In June, this couple is heading to the Maldives! I am beyond stoked for this trip. I know Ben is since we will be celebrating his birthday while we are there! Happy Birthday to him 🙂 I thought I would write a post about our itinerary, how we booked it, and some of the places we will be visiting while we are there!
1. Booking our flight
I searched for what seems like forever to find the perfect flight for us. I wanted to make sure that where ever our layovers were, that we would be somewhere worth exploring. I did a LOT of searching using multiple search engines (Kayak, Priceline, Expedia, and more!) I waited to book the flight and thank goodness I did. One day I decided to search again and the perfect flight appeared!
DEPARTURE TO MALDIVES (2 day flight w/ Layovers)
-Chicago (Departs 5:10pm)—> London, United Kingdom (arrives the next day at 6:50 am) with a 14 hour layover!
-London (Departs 9:30pm)—> Colombo, Sri Lanka (arrives next day at 12:45pm)
-Colombo, Sri Lanka (Departs at 1:35 pm)—> Male, Maldives (Arrives at 2:30pm)
RETURN TO CHICAGO (2 day flight w/ Layovers)
-Male, Maldives (Departs at 3:30 pm)—> Colombo, Sri Lanka (Arrives at 5:25pm) with a 19 hour layover
-Colombo, Sri Lanka (Departs 1:05 pm)—> London, United Kingdom (Arrives at 8:00pm)
-London, United Kingdom (Departs at 8:40 am)—> Chicago, Illinois (Arrives at 11:15 am the next day)
2. Booking our Resort in the Maldives
I do a lot of research before booking a trip. I search reviews, Pinterest, Facebook, and it takes me a while. I want to make sure that no matter where we are going, we are getting the best experience we can. Our resort was booked through Expedia. Originally I was going to go with http://www.agoda.com, but after talking we Ben, we decided we wanted an all-inclusive experience. Agoda didn’t give us any options for all-inclusive but rather, breakfast included. The prices we found there were really good, so if you want to venture to the different restaurants that the Maldives has to offer, I would recommend booking through that website. They even offer a book now, pay later feature! However, since we wanted the all-inclusive experience, I decided to look through Priceline and Expedia. I have used both to book hotels and flights before. I had both websites up comparing prices. Since I have used Expedia before, they give members points each time you book with them and member exclusives. I narrowed my search and found the resort we will be staying at. Originally, I had planned for a different resort, but this one was selected for a daily deal of 50% off so I took advantage! Sometimes it pays to wait 🙂
3. Booking our hotels in Colombo and London
I am unfamiliar with both of these areas so research was crucial. Plus, I wanted to book hotels that were close to the airport so we could utilize a free airport shuttle. While the hotels near airports do not usually offer the greatest authentic experiences, I did not want to risk traffic or anything that may hinder getting to the airport when needed. In Sri Lanka, there are not any hotel chains that were near the airport so I had to rely on reviews other customers wrote. The rates for the hotels were not expensive at all. There was one that you could book for $4 USD. CRAZY! In London, it was quite the opposite! For our overnight layover in London, I went with a hotel chain we were familiar with since we will be sleeping there and will not have much time to explore the city.
4. London- Activities
Our first layover in London is 14 hours. I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to explore this beautiful city. Of course we will have to visit the musts: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, a red telephone booth, and more! However I do want to visit some of the places that were involved with Harry Potter. I am a huge fan. Nerdy? Probably. Oh Well. King’s Cross Station, you betcha! 🙂 I am sure Ben will walk with me and continue to support my love for all things Harry Potter, but he probably won’t enjoy it as much as me. While I do not have anything solidified yet, I am keeping a lookout for unique experiences! I will let you know what I find!
5. Maldives Activities
The Maldives has quite a bit to offer. Unique Food. Scuba Diving, Swinging in the Ocean, A Pool That Overlooks the Ocean, and more. Again, I am still on the hunt for more unique things to do in this beautiful country, I have found some things we will be trying!
6. Sri Lanka Activities
Some of the things you can do in Sri Lanka are pretty amazing. They have elephants there, and you can go on safaris and such to see them! So my goal is to get the opportunity to do that! Who wouldn’t want to see elephants in the wild? What an amazing an extraordinary experience. I have read not to view them in sanctuaries since the elephants seem to be unhappy there. Sad 😦
I also heard that visiting Gangaramaya Temple is a must. It is a Buddhist temple and is one of the most important in the city.
We are still planning out the fine details of what activities to do in Colombo and in London. We don’t want to be people who only follow an itinerary, but make a list of a few places to visit and get lost along the way.
“Not all who wander are lost”
**This is what we have so far. When it gets closer, I will write another blog about the definitive details so that you can know what there is to offer and how we found out about these fun experiences**