Maldives

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Maldives Money-Saving Tips

Book activities upon arrival

The day you arrive, be sure to reserve the activities you want, from scuba diving to sailing to spa treatments. You can always change them later.

Wear sunblock!

Not bringing 50-SPF sunblock to the Maldives would be crazy. Not using it all over, several times a day, would be crazier.

Bug off

Should you venture from your resort to a local island during rainy season, pack anti-mosquito clothing and the strongest repellant available. If you stay at a budget resort, make absolutely certain they fog for mosquitoes every day.

Talk to the locals

Do take the time to converse with the Maldivians, who are generally lovely, friendly, thoughtful people interested in you and the world. Make friends with them and you may find yourself keeping in touch and seeing them year after year.

See the sunrise

Though getting up early may strike you as counterintuitive while on vacation, the Maldives deserves at least one just-before-dawn walk on the beach to see the sunrise.

Pack it all

Remember that everything (suntan lotion, guide books, etc.) will be at least twice as expensive in the Maldives, so bring your necessities (including reef sandals) with you.

Feel the breeze

When possible, ask for a room or villa on the side of the island receiving the breeze (this changes from low to high season). Then you can turn off your air conditioning and sleep to the sound of the waves.

Try night diving

If you’ve never gone night diving but have always wanted to try, this is the place: the lagoons are virtually shark-free (the babies won’t harm you), the water is shallow and gin-clear, and the colors are spectacular.

Visas

Free 30-day visas are granted at Malé International Airport upon your arrival.

Language

The official language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, but English is in wide use, especially at the resorts, so you don’t need to bring a foreign phrasebook.

Addresses

Many places in Malé have no street numbers; others have no street names at all.

Dress

The Maldives is a Muslim country, but its Islam is mild and tolerant. Even women in short shorts and tight shirts will occasion little or no attention in Malé. And on the resorts, while nudity is forbidden, the shortest bikinis are perfectly fine.

Money

Unless you go to Malé, you’ll probably never need to exchange money in the Maldives. You’ll be greeted at the airport and taken to your resort, where you’ll pay with a credit card, then taken back and put on your plane.

Alcohol

Should you arrive in the Maldives with alcohol, the customs authorities will simply tag it and hold it for you until your departure.

Manners

In Maldivian culture, mild, low speaking is the absolute rule. Extreme emotions like anger, excessive joy, or enthusiasm are never openly displayed. Even on the soccer field, Maldivians remain poker faced.

No high-rises

An intelligent government policy decrees that new buildings cannot exceed the highest palm tree.

Food

If you’re allergic to seafood, you may seriously want to consider another destination.

Bats?

Don’t forget to watch the huge fruit bats at night. Eerily beautiful.

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