It's a given: Maldives—located in the Indian ocean—is among most people’s dream destinations. And just by seeing how beautiful its islands are, who wouldn’t want to experience this paradise for themselves? Although as much as it is on everyone's bucket lists, so follows a common reservation to many—its cost.
I as a budget traveler admittedly had the same issue, previously filing Maldives as a luxury travel option. But what not a lot of people may know, is that you can now experience this dream vacay for just around PHP 15,000. I should mention, however, that this excludes airfare, which isn’t much anyway, especially that low cost carriers such as Cebu Pacific and Air Asia, offer daily flights to Male (Maldives’ capital) for not that high of a cost. With that aside, all you’d need to worry about now are your land arrangements, and the best way to score a bargain for all your tours and accommodations, is to have someone who knows the ins and outs of the place to arrange everything for you, especially for you to avoid being charged tourist rates.
Here’s the secret: There is a local organization called Dragonfly Holidays, which actually pioneered budgeted tours to the Maldives from the Philippines. The org was started by a Maldives local, who now resides our country.
Having the benefit of a local arrange everything for you is perhaps the best way I’d recommend to go about having your dream trip to these islands (and on the cheap!) They customize itineraries depending on your preferences and budget, and are all curated to ensure you experience the best of the Maldives.
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Just to give you an idea, here’s what you can experience by just “traveling on a budget.”
Comfortable hotels on the islands
A lot of more budget-friendly hotels have started popping up, ever since the islands started taking in more tourists, to provide alternatives to the more outlandish and pricey resorts. But even if they aren’t as luxurious, you’d still have a comfortable hotel-quality stay by the beach, and with easy access to shops and restaurants as well.
What is a trip to Maldives without experiencing its gorgeous waters and marine life? In fact, Maldives has been considered to be one of the top diving destinations in the world. And your tour will already include taking a boat out to its waters, to watch for dolphins and to go snorkeling with its marine life! Photos can’t explain how swimming in these waters is such an experience, so this treat alone is more than enough for you to consider trying it out for yourself.
Maldives comprises many islands, all of which have its own charm. Getting a tour around its different islands is also a part of what you can experience on your trip. You can even have the option of staying in one of these islands, especially if you’d like to have an even more relaxed atmosphere, to an already relaxing vacation.
A day trip to a luxury resort
Even on a budget, you can still experience relaxing in one of the country’s luxury island resorts. Even if this will only be for a day, you’d be treated to delicious food, snacks, and unlimited drinks through out your stay. Not to mention, all the photos you’d be able to take here, is enough content to fill your Instagram for weeks.
Getting around Male, the capital city, is something that can literally be done in just one afternoon. (The island is that small!) Although despite its size, there is so much culture you can already take in, just by walking around and seeing how people live their daily lives. A tip is to check out their markets. A lot of great food and inexpensive pasalubong to bring back home!
Being in an unfamiliar place is always challenging, especially if you’d need to hop from one place to another. Transportation to and from your hotel will be a breeze, because these will already be provided for. As a seasoned traveler, this is such a convenience to have, especially because it will save you time from having to research, walk around, and haggle, and for some, this is what can make all the difference in being able to relax on a much needed vacation!
Perhaps the best value you can get for having a trusted group of travel guides arrange everything for you. With it, you can rest assured that you’re well looked after all throughout your trip. For newbie travelers, this can be a relief, because you can do away with the feeling of being alone and having to look after yourself.
To wrap everything up, it also pays to do your research and to arrange everything on your own, as do many travellers prefer as well.
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Photos from the author and White Sand Lodge, Maafushi. Banner image from Pexels.com