The Maldives’ islands are synonymous with beauty. The beaches, sunsets, and expanses of trees make the Maldives a perfect vacation spot. The Maldives’ islands are popularly known as a honeymoon destination, and the place has a variety of adventure and water sports like snorkelling, whale shark sighting, parasailing and more. The Maldives is also known for its luxurious resorts and private island parties. So planning a trip to the Maldives on a budget might sound challenging . But it is possible, and can be exciting. 

Also read: Discovering The Maldives: A Blue Paradise

Go On A Vacation To The Maldives’ Islands On A Budget

1. Layovers And Connection Flights: Airfare

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Tropical island in the Maldives

Flight tickets take up the bulk of your budget. Even with a lot of layovers, connecting flights can cost up to USD 1000. For cheaper options, try flying to Southeast Asian destinations like Sri Lanka and Middle Eastern cities like Dubai to connect from there. Other destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Singapore that have one-way trip fares to Maldives that start at USD 150. To make the most of your money you can extend your trip over the weekend and take a return flight passing through a European city. 

2. Choose Wisely: Accommodation

Tropical beach resort of maldives
Tropical beach resort of Maldives

The Maldives’ islands do not have hostels or dorms. So there are limited options for cheap accommodation. But, if you are travelling to the Maldives on a budget you have the option of couch surfing or staying in a guesthouse. The Maldives permitted locals to set up their guest houses since 2009, making it easy for budget travel. These guest houses have air-conditioned, clean, and comfortable rooms with WiFi, and cost around USD 40-60 per night. Some even offer breakfast and snorkelling gear, so look through your options carefully. Instead of staying at luxurious resorts on private islands, you can stay at islands like Maafushi and Fulidhoo. If you want the luxurious resort experience you can get a day pass for around USD 260 that includes food, alcohol, and transportation. There are other accommodation options like Airbnbs and Agoda too. 

3. Taste Maldivian Flavour: Food

If you want to enjoy authentic Maldivian flavours you can always stay at local guest houses hosted by locals. Usually, the guest houses provide free breakfast or meals at a reasonable price. These meals are included in the daily rate. Smaller Maldives islands have fewer food options and restaurants. Authentic Maldivian food usually comprises fish, coconut, rice, and curry, and meals like these at a restaurant in smaller islands will cost you around USD10 per person. 

4. Travel Around: Transport

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Ferries are the cheapest mode of transportation for island hopping, and cost around USD 5-25. Make sure to check the timings and working days of the ferries as they tend to be closed during prayer timings. Travelling across Maldives’ islands on a budget can get tiresome as it requires detailed planning. Due to the infrequency of ferries, you might have to stay overnight in some islands. Alternative options include domestic flights and speed boats which are both more expensive, and cost around USD  200 to USD 400.

5. Accommodating Offers: Tours And Packages

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Aerial view of Canareef Resort, Maldives

You can book excursions and tours through your guest house. Some of these deals include food and drinks along with activities like local tours, scuba diving, and snorkelling. Local dive shops or tours can cost around USD 100. Some hosts of Airbnbs in the Maldives also help out with dives and give recommendations. Make sure to visit the Maldives’ islands during the shark and manta ray season to make the most of your trip. In islands like Guraidhoo, the price for snorkelling can drop to USD 50 per person. The guest houses also arrange day trips to other islands and sandbanks for USD 50 with an entrance fee. If the guesthouse you booked does not offer tours, check the local resorts as they might let you join them. 

Coming Closer To Pocket-Friendly Trips

The Maldives is slowly pitching itself as a budget-friendly destination since the past few years, so there are a few flexible options. Some other things to keep in mind are that the Maldives is an Islamic state, so there are strict rules regarding dress code. Clothes that expose too much skin, or are see-through are not encouraged and you can be fined for it. Wearing a bikini is allowed on the private islands and beaches that are owned by resorts. Some beaches are designated as bikini beaches where you can sunbathe in bikinis, but topless sunbathing is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, alcohol and pork are banned and are only available in resorts. 

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