White sandy beaches, clear crystal waters , exclusiveness, intimacy make holidays to the Maldives the perfect paradise destination. Maldives are like a dream for many travelers but it usually comes with a price. Don’t worry if you are a not the millionaire type because in this article we will give you some money saving tips and unveil some secrets budget solution for your future holidays in Maldives.
YES, there are ways to save some money even in the Maldives !
1/ BOOK A RESORT CLOSE TO MALE (NORTH MALE AND SOUTH MALE ATOLL)
Transportation in Maldives is extremely expensive. The further away your resort is, the more the expensive your transportation will be.
Seaplane and domestic flight are the most expensive mode of transportation.
Speedboat is the cheapest solution to reach your hotel and by choosing a resort close by the airport/Male you will save quite a significant amount of money.
❥ FULL MOON SHERATON Resort , located only 10 minutes from Male and the airport
All the resorts located in North Male Atoll and South Male Atoll (close to the airport) will exclusively organize speedboat transfer. Speedboat price will vary according to your resort location and the distance from the airport.
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Resort will arrange combined speedboat transfer according to the numbers of arriving and departing passengers and their international flight times.
2/ BOOK YOUR OWN TRANSPORTATION TO THE RESORT
Even if speedboat is the cheapest mode of transportation in Maldives, it still remains an important share of your holiday’s total budget. Speedboat transfers to your resort/guest house are usually very expensive if arranged through your hotel or resort. Therefore we recommend you to book your speedboat transfer independently of your stay. Some local travel agencies can arrange private speedboat transfer to your hotel with rates up to 50% less expensive than resort prices. This solution is particularly interesting if you travel as a group, with friends, kids or family members.
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Unfortunately there are no money saving hacks for your seaplane and domestic flights as your resort will automatically take care of all the transfer arrangements. Charges for seaplane & domestic flights will be included in your final invoice.
3/ BOOK ALL-INCLUSIVE MEAL PLAN
Who wants to stress out about their expenses when they’re on holiday? In Maldives it’s beneficial to pay a slightly higher rate to have potentially costly items and services included.
All inclusive meal plan is designed to provide you the best value for money and offer you peace of mind.
All-inclusive resorts in Maldives will automatically include meals, soft drinks and most alcoholic beverages .
But once again all resorts are not equals when it comes to All inclusive inclusions. Some resorts will also offer excursions, a la carte restaurants , snorkeling equipment , watersports activities, laundry services, transfers, private dinner etc…
❥ LILY BEACH resort , the most renowned All-inclusive in Maldives. Even unlimited Champagne is included !
Check carefully what’s included in your all inclusive package, compare with other resort , some all inclusive are much more interesting and complete than other.
All inclusive is a worry free package, no hidden fees and no extra charges. It is a great package knowing that extras paid separately on the resort are terribly expensive and are always subject to 10% service charges and 12% GST !
4/ SAVE MONEY AND KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR SPECIAL DEALS
All newlyweds couples are entitled to Honeymoon benefits . Benefits vary from one resort to the other. For some resorts it can be a discount or a special offer ( free nights, free excursions, meal plan upgrade, room upgrade…) or simply some gifts on arrival (free romantic dinner, champagne bottle in the room, bed decoration, souvenirs, fruit basket, spa treatment…) . When searching for your hotel do not hesitate to ask what are the honeymoon benefits and always compare the offers as some packages are more interested than others. Please note that you must provide a wedding certificate and be married for less than 6 months to be eligible for honeymoon offers.
Family holidays :
Some resorts will offer kids for free (or discounted ) under certain conditions ( age, traveling period, sharing room …) . Free nights offers, meal plan upgrade, free transportation are some different offers regularly proposed by the hotels.
Wedding anniversary – birthday:
Hotels will always go the extra mile for clients celebrating their wedding anniversary or birthday on the resort. Each resort will have a different benefits for wedding anniversary and birthday, do not forget to inform the hotel in order to receive your present.
Loyalty programs :
Signing up for a hotel’s loyalty program is the best way to receive free upgrades or discounts. Make you sure you stick to you loyalty program as the more points you get the more rewards you will receive.
❥ MALDIVES MERCURE KOODDOO RESORT , earn points & enjoy special benefits with Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program.
Sign up for alerts and price drops:
Use one of the several hotel booking website and sign up for the alerts. They’ll do the job for you by emailing you when the prices of your selected resorts start to drop
Book a newly opened resort :
By booking a room in a newly opened resort you will be most likely entitled to free upgrades or opening low rates.
Book in advance:
Do not wait the last minute to book your resort in Maldives. We recommend you to book way in advance in order to get lower rates and enjoy the early bird benefits ( special offers such as discounted rates, free transfers, meal plan upgrades, room category upgrade )
5/ BOOK A CRUISE
The main complaints raised by clients staying in a resort are the outrageous prices, the lack of interaction with the Maldivian culture and sometimes the boredom after a week of being “imprisoned in a golden jail”. Maldives is not only luxury resorts and has so much more to offer than overpriced accommodation in a compact and self-sufficient hotel.
Are you looking for budget holidays filled with relaxation, adventure, culture, tradition, virgin untouched islands, tourists free snorkeling/diving spots, human interaction? Then hop on a safari boat and cruise around Maldives for a few days, a week or more !
❥ HOPE CRUISER , a small budget boat to charter for family & friends holidays
Booking a cruise trip in Maldives is one of the most affordable ways to explore the paradise nation. It is also the only way to visit some of the most remote atolls and uninhabited islands of the country.
As a comparison 2 days on a 4* resort costs as much as a 7 day cruise on a traditional wooden vessel. If you like to travel with style you can also book a 5* luxury yacht , there is a wide choice of vessels and a large price range to suit all budgets. By booking a cruise holiday you will not have to spend a single extra penny apart from souvenirs and drinks ( meals , excursions and snorkelling or scuba diving gear are included )
6/ BOOK A GUEST-HOUSE & EXPERIENCE LOCAL ISLAND LIFE
You want a resort honeymoon holiday type without spending thousands on accommodation, food and excursions? In Maldives guest-house term refers to small hotels located on a local islands where Maldivian population live. Accommodations are usually cheap and plenty of excursions can be arranged by your guest house. By booking a guest house you will surely be able to save money , interact with the locals and experience a real Maldivian life.
❥ PLANKTON BEACH , a local guesthouse located on the local island of Hulhumale
You will surely be surprised by the accommodations quality in some guests house. Of course you cannot compare with the luxury villas you find in 5* resorts,but generally rooms are quite spacious, very clean and well designed with a modern look. Do not expect a private swimming pool or a water-villa ( not allowed on the local island) but you can be sure you will get a comfortable nest.
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Tours are not included in your room rate but you will find plenty of small businesses outside your guest house offering excursions. Your guesthouse itself will have a large selection of tours to choose from. Prices for excursions are usually a bit cheaper than resorts and the tours proposed are no different. You will be able to experience snorkeling excursions, dolphin/sunset/fishing cruises, all kind of water sports, scuba diving, sandbanks etc…
Some of the local islands have a private beach where tourists can wear bikinis.
Food is not always included in your room rate but there are several cafes and local restaurants on each island, so a meal there should cost around US$3–5. Maldivian food consists mainly of fish, chicken and curry.
Please note that alcohol is not available and not allowed on the local island.
7/ TRAVEL DURING LOW SEASON
The dry season usually extends from December to late April beginning of May. During this period you will enjoy hot temperatures, dry weather, calm and clear waters. However price will be much higher than during wet season (especially during festive period; Christmas, new year and public holidays) ! You might also face crowded resorts as most of the tourists prefer to travel during this period and enjoy the winter sun.
The wet season usually runs from June to October. During wet season, rainfall intensity-duration-frequency will increase; wind will blow longer and faster. In terms of prices it is cheaper to visit Maldives during wet season. Most of the travel agent will apply special offers, discount and others added values if you book during wet season. Air temperature and sea temperature will remain more or less the same
Dry season is fantastic for long beach session under the sun and endless bathing in the lagoon. However rates are high and country packed with tourists
During wet season, heat is more tolerable, prices are cheaper and the places are less crowded.
8/ BOOK YOUR EXCURSIONS & TOURS IN ADVANCE
Excursions departing from hulhumale or Male are much cheaper than the one offered on the resort or from your guest house.
If you want to experience the resort life but are unable to pay out the amount of money to stay for one night, you can go to one of the resort islands on a day trip. Packages usually include transportation, meals, non motorized water sports, and all inclusive drinks.
❥ SEAPLANE PHOTO FLIGHT , can be arranged every day from Male or Hulhumale island
You can organize all kind of excursions in advance from Male and Hulhumale ( snorkeling trip, seaplane tours, submarine experience, sandbank, scuba diving , local island, dolphin cruise ) at a budget price and save a significant amount of money .
9/ PACK CAREFULLY
Once in your resort or in your local island you will have nowhere to escape and nowhere to go shopping (except the small , not always well stocked and overpriced souvenirs/locals shops).
Buy and bring all the basics directly from your home country. Simple things like snorkeling equipment, sun-cream, basic medicine, mosquitoes repellent , toiletries, sunglasses, swimsuits , guidebooks can be twice as expensive In Maldives. If you travel with infants don’t forget diapers, formula milk and all other important supplies.
Make sure you pack all the essentials to avoid spending unnecessary extra dollars. If you have space enough in your luggage you can even carry few bottle of packages water as bottled water is usually extremely expensive on the resort.
10/ BOOK THROUGH A TRAVEL AGENCY – TOUR OPERATOR
Booking with a travel agent might seem outdated to some but it is actually a time saving, safe way and most importantly a budget way to book your holidays .
A successful family holiday in the Maldives is all about choosing the right hotel but the amount of choice is insane. Travel agents have a wide and firsthand knowledge of Maldives , they are on hand to assist and advise you in finding the package which suits you best. Travel agent will guide you in planning your holidays according to your desired holiday price range.
Travel agent will do all the work for you , give you all the information and explain the smallest detail ( your transfer to the hotel when you land, your meal plan inclusion, your room location, blah blah blah …)
Travel agents and tour operators have negotiated/contracted rates with the hotels. These rates are usually cheaper than the one provided by the resort to the clients directly. Travel agents also have access to all the special deals and will do all the works for you.
By booking with a travel agency you will not only save money but also save a lot of time !