Let’s face it, very few of us have unlimited holiday budgets. When we travel we’re looking for the sweet spot between what we can afford and what we see as the ideal vacation. Not only that, but we want value within our budget limitations. Sound tricky? It doesn’t have to be when it comes to the Maldives.
The first step is, knowing what we’re looking for, since each of us is looking for something slightly different in a holiday. Then, it’s finding a value-packed holiday with those elements that matches our cash in hand. Are you looking to go all out and spend tens of thousands on a Maldives getaway, or will your spending be reined in somewhat to a couple thousand or even less?
Here’s what various budgets will get you:
Splash Out on Luxury
It’s easy to spend hundreds or even thousands per night on Maldives accommodation. The Maldivian resort industry is still going strong as the original form of tourism in this secluded and exclusive region. When budget is less of a concern or maybe for a special occasion, there are luxury dive cruises and resorts to get that feel of ultimate comfort and luxury. On the other hand, the two can’t really be compared, resorts and cruises, since dive cruises come with excursions and let guests see many islands as they cruise through the palm-fringed islands.
Maldives Resorts start from $275 per night without activities or excursions, at the low end. If you’re looking to splurge but diving is your dream then options like Ocean Divine and Scuba Spa Ying will be a great fit. Get your spa treatments with a different view each day! There’s also Dhoni Stella where diving or just cruising the islands is up to you with the ability to create your own itinerary on your private charter boat.
Reign In the Spending
When your pocketbook isn’t as expansive at the islands of the Maldives archipelago and you are looking for something outside the resort islands, look to guest houses and dive safaris for a mid-range choice. Dive liveaboard packages have a wide price range with mid-range being $150-200 per night with much more than just a room qith the same view day after day, like you would have in a resort.
Guesthouses on the other hand also offer packages with daily excursions from 90 per person per night, transportation costs are a major consideration in price so if not included be sure to ask about transfers to the accommodation.
Dive packages with the ultimate value for keen divers are on MV Leo, MV Virgo and MV Orion, with free nitrox included in the packages. Theia’s expert dive crew combined with the private yacht luxury feel also places it straddling the mid- to high-end categories.
Guesthouses often include daily excursions or offer dive-specific packages and hover around or under US $1000 per person for a whole week. These guest houses are high value holiday packages that provide full board options and that have an extra element of interest since they are located on local islands of the Maldives. There’s Casa Mia, Happy Life, Villa Stella, Assyeri Inn, Kuri Inn and Reveries Diving Village to look into for a guest house stay.
Tight on cash, big on value
You want to fit in that annual vacation but this year’s budget isn’t as free flowing as you’d like. You thought the Maldives would be out of the question but it turns out there are some affordable options, not to mention great deals to scoop up and save.
The Maldives definitely isn’t a backpacker budget destination comparable to Southeast Asia, but there is now a wider range of vacation package options than ever before. Since the guesthouse market opened up in 2009 there are more options to choose from accommodation-wise.
Liveaboards with this fantastic value are Nautilus One & Two, Stingray and Maldivian Dream. The dependable dive crew won’t let you down, nor will the comfy facilities or high safety standards. Depending on dates and itineraries, prices range from $1200-1500 per person for a 7-night dive safari package.
Guesthouses on the popular island of Maafushi, just 30 minutes from Male, are ideal for a budget-friendly trip to the Maldives. One well-known place, called Arena Lodge, offers a full-board package with daily excursions from just $87 per person per night, which is made even more affordable by arriving by public ferry, 1.5 hours to the island, at a real bargain of just $3 per person (included in the package, of course).
If you’re travelling last minute there’s almost always a deal to be found through Maldives Dive Travel that can slash your holiday costs and offer big value. Make sure you’re signed up to the weekly newsletter so you’re the first to know and can take advantage of the limited offers. Check out a new guest house that bridges the gap between guesthouses and resorts, here.