How to Take a Trip to the Maldives on a Budget

You don’t have to blow your savings just to make your dream trip to the Maldives happen. So, are you ready to check it off your bucket list? 

The tropical archipelago known as the Maldives is a gorgeous vacation spot in the Indian Ocean with a reputation for being costly. For that reason, many people assume that planning a trip there would require breaking the bank.

Despite its paradisiacal scenery, services, and amenities, it’s not that difficult to plan a Maldives budget vacation. You do have to know how to get there, where to spend the night, and how to get around beforehand.

Planning is key. And the following will offer some basic guidelines that you can use to visit the Maldives on the cheap.

Pick Your Island with Care

Not a lot of people know that there are public and private Maldives islands. Accommodations on the private islands are the most expensive and will definitely increase your Maldives vacation cost.

It’s on the public islands inhabited mostly by Maldives residents that you can best plan your cheapest Maldives holiday.

The introduction of homestays and guest houses has helped Maldives tourism significantly, as it enabled people from all walks of life to visit the archipelago.

Some Activities are Cheaper than Others

To make a Maldives budget vacation happen, you probably want to stay away from tours and cruises. Maybe you should also avoid the most popular scuba diving spots.

Sunbathing is free, and so is exploring the lush inland. You might not know this yet but the Maldives also has unbelievable surfing spots. In fact, it’s free to surf in places like Cokes, Sultan, and Pasta Point, to name but a few.

Snorkeling will rarely cost you anything, especially if you have your own gear. Besides, you can find cheap rentals all over the place. And even when you’re not at the most idyllic places on the archipelago, you can still interact with a plethora of marine life.

How to Get Around

A big part of any Maldives budget vacation is to know how to get around the islands without making a dent in your wallet. 

Many tourists choose the route of a seaplane or speedboat. That can sometimes set you back a few hundred dollars, which is not exactly ideal if you’re looking to save money.

In its stead, why not try talking to the locals and arranging transportation with them? There are many fishing boats traveling to and fro the islands that can offer you a real deal. Many of them even depart on a regular schedule, so transportation shouldn’t be an issue.

Another alternative would be the ferries. That said, the schedule may not be reliable enough for you. Although considerably cheaper than speedboats, the ferry might not be a good option if you find yourself in a hurry.

You’re In Luck with Food

Despite the presence of many luxury resorts and high-end restaurants, the Maldives has no shortage of cheap eateries.

You won’t find as many on the private islands. But you can certainly find enough to sample all the local delicacies without breaking the bank. Naturally, the public islands offer the most choices in this respect.

In many cases, you can even find better food at the cheaper places, especially those that specialize in the street food sort of dishes. Fresh ingredients are easy to find and the islanders have been honing their cooking skills and traditional recipes for seemingly ever, so you’re guaranteed some gastronomic delights.

If you decide to book a cheap hotel, you should book with breakfast included to save on food costs. However, know that you’re usually on your own for lunch and dinner.

Pay with Dollars

The currency of the Maldives is the Maldivian rufiyaa. That said, you better believe that almost all places will accept the mighty dollars. 

As it turns out, bringing enough cash with you on your Maldives budget vacation will actually help you save money. Foreign ATM fees and exchange rates are terrible everywhere and possibly even worse in the Maldives.

But here’s the bright side: for some reason, some establishments and stores actually charge less if you can pay in dollars. So, one way to save money and be able to spend more time in the Maldives is to bring enough greenbacks to last the entire trip.

Remember that there’s almost no crime in the archipelago, so carrying large wads of cash on the hush-hush probably isn’t going to put you in any danger.

Book in Advance

This is more of a general guideline for a budget holiday. To pinpoint some of the affordable resorts in Maldives to stay in, you must research and make necessary bookings in advance. 

Remember that the dry season is November through April. Everybody considers this the best time of the year to visit the Maldives and therefore, it’s also the priciest.

In any event, if you can book your stay early in the first month or late last month of the dry season, you should still be able to land some cheaper deals. You can also visit during the rainy season if it comes down to it.

Tricks of the Trade

You can vacation just about anywhere in the world on a budget if you scout it thoroughly, the Maldives included. 

Will you have to compromise on some luxuries to make it work? Yes. But you can enjoy a tropical vacation even without spending a fortune. 

Recent changes in the Maldives, especially those geared towards tourism, have made the archipelago more accessible to the everyday traveler. That’s why with good planning and proper information, you can make the most of your holiday in this slice of paradise inexpensively.

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