurate weather information if your island is far away from the capital, Male. So, don’t bother checking the weather on your way to the Maldives. Anyway, even if it rains, there’s other options such as getting a massage or eating a meal while you wait for the rain to clear. And at any rate – you can still swim while it’s raining… you’re wet anyway!
4. Keep an eye out for deals
Although when you first start looking for resorts in the Maldives, you may be shocked by the prices, be aware that there are many, many deals to be had. Unless you are absolutely set on a particular resort at a particular time, you can almost guarantee picking up a deal of 30 – 50% off advertised prices. You can look through websites such as Luxury Escapes, or else go directly to the resorts’ websites and check their package deals.
Another way to save money is to utilise credit card points. At the time we were planning our honeymoon, American Express had a 50,000 bonus points sign up bonus if you spent $2,000 in the first three months. We put the cost of the Maldives trip on the card, and ended up with enough points that we paid just $900 in total for us both to fly from Adelaide to Sri Lanka.
5. Be aware of all the hidden costs
This is another reason why I like the all-inclusive deals. There are a lot of possible hidden costs for the Maldives. The nature of holidaying in the Maldives is that you pretty much have to stay within your resort. As a result, they can charge you pretty exorbintantly for anything and everything. Expect to pay at least $200 USD per person for a simple speedboat transfer; I hear a sea plane is more like $1200 each. And make sure to bring all incidentals like sunscreen and hats! We ended up spending $56 USD on sunscreen and aloe vera gel. OUCH!
There’s my top tips for a trip to the Maldives. Do you have any others to share? Comment below!