The Cost to Travel to the Maldives
January 14 2019
January 14 2019
The Maldives is a highly coveted holiday destination thanks to the exotic and spectacular natural surrounds; mirage-like coconut palm beaches that fade into cyan tropical waters—it’s nothing short of breathtaking. Not to mention the exclusive island resorts, with picturesque luxury water villas that most types of travellers, from honeymooners and barefoot adventurers to families, can only dream of—it’s little wonder this destination is high up on many people’s bucket lists.
Because of the exceptional array of first-class resorts in the Maldives, this archipelago, complete with approximately 1190 islands that are naturally grouped into 26 atolls, is touted as a high-end, luxury destination reserved for the wealthy. All inclusive-packages and sensational five-star hotels punted in glossy travel magazines lead travellers to wonder, “So how much would it actually cost to travel to the Maldives?”.
The truth is, there’s no one direct answer to this question when looking at how expensive a trip to the Maldives might be, but it’s definitely not reserved for the rich and famous. In fact, it depends so much on your needs, wants and budget. You can certainly travel to the local islands and stay in B&Bs for less than it would cost at a private resort island in the Maldives, but it would also be a very different experience.
If you are on a tight budget, it may be an idea to research ways to travel in the Maldives in the most cost-effective ways. But if you are looking to stay on one of the many resort islands (there are approximately 100 of them) and indulge in a luxury holiday in paradise unlike any other, then it will probably come with a high price tag.
Interested in better understanding the cost to travel to the Maldives? We dissect this, here:
When people wonder how much it will cost to travel the Maldives, one of the first things that need to be looked at are the flights. Few airlines fly directly to Malé (where the main international airport is), but there is a host of airlines who only make one stop on the way. In fact, you can find flights to the Maldives quite reasonably priced, especially if you fly from parts of Asia, where budget airlines fly to the Maldives regularly, or from Sri Lanka which makes for an inexpensive and quick flight to the Maldives from there.
One of the ways to ensure that you are getting the best prices on flights for your dates is to use one of the flight metasearch engines, such as Skyscanner, which scours all the airlines for you to find the best option. It may mean catching a flight that stops in Dubai or India, but if the price is a factor, and you are happy to take a flight that makes a stop to enjoy this dream destination, it’s sure to be worth it. Keep in mind also that the cost of your flights to the Maldives will rely heavily on where you are flying from and when you are flying (flights are generally more expensive in peak travel times).
One thing to remember is that if you are heading to a resort island, you will have to fly to Malé first and take either a ferry, speedboat or seaplane to your final destination (the mode of transport will depend on which hotel in the Maldives you are staying at). This can add a considerable cost to your holiday in the Maldives.
The type of holiday (local or luxury) will influence the cost of travel to the Maldives
While the local islands tend to be considerably more inexpensive than the resort islands, they are also more rustic. On many of the local islands in the Maldives, you can find inexpensive accommodation in small hotels and B&Bs. Ferries to the local islands can cost anything from $4 upwards per trip but they are very slow. Be advised that alcohol is not permitted on the local islands at all and can only be enjoyed on the resort islands.
The resort islands in the Maldives are fabled for their incredible luxury facilities, amazing offerings and secluded surrounds. While they generally offer more expensive accommodation options, there are many to choose from and the cost varies from resort to resort and package to package. Many of the four- and five-star resorts in the Maldives offer different board basis, from B&B, half-board and full-board to all-inclusive, which gives you the option to choose whichever plan suits you and your budget best.
As a note, the local currency in the Maldives is the Maldivan rufiyaa, but dollars are widely used. Credit cards are accepted at the resort islands and many of the local islands and ATMs can be found on the bigger islands, such as Malé.
The cost of activities
While it’s all well and good to consider how much you might be spending in the Maldives per night, one thing you might not have factored in is any extra activities in the Maldives you will want to partake in. After all, when you are in paradise, you might as well make the most of the incredible climate, world-class beaches and stunning tropical waters.
One thing to note about the resort islands is that the non-motorised water sports (everything from snorkelling in the lagoon to kayaking) are offered on a complimentary basis. The other offerings (scuba diving excursions, day trips, motorised water sports, etc.) might differ from resort to resort, and it’s best to find out from the resort directly what they may cost. These activities tend to be cheaper on the local islands (a half day snorkelling trip costs around $35 on the local islands), but the resort islands use the best equipment and offer premium packages and services. It is also quite expensive to visit the resort islands on a day trip, so it’s best to stay at one of them even for a night just to experience it.
Food and drinks
If you are staying on a local island in the Maldives, the food will be delicious and cost-effective (a meal can cost anything from $5 onwards) but simple and generally restricted to Maldivian options.
On the resort island you will be able to choose your board basis, and because you are restricted to what is on the island itself, the full board (all meals) or all-inclusive (all meals as specified and select drinks) are probably the best value for money. If you go on any other board basis, you might find your bill adds up quickly and the additional service tax (which is always added) can be a bit of a surprise.
Here’s an idea of what it might cost to travel to the Maldives (these are approximate costs):
- Budget travel - up to $400 per day
The cheaper resorts usually cost between $150 and $350 a night.
Guesthouses cost between $60 and $100 a night.
Local ferries are between $4 and $10 a trip.
- Midrange travel - between $400 and $850 a day
Midrange resorts start at $350 per night (full board or all-inclusive options are often good value for money).
Speedboat transfers cost between $200 and $300.
- Luxury travel - more than $800 a night
Luxury resorts start at $750 a night.
Seaplane return transfers start at $400 per person.
Meals on resort islands can cost anything from $150 upwards per person.
With regards to tipping, there is a big service tax included in almost anything (10%- 12.5%), but it’s a kind gesture to tip your room staff or butler. Tipping on local islands is not customary.
At the end of the day, the cost to travel to the Maldives hugely depends on how long you travel for, which hotel you book at, when you travel (many resorts offer off-peak specials), where you travel from and what type of room you book (the water villas with pools being among the most expensive).
Looking to enjoy a luxury holiday in the Maldives? Then look no further than a lavish stay at the gorgeous five-star Kanuhura, where all your island dreams can become a reality.