The Maldives is one of those destinations often saved for honeymoons, big anniversaries or the very rich. It is without a doubt a luxury destination, with a price tag to match, and can often seem out of reach to many of us. This is what I thought too, but after a bit of research we were able to find a good enough deal to make it do-able and I thought I would share my tips on how to make a trip to a Maldives island affordable.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is always going to be a luxury holiday, and no matter how good a deal you get it isn’t going to match up to the price of a week in the Costa del Sol. But I have a few tips to make it more accessible and I can 100% vouch that if you go for it, you absolutely won’t regret it and it will be worth every penny spent.
Just in case you needed any persuading that you should visit, I am sharing a few more of my snaps from my trip to a beautiful Maldives island, Maafushivaru.
Here are my top tips for making a trip to a Maldives island affordable:
Go at the edge of the season
The dry season in the Maldives is between December and April and this is when you are more likely to get low winds, high temperatures and beautiful sunshine all day long. With this however, comes the high price tags. From May to November is the South West Monsoon season, which is rainy season, and means it is much more affordable to go. We visited in November, so still in the rainy season, but at the edge of it. This meant we benefitted from lower costs, but still got a good amount of sunshine. As you might have noticed from the pictures in my previous posts (see here, here and here) we did have some cloud, but there was still plenty of sun for sunbathing and I never once felt like the weather was ‘bad’. There were a few tropical rain storms, but these were as fast as they were furious and everything was back to being dry and sunny within the hour of them starting.
Weigh up all inclusive vs full board vs room only
Our resort offered two options; full board (which is all meals but no drinks) and all inclusive. I have always presumed all inclusive is the better deal as you can eat and drink to your heart’s content without having to worry about paying anything extra, but we did the maths and realised for us, it wasn’t going to be cost effective. Our full board option offered us all three meals each day but with no additional drinks or alcohol (other than coffee and juice at breakfast). I knew I wasn’t going to be drinking more than a cocktail at golden hour and a glass of wine or two at dinner and so realised we were better of just paying for drinks as we had them. It is worth noting, as you are pretty much at the mercy of the resort you are at, food and drink doesn’t come cheap – it is not as if you can pop to a supermarket, so they charge a premium! But have a look at a menu which most places have available on their websites, get your calculator out and figure out what the most cost effective option will be for you. Larger resorts often have numerous restaurants too, so weight up the cost of meals in those before settling on a final decision.
Research the resorts
There are over 100 Maldives island resorts (a hotel tends to have it’s own island) to chose from and they range from large sprawling chains of islands linked by walkways to smaller more intimate islands. You can also get trendy, high-end luxury and more relaxed places. The costs really vary from island to island so it is worth spending a bit of time doing your research as which resort you pick will have a big impact on your spend. We picked somewhere small, relaxed and intimate which was offering a great deal at the time.
Research the best place to book through
Once we had decided upon our Maldives island, we looked at all the different places we could book through to see if there were any variations in price or rewards. Sometimes booking direct can get you a little perk such as a bottle of champagne on arrival, or an upgrade especially if you email them with a nice message, but sometimes booking through sites such as Booking.com can reap the best rewards especially if you are already a frequent booker.
Get a boat
Again, as you are a bit of a sitting duck when you land into Malé, you often get charged high prices for your onwards travel. Whilst seaplanes are without a doubt a brilliant experience, they don’t come cheap. Keep this in mind when picking your island – there are plenty of islands close enough to Malé for a boat to the do trick and it may save you hundreds.
Limit your time
When you are travelling for the best part of a day just to get to somewhere, the normal reaction is to make it worth your while and stay for as long as possible, ideally two weeks. Never in a month of Sundays though would we have been able to afford two weeks so we had to shorten our expectations and limit the holiday to just one week. Now, I could have quite happily lolled about for another week taking in the views, snorkelling and going on trips but after one week I was relaxed and felt I had fully experienced the Maldives. I have enough photos to fill a number of albums and Mr B and I love to talk about our memories of our time there, so I couldn’t be happier.
I hope if you are planning a trip to a Maldives island, then these tips will help you. And if you have always dreamed of visiting but never thought you could, then perhaps some of these tips will make it a little more possible….and if you combine it with my money saving tips, who knows, you could be going sooner than you thought!