Boy running into the Indian Ocean from the sand in the Maldives. Palm trees on right.

6 Helpful Tips for Your First Visit to the Maldives with Kids

Are you getting ready for your family trip to the Maldives? If so, I envy you! The Maldives are an absolute paradise, for kids and adults. Our trip to the Maldives as a family of five is top on my list of most amazing family vacations.

If you’re a big researcher like I am (and you probably are if you’re reading this), you’ll want to go through this list of 6 helpful tips with a fine-toothed comb. They’re based on our trip to the Maldives with kids and include many things that I wasn’t able to find out before our trip or would’ve like an extra reminder for.

Let’s go!

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Find Out Exactly How to Get to Your Island

Seaplane at a water dock in the Maldives.
The seaplane we took from Malé to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

You can get from the Malé International Airport to your resort / island in many ways, including:

  • domestic flight
  • seaplane
  • speedboat
  • combination of the above

It’s important to know the possibilities for arriving to your final destination for two reasons: time and money!

Example 1: You land at Malé in the early morning and then need to wait for your late morning domestic flight, followed by a short wait for a speedboat. By the time you arrive at the island and get to your room, most of the day is gone. [This is a cheaper but slower option.]

Example 2: You land at Malé in the early morning and quickly check in for your seaplane flight. You arrive at the resort in the late morning, but your wallet is much lighter. [This is an expensive but quick option.]

If you’ve got kids with you, you’ll need to think about:

  • Where you’re at in your travel journey – if your flight from Malé to your island will be at 3am home time for your kids, they likely won’t appreciate the seaplane, but if you’ve been traveling for almost a day (like we had been), it’s really nice to get to your resort quickly.
  • If your kids are okay on small planes – if you know your little ones (or you) don’t do well on small planes, you may want to book a resort on an island that you can reach by speedboat. This is also a quick option from the Malé Airport.

What We Did: We ended up taking the seaplane because we wanted our boys to experience the unique flight. We did pay more, but the flight was definitely worth it and I’d book it again in a heartbeat!

Prepare for the Intense Maldives Sun

Three boys and father play in the shallow water of the Indian Ocean in the Maldives.
My boys playing in the spectacular water of the Maldives

Be sure to bring plenty of ‘tool’s to protect you from the sun in the Maldives. Your kids will be spending so much time in the sea and the pool, so you’ve got to be ready for prolonged periods of intense sun exposure. You’ve likely already heard about the strong Maldives sun, but be ready for it with:

  • Rash guard – keep the sun off your skin; especially helpful for protecting your back when you’re snorkeling
  • Waterproof sunscreen – pack more than you think you need; we had 5 bottles for 10 days and used them all
  • Sun hats – quick-dry material is helpful; under-chin straps are great too, especially for active kids and for boat excursions (wind)
  • Sunglasses – the sand in the Maldives is white and the reflection is intense; I bought these for my boys
  • Mineral sunscreen – to put under eyes and on nose; this is the one thing I didn’t pack and I was regretting it even on day two of our trip; an absolute must if your kids won’t wear a hat
  • Aloe vera – for the inevitable sunburn

Helpful Tip: Don’t forget about the above for the adults in your group too!

Good To Know: In a pinch, a quick-dry athletic shirt will work as a rash guard. I used quick dry Adidas shirts from Costco for my oldest boys when I realized that all day in the intense Maldives sun was too much for their skin.

Bring Beach Tools and Toys

Two boys playing on the beach in the Maldives. One is pushing a monster truck through the sand.
My boys building tracks for their monster trucks

True, if you’re staying at a resort, you likely have access to beach toys and equipment. Make sure you get confirmation of what exactly is available to make sure they have what your kids like (for example, our resort didn’t have beach buckets and shovels but did have soccer balls, air mattresses, snorkel equipment, SUPs, kayaks, and more).

  • Floating toys (like air mattresses)
  • Beach buckets and shovels – I didn’t bring these and my kids were fine without them but my 2-year-old would have had fun with a shovel and bucket
  • Water ball – We brought this one and my boys had a blast with it. Perfect because it packs easily and it floats! Tip: Bring two, because you may lose one (yep, we did).
  • Water shoes – We didn’t bring water shoes (my boys have never really worn them), but I could see them being very helpful, especially if you already wear them and are used to them. They’ll protect feet from the shells and sharp coral that wash up on the beach.

Helpful Tip: Contact your resort about some of these. For example, our resort had air mattresses in the pool but I would’ve loved to have one in the sea in front of our room as well.

Confirm Kids Activities and Details Before You Arrive

Jet ski pulling boys on a fun tube in the Maldives.
My husband and sons on the fun tube

I did a ton of research for our trip and found so many different answers for my questions – sometimes on a resort’s own website. Here’s a list of things that I confirmed with our resort:

Kids Club – Will the kids club be open? What ages are allowed during our stay? Can kids check in and out of the kids club on their own?

Excursions – Which excursions and activities are appropriate for our children? Can small kids come along on excursions even if they can’t participate (for example, on a snorkeling trip or a wine tasting?) and if so, are they charged for participation? Do any of the activities or excursions have a minimum number of participants needed for them to run? Are there minimum ages for any of the excursions? Are there excursions that aren’t guaranteed (for example, do you have a 50% chance of seeing dolphins on the dolphin cruise)? What is the cancellation policy?

Dining Plans – What are the rules for children at the restaurants? Are there play areas at restaurants? Do children get any discounts for meals (assuming you’re not on an all-inclusive plan)? Are snacks or meals available in the villa (it’s so nice to be able to order a tray of fruit to your room as a snack for your kids!).

Swimming – Is there a shallow area for kids to swim in the sea? Are there lifeguards at the sea or in the swimming pools? Is the resort pool area fenced? What is the depth of the resort pool(s) or private villa pool(s)?

Celebrations – Can we have a cake for a birthday celebration? Do you do anything special for anniversaries, graduations, or special occasions?

Reservations – Do we need to book meals, excursions, and activities before we arrive? Our resort had an app that we could use to book meals and activities pre-trip. As the organizer in our family, I found it so nice to know some of our trip was already planned out so I wasn’t worrying about our plans every day.

Closures and Schedules – Will any amenities will be closed when we’re there? For example, the main restaurant at our resort has a kids play area, but it was closed during our visit. Is there a set schedule of activities and if so, does it change (seasonally, weekly, etc)?

Mosquitoes – Does the resort spray for mosquitoes? Is there a spray available (for use or purchase) that tends to work well with the mosquitoes on the island?

Use Forums and Facebook to Find Firsthand, Up-to-Date Info About Your Resort

I devoured online forums for info on our resort and was so happy I did. Probably the biggest thing I learned was that the dress code was casual and we didn’t even need shoes! This completely changed my packing plans (way less dressy clothing for the boys and fewer shoes for all of us) and I was able to bring so much less than I would’ve had I not visited the forums.

I also learned which excursions were family favorites, which family villas to ask for, and small details like the fact that I didn’t need to bring adapters for the room (the Maldives have the same plugs as the UK – Plug Type G).

Don’t Assume Your Island’s Weather Will Be Identical to Malé’s

This isn’t really a kid-specific tip, but I kept seeing rain, rain, and more rain predicted for our trip so I was trying to plan for hours of indoor time with three kids in our room (not a dream come true).

Most weather apps use Malé for weather predictions, but your island may be hundreds of kilometers from the capital city! We found out (via a Facebook page for our resort) that the best weather app for our atoll was the Apple weather app. I checked it during our stay and it was fairly accurate.

I mention this because leading up to our trip I was checking the Malé weather and there was so much rain predicted. When I found out the Apple weather app was more accurate, I was able to see that there was much more sunshine in the forecast.

I hope these tips come in handy for your vacation to the Maldives with your kids. Enjoy paradise!

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

Father with three sons walking on a sandy path amongst tropical vegetation in the Maldives.
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