7 Expert Tips to Visit the Maldives on a Budget

16 May 2023
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Ah, the Maldives – a tropical paradise that conjures up images of crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and luxury overwater bungalows. It’s a dream destination that many yearn to visit, but often shy away from due to its reputation for being expensive.

Don’t let this misconception stop you. If you’re a budget-conscious traveller like most of us, a little bit of planning and savvy decision-making, will make visiting the Maldives more affordable than you think. Follow these tips and you’ll be jetting off for a Maldives holiday in no time!  

Maldives on a Budget

Tip #1: Visit during the Off-Season 

Can the Maldives be done on a budget? Absolutely! Choose the right season to book and you’re half-way there! The Maldives is known for having two seasons: the dry season from December to April and the wet season from May to November. While the dry season is the most popular time to visit, it’s also the most expensive. By traveling during the low season, you can save a significant amount of money on flights and accommodation. Plus, you’ll avoid the crowds and have the beaches all to yourself. Win-win! 

Maldives on a Budget

Tip #2: Island Hop by Ferry 

Instead of staying on one island and taking pricey seaplanes or speedboats to get around, consider island hopping by ferry. The Maldives is made up of over 1,000 coral islands, each with its unique charm and character. You can easily hop between islands using the ferry system, which is significantly cheaper than other modes of transport. It’s a great way to explore different islands, experience local culture, and meet new people. You’ll also get to enjoy scenic views of the turquoise waters and the surrounding islands. 

Maldives on a Budget

Tip #3: Pre-book Activities 

Pre-booking your activities can help you save money, especially if you’re on a budget. Many resorts offer packages that include snorkelling, diving, and other activities. However, these can be quite expensive, and you may not have control over the activities included in the package. A better option is to book activities directly with local tour operators. You can often negotiate better rates and tailor your itinerary to your interests. Plus, you’ll be supporting local businesses, which is always a good thing. 

Maldives on a Budget

Tip #4: Book a Maldives Dhoni Cruise with G Adventures 

If you’re looking for a unique and affordable way to explore the Maldives, consider booking a Dhoni cruise with G Adventures. A Dhoni is a traditional Maldivian sailboat that’s been converted into a comfortable, modern vessel for travellers. You’ll get to explore different islands, swim in pristine waters, and enjoy the sunsets from the deck of your Dhoni. You’ll also have access to kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and snorkelling equipment, so you can explore the underwater world at your leisure. The best part? It’s a fraction of the cost of a luxury resort, and you get to experience the local way of life. 

Maldives on a Budget

Tip #5: Eat Like a Local 

Eating out in the Maldives can be expensive, especially if you’re always dining at resorts. Instead, eat like a local and try the street food. You can find delicious and affordable options like mas huni (a tuna salad), hedhikaa (snacks), and roshi (flatbread) at local cafes and food stalls. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get to taste the local flavours and cuisine.  

Maldives on a Budget

Tip #6: Book with A Travel Agent 

Booking a trip to the Maldives can be overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget. That’s where a good travel agent, like Pentravel, comes in. A good travel agent can help you find the best deals on flights, accommodation, and activities, as well as provide insider knowledge and tips on how to save money. Plus, we can handle all the details, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your trip.  

Maldives on a Budget

Tip #7: Take Advantage of Free Activities 

While the Maldives is known for its water sports and activities, they can also be costly. Instead of booking expensive excursions, take advantage of the free activities available. You can go snorkelling, swimming, and sunbathing at the beach, or go on a walking tour of the local island. Plus, watching the sunset or stargazing at night is free and just breathtaking! 

Bonus! Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers from other budget-conscious travellers that will definitely help with your Maldives trip planning.  

Maldives on a Budget

What is the cheapest way to go to the Maldives? 

The cheapest way to get to the Maldives is by flying with a low-cost carrier or booking through a Travel Agent like Pentravel. We have inside information on the most affordable flights, accommodation, and transport.  

What is a realistic budget for Maldives? 

That depends entirely on you. If you stay on one of the local islands and eat at local restaurants, you can get by on a budget of around R1,000-R1,500 per day, much less if you opt for street food.  

Maldives on a Budget

How much money do you need for the Maldives? 

The Maldives can cost you anywhere between R10,000-R40,000 for a week. It all depends on things like the activities you book, the resorts you stay at, your mode of transport and the time of year you visit.   

Visiting the Maldives on a budget is entirely doable, and with these tips, you can make your dream trip a reality. By travelling during the low season, eating like a local, taking advantage of free activities, and booking with a travel agent, you can save money without sacrificing the experience. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to soak up the sun in the Maldives! 

Browse our fantastic range of Maldives holiday packages. 

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