When friends saw that I was in the Maldives this October they were shocked that I could afford to visit the hyped-up destination on my budget backpacking trip. However the islands are still an Asian country and when you do it right a holiday here is no more costly than a week close to home.
I was in India for 2 months when my gorgeous friend got in touch saying she was keen for another adventure and we both agreed that an island getaway was overdue so we grabbed our backpacks and flew to Male, the Maldives capital, a few weeks later on October 24th.
1/Check the season
The Maldives high season is November – March and as there isn’t much else to do but beach based activities, good weather is vital. I spent 8 nights in the Country on the last week of October which is off season meaning prices are a fraction of the cost than the later months and the weather was flawless, plus we had the beach to ourselves!
2/ Avoid Resorts
Yes, the postcard pictures of the Maldives may show luxurious private islands but if you want paradise on a budget you’ll have to learn to share it. We chose to stay at the most wonderful hotel on a local island called Hurra.
Beach Heaven was run by the most amazing group of people who quickly became our friends. On arrival we were greeted with fresh coconuts and dinner on the beach, of course our beds were adorned with rose petals and towel swans too. They have the most brilliant team on hand serving a delicious buffet of local food and as we’d opted for all inclusive (to save money on eating out) we got to enjoy the daily catch and delicious fruits each day.
One thing to note about avoiding resorts is that the local islands follow the Muslim religion and so there is no alcohol or swimwear allowed. On Hurra there was one bikini beach designated for the tourists and as it was off season we were almost always the only loungers on the white sand. We also had access to alcohol whenever we wanted which was just a short 5 minute speed boat ride away at Cinnamon Resort who treated us to extra strong and unlimited cocktails after buying an evening pass.
3/ Stay on dry ground
Save some cash and opt for beach bungalows over floating over-water accommodation. Although it would be nice to sleep on the breathtaking Indian ocean you can save yourself a pretty penny and a short walk every morning by staying on dry land.
Trust me, you wont be in your room much anyway!
4/Catch the local transport
Sea-planes and private speedboats are waiting outside the airport in swarms but babe, they are for the rich not us backpackers. We caught the local ferry to Hurra which took around 2 hours and we got to see so many other islands on route! Plus, it cost a total of 2 dollars!
There was one day in the Maldives that I will never forget. We took a trip with our guesthouse to an isolated sandbank island, there were groups of white birds that swooped over the sand gracefully, reef sharks swam past our toes in playful ways, a huge family of dolphins were flipping and somersaulting in circles around us and then a rainbow formed in the perfect blue sky, it was a dream come true and I’m thankful every day that I get to call this my life.
Happy adventures wanderers.