White sands, turquoise seas, perfect islands and grandeur resorts; Maldives is the definition of luxury travelling. But don’t rule out Maldives if you are on a tight budget. These Indian Ocean islands have more to offer than lavish water bungalows and expensive island resorts. No one can deny the fact that Maldives Island dominates the market of high end private island resorts with a matching price tag. Yet it has a different experience than a luxury water villa at a bargain. This is how you could make your dream trip to Paradise Island without raiding your piggybank.
A ticket to paradise can cost a fortune if you are flying directly from the Americas or Europe. But if you are in Asia, you are already holing a trump card. Regional airlines often offer reasonable fares to Male. Cheap tickets can be found on Sri Lanka Airlines via Colombo, AirAsia via Kuala Lumpur or on Emirates via Dubai. Try travelling to Maldives as an addition to another Asian destination such as India, Malaysia or Sri Lanka.
Where to stay
In 2009, along with the change in administration, Maldives allowed locals to open guesthouses, triggering an increase in budget accommodation. Though hostels and dorms are yet to find its way to Maldives, a private double room with breakfast in a local island such as Hulhumale can be easily found for as less as $40 a night or even less during off season. Look up for budget accommodation options on Agoda or Airbnb. Most guesthouse owners have previous experiences in resorts, and will know how to cater to guests needs professionally. If you are looking for an authentic Maldivian experience, a local guesthouse is the best option out there.
Where to eat
You will not have a hard time finding a local restaurant serving local cuisine in the city. While western food isn’t hard to find, local restaurants serve grilled fish, flat breads called Roshi and decent portions of rice with curry for less than $10. However, if you are in a local island outside Male Atoll, you may have trouble finding restaurants. Guesthouses in local islands often include meal prices in their room rates.
What to do
Maldives is known for its white sandy beaches and turquoise seas. But this Paradise Island offer more than sunbathing. Water sports in Maldives are second to none. From snorkeling, scuba diving to parasailing, local islands offer water sports at a bargain. And for those yearning for a resort experience, local guesthouses organize day tours for resorts at discounted rates.
Few things to remember
Maldives is a Muslim country and if you are staying in a local island pay attention to Muslim way of life. Although alcohol and bikinis are allowed in resort islands, these are prohibited in local islands. Most guest houses offer fairly good Wi-Fi so you shouldn’t have trouble snapchatting perfect moments from your sunny getaway.