Stace Kerr

Known for its crystal-clear water and palm-fringed beaches, the Maldives is on everyone's dream destination list. But I know what you're thinking, it's too expensive, right?

Well, it's time to start packing that suitcase of yours because the Maldives is becoming more and more accessible for people on a budget.

Jump ahead to discover:

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Looking for more travel tips? Head over to Cover-More's blog to find out more.

How to get to the Maldives?

Getting to the Maldives is now easier than ever!

Velana International Airport (MLE) has quickly become accessible to many airlines, making it easier than ever to get to the capital of Malé. Only a short ferry ride away from the capital, this is the perfect place to start your Maldives adventure.

Where are the best places to stay in the Maldives?

Depending on your budget, you can either stay on resort islands or local islands.

Resort islands are famous for their iconic overwater bungalows, ocean view cinemas, and facilities that will make your jaw drop. Popular resorts include LUX* Resorts and the Four Seasons - which often come with the hefty price tag that the Maldives is known for! 

On the other hand, the local islands are a great option for you to consider when booking a trip to the Maldives. With more and more local islands opening up to tourism, it's becoming a great way to see this beautiful country for only a fraction of the price.

Here are some of the popular local islands to visit:

Thulusdhoo

Located 85-minutes via ferry ride away from the capital Malé, Thulusdhoo is one of the easiest local islands to get to.  

There's a great selection of accommodation on the island for all budget types, as well as many activities to keep you entertained from paddle boarding to the pod of local dolphins that swim past most days. What's not to love?!

The island is also well known for its famous surf break 'cokes' - named after the Coca-Cola factory located nearby.

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Maafushi

Take a 2-hour ferry from Malé and you'll find yourself in the beautiful island of Maafushi. It's popular with tourists for its sandy beaches, colourful houses and snorkeling.

This Maldives island makes for the perfect beach bum destination and can easily be linked up with visiting Fulidhoo.

Fulidhoo

A little more off the beaten path, Fulidhoo is certainly a little piece of paradise that's calling your name! With a ferry leaving Malé 3 times a week and only costing $4, it's certainly a must-visit.

Fulidhoo is known for its diving and being located in the heart of the channel means it's likely you'll get to see a variety of sharks, manta rays and turtles.

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How to get around the Maldives?

Getting around the Maldives is surprisingly easy! With a variety of different transport options designed to fit most budgets.

Seaplane

The more expensive mode of transport in the Maldives is, of course, the seaplane. But with spectacular views over the islands, it's certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus, you'll enjoy the sceneic ride!

Travel Tip: Some of the remote private islands are only accessible via seaplane so be sure to check beforehand about how to reach your island.

Speed Boats

Shared or private, speedboats are a great mid-range transport option to get around the Maldives, with the bonus of being a faster alternative to public ferries.

Public Ferries

With a vast network of ferries covering many of the islands, and only paying a few dollars a journey, it's certainly worth considering. They are clean, comfortable and easily accommodate tourists and their luggage.

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What are the best things to do in the Maldives?

Being known as a tropical destination, most of the activities to do in the Maldives are water-based. Here's a list of the must-do things while visiting:

  • Snorkeling - the Maldives is home to some of the most pristine reefs in the world, meaning you can take a swim off the beach or enjoy a small boat ride away to another snorkeling spot as they are easily accessible to everyone.
  • Surfing and stand-up paddle boarding - there are some really great surf breaks in the Maldives (depending on the season), but if the waves are nice and calm then you can take out a stand-up paddle board.
  • Take a sandbank trip - there are so many scattered around and they certainly are the definition of paradise!
  • Dive into the ocean - the Maldives is among some of the best in the world when it comes to diving. Home to endless species of marine life, you are almost guaranteed to see something amazing when diving in the ocean.
  • Watch the sunset - admire the stunning sunsets and sunrises in the Maldives because they are magical.

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How to travel on a budget in the Maldives?

When you think of going to the Maldives, budget holiday options probably don't spring to mind. However, it's not as unrealistic as you may think.

With choosing to stay on public islands instead of private island, and opting for ferries instead of seaplanes, it's definitely possible to see the Maldives without breaking your bank!

Other money saving travel hacks include:

  • Eat at local restaurants instead of hotels.
  • Make sure your hotel has breakfast included.
  • Speak to other tourists because doing day trips together can keep prices down.
  • Take your own mask and snorkel.
  • Ensure you pack enough toiletries because these are expensive to buy in store.
  • Book through places like Airbnb as it could offer cheaper accommodation options.

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What are some travel tips for the Maldives?

  • The best time to visit is between November and April when the weather is driest.
  • Book in advance as rooms fill up quickly - especially on the local islands.
  • Make sure to take enough cash with you to the islands to last for your whole trip. Not all of them have ATMs and they can often be out of cash, leaving you in a sticky situation.
  • Pack appropriate clothing. The Maldives is a Muslim country, so it's important to dress respectfully. Especially on local islands, as you can only wear swimwear at the allocated bikini beach. Men are fine to wear t-shirts and shorts, but women should consider wearing longer and less fitted clothing like sarongs and maxi dresses.
  • There are taxes that get added to your stay (and anything you purchase) in the Maldives, including a 12% GST tax and $6 per night green tax.

Dreaming about exploring the Maldives? Consider protecting your trip with travel insurance so you can explore with peace of mind.

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Stace Kerr has been travelling the world for the past 4 years with her boyfriend, Craig, while sharing their journey along the way with the hope of inspiring others to get out and explore this beautiful world, too! Stace was lucky enough to win Cover-More’s #UltimateTravelTales competition in 2019, meaning they’ve been able to carry on exploring and doing what they love – travelling! Check out her website and Instagram for some ultimate travel inspiration.  

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.