Let’s break down the big myth about this dream destination! The Maldives is no longer an exclusive paradise reserved only for the rich and famous. There has never been a better time than now, to plan your own visit that won’t break the bank.
Let us show you how we spend less for 12 days in the Maldives than in any European destination!
1. Book your flights a few months before
We always book our flights in advance to find the best deals. For us, the best searching engine to look for flights is Skyscanner. In this case, we recommend you to fly from your home airport to any cheapest destination in Asia and look for a connecting flight, it will be way cheaper than flying directly from Europe.
2. Plan your trip WELL
There are a few things you have to keep in mind before planning your trip to the Maldives. The most important is, there are no ferries on Fridays. So if you are landing this day of the week, you will have to spend a night in Male ( the capital of Maldives) or even in Huhulmale ( the airport island).
3. Travel by public Ferry
There are thousands of speedboats and private hydroplanes from the airport. If you choose a speedboat you will pay $25-35 one-way trip, meanwhile, flying by hydroplane it will cost you about $200-$500 per person. So to make it cheap better, travel by public ferry! It takes a bit longer but the views are amazing and the price is around 2$ 🙂
Where to catch it?
Our destination was Maffushi Island, and this is how to get there for 6$:
– Take a public ferry from the airport to Male ($1).
– grab a taxi to the harbor on the other side of the island ($3).
– catch a public ferry to Maffushi ($2).
Make sure you do your own research depending on where are you planning to go. You can check the ferry schedule here.
4. Find budget accommodation
As we mentioned before, our base was a local island Maffushi. This island has everything you need for your dream gate away on a budget. It is easy to access, well connected by ferry and it has this cool island vibe where you mingle with locals, try their cousin & enjoy a beautiful beach.
The Maldives are no longer only private islands with overwater villas that cost +500$ per night. Since 2012 it is possible for tourists to stay on the non-resort islands, and since then many guest houses pop up. We chose The Ethereal Inn for the entire 12 days and it cost us 430 euros for 2 people, including a big breakfast & snorkeling gear.
5. Budget Activities in the Maldives
This is a true paradise for water sports lovers. Just a few meters from the shore you can see a rich and diverse underwater world. Make sure your guest house provides a snorkeling gear. If not, better bring it with you, cause the prices on The Maldives aren’t cheap.
Take a tour:
– One our two-hours of snorkeling: There are different locations, where you can choose from turtles, dolphins or stingrays. The price starts from $12 and it depends on how far are the snorkeling points.
– Half day snorkeling: You will see turtles, octopus and much more. This tour will include a lunch & drinks on the white sandbank. Half day experience cost $20-$30 depending on how many people go on the tour. We paid $30 per person but the experience was way better since we were only 8 people on the boat, meanwhile, the other companies take 20 people or even more.
– Full day trip tour: Starting by snorkeling with nurse sharks, this tour includes a visit to the beautiful Fulidhoo island and a lunch buffet. Later on, you will visit a spectacular shipwreck and finish watching hundreds of dolphins. We have done this one, and we couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend our day. It was worth every single $! This tour cost 55$ per person.
– Visit a local island: This tour is definitely for the beach lovers. Gulhi Island is only 10 minutes away from Maffushi. The public ferry cost about 4$ round trip and you can enjoy a half day in a different place.
– One day pass to a Resort: Depending on the resort you want to visit, the prices start from $50-$200 including the boat transfer. We didn’t experience this trip but if you have this extra budget it must be fun. You will have all included lunch buffet & drinks flow, beach towels and sun beds and of course, beautiful photos.