Two boys playing on the beach in the Maldives. One is pushing a monster truck through the sand.

Maldives with Kids – How to Plan the Perfect Trip!

Are you dreaming of a family trip to the Maldives but feeling a little overwhelmed by your internet research?

I’ve just returned from 10-day vacation in the Maldives with my husband and three children (ages 3, 6, and 9). We had an amazing time, and I learned so much about traveling to the Maldives with kids. Our trip, combined with my hours and hours of research, has helped me create this guide to make things easier for you and your family.

We love traveling and seeing new places, but we had such an amazing time in the Maldives, we’re heading back this year.

Let’s take a look at how you can plan the perfect trip to the Maldives with kids!

Is the Maldives Right for Your Family?

SUN & SAND – First of all, if your family doesn’t like being in the sun or playing at the beach – the Maldives is not the place for you.

PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES – But, don’t think of it as a lazy honeymooners destination with nothing to do but read a book and drink cocktails (or mocktails for the little ones). There is so much to do in the Maldives! On our recent trip, our boys were never bored.

A VACATION FOR PARENTS TOO – My husband and I also enjoyed our time in the Maldives. If you’re a busy parent and want to make memories with your family and finish your trip rested and rejuvenated – the Maldives is for you. This is the first family vacation I’ve been on that’s actually felt like a vacation.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE – As long as you choose the right resort, the Maldives has something for every family member! Foodies, athletes, spa-lovers, relaxation-seekers, kids-club fans – all covered.

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS – The Maldives is an expensive destination. You’ll find 4-star, 5-star, and 5-star-plus accommodation options. If you prefer simple, budget accommodations, you won’t be happy with what the Maldives has to offer. We often stick to no-frills hotels and apartments, but this location felt like the place to splurge a bit. Additionally, the main room options are beach and overwater. We didn’t want to stay in an overwater villa because I was worried about my kids falling into the water. The beach villa was perfect for us.

Good To Know: I’m writing about a visit to the Maldives from a private resort perspective. This typically means there’s just one resort on the island, prices are high. If you’d like a less-expensive option, you can stay on a local island. This would be a nice way to get closer to the Maldivian culture, but you also give up amenities and you must respect the local culture (for example, women can’t wear bikinis or swimsuits at the beach).

LONG JOURNEY – The Maldives is far from where we live in Europe (2 flights, 12+ hours of travel time), but it’s even further from other locations like the USA. Plus, keep in mind that you have additional travel from Malé’s International Airport to get to your island (by seaplane, speedboat, or a combo domestic flight + speedboat). If you’re not keen on long travel days with your kids, the Maldives isn’t a good choice. My three-year-old was fine on the trip, but I wouldn’t have been excited for the long travel when he was two.

When to Visit the Maldives with Kids

Father and three sons walk on a jetty in the Maldives. Water and sunset in the background.

The main things that influenced our planning (and likely yours too): weather and costs.

When You’ll Find the Best Weather in the Maldives

The main thing to know is there are only two seasons – two monsoon seasons. The northeast monsoon runs (generally) from December – April. The southwest monsoon (generally) runs from May – November. The northeast monsoon is known as the dry season and the southwest monsoon is known as the wet season.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as booking your trip during the ‘dry season.’ First of all, the monsoons aren’t exact, especially in the last few years. Second, there is a ‘transition period’ between the monsoons, which brings rain and non-vacation-friendly weather. Third, you may come during the ‘dry’ season and see a ton of rain – it happened this past year (2023) during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. And, many people book trips during the ‘wet’ season and have amazing weather.

So, how can you book the ‘right’ time so you can spend your family vacation under the bright Maldivian sun, and not huddled inside your room watching the pouring rain?

I read a lot of advice online, and I also asked tons of people working at our resort. The general consensus is it’s best to come mid-December through April for the best weather (even though this past year late-December had really poor weather). I had read all of December was great, but it turns out early December is typically a transition time for the monsoons so more rain is possible.

Our Experience: On our 10-day trip in early December we had one day with a lot of rain and a few other days with quick showers.

When You’ll Find the Best Prices in the Maldives

Mid-December through early January is very busy with people celebrating the holidays, and resorts book quickly and at high rates – usually the highest of the year.

The ‘wet’ season from May – November typically has the lowest rates.

April is supposedly great weather-wise and can have great deals on resorts as it’s typically lower occupancy.

Of course, if you’ve got kids, you’ve got to work around school schedules (unless you’re homeschooling). Summer months (June, July, August) will be less expensive than the Christmas holidays (December and January).

Things to Do in the Maldives with Kids

There are so many things to do in the Maldives with kids – from babies to teens. Keep in mind that these aren’t available at every resort and island – you’ll need to book a resort that offers the kids activities and amenities that are important to your family.

  • Participate in water sports – swimming, kayaking, SUPing, snorkeling, scuba diving
  • Look for hermit crabs, baby sharks, flying foxes, lizards, and other local wildlife
  • Find beautiful seashells
  • Play at the beach
  • Go on an excursion – to a local island, to go snorkeling, to see dolphins or whale sharks or manta rays
  • Learn about sustainability – island water desalination systems, recycling programs, waste management, reef care
  • Visit a kid-friendly spa
  • Spend time at kids clubs – they often have indoor and outdoor play areas with physical activities, arts and crafts
  • Play at recreation centers – pool tables, ping pong, video games, board games, and more
  • Splash at the swimming pool
  • Interact with resort staff and learn about the Maldives and the places they were from (if not from the Maldives)
  • Enjoy evening entertainment (like karaoke, fire shows, live bands)

How to Choose the Best Maldives Island for Your Family

Father has son on his shoulders and they're walking down wooden jetty at Iru Fushi in the Maldives. The water is turquoise and you can see white sand and palms in the background.
We loved our stay at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

It’s tough to choose a Maldives resort for your family because it’s expensive so you really want to get it right!

When deciding for our family, I look at:

PRICE – This is a big one for us and it cuts out a lot of ultra-lux resorts like Soneva Jani. Figure out your budget for the trip (remember, it will include your international flight, local transport like seaplane or speedboat, and resort). Some quotes you’ll receive are per person, while others are per night (not including flights).

RESORT LEVEL – The Maldives is home to ultra-luxurious resorts, 5-star resorts, 4-star resorts, and more casual options – especially on local islands.

LENGTH OF STAY – If you’re traveling for a day to reach the Maldives, it doesn’t make sense to stay for only a few days. Figure out how many days you want to stay. You may need to adjust your budget or change the type of resort you want to stay at.

DISTANCE FROM MALÉ – If you’re traveling with kids, you probably don’t want to travel much more once you arrive in Malé – it just adds additional travel time and cost. But, keep in mind that if you stay close to Malé, you may see/hear seaplanes, boats, and have views of the capital. If you’re looking for a remote island feel, you’ll want to travel away from Malé.

ACTIVITIES OFFERED – For example, I want a resort with local island excursions, an excellent house reef, and activities for elementary-age kids.

KIDS CLUB – Make sure it accepts kids the age of your child. Minimum ages vary. Also, get an idea if it’s geared toward babies and toddlers or would work for your older children. You can get a good idea from photos, and you can also email resorts for more info.

TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION – Some Maldives resorts have kid-proofed their overwater villas, while others don’t allow children to stay in them. There may be two-bedroom villas or it may be possible to add extra beds to one-bedroom villas.

TYPE OF RESORT – Does it mostly attract honeymooners? Do they openly welcome kids and families? Some resorts are adults only, and others aren’t officially adults only, but they don’t offer kid amenities or activities.

DINING – Resorts usually offer B&B, half-board, full-board, or all-inclusive plans. We booked all-inclusive and it was so nice to not have to worry about extra costs for food. Some resorts have multiple restaurants, while others just offer one buffet. If you’ve got a picky eater in your family (or food intolerance), make sure the resort can handle it.

Helpful Tip: Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few resorts, download their apps. The apps will give you a detailed look at resort maps, restaurant menus, activities that actually run (vs just being mentioned on the website), etc.

You can read my research on 30+ Maldives Resorts for a Family Trip.

How to Book a Maldives Family Trip

The main ways to book a family trip to the Maldives are:

  • With a travel agent – You’ll likely get special discounts and perks like room upgrades. Make sure your agent has experience in the Maldives (so valuable!)
  • Directly through the resort – Expect competitive rates and ‘extras’ like seaplane flights thrown in to your package. It’s helpful to deal directly with the resort if you have to cancel or change plans
  • Using a third-party website – Think sites like LastMinute.com or Booking.com. We booked a package through LastMinute.com and saved so much compared to purchasing the accommodations and flights separately. The disadvantage is dealing with customer service. Although the LastMinute.com agents were friendly, they wouldn’t help us when our layover in Qatar changed from an already long 6 hours to over 10 hours(!).

Good To Know: Many resorts have unadvertised loyalty programs. If you’re thinking of returning and liked your previous resort, write to see if they’ll offer you additional discounts for a return trip.

Helpful Tip: If you must visit during high season (December through April, and especially mid-December through early-January), book as early as possible to have the most accommodation options. The resort we just visited was at a fairly low-occupancy through mid-December and was fully booked for the holiday period.

What to Pack for a Family Trip to the Maldives

Two boys splashing in shallow, clear water in the Maldives. White sand and palm trees in back left.
Don’t forget to pack rash guards to protect your kids’ skin from the strong Maldives sun

I usually have the attitude, “If I forget something, I’ll just buy it at my destination.” The Maldives isn’t a great place for this. Resort shops are expensive – think $50 for a bottle of sunscreen! So, make your list and check it twice!

Be sure to bring:

  • plenty of reef-safe sunscreen for your entire trip
  • sun hats
  • sun glasses
  • rash guards
  • swimsuits
  • cotton and natural fiber shorts, shirts, and sundresses
  • minimal toiletries
  • water toys (buckets and shovels for the sand, ball)
  • water equipment (snorkeling mask your kids like, goggles, water wings, waterproof camera, etc)
  • plenty of baby products (for example, bring enough diapers)
  • miscellaneous items (like journals, UNO)
  • medicines your kids are familiar with
  • cash (EUR or USD) for tipping hotel staff
  • important documents (passport, credit card, etc)
  • comfy sandals or flip-flops (my boys went barefoot all week)

Read my complete Family Packing List for 10 Days in the Maldives.

My Tips for Planning a Trip to the Maldives with Kids

  • When you’re close to choosing a resort, download the resort’s app – you can see the weekly calendar, price lists for excursions, menus for restaurants, etc.
  • Join Facebook groups and pages and Instagram pages for resorts you’re interested in. I found resort Facebook pages and groups to be particularly valuable – for choosing a resort and then for making plans for the trip. For example, others posted info like recommended villas and which activities should be booked in advance.
  • Make sure the kids club takes children the age of your child. Minimum ages for kids clubs vary, and if your child is too young, you’ll need to stay with him/her at the club or pay extra for babysitting.
  • Confirm kids amenities and activities with your resort before booking. For example, during low (‘wet’) season, parts of the resort may be closed. I was excited about a play area that was in the main buffet restaurant at our resort, but it was closed while we were there.
  • Bring mineral sunscreen (for under eyes) if your kids burn easily. And pack rash guards. The Maldives sun is strong!
  • Pack swimming equipment your child uses and is comfortable with. For example, next time I’ll bring our snorkeling masks because my 6-year old didn’t feel comfortable in the resort’s mask – and therefore didn’t want to snorkel. And, we packed our little one’s Puddle Jumper – perfect for swimming for hours in the shallow waters of the Maldives!

Be sure to check out all of our Maldives with Kids posts:
Maldives with Kids – How to Plan the Perfect Trip
7 Reasons to Book a Family Trip to the Maldives
6 Helpful Tips for Your First Visit to the Maldives with Kids

30+ Maldives Family-Friendly Resorts – Compared by a Mom (Includes Table & Notes)
Family Packing List for the Maldives
Maldives with Teens
Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Review – Family Paradise in the Maldives
Overwater Villa or Beach Villa – Choosing One for Your Maldives Family Trip
Family-Specific Questions to Ask Your Maldives Resort – Before You Book

Maldives with Kids FAQ

Should I get the resort’s all-inclusive dining plan for my family?

Little things in the Maldives are expensive. For example, a can of soda can cost $8-10 or an ice cream can cost $15 or more. These, along with alcoholic drinks, aren’t included in all-inclusive plans. If you’re ok limiting your family to beverages at meals and no extras, the math may work out in your favor. However, it’s really nice to be able to order smoothies, enjoy a cocktail at the beach, and not stress if your toddler drops that expensive ice cream cone in the sand. We booked the all-inclusive dining plan on our recent trip and I was so glad we did.

What can you do in the Maldives with kids if it rains?

First off, it doesn’t get cold, so you can still enjoy being outdoors. My boys loved swimming in the pool in the rain (of course, don’t do this in a storm!). You can also take advantage of the indoor areas of your resort’s recreation center and kids club. We also played cards and lingered longer at meals.

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