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MALDIVES: Your Questions Answered

The instant and most common response I get when I say the word MALDIVES is "bucket list destination".

And I can totally relate to that!


Before this year, the Maldives islands were just a dream. Every time I did research on traveling there, the resorts were extremely expensive and I just couldn't imagine spoiling myself to that extent just yet.

If you look back on all my travels I've shared on the blog, you will see that 9/10 times they were budget travels and tips on how to save - our Thailand trip is a great example.

My dream straight out of high school was to travel the world, and as a young adult I didn't have much money to spend on luxury travels - but I never wanted money to be the reason I couldn't see the world.

My thought process was always, "I will sleep on cheap night boats and eat cheap food now because as a young person this doesn't bother me, and one day when I no longer want to travel in uncomfortable situations I will have more money to travel more luxuriously - but for now, I just want to travel in any way that I can."

And even now being 25, with way more income than my 18 year-old self, I still consider that point every time I travel. Budget travel is such an awesome experience, and I will continue doing it for as long as I enjoy it.

That being said.... the Maldives thooooooou..!! absolute luxury!

My first real luxury travel trip.

Let me just start off by saying: WORTH EVERY PENNY! And this is coming from someone who questioned the entire year {because we purchased our trip a year back, then the pandemic happened so we had to wait until travel opened up again} if it was worth the money we spent.


There were a few factors that helped us make our decision.

1. We wanted somewhere neither of us had been before (fun fact: Gal had been to over 15 countries before we met and started traveling together) so we wanted somewhere we could both experience newly together.

2. We wanted somewhere that didn't have too much to do other than relax. That probably sounds strange to some people, but the reason why is because when we travel to new places, I go HARD on the itinerary - I schedule out every waking minute to ensure we get the most from each country we visit. Due to my eager travel planning, we end up coming back from our trips completely exhausted feeling like we need a major break or vacation. During our travels we {no joke} get an average of 5 hours of sleep per night... this goes on for 2 weeks. So towards the end of the trip it just becomes too much - and knowing this, I have tried to make more flexible itineraries with more relaxation time, but then the moment we get to the new destination, I just CAN'T HELP but want to explore and sleep as little as possible.

We look at vacationing as a "chill, sip cocktails, relax" vibe and travel as more of an active, exploration, busy vibe.

Since Gal and I have only really "vacationed" together once {outside of the travel experiences} we thought it would be fun to pick a relaxing destination for our honeymoon - especially since we originally thought our honeymoon would take place after hosting friends and family for 2 weeks after our wedding.

That's when we had either Bora Bora, Maldives, Tahiti, Seychelles and a few other places as options.

3. We wanted something that felt really special and outdid any of our previous travels. We decided instead of doing our usual 2 week trip where we spread the budget out thinner, let's do a 5 day trip, condense the budget, and spoil ourselves. Knowing this in advance allowed us to budget and save. After the first few months of budgeting with a luxury trip in mind, we kind of had an idea of what our budget would be in a year's time.


Instagram is a huge help when planning ANY trip.

Even before planning for our honeymoon, I had always followed different travel influencers. Travel bloggers and content creators share so much valuable information for those who are interested in planning a trip.

I actually have a bunch of folders on my Instagram where I save different resorts/Airbnb's/hotels, restaurants, activities, etc. country by country so that when I go to plan a trip I have somewhere to start from based on content that caught my interest over time.

For those who are interested, here is a full blog post on how I plan my trips from start to finish.

For this specific vacation, we planned a bit differently though...

Since I follow lots of Maldives accounts and was looking into the hashtag on Instagram, I was getting a bunch of sponsored ads from different resorts and travel agencies.

One of them being Luxury Escapes. They were promoting an all-inclusive stay in the Maldives at a resort called Pullman Maldives resort.

I personally do NOT like booking all planned, inclusive trips when traveling because I feel the experience is far from authentic and is usually priced higher than if I were to do the itinerary myself. Throughout the years I have gotten so many DMs of all-inclusive trip itineraries from people asking if I think it's worth it - and 95% of the time I give them a big THUMBS DOWN. This is just a personal opinion based on my own personal research and experience.

That being said, this trip for us was about staying in one place and just relaxing - we weren't interested in seeing the culture of the island or getting to know the locals, or finding cool things to do... It was solely about being together, relaxing on a beach, and spoiling ourselves with a luxury resort experience (that being said, we want to come back and really travel and learn about the beautiful culture these magical islands have to offer).

So for that reason, I was open to an all-inclusive option.


The island is just so picture perfect.

For example we would see a family walking across the beach, the woman's white dress blowing in the wind, the child holding the father's hand and Gal and I would just look at each out and be like, "COME ON! This looks straight out of a commercial." Like we would totally see this in an advertisement and be like "this is so staged - no one walks on the beach with the wife's dress perfectly blowing as the cute kid holds the handsome father's hand..." But this was totally reality... It actually looked even better in person than in the commercials. The vibrant blues from the ocean and sky that contrasted so beautifully against the white sand beach and green palm trees - WOW - just magical.

That being said, this was a resort island... meaning, the resort manicures the island constantly.

The main island that we arrived on did not give off the same impression - although beautiful in it's own way, it definitely wasn't manicured, and it gave off more of a wild Thailand/Bali feel.

For this reason I would urge you to do research on the island you are interested in staying at before booking because my personal impression was that some Maldives resorts are being priced quite expensive because they are "in the Maldives" when in reality the experience you are getting is equivalent to Thailand or Bali, which you could get for 1/8th of the price.

My advice would be if you found somewhere super affordable in comparison to other places you were looking into, they probably aren't nearly as good. I would look into reviews about what isn't as good and make the decision for yourself if it is worth it.

For us, our Maldives experience beat our expectations {we had pretty high expectations}. It was worth every penny because the exchange for what we spent was totally there - between the generous all-you-can-eat food/drinks, extensive menu with multiple menus, inclusive activities, the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness, etc. it was clear to us where our money was going and we left feeling like we got more than we spent.

When it comes to The Maldives, I feel that your experience will be directly in proportion to how great your resort is, so picking the right resort is everything!


Without personally staying in multiple resorts to compare, I can't be certain, but I can share what I felt really made our trip special.

• Size of the island (bigger the better)

• The amount of restaurants on the island

• The amount of activities the resort has to offer

• The transportation to and from the resort (boat and plane, if needed)

• The location of your room

For more details on each of these points and why I found them valuable, check out my full review of the Pullman Resort here.



checkout all highlights on ig: @mariahmcalpin


I hope you found this blog post insightful! I took as many questions from my DMs as I could remember and added a few thoughts that I felt may be helpful.

If you have any questions that were not answered in this blog post {or in my resort review} please feel free to send me a DM or email - I really enjoy helping you guys plan your trips, and your questions in return help me get a better idea of what I should share on my blog!



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Thanks for taking time to read my blog post! I hope you find value in it! If you're new to seeing my content, Hi my name is Mariah! I love sharing my take on fashion, travel, beauty, lifestyle, relationships, bridal and more!

I have been writing + creating photo/video content since I was about 12 years old (2007) - never in my wildest dreams thinking I could be doing this as a full time job 10 years down the road.

I moved to South Africa shortly after meeting my husband and we got married 5 years later (2020)! We often travel back and forth between Florida, USA and Cape Town, South Africa - both of them home to us.

I have two puppies, Chai + Bentley. And I hope to be telling you about children some day soon!

Until then, I will keep sharing my current passions, tips + tricks, thoughts + tools for life! The adventure continues....!



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