Tips for budget travelers to the Maldives


It’s a little known fact that to have a great time in the Maldives you don’t actually need to go all out. Therefore, some of the best experiences are very cheap and affordable for even the most thrifty of backpackers. Let’s go through some handy tips to help you save!

Tip no.1 : Choose a local island hotel and not a resort.

Local tourism in the Maldives is booming and there are lots of guesthouses and locally run hotels on the islands. You can book these hotels for only $50 -120 USD per night and if you book in advance you could score lower rates. Even better, if you are in contact with a local travel agent (we mean local Maldives not your local agent in central London) you can arrange a special price for tours and packages that will save you a lot of money and also planning time.

Tip no. 2 Use the same transport that the locals use.

As a tourist in the Maldives, transfers to the islands can eat a hole in your pocket, literally. But don’t think like a tourist, think like a local and the problem will be no more. If you take local ferries to the islands it will be really cheap (roughly around $2 – $5). You do need to know the routes and timings of the ferries as this could be a bit tough to figure out if you haven’t lived in the Maldives – so again better to ask your local agent. If you want to get there faster than the ferry you can also take a speed boat which can cost from $60-$100 USD; these costs can be significantly reduced in a package.

Tip no. 3 Eat local food – it’s really good!

It can be very tempting to just book all your excursions from the hotel counter, one by one. If you do this you will be paying quite a bit more, which is fine if you can afford it! But if you are trying to be more careful with your cash, make sure to talk to a local travel agent. If you book an excursion package from an agent it will cost you far less than taking each excursion separately. For instance the agent will also work to make sure that the package is a perfect fit for you.

Tip no. 5: Bring your gear with you.

Renting equipment can work out to be quite expensive in the Maldives. The best way to save money is to just bring what you need from home! Its advised to bring your snorkel gear or dive compass with you, because most of the hotels and dive schools will charge extra for this. Make sure to ask your travel agent what comes in the particular dive or snorkel package you are purchasing.

Tip no. 6: Travel during the off season.

This one is a no brainer. Between May and August the hotels are cheaper so you can spend all that extra money on cool activities. Don’t worry about a little rain, the water is still warm – it’s always around 30 degrees in the Maldives. We don’t have winter!