How to Travel to The Maldives on a Budget
It's 2022 and do you still believe that travelling to The Maldives on a budget is a myth?
This blog post will prove to you that a trip to The Maldives can actually be as low-cost as you want it to be, and that's what we're here to help you with!
At Maldives Secrets, we have experienced both the luxury of 5* Resorts, to the humble, local islands that are full of authenticity, life, beauty and culture. We absolutely love both experiences, for different reasons and we can’t wait to share more of this with you.
By the way, you can check out our YouTube videos here, where we have Dhivehi lessons but also some island travel guides.
So... What are the secrets to a budget holiday in The Maldives?
CHOOSE LOCAL ISLANDS
The biggest secret is to simply stay on local islands during your holiday. Don’t get us wrong, there is also an abundance of affordable Resorts, but local islands in The Maldives provide the cheapest and most cost-efficient holidays.
The best part is that you get the same powdery white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters as Resort island and the excursions and activities are usually the same - so you get to experience the same amount of fun but for cheaper! Check out our budget local island packages here.
Additionally, if you stay on a local island, you’re guaranteed to experience so much more… You will make friends with the locals, try authentic Maldivian curries, see what real island life looks like, experience raw, natural beauty and simply be mesmerised by the whole experience.
Apart from the choice of going to local islands, there are other ways you can minimise costs for your Maldives holiday too.
2. BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS IN ADVANCE
Makes sense to book in advance and find yourself some cheap flights.
International flights to The Maldives are at their cheapest from May to October, which is the low season in the country - this is because there are higher chances of rain throughout these months. You can also save money by booking flights 3 to 5 months before your trip.
We would also recommend being flexible with your dates and looking at the airline fares throughout the month, it’s a good idea to book directly with the airline too. You can also opt to take the longer route, if you’d rather save money than time.
3. TRAVEL IN LOW SEASON
There isn't that much rain!
The months of May to October, are considered low or ‘rainy’ season, but you don’t need to worry it is still hot and sunny throughout this time of year. If you want to escape the crowds and get the best price - the best time to visit the Maldives is at this time.
While there is some rain, the storms move quickly and won't ruin an entire day. You will experience short showers that last less than an hour - or at most, a full day or a night storm. The prices almost double during peak season! Read more about the weather here.
4. MIX MATCH LOCAL ISLAND AND RESORT
Choose a budget friendly local island and a resort
At Maldives Secrets, we actually recommend that you experience both the local island life as well as the Resort life. We think the two go hand in hand and make up for a perfect Maldives holiday. The thing is… which island to choose?
The Maldives consists of approximately 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres. There are many local islands where you can stay cheaply, with great restaurants and activities.
Finding the right guesthouse:
You will find plenty of budget guesthouses and they’re good value for money. For $20-80 a night, you’ll receive a clean, modern and spacious room with AC, TV, a hot shower, free breakfasts, snorkelling gear, a bottle of water each day, daily room cleaning, and high speed Wi-Fi. That’s why we recommend local island tourism so much!
Read all about the pros and cons of staying on a local island here.
You can also choose an affordable resort:
In fact, we work with many affordable resorts, and there are many options. If the resort vibe is a must, the best alternative is to look for off-season deals that make the islands’ four- and five-star properties that much more affordable. While most tourists arrive in the peak period between December and March, the May-to-November rainy season represents outstanding value as resorts often halve their prices. You can save on the room too – a beach villa is a serious saving compared with expensive over-water villas, and still comes with all the benefits of a luxury resort.
5. CHOOSE CHEAPER INTERNAL TRANSFERS
Sometimes you can choose cheaper internal transfers!
When you arrive in the Maldives, you will already have all island transfers pre-arranged and booked (except if you are taking the public ferry to a local island). If you’re on a budget, we would recommend avoiding the seaplane as this transfer is the most expensive in The Maldives and usually cost over $500 USD round trip for a 20-minute journey.
Seaplanes only operate during daylight hours, so depending on the time of your international arrival, it may not be the transfer option for you. However, you can opt for domestic flights to get to remote islands. They are also able to fly after sunset so if your international flight arrives late in the evening, you can still get to resort the same day. Prices range from $100-300 USD per person dependent on distance to travel.
Speedboat transfers are designed for transportation on short distances (usually up to 2 hours). Speed boats operate 24 hours a day and transfers are priced between $20-80 USD per person dependent on the distance.
Public ferries are the best way to save money on a budget trip and will give you a real idea of Maldives local culture. The ticket price starts from $2 USD one way, and successfully compensates for the loss of time for a long trip. An inexpensive trip by public ferry requires some organisation and knowledge of local information, that’s exactly where we can help!
If you apply all of these techniques, you will definitely be saving money on your next trip to The Maldives. We hope this helps!
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We hope you enjoyed this blog post about the travelling to The Maldives on a budget and hopefully it has inspired you to help, discover and be more aware of them! Here's a little bit more about us, Maldives Secrets, and what we do:
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View all of our Budget Maldives Trips here.
- Maldives Secrets Team