The Maldives is an incredible country, comprising over one thousand islands, two hundred of which are inhabited. It’s a destination that – despite its rich offerings – is actually new on the global tourism scene. But it’s not to be overlooked!
Now, maybe you don’t have time to visit 1,192 islands! But let’s start with five:
The location of the capital city – and the main international airport – this island is a must. But don’t just land here and then run off to your next destination. Spend some time soaking in the history here – in the Grand Friday Mosque, built in 1658 out of coral stone, and hearkening back to the age of the sultanate. Soak in the sights and sounds (and maybe the smells too!) of the Malé Fish Market – an essential hub for the locals, many of whom get their sustenance from the ever-present ocean that surrounds them. Lounge at the luxurious beaches, in a glamour that’s not to be surpassed.
Biyadhoo Island is a scuba-diver’s paradise. This densely vegetated, city-less island is where nature thrives – particularly in the water, as the island is quite close to many of the country’s best diving spots. And not only does it boast world-class scuba, but there are a range of other water sports, and countless opportunities for thrills. Or, if you prefer to relax, most of this island is made up of the splendid Biyadhoo Resort – a delightful spot to relax and soak in the tropical sun!
No visit to the Maldives is complete without a stop at Alimatha island, a treasure trove of wonderful resorts and spas. Come here and truly unwind by getting an ayurvedic massage, at one of the expert-run massage centers. Or relax at a lovely beach bungalow, or an over-the-water property where you can stare down beneath your floor and see the tropical fish drift lazily past. And then, of course, for the thrill seekers you can find excellent scuba, windsurfing, canoeing, and cat sailing!
Como Cocoa Island
The entire, tiny Como Cocoa Island is a blissful resort – but not just your everyday luxury stay. All of the suites here aren’t built on land, but over the water – where you can not only see, but live in, the beautiful turquoise lagoon off the edge of the island. Get out of the city, and away from civilization, and spend some moments of truly blissful – and truly quiet – contemplation. A visit to this island isn’t something that you’ll ever forget – so make memories that will last for your lifetime.
Don’t worry about trying to pronounce “Vihamanafushi” – just let a local guide take you there! This fabulous island is home to Kurumba Beach, where you can find the Kurumba Maldives Resort. Which is an excellent destination for honeymooners, or anyone who just wants to chill at the beach, with a wide range of activities and entertainment. Best of all? It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from the international airport!
Where will you start?
When you come to Cancún and the Yucatán, the water you really need to swim in is in a “cenote”! What’s that? Pronounced “sen-oh-tay,”It’s an underground pool: a sinkhole where fresh water, which comes from the low-lying region’s many lakes and rivers, mixes with salt water from the sea.
The ancient Mayans believed that cenotes were a direct link to the underworld. And in ancient times, human sacrifices may have been held at them. Now, however, these wonderful pools of blue-turquoise water have a much less menacing draw. They’re a favorite spot – for locals and tourists alike – to plunge into the glowing, clear water and go for a swim.
A trip to Cancún wouldn’t be complete without a stop at a cenote. Fortunately, these unreal geologic formations – not found anywhere else in the world – are more than commonplace on the Yucatán Peninsula. There are hundreds; but here are some of the best:
With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping our globe, it is hard to imagine life getting back to “normal” anytime soon. We’ve all been so deeply affected by this tragic time. And with so much uncertainty surrounding the plan for getting back on track, you can’t help but wonder… what if this is just the new normal?
Travel has certainly changed drastically since the beginning of 2020. Shelter-at-home protocols have caused many folks to cancel or postpone their travel plans. And while having to miss out on your long-awaited and much-needed vacation might not be devastating in the grand scheme of things, it is a bummer nonetheless.
However, as the rest of the country proceeds cautiously through its reopening phases, the travel industry has resumed business as...err... not so usual. In other words, you don’t have to put off your travel plans any further, but you should expect some significant changes from your typical travel experience.
The following is a list of the changes you can expect for travel during COVID-19!
1. Health and Safety protocols
We’re probably all used to it at this point, but it’s important to note that you will be required to follow strict health and safety protocols when traveling by plane. These will include wearing a face covering at all times and keeping at least 6 feet between you and the nearest stranger.
Be aware when traveling to make sure to wear a tight fitted mask that is breathable yet effective in filtering particles. It is also very handy to have sanitizer wipes to clean surfaces you may touch or surfaces that have been touched before you!
Also remember, you may be required to quarantine for 14 days once you return, depending on where you live and where you’re coming from!
2. People are choosing road trips over flying.
Another way that travel has been altered by the pandemic is in the type of vacations people are taking. Many folks are still too nervous to hop on a flight, so they’ve been getting extra creative with their domestic travel ideas. This has led to many people choosing alternative travel plans that are closer to home or a drive-able distance. Road trips within the US are on the rise.
3. Less passengers due to social distancing
Some airlines were limiting the amount of passengers on their flights by blocking off the middle seat. If you prefer a less congested flight – let’s be honest, who doesn’t? – Southwest and Delta are two of the airlines that are implementing this safety measure. That may change in early 2021.
It’s crucial to remember that even if you are choosing a flight with seat restrictions, be aware that airports may be crowded and you’ll want to be sure to take precautions when it comes to security checks and overcrowded restrooms.
4. Cheaper flights and hotel rooms
Because fewer people are traveling, some airlines and hotels have lowered their prices in an attempt to bounce back from a three month standstill. However, some are claiming that prices might start to rise again as people become less nervous to travel. We’ll see how the next couple of months pan out.
Keep in mind, although the cost of travel might be more affordable, it is still important to take the utmost precautions to protect you and others around you!
5. Extensive sanitation regulations
When booking luxury travel, you can always expect tip-top cleanliness! ;) But now even without luxury travel planning, you can rest assured that your hotel rooms, public restrooms, car rentals and airport areas will be extra squeaky clean due to the extra requirements for sanitation regulations.
6. Limited traveling abroad
While travel within the US is a go, there are still certain countries that are not allowing American tourists to visit. For the ones that are, they may require for you to be tested upon arrival. Be sure to check the requirements for the place you are visiting so that you can be prepared!
Adventure still awaits…
When I find my mind lingering a little too long on all of the “what ifs” (and the WTFs), I try to remind myself of the positives that have come out of this crazy year! Communities have come together in some amazing ways to support one another. Families have had the chance to spend more time with each other. And we have all shown just how strong we can be!
While travel isn’t entirely back to how it was pre-pandemic, it is well on its way! If you do plan to travel anytime soon, remember to stay safe, wear a mask and do what you can to help flatten the curve.
If you need to plan a special getaway after several months of quarantining, do it in luxury! We’re happy to help you plan a relaxing, fun and safe travel experience.
Wedding canceled because of COVID-19? Plan your destination elopement with us :)