For most of us, the beach lovers especially, the Maldives is a dream travel destination. There’s just something so serene and incredibly alluring about its clear blue skies, crystal clear water, and fine white sand. But it’s also because of its known beauty that people are intimidated to visit or hesitant to even check for a flight, thinking that it’ll no doubt cost them a fortune. But to tell you frankly, I had the privilege to visit this paradise earlier this year and—believe it or not—it didn’t exactly burn a permanent hole in my pocket.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I did save and spend for this trip, but I still managed to stick to a reasonable budget that didn’t go over fifty thousand bucks. Below, my top five tips if you want to visit this sunny side of the earth without having to rob a bank:
1. Always check for a promo fare.
Are you aware that Cebu Pacific already offers a flight to the Maldives? Not a direct flight though, but with a short layover in Singapore. If you want to cut down on the cost of your fare, look for discounted rates to SG, and then check for another promo flight going to the islands. (Tiger Air will most likely be your cheapest option.)
2. Do not schedule your arrival or departure on a Friday.
The Maldives is an Islamic country; hence, they consider Friday a Sabbath day, which means there will be limited ferries available. A public ferry or a Dhoni is your best bet to visiting the different islands since it will only cost you about three dollars, while private speed boats would charge approximately 200 USD. I don’t know about you, but to me that sure sounds like a heck of a difference!
3. Visit the deluxe resorts for a day trip instead of booking an overnight stay.
The Maldives is known for their water villas, so expect that almost each resort has a version of its own. These villas would cost you more than 400 USD overnight. Opting for B&Bs in the nearby inhabited islands is a more affordable alternative. You can choose to stay there and then make a day visit to these deluxe resorts, which would cost you roughly 50 to 150 USD per head including transportation, lunch buffet, unlimited drinks, and free use of their facilities.
4. Arrange an island-hopping trip with a local tour guide.
These uninhabited islands are popularly known as “picnic islands.” You can arrange a visit with a local tour guide to bring you to the most secluded ones for a quiet sunbathing session, picture-taking galore, and snorkeling. (You can rent a snorkeling gear for only 10 to 15 USD.)
And oh, don’t forget to ask your tour guide if you’re allowed to wear your bikini because some beaches in the islands have a no-skin policy.
5. Bring ready-to-eat snacks to minimize food expenses.
Like what smart travelers would do, pack some instant noodles, crackers, and even easy-to-open canned goods with you. As for alcoholic beverages, however, only limited resorts and hotels are allowed to sell liquor so we suggest you make the most of your day visit. Otherwise, just stay sober the entire trip and enjoy the breathtaking view.
Main image by: Abllo Ameer | Moment