If you live in the northern hemisphere by now you are already tired of the cold, of the snow, of the freezing wind, of your coats and thermals. You wonder when your toes are going to see daylight again. You start dreaming of blue skies, transparent waters, warmer days and nights. Commercials of airlines heavily pitch you the images of bathing suits and white sands. And while you wait for the tube to come the billboards you see make you dream about clear oceans and hammocks. You cannot escape.
Before I moved here I wasn't even your big fan of beaches. But now, after months of wearing wool socks and boots I feel like I have always loved tropical paradises and didn't know about it. I am always ready to go somewhere warmer for a few days. Perspectives.
We had a chance to escape one of these winters and also fill the gap of our first Christmas away from our home country. It was a very last minute call and we had 2 weeks. Tickets to tropical paradises seem out of our reach. Until I found out about the feature 'Explore' offered by Kayak where you can plot on a map average ticket prices for different places in the world according to your date of travel. We found out we could get to the Maldives AND to Sri Lanka for cheaper then flying just to the Maldives. Two tropical places in one go just because of a triangulation. And so we did. And I will tease you with the paradise pictures and give you some practicalities as we go.
1. Kurumba Maldives, our choice of hotel. We chose a very kids friendly hotel. It is very hard to go wrong with hotels in the Maldives, of course. But that is a decision point: romantic or family oriented. If you visit their website and see kids' pictures good sign (or usually not so good for couples). In our case, Kurumba was great. A 10-12 minute boat ride from the main island (airport). Same distance in case we needed some specific medical attention (something we always think about when traveling with our son).
2. Keep in mind that when you go to a resort in one of the many islands you are stuck there for the duration of your trip. What I mean by this is that the choice of the hotel is important, the restaurant offer is important and the all-inclusive for meals is something to consider. If you don't go for the all-inclusive (which usually means eating buffet style) be prepared to spend some money on meals. Islands are not cheap when it comes to food.
3. You can find good deals and prices with hotels when you call last minute; or when you call period. In our case this worked perfectly as we decided to call the hotel directly and get a better quote than the website offered. In fact this is a practice we always use, call and/or email to see what quotes you can get directly (remember websites work with parameters and limited quotes).
4. In case you are looking for packages try Destinology. They offer flexible packages, great variety of hotels/resorts, possibility to change your flights, attentive service when you call, great website.
You can also get inspired by one of the most exclusive locations on earth: Necker Island. Property of Sir Richard Branson, Virgin man. Check this BBC documentary and travel with the billionaires here.