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What it’s really like to travel to the Maldives with a baby

What it’s really like to travel to the Maldives with a baby

I was getting really nervous about visiting the Maldives with a baby.

When I told other people we were coming here with a six-month-old they all had one of two responses. It went like this…

  1. “Are you crazy!? It’s such a long flight and it isn’t very baby friendly.”

Or

  1. “You’re brave. It’s such a long flight and it isn’t very baby friendly.”

So, naturally, I was getting pretty worried with people thinking I was either really brave or completely crazy. I’m neither of these things (I hope!?)

There were two lovely people who told me I had nothing to worry about. One was Nellie from Wild Junket who had recently visited with her five month old daughter. The other was a friend who’d spent her honeymoon on the Maldives.

I then realised that all these other people who were making me nervous had either never been to the Maldives or had never spent more than an hour with a baby.

So the reason I’m writing this post is because they were wrong, so, so wrong! If anyone else is considering visiting the Maldives with a baby, it’s the best place ever for so many reasons. Let’s start with that long flight.

Flying to the Maldives with a baby

With flew with Turkish Airways from Birmingham to Male with a 3-hour layover in Istanbul. We took off at 4pm so the majority of the flight was overnight.

George didn’t sleep on the first flight but for the second flight he slept with no problems all the way there.

It turns out that the long-haul section of the flight is much easier than short-haul. The planes are more spacious and passengers with babies are given priority for the bulk head seats where bassinets can be used. The toilets were also bigger so it was easier to change George’s nappy and we had plenty of pillows and blankets to make him comfortable.

I’d been so worried about the flight but it turned out that I really had nothing to worry about at all.

The Maldives with a baby

Maldivians

I’d never met anyone from the Maldives before so I had no idea what expect. We found them all to be warm, friendly and kind but when you’re travelling with a baby this multiplied by about a million times. Everyone was just so lovely.

What really surprised us was how lovely the men were with George. In the UK, it’s really unusual for a man to make a fuss of an unknown baby but the culture is so different in the Maldives. When we arrived we were ushered through the fast security lanes at the airport. We actually didn’t get through much faster because three guys came over to coo over George. They had him belly laughing in seconds and the three guys were in stitches.

Everywhere we went people would stop and chat to him. George is a smiley baby so this would spur them on to make him laugh. Whenever we took a boat to or from Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu the guys on the boat would hold George and keep him safe while we got on and off. The waiters would keep him entertained while we ate our dinner and they remembered the best ways to make him smile.

It was a dream for us and made the holiday so much easier. We always felt so welcome and often found that George was the perfect ice breaker to get chatting to local people. On average, it would take about 30 seconds before people would get their phones out and start sharing photos of their own children.

baby in the Maldives

Taken during a visit to a local island

The time difference

The Maldives is 5 hours ahead of the UK. I thought this would be a problem but it actually worked out well. It meant that George could easily stay awake until 8.30-9pm without getting tired and naggy while we were eating dinner. I think it’s mean to take babies for dinner when they’re really tired and they usually end up whinging throughout the meal. It also meant he’d lie in in the mornings which was a bonus for us!

Travelling to the Maldives with a baby

A small, friendly island

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is a small island resort. Guests get to know one another quickly and everyone gets to know the staff. As for George, well he just knew everyone. I’m not joking, all of the front-desk staff knew him by name and loads of the guests knew him too. Everyone was so friendly.

The Maldives

 

Babysitting facilities

We used a babysitter once when we went on a snorkelling excursion. It was lovely to get away and not worry about George as we knew he was in safe hands. His babysitter was a young lady from the reception desk who he absolutely adored. She looked after him in our room but also took him for walks around the island – which is one of the reasons why everyone knew him!

When we returned from our snorkelling trip George was happily asleep in his cot – which is a sure sign he was happy. He doesn’t usually sleep unless he’s totally happy and relaxed (yes, we got one of those babies!)

George and his babysitter

A chilled out pace of life

Like most islands, the Maldives are so chilled out. Babies don’t cope well with stress, strict itineraries and busy schedules but this laidback lifestyle suits them perfectly.

The Tiny Travel Hack

It doesn’t get much more chilled than this

 

Buffet dining

We enjoyed eating in the island’s restaurants but the open-air buffet was best for George. He could try lots of different food and if we needed to take it in turns going up to the buffet it didn’t matter. It also meant we could eat when we were ready and take as long as we wanted – or quickly grab a meal if George wasn’t in the mood to be quiet.

We were really conscious that a lot of people were on their honeymoon at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and were enjoying romantic meals in the evenings. The last thing they’d want is a baby shouting at the table next to them! Because of this we did have room service on our last two evenings. This was when George had adjusted to the time zone and was ready for bed at 7pm. Room service was great and it was lovely to eat our dinner under the stars next to the swimming pool.

Can you travel to the Maldives with a baby?

Our private garden area

We had a deluxe villa so we had a small, private pool and a private sandy area looking out to the beach. This was all shaded so it was great for George. As it was all next to our room we could put a baby monitor outside and relax in the sunshine while George was happily napping inside. We could also do this in the evening. This was a huge bonus for us – if we were in a hotel, one of us would have had to stay in the room whenever George was asleep.

Sunuva outfit

If you’re thinking of visiting the Maldives with a baby but you’re worried it isn’t suitable or is too much hassle – think again because I think this is one of the best destinations you can visit with a baby!

 

Read all of my blog posts from the Maldives here, including tips for flying long haul with babies and a packing list for travelling to the Maldives with a baby.


The holiday low-down

I flew to Male with Turkish Airlines. I departed from Birmingham with a 3-hour layover in Istanbul – a good choice if you’re travelling with little ones!

I stayed at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu for 6 nights in a Deluxe Villa on a full board basis.

Massive thanks to Visit Maldives for helping to organise my trip

 

ART

Wednesday 19th of January 2022

Glad I came across this article! My wife is pregnant but we have been dreaming of visiting the Maldives for several years now. We could of gone in the last couple years but of course Covid threw abit of a wrench in our plans. We figured instead of waiting until the baby is older we will go when they are maybe 6 months- 1 year old, but we keep thinking about the super long flight/connections etc. Your article really helped alleviate my concerns and I'm glad to know that traveling to Maldives with a baby is not only doable but can also be very enjoyable.

Zenbabytravel

Wednesday 27th of December 2017

We just got back from a wonderful trip to Maldives with our 4 years old and our 20 months infant and could not agree more - it's easy and bliss for all parties! We wrapped up our first article : Why Maldives family holiday make a great Xmas present ( https://zenbabytravel.com/2017/12/18/7-reasons-why-maldives-family-holidays-make-a-great-christmas-present/ ) and there will be few others in detail on Angsana Velavaru - a tropical paradise. Loved reading your article Monica!

Casey

Friday 13th of October 2017

Hello! Can you provide some information about the sea plane transfer with an infant. Was it a bumpy ride/rough landing? Concerns about medical if something happens at night - getting to hospital? And mosquitos around baby?

Thank you!

TheTravelHack

Sunday 15th of October 2017

Hi Casey. There were no concerns about the seaplane at all. It was very smooth. It was noisy but our little boy actually slept from take off until landing so he clearly didn't mind. You do have to clamber in and out of the plane but we found all the staff to be lovely and helpful with the baby and with our luggage. There are basic medical facilities on the island but you won't be able to get to A&E in a hurry. To be honest, this hadn't even crossed my mind. If there was an emergency in the night then they'd definitely have a speedboat take you straight to the mainland but it could take an hour or more. And we didn't have any mosquito issues. We kept him inside (where there was aircon so no mossies) at dusk but there weren't many mosquitoes around. I did have a little worry about this because I'd read a review from our resort and someone complained there were a lot of mossies. I think it depends on the time of year you visit but I'm someone who normally gets covered in bites and even I didn't get a single bite. Any more questions please do just let me know!

Ronetta (Ronnie)

Monday 11th of September 2017

Hi Monica, My name is Ronetta and I live in Chicago, Illinois. I own a travel agency named Ladies & Luggage Luxury Travel Group. I had my first child 4 month ago tomorrow and my business partner just had her first grandchild 3 weeks ago. We are adding a new section to our company called Babies & Bags and my first trip with my little on will be to the Maldives. We are taking a group of 16 people to the Maldives for New Years. I just read your blogs about your Holiday to the Maldives with your handsome little one, and I must tell you that they were absolutely the best i've read so far. They have really helped me prepare and not stress. I want to thank you for you blog post and hopefully one day Babies & Bags can interview you and we collaborate on travel tips for families. Thank You again Ronetta

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