The Maldives is a place of beauty and unrivaled tropical beaches, with a reputation for being expensive to visit!
Thankfully though, like most destinations around the world, the Maldives can be enjoyed on a budget as well. It is all a matter of avoiding the peak season and planning a budget in advance.
We take a look at the best times of the year to go, how to get there for cheaper and how to make your money go further during your visit to the Maldives.
Budget Travel for the Maldives
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Although you shouldn’t expect to pay cheap prices as you would in Thailand, Bali or Vietnam, you can still pay prices lower than you normally would. It all comes down to research before booking your flights and accommodation.
Best Time to Visit The Maldives
The popular season of the year for tourists is between November and April. This is the peak season and the weather is hot and dry. You can save quite a bit of money by rather traveling in the off-peak ‘shoulder’ seasons. This would be any time between early May and late September.
If you can fit it into your budget, then late April would be the best time of the year to go to the Maldives – for a more budget-friendly visit, while still enjoying great weather.
Some travelers may see August as the worst time to visit the Maldives, as it is the wettest month. However, despite the rain, you will still get plenty of sunshine.
The Maldives has different weather patterns each year, and temperatures and chances of rain can be different from forecasts. This means that you can still catch some beautiful sunshine, even though you may experience rain in the morning or late afternoons.
Cheapest Time to Fly to the Maldives
The cost of your flight to the Maldives will depend on what time of the year you decide to go. The peak season from November to April will see the highest prices for flight tickets. Whereas the off-season from May to October will see lower holiday prices and package deals.
To get the most out of your trip, you should check out several booking agents and tour providers. There will be many deals, and you can compare prices between them.
It is also a good idea to use online price aggregator sites, like Skyscanner, to compare ticket prices between all the airlines flying to the Maldives.
Cheap Accommodation in the Maldives
The Maldives has plenty of upmarket resorts and hotels. Many of them have hefty price tags, and budget travelers may struggle. Luckily, there are many deals on accommodation in the off-season.
The trick is to start looking early, and to shop around. Tell the booking agents that you are shopping around for the best deal and they may even lower their prices.
The Maldives has, in recent years, permitted locals to open their own guesthouses and B&B’s. So you can use sites like Airbnb to book much cheaper accommodation on the various islands.
Avoid staying on the capital island of Malé where prices can be ridiculously high for hotel rooms. The resorts in the Maldives often charge prices per night starting from USD$300. You can find cheaper resorts during the off-peak months, but these would still be more expensive than guesthouses.
Guesthouses make it possible to stay for much cheaper in the Maldives at around USD$40 per night.
How to Get Around the Maldives on a Budget
The Maldives is an island nation, which means that getting around happens either by sea or air.
The first is the expensive option of speed boats that start from USD$300. You can also choose to fly from Malé with domestic flights that start at USD$200 per flight.
The cheapest option is to use the public ferries that leave from Malé. Trips on a ferry can cost between $3 – $20 USD, depending on the traveling distance.
Try a local tour of Malé while you’re there, and see the beauty of the capital island.
You might find cheaper transport deals during the off-peak season, but the ferries are still the best option.
The Maldives is a Muslim nation, which means that modest clothing is required outside of the luxury resorts. Female travelers that are going to stay in guesthouses outside of the resorts would need to cover their shoulders and legs.
It is very possible to visit the Maldives on a budget, but you would need to give up the luxuries and comforts of the resorts, and stick to the rules of the islands.
You can also book tours and activities through guesthouse owners, or tag along with the excursions organized by the resorts. Many resorts will not mind, especially during the off-peak season when business is slower.
The budget travel industry in the Maldives is still in development, so you could expect fewer facilities and options if you do decide to take the cheaper route.
The cheapest time to go to the Maldives will depend on how much you mind the rain, or whether you choose to stay in a resort or guesthouse. Either way, you still get to experience the tropical beauty of this island paradise.
So When Is the Cheapest Time to Visit the Maldives?
The best times to visit on a budget would be between April and June. The weather is not as wet as later months, and you can find comfy accommodation, which is cheaper than the luxury resorts.
Try booking your flight in advance, and plan around the peak seasons. The Maldives is far out, and you would need to shop around for the best flight.
You can still experience the thrill of visiting these iconic tropical islands, despite being on a budget, and perhaps you will return again in the future.