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Is the Maldives as amazing as it looks?

Since returning from my recent honeymoon, the most asked question I’ve gotten is “Was the Maldives as amazing as it looks on Instagram?” And the answer is YES 100%, it is even more amazing in real life, the photos and videos don’t do it justice!

Most people (myself included before I went) think the Maldives is super exy or only for couples on their honeymoon and this is definitely NOT the case. The Maldives is made up of around 1,190 individual islands (yes you read that right), peppered across the Indian Ocean, just below India and Sri Lanka. So basically that means there is an island resort that is within your budget, kid friendly – or whatever you are looking for your next overseas adventure.

Like any other “Melburnian” I need to escape our grey and freezing winters so we went to the Maldives in June, typically people suggest to travel to the Maldives between November through to April (this is the peak season) due to prime weather with endless soft sunshine. In saying that we had the most amazing weather every day of 30 degrees and blue skies. The local staff said the weather is good all year round, if it rains, it’s not for long but they did say to avoid May because it is monsoon season (no thanks!).

Should you stay in one of those water villa’s I see all over Instagram? 
The short answer is yes, they are epic and are pretty much synonymous with the Maldives but be prepared to pay a bit more for the privilege. I would also recommend if you can, to also stay in a beach villa (or similar). We opted to split out time on our island and did half of the week in a super cute beach villa which gave us access to our own private beach and then in the water villa…it made us feel like we were on two completely different holidays as they are usually on complete opposite sides to the islands so your experience varies.

How do I get to the Maldives?

From Australia you would most likely fly to Singapore (or Dubai) then to Male. From Male you will have your “island transport”, for us this meant via Seaplane (some islands you get a boat). The seaplanes can be quite expensive (anywhere from $800USD – $1000USD per person) so try and find a deal that includes your seaplane transfers.

I’m a pretty good flyer but I also found this experience a bit intense, so just be mindful if you are not a great flyer you might opt for an island that is closer to Male so you can get a boat.

Speaking of seaplane journeys, don’t be surprised if you roll up at the Male airport seaplane terminal after a 22-hour flight only to wait for another 2-4 hours for your seaplane to take off. Why? Because of the way the flights work out and the daily change of pickups and drop-offs, there is no set schedule, they only get the flight schedule themselves the night before.

Do I do all inclusive (aka all you can eat and drink)?
Yes 100%, it actually ends up quite value for money as if you try to purchase something outside of your package it can add up quite quickly and most of the islands only take USD$, I made the mistake of forgetting sunscreen and it cost me $28USD to purchase – remember you are on a remote island.

The all inclusive or “full board” means you get unlimited breakfast, lunch, dinner AND COCKTAILS!! By unlimited I mean most of the restaurants are a buffet style so essentially you can eat as much as you want. 

If you’re into wine, we found getting a good wine a bit challenging but ask your island if they have a local sommelier or a wine tasting night or local trip to another island? You will be surprised that they probably do.

Will I get bored, is there enough to do?

I was a tad concerned that my husband would lose his mind sitting on a beach island for a week as he normally hates “doing nothing”, but quite the opposite he actually loved it! There are so many activities on the islands from snorkelling, deep sea diving (sea turtles, rays, colorful fish, and reef sharks are commonly sighted), jet-skiing, kitesurfing, windsurfing – basically every water sport you can think of! If doing stuff on land is more your thing most islands have tennis courts, squash courts, gym etc. 

I’m one of those people that love exercising on holidays, so we either went for a run around the island (the humidity and excessive cocktail drinking makes it quite tough) or we did some fun workouts during the week at the gym and on the beach, our resort actually ran “beach boot camps” three times a week but if yours doesn’t I’ve got you covered (well my PT husband does).

While on holiday, let’s be real, I’m not going to do more than 20-30 minutes so every minute counts.

If your gym has dumbbells, kettlebells or has some weight plates, this is a great little workout:

1. Dumbbell or Kettle Bell Goblet Squat
Reps 10-15

2. Bentover Dumbbel Row
Reps: 10-15

3. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
Reps 10-15

4. Russian Twists (with kettlebell, dumbbell or weight plate)
Reps: 20

5. Dumbbell Bench Press

Reps: 10-15

6. Plank or Sit-Ups
(60 – 90 seconds)

Perform each exercise consecutively, with minimal rest between exercises. Try and do 4-5 circuits if you can. Had to many cocktails the night before? 3 circuits is also okay. Make sure you rest between circuits and don’t forget to keep hydrated because the humidity in the Maldvies is crazy!

If you still need to convince yourself (or you other half) to get to the Maldives sooner rather than later, it is actually disappearing(noooo)!! Over 100 islands have already disappeared due to natural erosion from the sea and rising water levels. So lock in that annual leave and start booking your remote island getaway (like actually).

HG x
@hayleygen

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