Travel Guide to visiting Maldives on a Budget
Thinking of a dream trip to the Maldives but having second thoughts about it purely because of how much it’s going to cost you? Don’t worry anymore as we’ve got you covered with enough information to fill you in on how to holiday in the stunning destination on a budget from affordable hotels to excursions in the pristine waters.
Maldives is known for its unrivaled beaches, plush resorts, exciting excursions and its friendly locals and the beautiful country is always visited by tourists throughout the year. So if you’re planning on taking a trip to the stunning island but having second thoughts, let us guide you through some helpful tips on affordable accommodation options, where to go and what to do throughout your stay.
Getting to the Maldives
Maldives is a hassle-free country to travel with 30-days free visa once you land to the island. It’s just a matter of getting the stamp on your passport! Their official currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa but make sure to check the exchange rate before you leave.
When to travel to the Maldives
The archipelago is usually sunny all year through, but the best time to visit the Maldives would be between November to April as it’s the dry season and also considered peak season with a great number of tourists visiting the island to celebrate Christmas, New Year and Easter.
If you do happen to visit from May to August you might experience the Monsoon Season but that will not be of an interruption in having fun in the beautiful island with some of the best discounts being offered by hotels and resorts as it’s considered off season.
Places to stay in the Paradise Island
While we were considering the option of accommodation, we came across many places that offers $30-50 a day depending on the season that includes breakfast which was a great deal. But you also get options like Couchsurfing where you get to stay almost for free but might not be the best way to spend your vacation in one of the most wanted holiday destinations in the world. Air BnB is another option to consider.
Some of the guesthouses offer some great deals from $30-$60 featuring clean and spacious rooms with Air conditioning, hot shower, free breakfast, a water bottle per day and daily room cleaning. Best is to search on all these options from the cheapest to the highest option and do some research on Agoda, Booking, LastMinute and other sites offering the best value for money.
Finding cheap transport
Transport is quite cheap in the Maldives where frequent rides are scheduled which will cost $2-$4 for a three-hour journey. From the airport to Male it will cost you 10 Rufiyaa (RFY) for a ten minute ferry ride or 25 RFY if travelling by the speedboat.
You can take a 10-15 minute bus ride from the Airport to Hulhumale which will only cost you 20 FYR and from the airport to Thulusdhoo 30 RFY for a 30-minute speedboat ride. You can take a local ferry or a
speedboat from Male to Maafushi which costs between 22 FYR – 25 FYR and same rate for a speedboat from Male to Thulusdhoo for an hour and a half ride.
Alcohol in the Maldives
Alcohol is not permitted within the islands and there is a strict ban on importing alcohol into the country but they’re freely available on all resort islands. All resorts and hotels other than the hotels in Male serve all kinds of liquor brands and alcoholic beverages.
Things to do in the Maldives on a budget
Best way to experience excursions are to book it through your guesthouse or hotel and check prior to your booking as to what’s included and what’s offered FOC. The islands are pretty popular for surfing and Thulusdhoo is a very popular local island offering accommodation for $30-$100. You can take a surfing trip, rent a kayak or take a half-day trip to a sandbar in Thulusdhoo. The island is full of life with plenty of activities to experience including swimming in the ocean, long walks on the beaches, many places to take photographs and to witness beautiful sunsets.
Diving is another option but you ought to dive through the guesthouse or hotel you’re staying at but you can also go for a local island dive shop which a dive trip would cost $100 for two dives. Snorkeling trips are also another thrilling adventure to embark on especially if you’re visiting during manta ray or whale shark season. A half-day snorkeling trip would cost $50 per person but the amount of tropical fish, sea creatures and corals are totally worth the price you’re paying.
A fishing trip would be something that you’d be interested in which most guesthouses and hotels would make arrangements as per your request and island hopping around the atoll to visit some of the other stunning neighboring islands.
Cheap hotels and Mid-budget stays in the Maldives
There are some exciting affordable hotels and guesthouses in the striking archipelago surrounded by the stunning waters offering modern amenities.
It’s a chilled-out retreat which is just 25km away from the Velana International Airport offering spacious rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, furnished balconies and sea views. The perfect place to stay by the beach with a welcoming staff and amazing food from Pizzas to pastas and so much more. You can also take a trip to the nearby Chicken Island on a kayak for surfing.
Seasons Paradise is a great place to stay and an affordable one too offering comfortable rooms, private balconies for each room, complimentary toiletries and in-room coffee and tea making facility.
Casadana Island in Thulusdhoo is a nice little inn with decent accommodation featuring spacious rooms with Air conditioning, private bathrooms and is a secluded place offering plenty of privacy. This is one of the great options for those who would like to holiday on a budget in the Maldives. You can take a walk on the beach or a relaxing swim when you feel like as it’s settled just about 5 minutes away from the beach.
A visit to Maafushi and Hulhumale
If you’re hoping to take on a little snorkeling or a diving trip on a budget, Maafushi is the place to be. There’s a Bikini Beach where everyone prefers to hangout and the island is popular amongst tourists for its beautiful setting. You get many day trips for snorkeling, diving and shark watching and plenty of places to eat starting from $3-$5 USD.
Another interesting place to wander and explore is Hulhumale which is just a 20-minute boat ride away from Male. The sunrise in Hulhumale is a must-see sight and the beach is full of life packed with locals as well as tourists. You get several accommodation options as well such as Planktons Beach, Crown Arena, Coconut Tree Huhuvilla beach and Koamas Lodge.
Eating on a budget in the Maldives
Food in the Maldives is quite cheap than a lot of countries where you can get a snack for 2-3 RFY and rice and curry for 25 RFY. You can get a decent meal for under 25 FYR and some offer chips for free. IF you like to try out some pizza or pasta, they’re freely available as well and Chinese food for under $ USD per dish. If you’re up for some Maldivian cuisine you can try some of the recommended restaurants around Male’ namely Lemongrass Fifth Restaurant, Seagull Café and Symphony Restaurant.
Luxury resort stay on a budget
This may be not possible as almost all the resorts are going at a premium rate but if you’d like to get a glimpse of what the resort experience is like, you can opt0in for a Resort visit tour for $100 USD were you get to spend a day in a resort and indulge in a lavish meal and swim in the ocean.
Celebrations in the Maldives
Some of the national events celebrated in the Maldives are National Day on the first day of the third month of the Islamic calendar and Independence Day held every July 26 and if you happen to visit the island during this period, you’ll get to witness cultural parades, performances and parties.
So there it is briefly on what to do and where to be whilst vacationing in the magnificent archipelago of Maldives on a budget. Be sure to do plenty of research and plan your holiday ahead of time to make the best out of your holiday. Happy travelling folks!
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