We know that we’re not the only ones who have ever dreamed about traveling to the Maldives. What makes turning this dream into a reality so difficult is the price of this trip. Travel agencies offer very expensive packages – possibly because there is so little information about how to turn this into a budget trip.
We were about to choose Cuba as our destination in June of 2015 and that when we realized, after doing a quick cost research, that the price for a trip to the Maldives was actually lower than what we would pay to go to Cuba!
How is that possible?
It’s simple: there are many ways to travel to the Maldives. Of course, a trip filled with all the luxuries in the world will be more expensive, but there are many ways to lower the cost of this trip. We traveled to the Maldives in 2015 to celebrate our engagement and we were able to do it on a budget.
Follow our tips to make this trip possible for you too, saving as much as you can without missing out on the best the Maldives have to offer.
When to Go
What will help you the most in lowering the cost of your trip is, undoubtedly, being strategic about your time to visit. The low season in the Maldives is during the European summer so many resorts and airlines will offer discounts at this time. Keep in mind that “low season” doesn’t mean “bad weather” here! When we went, we got one rainy day but the rest were amazing days filled with sun, heat and warm water.
From Lisbon, the best airlines to fly to Male Ibrahim Nasir International are Fly Emirates and Turkish Airlines. We suggest you use websites like Momondo or Skyscanner to compare flights on the dates you want to travel. On Skyscanner, you can even check out the yearly calendar to see in what month the price will be lower.
In our case, we bought our tickets for the Maldives in the beginning of 2015. Right after New Year’s is a good time to get some discounts. We traveled to Malé from Madrid with Etihad Airways and the price was great at €650 per person. (With some patience and time, this price might even go down; you just need to keep your eyes out for a discount!)
Since there are no direct flights from Portugal or Spain to the Maldives, it might be a good idea to make a long layover on the way there or back.
We took advantage of our overnight layover on the way to the Maldives to get to know Abu Dhabi. From Lisbon, it’s very easy to do a layover and spend some days in Istanbul (with Turkish Airlines) or Dubai (with Emirates).
Accommodation: Guesthouse vs Resort
When choosing your accommodation in the Maldives, you essentially have two options: stay in a guesthouse or relax at a resort. Here, the more budget-friendly option is to stay in a guesthouse. There are increasingly more popular in the Maldives due to their lower price and excellent conditions.
To book a guesthouse, simply search on the usual websites (Airbnb, Booking, Agoda, Hotels, Trivago) to compare the different prices and choose the option that best aligns with your preferences. There are guesthouses in the Maldives starting at €50 a night with excellent beaches, but we can’t help but recommend The Amazing Noovilu Guesthouse & Food. One week (7 nights) here can cost €943 with your three main meals covered plus food, drinks and snorkeling gear included. The tours are also cheap and they offer tons of options.
However, if you’re looking for the typical Maldives experience like we always dreamed of, there are many resorts on the islands that offer competitive prices. You just need to spend some time looking for them. Or, visit the website Purely Maldives where you can search for resorts by putting in your travel dates!
In 2015, we found the Sun Islands Resort & Spa for just €1200. It wasn’t the cheapest we found (there were other more budget-friendly resorts available) but it was exactly what we were looking for. We stayed in a beach bungalow, right in front of the beach, with all meals included plus a transfer on a domestic flight.
In conclusion: you can save almost €1,000!
Travel agencies offer packages to resorts like Sun Island, Meeru Island and Holiday Island starting at €3100 per couple (with all meals and transfers included).
But, going through our costs, we realized that our trip came to about €2500 (€1300 for flights + €1200 for the resort). We know that it’s possible to travel for less than €2200 per couple and stay in a resort (you just need to keep your eye out for airline discounts) and for less than €1800 if you opt for a guesthouse. This is a huge difference that can help you make this dream trip come true!
Are you planning your dream vacation in the Maldives? Leave us your questions in the comments below!
honeymooners, Maldives 07/2015