The Maldives is a bucket-list travel destination for many people around the world. What’s not to love about sugary sandy beaches, the glittering warm waters of the Indian Ocean and that laid-back desert island vibe? However, the reason why many people put off traveling to the Maldives is because of the cost.
Many years ago, a Maldives vacation was reserved for the rich and famous, luckily, nowadays a Maldives getaway is becoming an increasingly popular and more affordable holiday destination. This is partly thanks to a number of low-cost Airlines offering flights there, as well better value deals from the 200+ Maldives Resorts that are competing for business.
But in order to get the best deals in the Maldives, you are going to have to put your detective hat on and allow yourself some flexibility when it comes to your stay. Read on for our ultimate guide on how to save money on your Maldives vacation.
Plan a Trip During Off Peak Season
Perhaps the most important rule for scoring a great value holiday to the Maldives is to make sure that you plan your trip during the low season. The low season, sometimes referred to as the rainy season, runs from between May and October. During this time, temperatures still remain pretty high — consistently hovering around the late ’20s — but rainfall is more common during these months. On the plus side, the rain tends to pass as quickly as it arrives, and you can still enjoy activities such as swimming and snorkeling. Many of the top Maldives hotels will also put on more activities suitable for wet weather during the low season to keep guests happy and entertained. Think indoor activities like art classes, additional yoga and meditation classes, and dance workshops.
If you are planning on traveling within the low season, you will still want to make sure that your trip is not during any public holidays, special celebrations or school holidays as rates often dramatically increase during these times.
Pick the Best Maldives Resort
Now comes the really fun part, and that is choosing your dream Maldives resort. There are hundreds of exclusive resorts dotted all over the Maldives, each offering their own flavour charm. In fact, with so many wonderful resorts around, you can often find yourself getting caught up in deciding which one to choose.
We suggest that you make it easier on yourself by narrowing down your search options before you begin to look so that it is not too overwhelming. The best way is to take a look at some of the best Maldives hotels during your dates, and then the search filter bar to narrow down the results according to your needs. Also, get clear on your wants and needs. Ask yourself questions such as are you looking for a luxurious 5-star stay or a more casual family-friendly hotspot?
We have many articles that will help you to find that dream Maldives resort: Check out this one which lists our top four favorites.
All-In or Nothing
It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you want to save money on your Maldives vacation then it’s a good idea to go for an all-inclusive Maldives resort. Everything is included in the package price at an all-inclusive resort, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks. Some of the top Maldives Resorts will even throw in some additional extras such as a free massage session, a dinner experience, and some sort of activities like a Sunset Cruise. Water sports are also often included in the package price, but you will often be expected to pay an additional cost for things like scuba diving, spa experiences, and things like having private dinners on the beach.
The reason why all-inclusive is generally the way to go, is that food and drink can be extremely expensive in the Maldives. This is because the Maldives has a very high import tax, plus it’s often very difficult and costly to transport products and produce to the very small Maldives island resorts.
On top of this, the cost of eating out is inflated lot because the resorts know that you can actually go anywhere else, that the restaurants and bars are the only places that you’re going to be able to eat and drink. For this reason, an all-inclusive is typically a more wallet-friendly way option. You’ll also enjoy your vacation that little bit more knowing that you can really enjoy as much as you want when you’re away without having to worry about the bill at the end.
Saying this, there are few very affordable Maldives Resorts that don’t offer all-inclusive packages. If you do a little research work beforehand to take a look at the menus and get an idea of prices so you can set yourself a daily project, then you may be able to find a good deal on a room-only Maldives Resort. We suggest staying open to different room types when it comes to browsing, but maybe consider the all-inclusive option as the better value option.
Maldives Package Holidays
Some travel agencies such as TUI we are now offering Maldives packages which include the accommodation as well as your flights and transfers. Sometimes you will be able to find great deals this way, however, we found from past experience that you can often save money by choosing to book your Maldives Resort and flight separately.
Speedboat > Seaplane
It may come as a shock to hear that the cost of a seaplane ride from Male International Airport to your Maldives Resort can actually cost more than your flight from your home country to Mali International Airport. Seaplane flights are notoriously expensive, so you can cut the cost by choosing a Maldives Resort that is accessible by speedboat instead.
Saying this, a seaplane ride is part of the whole Maldives experience, and there’s no other way to get such incredible views of the beautiful tropical Islands below as you make your way to your Maldives Resort. So if you do have a little extra room in your budget, then we do recommend that you spend that on the seaplane ride to add to your Maldives Adventure.
Time Your Flight Right
Finding cheap flights is an art form in itself, and a very important skill have so that you can find the very best deals and save some cash on your vacation. Research that shows that the cheapest flights actually leave on a Tuesday, Wednesday or surprisingly a Saturday, so keep this in mind when you come to book. Studies also show that flights that leave at a decent time in the day or at night are more expensive, so if you’re okay with getting up a little extra early to save a few extra dollars then that’s a good option too.
There is a bit of a debate when it comes to how far in advance you should be booking your flights to the Maldives. Some people like to book way in advance so that they can get the best deals on flights to the Maldives, however, there’s another group of people that believe by leaving it up to the last minute you’ll nab a good deal too. The type that you choose to go for should depend on your travel style and if you really like to have everything organized way in advance, or if you feel comfortable with leaving things right up to the last minute.
The Airline Reporting Corporation did a big study back in 2017 when they found that people often get the best deals on flights when they choose to book them fifty days before departure.
Use a Flight Comparison Site
Did you know that flights are often way more on the airlines actual website than compared to on a travel agent website? You can make most of finding out and comparing these different travel agency websites by using a flight comparison site such as Skyscanner. Skyscanner is so beneficial because it compares a huge selection of different travel providers, so you always know that you will get the lowest prices. If you haven’t used it before, you’ll be pretty surprised to see some of the price differences for the very same seats on the same flight across different sites. Skyscanner makes it really easy to find the best flights for the Maldives, as they have a whole fact calendar section which tells you how much it’s going to cost to depart on every single day in a month period. You can also choose to sign up to price alerts, which means they will email you every time a flight that you are interested in drops in price.
While flight comparison sites great most of the time, it’s worth noting that on occasion they don’t list all of the airlines. For example, Southwest is one of the airlines that allow their fares to be listed on any of the comparison sites. For this reason, if you think you’re traveling in an area that has low budget or airlines likely to not be listed on comparison sites, it is worth checking directly.
Use a Flight Discount Site
Savvy travelers are making use of these special flight discount sites which list some of the best deals on flights around the world. One of the most famous discount sites is called Secret Flying Club, and you can browse the offers either on their website, on Facebook, or on Instagram. It will probably take a little bit longer to spot a deal that is right for you if they’re often within a select time frame. But when you do find a great flight, it can often be 50% less than what you would normally pay. So make sure that you sign up to the site and keep checking back if you really want to find the best Maldives deals around.
Think About Connections
Depending on where you are traveling from, is often likely that you will be required to make a stopover at a destination on the way. If you’re traveling from England, then the only airline that offers direct flights to the Maldives is British Airways, which can often be a rather expensive option. A good way to save money on your flight to the Maldives is to choose a stopover in the Middle East or Asia. Several Airlines including Etihad and Qatar airlines have connections in Abu Dhabi and Doha on the way to the Maldives. If you fancy mixing up your holiday, you can even choose to spend a few days soaking up the culture of these areas before making your way on to your tropical beach vacation.
Other airlines that fly direct to the Maldives include Korean Air, Aeroflot, and Hong Kong Airlines. There are a number of low-cost Airlines springing up which offer some really great value flights to the Maldives, and one of those is Scoot. Scoot is actually one of Singapore’s leading low-cost carriers, and they just opened up a route from Singapore direct to the Maldives too. So you may want to play around and look into flying direct to Singapore and then getting one of these low-cost carriers to take you the main Maldives airport before getting a transfer to your resort.
Celebrate Good Times
If you are celebrating anything on your Maldives vacation, be at a birthday or an anniversary, then you should always make your sure that the concierge knows this before you arrive. You can simply email them, or use the notes section when you’re filling out your Maldives Resort booking form. Many of the top resorts really like to help you to celebrate and they often offer a few extra freebies for those two are celebrating when they are away. This can include things like a free hamper, special dinner vouchers, or even rose petal line beds. So it’s always worth asking just in case you get a few goodies thrown in.
Build Brand Loyalty
A good practice to save money on any vacation that you choose to go on is to make an effort to build a little bit of brand loyalty. You can do this by choosing to fly with the same airlines to build up your points, choosing to stay at hotels that are part of the same group such as the Starwood Hotel Group. When you do this you begin to collect points that you can redeem against other flights and hotels around the world. On top of this, these brands will be offering you special offers and deals throughout the year. Just make sure that you are signed up to their member’s club, and receive their newsletters too. You can also choose to follow your favorite Airlines and hotels and social media, as they will often reveal deals on there too.
Many of the major airlines actually have credit cards offers, and you use these on in order to gain more points on your purchases too. Be wary of this option, always read the small print, and only go for a credit card if you’re going to have to pay back your balance before the interest kicks in. Some major airlines that have credit card offers include British Airways, Virgin, and American Airlines.
There once was a rather inspiring story about a couple who used their points to pay for their entire luxury holiday to the Maldives. Yep, they didn’t have to pay a penny. Now while it may not be possible for you to collect enough points to cover the whole cost of your vacation, you can still redeem a few of them to get some discounts on your dream Maldives holiday.
Use Cashback Sites
So maybe you have found a pretty good flight deal and chosen your Maldives accommodation, there are still a few extra ways that you can save money off your Maldives hotel or flight booking. One quick and simple way is to use a cashback site. These cashback sites work by taking the money that would normally be given to advertisers and instead send it back to your account. All you have to do is click a link in the cashback site, and then make your booking as you normally would. Your purchase will be logged and will receive a partial refund in around month. Don’t expect to save loads on this, but you can save yourself between 1 and 5% of the total booking cost, so it does actually all add up when you think about it.
There are many cashback sites online, but make sure you do your research and you should never have to pay in order to join one beforehand. One of the best cashback sites that we like to use is called Topcashback, it’s completely free, and many of the major airline companies and travel agencies can be found on there.
Once you book your flights and your Maldives accommodation, you can still continue to save money by making sure that you pack very wisely for your Maldives trip. This is because it can be very difficult to pick up things that you leave at home, as shopping options are pretty limited on the Maldives island resorts. On top, of this, the boutiques and convenience stores often sell products are incredibly high markup. For example, sun cream can cost ten times more than it would back home. Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you by creating an Ultimate Guide to packing for The Maldives guide that you can check that out here.
So there you have it, our best tips on how to find the best deals in the Maldives. Incorporate just a few of these things above into your booking process, and you will be sure to save some extra cash on your getaway. It may take a little extra time but it is worth it in the long run. Happy travels!
If you need a little extra advice when it comes to booking your Maldives vacation, that we have a whole wealth of articles that will help to make the booking process a little more smoother. Check out this article which lists some of our favorite hotels in the Maldives. We also have all the articles on how to book a honeymoon, as well as a month-by-month weather guide to the Maldives.
Have you traveled to the Maldives before? How did you go about finding the best prices on Maldives resorts and flights? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments section below.