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The Maldives on a Budget: Our How-To Guide

Hur kan du resa till Maldiverna på en budget | KILROY

Assuming the Maldives are way beyond your travel budget?

Think again! While travelling in the Maldives can be expensive, it doesn't have to be as costly as you might imagine. We've gathered our best travel tips to help you plan an affordable trip to the Maldives. Keep reading and start planning your dream trip for real!

Drone View Dhiffushi Maldives
The ultimate place to unwind after a big backpacking adventure

Picture this: You've been backpacking through Sri Lanka or one of the bustling cities in Asia, absorbing new cultures, and having many firsts. But now, it's time to slow down, recharge, and enjoy the serenity of paradise.

Enter the Maldives, the ultimate destination to unwind and find your inner peace. It's really true that island life slows you down! While the Maldives may have a reputation for luxury, don't dismiss it as beyond your backpacker's budget just yet. We do the Maldives ''KILROY-style'' to help you turn your journey here into an affordable retreat. So, let's dive in and show you how you can make your dream of relaxation in this island paradise a reality!

Explore more about the Maldives here

1. Explore the less touristy islands

The most crucial tip for budget travel to the Maldives is to visit the local islands (e.g., Dangheti, Rasdhoo, and Felidhoo) instead of staying in the tourist bubble of resorts and missing out on the genuine experiences the Maldives has to offer. On these less-developed islands, prices are significantly lower compared to the resort islands. Plus, it's much easier to connect with the local population.

These smaller islands were closed to tourists for a long time, but in recent years, authorities have eased restrictions, allowing visitors to explore as many islands as they want. Because these islands were off-limits to tourists for so long, many of them remain unexplored by travellers. Feeling like the only tourist in the area is not uncommon, which is unheard of for most destinations nowadays.

Maldives Felidhoo Aerial View

2. Visit the Maldives as part of a longer multi-stop journey

Travelling to the Maldives and back can be a long journey in itself. Going that far without exploring more of Asia feels like a missed opportunity, right? So, why not include the Maldives as a stop on a larger, longer trip?

It doesn't necessarily have to cost that much extra to build in some days of relaxation here. Check out this dream itinerary combining the Maldives with a backpacking trip across Sri Lanka for some inspiration. But as always, we can design your journey exactly how you want it. 

Polonnaruwa temple in Sri Lanka

3. Travel to the Maldives during the off-season

The Maldives have consistently pleasant weather, with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius year-round. But we recommend avoiding travel during the high season (December to April) when not only are there more travellers vying for the best hammocks and coolest snorkelling spots, but prices are also higher.

Instead, plan your trip to the Maldives during the off-season. Between May and November, tourist numbers decrease, and you won't have to contend with crowds or higher prices. It may rain a bit more during this period, but in return, you'll experience better waves (if you're into surfing) and more colourful marine life around the coral reefs (if diving is more your thing). Perfect for water enthusiasts looking for their zen!

Maldives Hammock Sunset

4. Take local ferries between the islands

Most travellers to the Maldives land at Male International Airport, the largest city in the Maldives, and then take domestic flights or possibly speedboats to other islands. You can save a lot of money by opting for local ferries instead. They may not be the fastest option, but they provide a pleasant boat ride at a much better price.

Ferry on the Maldives between islands

5. Skip expensive luxury hotels and resorts

If you're on a budget trip, it's obvious that you need to find affordable accommodations, and you won't find those at large luxury hotels. Why not join one of our budget-friendly adventures that include activities like snorkelling or diving, with accommodation included?

There are also some small locally owned guesthouses that have popped up in the Maldives in recent years. You can search for them online, or we can help you find them. Prices are a fraction of what you would pay at luxury hotels, plus you'll receive a warm welcome from the host family. Staying this way not only saves you money but also provides a more authentic Maldivian experience.

Maldives Maafushi Surfboard

6. Try the amazing local dishes

Another advantage of staying in a guesthouse is the opportunity to enjoy local cuisine, and we can promise you one thing - it's fantastic! Meals are often included if you stay at one of the archipelago's many guesthouses, and you can expect delicious dishes made with fresh fish and seafood, enjoyed with the host family. It's both delicious and social!

Prawns Bbq

7. Snorkel on your own

Many people think you need a boat to access excellent snorkelling spots, but the Maldives has so much to offer underwater that you can find great snorkelling right off the beach. You can usually borrow snorkelling equipment from your accommodation, or it doesn't cost much to invest in your own kit.

Maldives Snorkling North Central Province

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