The Maldives has always been somewhat of a dream destination, the kind of destination that you long for your entire life… Maybe you go, maybe you don’t. Palm trees, white sand beaches, turquoise waters as clear as tap water, coconut drinks and sunny days that never seem to end – a perfect vacation spot for a secret wedding or honeymoon! But did you know, that it’s nowadays also 100% possible to travel to the Maldives on a budget? In this post, I’ll tell you all about it.
Maldives – cheaper than Thailand and Bali
I’ve always thought of the Maldives as that dream destination that I was never gonna be able to go to, as it always seemed so expensive. Then, in November last year as I was looking for possible vacations for the end of the year, I decided to look up the Maldives “just for fun” – as all the other destinations I was looking at were so.damn.expensive. Turns out that a trip to the Maldives over Christmas and New years was much cheaper than f.ex. Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Mexico! Even cheaper than the Canary Islands… Like WHAT?!
I couldn’t believe my eyes, how could such a paradise destination suddenly be so CHEAP? What I didn’t know then, but came to find out later as I was doing some research, is that this is a development that has been happening in the Maldives over just the last few years – ever since a lot of the local islands decided to start opening up to tourists. Hotels, guest houses, restaurants etc. are now opening up like crazy on a lot of the local islands* and thus making it possible for us “not-so-
*Local island: Maldives island with locals living on it. A non-private island, like most resort islands that are owned by huge companies and resorts.
How to book a Maldives vacation on a budget
Finding a trip to the Maldives on a budget is not even hard these days. A lot of the charter travel companies (TUI is one example) are already offering the Maldives as one of their destinations, and most hotels/guest houses on the local islands are also available on the big travel booking sites such as Booking.com, Hotels.com and so on. The Maldives on a budget is very accessible, and should absolutely be an option for your next long Winter vacay!
Good ol’ Momondo and Booking.com
When we booked our Maldives budget-vacation ( read: when I booked), I booked our flight tickets via Momondo, and hotels/guest houses via Booking.com – my two favorite booking sites for traveling. We flew to the Maldives with SAS and Qatar airways; first Vasa to Stockholm with SAS, and then Qatar from Stockholm to Doha, and Doha to Male – and the other way round for the trip home. It was a smooth trip, and traveling with Qatar airways was amazing! I hadn’t traveled with them before, but I was (and so was my boyfriend) more that satisfied with their service, in-flight meals and overall comfortability on the planes.
Choosing which local islands to stay on
Finding which islands to stay on while looking for hotels/guest houses on Booking.com was the tricky part… I knew no one who had been to the Maldives, and didn’t know of any bloggers/influencers who has stayed on any local islands over there. So, I took to Google and started googling as a crazy person! Very quickly I found Maafushi, which seemed to be a popular destination. I always found some bloggers describing the little islands of Fulidhoo as an absolute paradise. Long story short: we decided on staying at Maafushi and Fulidhoo! I also though of Guraidhoo and Thoddoo, but due to the ferry schedules we had to re-think and decided to skip those two (next time!).
Our travel plan and choice of local islands turned out to be great! You can read all about our week on Maafushi here, and our five days on Fulidhoo here. And, as the ferry schedule to Gulhi from Maafushi was very convenient, we also ended up spending one day on Gulhi (will write a separate blog post on the island of Gulhi later, stay tuned!).
The total price of our Maldives vacation
What you might be curious in knowing, is how much our 2 week Maldives vacation (12 days on the islands, 2 days flying) cost us..? So, let me break it down to you…
- The flight tickets were around 850€ per person (round trip, all six flights included), which I thought was a bit pricey. I’m sure we could have gotten much cheaper tickets if only we had booked in advance… But unfortunately, we did book them just a month before traveling.
- The hotels/guest houses were about 800€ for 12 nights total, in 3 different hotels/guest houses- so about 400€ per person. Breakfast was included in all of them, and the guest house on Fulidhoo where we stayed for five days in total included a dinner buffet.
- Food expenses were pretty low I’d say! We didn’t really eat much (lol), as we never do on vacations for some reason..? We just don’t feel like it, nor prioritize eating on our vacations I guess… But I’d say that we ate for about 30€ per day in total (tops!). So about 15€ per person in food expenses a day.
So, what’s the total number of euros for our entire 12 days in the Maldives..?
Around 1460€ in total. Not bad, huh..? The day trip that we did to a resort island and transportation between the islands excluded.
I guess that 1700€ might seem like a big sum of money for some of you. But just compare that sum to what a similar vacation to the Maldives, staying at a resort island would cost… That would be out of the roof! We’re talking at least 5000€ if you’re going at the same time of the year as we did (high season). So… 1700€ for two weeks in paradise during high season is quite a bargain!
Just go, travel to paradise while you still can!
Now that I’ve shared a long post with some tips and recommendations on how to travel to the Maldives on a budget, I only have one more thing to say, and that is… Just go, travel to paradise while you still can! It’s worth it, and I suggest that you go NOW! The Maldives are in danger due to the climate changes, and there might not even be a “Maldives” in a few decades (read more about it here). How sad is that?
ANYWAY… Happy travels! And hey, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have on the Maldives! It’s hard to get all my best tips and guides on “paper”, but I’m an open book if you’ve got any questions.