Traveling to Maldives on a budget

The Maldives atoll rings

Maldives is a pretty fascinating country to travel to independently and it is known to be surrounded by pristine beaches and azure blues with great weather. And in many ways, traveling to Maldives on a budget is also superior rather than going to an expensive resort. By staying at a local island, you can get a chance to experience the local life. The number of guesthouses on some of the more popular islands are doubling each year as more and more travelers turn up in search of paradise on a budget.

When me and my husband came to Maldives, we visited three of the local islands — Maafushi, Fulidhoo and Guraidhoo. I also splurged on two nights on a resort stay at Olhuveli Island in an over water bungalow so that I could experience the differences between the two ways of travelling.

Maldives has been one of the favorite destinations of mine for a couple of reasons and before I had thought Maldives was once in a lifetime destination that I’d visit for only a special occasion since the destination was pretty expensive and it has the best beaches in the world.
Traveling to this country has made me figure out a way to travel to Maldives on a budget. Below I’m going to highlight some things you need to know about travelling in the Maldives on a budget.


Finding cheap accommodations

The first thing you should note is that when I say cheap, it doesn’t mean you’re going to find dorm rooms in Maldives or $5 a night bungalow on the beach like you do in South East Asia. But you’d find plenty of budget guest houses in Maldives surprisingly of good value.

You can spend $ 60 – $ 80 a night for a clean spacious, air conditioned and modern accommodations in the local islands of Maldives. Also you’ll get free breakfast, snorkeling gears and complimentary WiFi.



Finding cheap transport

Finding cheap accommodations is also easy. Local ferries to the islands shouldn’t cost more than $2 – $4 a trip.  If you wish to go to a resort, speedboat transfer is available as the local ferries mostly don’t stop at the resorts. But I gotta warn you, they can be expensive. They cost roughly around $200 per person for a 45 journey. Please note to avoid the seaplanes if you’re travelling on a budget — these will usually cost around $500 return for a 20 minute journey.

Boat Ride


Finding cheap good food

Food will cost around $10 per meal but since most guest houses offers an enormous free breakfast, me and my husband normally ends up skipping lunch and then paying for dinner. In one of the islands we visited, $10 were charged no matter what we ordered. We sometimes even ordered Chicken fried rice, curry and rice and BBQ dinner as well.

In Maafushi, there were plenty of food options. There are maybe a dozen restaurants on the island, all offering reasonably priced dinners. We paid around $5-10 a meal for fish curry and rice, fish and chips, tuna fried rice — lots of fish based meals! It was amazing.


Finding cheap excursions

The cheapest way to go on an excursion is to book it through your guesthouse. There are plenty of excursions available such as diving and snorkeling trips, trips to isolated islands. We got to see many amazing sea creatures such as manta rays, whale sharks, etc… We paid $50 per person for a half day trip and I must say it’s definitely worth it.